Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross 200m north east of Boscathnoe Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Madron, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1289 / 50°7'43"N

Longitude: -5.5632 / 5°33'47"W

OS Eastings: 145439.458

OS Northings: 31502.33

OS Grid: SW454315

Mapcode National: GBR DXNB.LL8

Mapcode Global: VH05H.J1B1

Entry Name: Wayside cross 200m north east of Boscathnoe Farm

Scheduled Date: 3 June 1970

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004313

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 726

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Madron

Built-Up Area: Penzance

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Madron

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a wayside cross, situated close to a path leading towards the church at Madron from Penzance. The cross survives as a Latin cross hewn from a single piece of rock, although one arm and part of the head are missing. It is decorated on one face with the faint traces of a rectangular figure, divided horizontally by an incised line approximately one third of the distance from the bottom. The upper portion has two diagonal crossed lines. Described by Langdon in 1896, this ornamentation is unique to this shape of cross in Cornwall. It is now only just visible. The cross was moved slightly closer to the hedge from its original position immediately beside the path in 1960. It is known locally as 'Boscatho Cross'.
The cross is Listed Grade II (70423).

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-423919

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 some damage and being moved slightly from its original location, the wayside cross 200m north east of Boscathnoe Farm survives well and is made more unusual by its additional, albeit rather indistinct ornamentation.

Source: Historic England

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