Ancient Monuments

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Medieval wayside cross 85m north east of Trewardreva Mill

A Scheduled Monument in Constantine, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1303 / 50°7'48"N

Longitude: -5.1782 / 5°10'41"W

OS Eastings: 172950.581391

OS Northings: 30414.037172

OS Grid: SW729304

Mapcode National: GBR Z6.7YQQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 081N.VX2

Entry Name: Medieval wayside cross 85m north east of Trewardreva Mill

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Last Amended: 3 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010850

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24308

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Constantine

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Constantine

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross and a protective margin around
it, situated beside the road from Constantine to Mabe in south west Cornwall.
The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel'
head standing to an overall height of 2.05m. The head measures 0.5m high by
0.57m wide and 0.24m thick. Both principal faces of the head bear unusual
designs in incised decoration. The north west face has six incised lines
radiating out from the centre, the lowermost two radials are joined by a
slightly curved incised line across the base of the head. From this curve,
three short parallel incised lines extend down the upper portion of the shaft,
the central line being shorter than those to each side. The south east
principal face bears an equal-limbed incised cross, 0.43m long by 0.43m wide,
with a marked inclination to the right and contained within an incised circle.
From the lower arc of this circle, two incised lines run parallel for 0.98m
down either side of the shaft, linked by two cross-lines to define the sides
of a double rectangular panel. Within the upper panel, below the neck of the
cross, is an incised diagonal or St Andrew's cross. Below this, a midline
incised line bisects the lower panel, extending beyond the upper and lower
ends of the panel to give an incised Latin cross at each end.
The rectangular-section shaft measures 1.55m high and is 0.28m thick, tapering
from 0.44m wide at the base to 0.39m at the neck; the sides of the shaft taper
slightly from the north west face, which is 0.04m wider than the south east
face. The cross is located in a recess in the hedge, as a waymarker on one of
the main tracks to the church within the parish of Constantine, close to the
point where that route is crossed by a valley route now followed by public
footpaths. The cross is also on the road linking Constantine with its chapel
at Bonallack, and beyond to the important medieval settlement and port of
Penryn. The historian Langdon in 1896 recorded that the cross had lain on the
ground for many years and was re-erected about 1865 near to where it lay.
The metalled surface of the modern road passing to the south east of the cross
but within the area of the protective margin is excluded from the scheduling;
the ground beneath is included.

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.

The cross has survived well and remains as a marker on its original route
despite having been moved slightly from its original location. The very thick
shaft and the style of the incised decoration are unusual features. The
location of this cross on a route within the parish to the church and a route
linking the parish church with one of its chapels and with the main regional
settlement of Penryn demonstrates well the role of wayside crosses and the
longevity of many routes still in use.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Henderson, C, The Cornish Church Guide, (1928)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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