Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross at Trenethick Barton

A Scheduled Monument in Helston, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1161 / 50°6'57"N

Longitude: -5.2628 / 5°15'46"W

OS Eastings: 166837.941

OS Northings: 29096.68613

OS Grid: SW668290

Mapcode National: GBR Z2.9SQ4

Mapcode Global: VH133.QBMW

Entry Name: Wayside cross at Trenethick Barton

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006655

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 173

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Helston

Built-Up Area: Helston

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Helston

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a wayside cross, situated in the grounds of Trenethick Manor Farm. The cross survives as a decorated wheel-head and rectangular shaft standing in the garden. On one side the head has an incised circle containing a Latin cross which extends down the shaft. The shaft has further decorations cut into the surface. On the other side is a Latin cross in relief, also extending down the shaft. The cross measures 1.2m high and holes in the head and shaft indicate it was once used as a gatepost. The cross was found embedded in the floor of the stables in 1886 and was subsequently moved and re-erected in the garden where it was recorded by Langdon and has remained since. Its original location is not known.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-425387

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 spent some time buried as a flagstone before its rediscovery and restoration, the wayside cross at Trenethick Barton survives well and its decorations are clearly defined and of some interest.

Source: Historic England

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