Ancient Monuments

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Yennadon Cross: a wayside cross 340m south of Peekhill

A Scheduled Monument in Walkhampton, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5066 / 50°30'23"N

Longitude: -4.0527 / 4°3'9"W

OS Eastings: 254537.012351

OS Northings: 69436.100404

OS Grid: SX545694

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.KGTX

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DQ.GXP

Entry Name: Yennadon Cross: a wayside cross 340m south of Peekhill

Scheduled Date: 14 February 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009184

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24817

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Walkhampton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument includes a late medieval wayside cross of relatively fine-grained
granite, set on rough ground on the east side of a crossroads where minor but
ancient roads join the B3212 road from Yelverton to Princetown. The cross,
which is Listed Grade II, was erected here in 1974 having been moved from a
gateway in a hedge one kilometre to the west, opposite Mid Tors, and bordering
the east side of the road leading from Dousland to Walkhampton, where it was
in use upsidedown as a gatepost, and where it had first been recorded in about
The cross is a single piece of granite, forming a shaft and head, with arms
aligned due north-south, though the southern arm is broken off. No socket
stone is visible. The total height of the cross is 1.17m. The shaft is very
neat and well-dressed, and is more or less rectangular in section, measuring
0.26m by 0.23m. A rebate, about 35mm wide, extends all round the edge
of the west and east faces of the shaft as well as the top and bottom of the
arms and the vertical faces of the head of the cross. The effect of this has
been to create a shallow cross in relief, raised about 15mm, on both the west
and east faces.
Between the arms there is a small incised cross on both the west and east
faces. At the top and bottom of the western incised cross there is a
horizontal serifed `foot', 20mm wide. The eastern incised cross only has a
serif, 30mm wide, at the top. The western cross measures 140mm vertically by
120mm horizontally, the cut being 10mm wide and 5mm deep. The eastern cross
measures 170mm vertically by 140mm horizontally, the cut being a maximum of
20mm wide and 10mm deep.
The northern arm of the cross is very stumpy, extending only a maximum of
80mm from the shaft. It is 190mm deep. These are likely to be more or less
its original measurements, but if it is broken off then the break is very old.
The head of the cross extends a maximum of 0.16m above the arms. Its top
surface slopes to the east and may have been broken off.
The cross bears evidence of its use as a gatepost - there is a piece of
iron set into the west side of the shaft about 80mm above ground surface, and
another about 150mm up the southern face of the shaft. Both were probably
gate hangings. On the north side of the shaft a crevice running up the
centre of the shaft for about 120mm from the ground surface has been plugged
with cement.
Despite some disturbance, the monument is a fine specimen of a wayside cross.
Although probably not in its original position, it is one of several
candidates for forming part of `Yanedonecrosse' which was mentioned in a deed
of AD 1280.

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.

Yennadon Cross, although damaged, is a striking example of a wayside cross,
sited in a conspicuous and significant position. The detail of its design,
especially the rebate around the edges of the west and east faces, is highly
unusual on Dartmoor crosses. Although probably not in its original position,
it is a good candidate for identification with the `Yanedonecrosse' recorded
in AD 1280, though its neat appearance may suggest a later medieval date for
it. It is also a possible candidate for a cross at "little Yanadon" mentioned
in about 1750 when it was described as being on the boundary between the
stannaries (tinworking districts) of Plympton and Tavistock.

Source: Historic England

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