Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Wayside cross 910m ESE of Crazy Well Pool

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5155 / 50°30'55"N

Longitude: -3.9877 / 3°59'15"W

OS Eastings: 259169.479507

OS Northings: 70297.664467

OS Grid: SX591702

Mapcode National: GBR Q4.3TQX

Mapcode Global: FRA 27JP.Q8G

Entry Name: Wayside cross 910m ESE of Crazy Well Pool

Scheduled Date: 13 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008720

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22386

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes a wayside cross situated 40m south of a long
established track running between Buckfast and Tavistock abbeys, and lies on a
gentle south facing slope overlooking Newleycombe Lake. The monument survives
as the head of a Latin cross mounted on a modern shaft and set up in the
original, roughly square socket stone. The medieval cross-head is 0.6m high by
0.6m wide, the modern shaft measures 1.3m high and the socket stone is 0.8m
square and at least 0.3m thick.

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

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and,
because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most
complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The
great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provides direct evidence
for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards.
The well preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites,
land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later
industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the
pattern of land use through time.
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 settlements, or on routes which might have 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 110 examples of wayside crosses are known on Dartmoor, where they form
the commonest type of stone cross. Almost all of the wayside crosses on the
Moor take the form of a `Latin' cross, in which the cross-head itself is
shaped within the projecting arms of an unenclosed cross.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
routeways, settlement patterns and the development of sculptural traditions.
All wayside crosses on the Moor which survive as earth-fast monuments, except
those which are extremely damaged and removed from their original locations,
are considered worthy of protection.

Despite limited damage, the wayside cross 910m ESE of Crazy Well Pool survives
comparatively well with the socket stone, head and arms and the upper part of
the shaft all being original. This cross remains in its original position
alongside the track running between Buckfast and Tavistock abbeys.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Crossing, W, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor, (1987), 87
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX57SE122,
National Archaeological Record, SX57SE1,

Source: Historic England

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