Ancient Monuments

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Leapra Cross: a wayside cross at the entrance to Moor Gate Farm

A Scheduled Monument in North Bovey, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6351 / 50°38'6"N

Longitude: -3.8365 / 3°50'11"W

OS Eastings: 270219.638023

OS Northings: 83324.969961

OS Grid: SX702833

Mapcode National: GBR QC.1B6G

Mapcode Global: FRA 27VD.968

Entry Name: Leapra Cross: a wayside cross at the entrance to Moor Gate Farm

Scheduled Date: 19 November 1974

Last Amended: 15 September 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009180

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24832

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 squared head and arms and short length of the shaft
of a medieval wayside cross of coarse granite with large feldspar crystals. It
is set on top of a hedgebank on the west side of the gateway leading to Moor
Gate Farm, about 23m south of the B3212 Moretonhampstead to Princetown road.
The cross is not in situ, having been found elsewhere on the farm. It was
set up in its present location in 1937.
The visible height of the cross is 1.02m. The arms of the cross are aligned
roughly west-east. The shaft is rectangular in section measuring 0.38m (north
face) by 0.32m (east) by 0.34m (south) by 0.27m (west).
The width across the arms is 0.58m. The south arm, which appears to be
intact, extends 0.17m from the shaft and has a depth of 0.3m. The north arm,
which is damaged, extends only 0.07m from the shaft and has a depth of 0.29m.
The head extends above the arms 0.22m. The width of the head is 0.31m.
The north face of the shaft has a fine relief cross carved on it, which has
splayed arms and a splayed foot. The relief cross measures 0.82m vertically
by 0.32m horizontally, and is raised 30mm. The carved shaft of the relief
cross is 100mm-120mm wide, and the head of the cross is 80mm wide. The east
arm of the relief cross is splayed to 120mm (the west arm is eroded). The foot
of the relief cross has a triangular splay 0.19m high which widens to 0.3m at
the base.
The south face of the shaft also has a relief cross carved on it, raised
70mm. This cross measures about 0.57m vertically by 0.32m horizontally. Most
of the carving is about 70mm wide but the end of the arms and the head of the
cross are slightly splayed to about 80mm.
The cross has been set on top of a large granite slab 0.9m long by 0.2m deep
and is a Listed Building Grade II.

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
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 within 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.

Leapra Cross consists of the head and arms of a medieval wayside cross, of
particular interest on account of relief carvings of crosses on both faces,
and also because of its position on or near an important north-south route
across the eastern fringe of Dartmoor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon : Part 1, , Vol. 69, (1936-37), 329

Source: Historic England

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