Ancient Monuments

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Beatland Corner socket stone: a wayside cross 900m south east of Shaugh Prior church

A Scheduled Monument in Shaugh Prior, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4436 / 50°26'36"N

Longitude: -4.0458 / 4°2'44"W

OS Eastings: 254836.38504

OS Northings: 62415.674299

OS Grid: SX548624

Mapcode National: GBR Q0.PJM9

Mapcode Global: FRA 27DW.CNQ

Entry Name: Beatland Corner socket stone: a wayside cross 900m south east of Shaugh Prior church

Scheduled Date: 30 June 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009185

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24818

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Shaugh Prior

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


The monument includes a rectangular socket stone for a wayside cross, formed
of moderately coarse granite. It is situated at Beatland Cross on the east
side of the road leading to Cadover Bridge, and about 22m north of the actual
crossroads. The west edge of the stone is 3.5m from the road edge to the
west. This location is on an important medieval route northwards from
The base dimensions of the stone are 0.73m by 0.63m. The maximum height of the
stone above ground surface is 0.54m.
On the top surface of the stone a neat rectangular socket has been cut, with
straight sides. On the west and south sides the inner edge of the socket is
only 0.12m from the outer edge of the stone, while on the east side it is
0.18m and on the north side 0.21m. The long axis of the socket is orientated
The base dimensions of this socket are 0.36m(maximum) by 0.26m. The top
surface of the stone has been broken away on the west and south edges of the
socket. The present maximum surviving depth of the socket, which is likely to
be its original depth, is 0.16m.
This socket would once have housed a medieval wayside cross at this
important junction.

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.

Beatland Corner socket stone survives more or less in situ, marking the
location of a wayside cross at the junction of important medieval routes,
along which other significant crosses survive.

Source: Historic England

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