Ancient Monuments

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Three wayside crosses in the grounds of Clowance

A Scheduled Monument in Crowan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1707 / 50°10'14"N

Longitude: -5.3118 / 5°18'42"W

OS Eastings: 163605.131

OS Northings: 35326.9358

OS Grid: SW636353

Mapcode National: GBR FX87.7PC

Mapcode Global: VH12P.WZ60

Entry Name: Three wayside crosses in the grounds of Clowance

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006657

English Heritage Legacy ID: CO 179

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Crowan

Built-Up Area: Praze-an-Beeble

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Crowan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes three wayside crosses in the grounds of Clowance. The southern cross survives as a decorated wheel-head on a rectangular shaft. On one face is a figure of Christ in relief and on the other a Maltese cross in relief. The cross was moved to its current location in 1850 and placed on an island in a large pond. Prior to its relocation, it stood on Clowance Downs. The central cross, which is also listed at Grade II (65832), survives as a decorated wheel-head and shaft. The shaft is decorated with double chevrons and other incised ornaments. The sides are plain. The head has a Maltese cross in relief on one side and an incised cross on the other. The cross originally stood on the Nine Maidens Down, marking the point where the parishes of Illogan, Camborne, Crowan and Wendron meet. It was re-used as a gatepost at Hangman Barrow for some time before being set up in the garden at Clowance in 1883. The cross was thrown down by American troops during the Second World War. It was subsequently re-erected. The northern cross survives as an oval-shaped decorated wheel-head on a plain shaft. On one face is a Maltese cross in relief and on the other a figure of Christ in relief. The cross formerly stood at Binnerton Cross on the Hayle to Helston road and was used as part of a watercourse in connection with Binnerton Mine before being set up at Clowance in 1883. The cross is Listed Grade II (65842).

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-426006, 425975 and 425798

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, the three wayside crosses in the grounds of Clowance survive well and have many different types of decorative style and shape so form an informative group of considerable artistic and historic interest.

Source: Historic England

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