Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross in the grounds of the former Rectory at Withiel, 70m south-west of the house

A Scheduled Monument in Withiel, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4528 / 50°27'9"N

Longitude: -4.8286 / 4°49'42"W

OS Eastings: 199300.374449

OS Northings: 65258.423699

OS Grid: SW993652

Mapcode National: GBR ZV.RDZM

Mapcode Global: FRA 07SV.LP6

Entry Name: Wayside cross in the grounds of the former Rectory at Withiel, 70m south-west of the house

Scheduled Date: 6 October 1934

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006626

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 241

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Withiel

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Withiel

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a wayside cross in the grounds of the former Rectory in Withiel. The cross survives as a tall decorated wheel-head and shaft set into a modern two-stepped square base and measuring up to 2.3m high. The head and shaft are decorated on both sides with a moulded relief border which runs around the edges and surrounds the equal-armed cross in relief which adorns the head. The cross formerly stood outside the entrance gate to the Rectory and was moved to its present location in about 1860.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-430315

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 moved and restored to a modern base, the wayside cross in the grounds of the former Rectory at Withiel, 70m south west of the house survives well and is a tall and striking example of its type and probably close to its original location.

Source: Historic England

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