Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wayside cross 60m south of Northcombe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Linkinhorne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5484 / 50°32'54"N

Longitude: -4.409 / 4°24'32"W

OS Eastings: 229425.496282

OS Northings: 74836.122408

OS Grid: SX294748

Mapcode National: GBR NJ.GTJZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 17NM.256

Entry Name: Wayside cross 60m south of Northcombe Farm

Scheduled Date: 11 September 1947

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003069

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 292

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Linkinhorne

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Linkinhorne

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a wayside cross, situated in a small valley immediately south of a tributary of the River Lynher. The cross survives as a decorated wheel-head on a short length of shaft set in a modern base. It stands to a height of 1m. The cross head is decorated with an equal-armed cross in relief on both faces. Two shallow holes on one side imply re-use as a gatepost. When first described by Langdon in 1896 it was in use as a step leading to a cottage. It was subsequently moved and set up in its present location.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-435688

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 ordinary settlements or on routes which might have a more specifically religious function, including providing access to religious sites for parishioners and funeral processions. Wayside crosses vary considerably in form and decoration but several regional types have been identified. The Cornish wayside crosses form one such group. The commonest type includes a round, or `wheel', head on the faces of which various forms of cross were carved. The design was sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ. Less common forms include the `Latin' cross, where the cross-head itself is shaped within the arms of an unenclosed cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low-relief cross on both faces. Over 400 crosses of all types are recorded in Cornwall. Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval routeways, settlement patterns and the development of sculptural traditions and their survival is somewhat differential because of periods of religious turbulence during the Reformation when many were subject to damage or partial destruction by iconoclasts. Despite having been re-used as a step and a gatepost and having later been re-erected, the wayside cross 60m south of Northcombe Farm survives comparatively well and its different phases of re-use bear witness to a turbulent history. Despite some damage to the head, the carving is still reasonably clear.

Source: Historic England

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