Ancient Monuments

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Beetor Cross: the site of a wayside cross and a later, 18th century, waymarker 230m south east of Beetor

A Scheduled Monument in North Bovey, Devon

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Latitude: 50.644 / 50°38'38"N

Longitude: -3.8215 / 3°49'17"W

OS Eastings: 271303.551267

OS Northings: 84288.269742

OS Grid: SX713842

Mapcode National: GBR QD.6VBH

Mapcode Global: FRA 27WC.P09

Entry Name: Beetor Cross: the site of a wayside cross and a later, 18th century, waymarker 230m south east of Beetor

Scheduled Date: 28 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009177

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24828

County: Devon

Civil Parish: North Bovey

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: North Bovey St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes the original site of Watching Place Cross, now moved a
short distance to the south, (the subject of a separate scheduling), and an
18th century waymarker. The waymarker is a tapered block of coarse granite,
dressed to a rectangular shape. Three faces have initial letters of local
towns cut on them. The stone is located on the road edge on the south side of
a T-junction, opposite the lane leading to Chagford.
It is set in limestone chippings, only 0.75m from the tarmac edge of the
road, though it is separated from the road by a low kerb of stones,
individually placed.
The maximum visible height of the stone is 1.02m. Its base dimensions are
0.46m (south west) by 0.47m (north west) by 0.4m (north east) by 0.37m
(south east). Its equivalent top dimensions are 0.28m by 0.26m by 0.26m by
0.28m. The top of the stone is rough, and may have been broken off. The
south east face, which has no letters cut on it, is also rough. A triangular
portion of stone, 0.44m by 0.38m by 0.3m, and about 80mm thick, is missing
from the bottom of the south west face.
On the north west face a letter C (for Chagford), 0.18m high, has been cut.
On the north east face is cut the letter M (for Moreton), 0.15m high. On the
south west face is cut the letter T (for Tavistock), also 0.15m high.
The tops of the letter M and its right hand foot are seriffed. Its left hand
side is plugged with cement. The two ends of the letter C are also seriffed,
as is the base of the letter T.

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.

Beetor Cross is a rare example of a stone waymarker, probably dating to the
18th century, and marked with initial letters of local towns, located on the
site of an earlier wayside cross which has been moved a short distance to the
south. In addition to the waymarker, the monument will contain archaeological
remains relating to the date and nature of the cross's construction and use.

Source: Historic England

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