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Medieval wayside cross base 550m WNW of Lanhadron Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Ewe, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.2961 / 50°17'46"N

Longitude: -4.8243 / 4°49'27"W

OS Eastings: 198939.08423

OS Northings: 47832.949991

OS Grid: SW989478

Mapcode National: GBR ZW.2G2K

Mapcode Global: FRA 08S7.VQT

Entry Name: Medieval wayside cross base 550m WNW of Lanhadron Farm

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Last Amended: 18 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007952

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24261

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Ewe

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Mewan

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes an early medieval inscribed base slab of a wayside
cross, and a 2m protective margin, situated at the crest of a hill beside
a ridge-top route linking St Ewe with St Austell in central southern
Cornwall.
The Lanhadron cross-base is visible as a large rectangular granite slab with
dressed faces, measuring 1.2m north-south by 1.15m east-west. The slab is
groundfast, set almost flush with the ground with its edges rising only 0.08m
above ground level. The slab's north-west corner is rounded off; the other
corners are squared. The slab has a rectangular socket in the centre of its
upper face to receive the tenon of the missing cross-shaft. The socket
measures 0.44m north-south by 0.34m east-west and is 0.19m deep. The upper
face of the cross bears a peripheral inscription, arranged in a rectangular
line running parallel to the slab's edges and bounded by two parallel incised
lines. The inscription is written in Latin and incised in a form of early
medieval script called 'Hiberno-Saxon miniscules'. It has been deciphered to
read 'Luratecus fecit crucem + o pro anima sua', which translates as
'Luratecus erected this cross for the good of his soul'. The style of the
lettering and the phrasing of the inscription are thought to indicate a 9th-
10th century date. The head and shaft of this cross were removed during the
early 19th century.
The cross-base is situated beside a ridge-top route in St Ewe parish, linking
St Ewe and Mevagissey with the St Austell area. The location of the
cross-base, at the top of a ridge called Nunnery Hill, also marks the meeting
point of three small medieval estates represented by surviving farms:
Lanhadron to the east, mentioned as a pre-Conquest manor in the Domesday Book,
Rescorla to the north-west and Bosue to the west.
The modern iron railings surrounding the cross-base and the surface of the
metalled road passing west of the cross-base are excluded from the scheduling
although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 having a more specifically religious
function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners
and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on
pilgrimages.
Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south-west
England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type
of stone cross. A small group also occurs on the North York Moors. Relatively
few examples have been recorded elsewhere and these are generally confined to
remote moorland locations.
Outside Cornwall almost all wayside crosses take the form of a 'latin' cross,
in which the cross-head itself is shaped with the projecting arms of an
unenclosed cross. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and
decoration. The commonest type includes a round, or 'wheel', head on the faces
of which various forms of cross or related designs were carved in relief or
incised, the spaces between the cross arms possibly pierced. The design was
sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ and the shaft might bear
decorative panels and motifs. Less common forms in Cornwall include the
'Latin' cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low relief cross on both
faces. Rare examples of wheel-head and slab-form crosses also occur within the
North York Moors group. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed
base or show no evidence for a separate base at all.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
religious customs and sculptural traditions and to our knowledge of medieval
routeways and settlement patterns. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-
fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from
their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

The Lanhadron cross-base has survived intact in its original position, despite
the removal of its shaft and head. Its form is unusual and the presence of an
inscription is rare. The 9th-10th century date of the inscription makes this
monument a part of one of the earliest datable wayside crosses, and from a
period in which historical records, as provided by the inscription, are
especially rare. Its position on a ridge-top route at the meeting point of
three adjacent early estates demonstrates well the varied purposes that
wayside crosses might serve, used both as a thoroughfare and an estate
boundary marker.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Henderson, C, The Cornish Church Guide, (1928)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Cornwall: Volume I, (1906)
Macalister, R A S, 'Corpus Inscriptionum Insularum Celticarum' in , , Vol. 1, (1945)
Thorn, C, F, , 'Domesday Book' in Domesday Book; Cornwall, , Vol. 10, (1979)
Other
Baird, RD & Lady White, Cornish Crosses, 1960, Unpubl. MS at RIC, Truro
CCRA Register entry for SW 94 NE/17,
last input: 18/02/1992, English Heritage core data record for CO 212,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW94/SX04; Pathfinder 1361; Mevagissey & Tregony
Source Date: 1984
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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