Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Churchyard Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Ipplepen, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4871 / 50°29'13"N

Longitude: -3.6447 / 3°38'40"W

OS Eastings: 283420.062545

OS Northings: 66542.247467

OS Grid: SX834665

Mapcode National: GBR QN.WR9Q

Mapcode Global: FRA 377R.ZX2

Entry Name: Churchyard Cross

Scheduled Date: 1 May 1952

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003823

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 271

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Ipplepen

Built-Up Area: Ipplepen

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Ipplepen with Torbryan

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Churchyard cross 9m south-east of Ipplepen Church porch.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 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 churchyard cross to the south of the church porch in Ipplepen . The cross survives as a 15th century two stepped plinth, socket stone and shaft with a restored head and arms. The pedestal is square the lower step measuring 2.9m long and the upper 2m long. This supports a square socket stone 1m long by 0.5m high which is octagonal at the top. The shaft is square at the base, octagonal higher up and tapers slightly. It measures 1.4m high. The head and arms are a restoration.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A standing cross is a free standing upright structure, usually of stone, mostly erected during the medieval period (mid 10th to mid 16th centuries AD). Standing crosses served a variety of functions. In churchyards they were stations for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of Palm Sunday and as places for preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of sanctuary. After the Reformation, some crosses continued in use as foci for municipal or borough ceremonies, for example as places for official proclamations and announcements; some were the scenes of games or recreational activity. Once common, their survival since the Reformation has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval standing crosses, with or without cross-heads, are now thought to exist. The most common form is the stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stone and raised upon a flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th centuries until after the Reformation.

Standing crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval customs, both secular and religious, and to our knowledge of medieval parishes and settlement patterns. Despite restoration of the head and arms the churchyard cross at Ipplepen survives well and retains many of its original elements.

Source: Historic England


Masson Phillips, E, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: part I, Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 69, (1937), p 321

Source: Historic England

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