Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross 310m WNW of Little Boswarthen

A Scheduled Monument in Sancreed, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1023 / 50°6'8"N

Longitude: -5.6247 / 5°37'28"W

OS Eastings: 140899.546822

OS Northings: 28765.545

OS Grid: SW408287

Mapcode National: GBR DXHD.VT3

Mapcode Global: VH05G.GP9D

Entry Name: Wayside cross 310m WNW of Little Boswarthen

Scheduled Date: 28 September 1934

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1004508

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 264

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Sancreed

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Sancreed

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a wayside cross known locally as 'Brane Cross' situated on the lower south east slopes of Caer Bran on the side of a track, at an intersection with a footpath between Brane and Boswarthen. The cross survives as a decorated wheel-headed cross on a rectangular-section shaft set into a field bank and beside a stile. The cross measures approximately 1.8m high. The head is decorated with a Latin cross in relief on one face and an incised Latin cross on the other. It is rather roughly hewn and chipped. It was mentioned in the bounds of the glebe in 1673 and marked the boundary of the estates of Brane and Boswarthen. It was described by Langdon in 1896 and is thought to survive in its original position.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-422250

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 its appearance, the wayside cross 310m WNW of Little Boswarthen survives comparatively well and seems to have survived in its original position so will include archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its erection, history, territorial, geographic and religious significance and its overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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