Ancient Monuments

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Greenwell Girt socket stone 600m SSW of Lovaton hamlet

A Scheduled Monument in Meavy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4724 / 50°28'20"N

Longitude: -4.0553 / 4°3'19"W

OS Eastings: 254249.050635

OS Northings: 65636.817481

OS Grid: SX542656

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.MN61

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DT.1Y3

Entry Name: Greenwell Girt socket stone 600m SSW of Lovaton hamlet

Scheduled Date: 17 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008929

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24814

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Meavy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument includes a well preserved granite socket stone for a wayside
cross, set in turf on the west side of a public road a short distance south of
Greenwell Girt. The stone is of relatively fine-grained granite.
The top surface of the stone is neatly octagonal, with a smooth weathered
surface. In contrast, the sides of the stone are relatively roughly finished.
The chamfered north corner of the top surface of the stone has a slot on its
top edge measuring 0.006m by 0.0025m by 0.003m deep.
The maximum dimensions of the stone are 1.02m by 1m. Its visible depth is
0.33m. In the centre of the top surface is a square socket measuring 0.28m by
0.25m by 0.14m deep with straight sides, which does not perforate the stone.
The stone has been moved but cannot be far from its original position, and
would once have held a cross marking a medieval route.

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.

The Greenwell Girt socket stone is a fine example most likely close to its
original position. It was for a medieval cross which marked an important route
northwards from Plympton, where there was an Augustinian priory. The chamfered
top surface of the stone implies that it was intended to be seen.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Haynes, R G, 'Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries' in Lost Tracks on Greenwell Down, , Vol. 69, (1981), 27-29
Masson Phillips, E, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon : Part 1, , Vol. 69, (1936-37), 312-313

Source: Historic England

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