Ancient Monuments

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Cross north east of Nun's Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5148 / 50°30'53"N

Longitude: -3.9516 / 3°57'5"W

OS Eastings: 261732.898625

OS Northings: 70155.163425

OS Grid: SX617701

Mapcode National: GBR Q5.9YJQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27MP.LD1

Entry Name: Cross NE of Nun's Cross

Scheduled Date: 19 January 1968

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002560

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 622

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


A wayside cross 1190m ENE of Nun’s Cross Farm.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a wayside cross situated on the lowest northern slopes of Crane Hill immediately south of Foxtor Mires. The cross survives as a Latin cross with a repaired shaft set into a socket cut into a massive natural triangular boulder. The cross measures up to 0.9m high and 0.55m wide at the arms. The shaft has been repaired just below the arms and is cemented and joined with iron clamps. At this joint the two shaft sections differ in width suggesting a section of shaft may be missing. It was re-erected and restored in 1903 by Goldsmith who found the cross lying broken beside the socket stone. It is known locally either as Goldsmith’s Cross or Foxtor Mires Cross. Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity some are scheduled but others are not because they have not been formally assessed. There are several wayside crosses amongst this number which appear to be connected with the Abbot’s Way or acting as route markers around Foxtor Mires.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provides direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. Wayside crosses are one of several types of Christian cross erected during the medieval period, mostly from the 9th to 15th centuries AD. In addition to serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith amongst those who passed the cross and of reassuring the traveller, wayside crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult and otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes linking settlements, or on routes which might have a more specifically religious function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners and funeral processions, or marking long distance routes frequented on pilgrimages. Over 110 examples of wayside crosses are known on Dartmoor, where they form the commonest type of stone cross. Almost all of the wayside crosses on the Moor take the form of a `Latin' cross, in which the cross-head itself is shaped within the projecting arms of an unenclosed cross. Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval routeways, settlement patterns and the development of sculptural traditions. Despite having been toppled and broken and subsequently repaired the wayside cross 1190m ENE of Nun’s Cross Farm survives comparatively well and is in its original location. It has survived despite being the subject of iconoclastic damage probably during the Reformation and being located extremely close to tinworks in its immediate vicinity. It still retains its original importance as a way marker associated with both the Abbot’s Way and Foxtor Mires.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Four – The South-East , (1993), 222
PastScape Monument No:-443382

Source: Historic England

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