Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wayside cross at Tregwainton Carn

A Scheduled Monument in Madron, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1345 / 50°8'4"N

Longitude: -5.583 / 5°34'58"W

OS Eastings: 144052.521397

OS Northings: 32193.62

OS Grid: SW440321

Mapcode National: GBR DXLB.9GL

Mapcode Global: VH059.5WV8

Entry Name: Wayside cross at Tregwainton Carn

Scheduled Date: 12 February 1958

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004412

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 490

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Madron

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Madron

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a wayside cross at a junction between two tracks across the down land of Tregwainton Carn. The cross survives as a decorated wheel-head set directly into a square socket stone. The cross head is decorated with a Greek cross in relief on both faces. Blight was the first to record the cross in the mid-19th century. Langdon, in 1896, considered that the head and socket stone were both part of the same original cross. In 1960 Baird noted that the cross had been moved slightly from its original location in order to safeguard it from further damage. The cross is known locally as 'Tregwainton Cross'.
The cross is Listed Grade II (70421).

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-424429

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. The wayside cross at Tregwainton Carn clearly bears witness to a turbulent history since the shaft is completely missing, but this forms part of its unique history and despite this it survives reasonably well in its original location.

Source: Historic England

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