Ancient Monuments

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Lesquite Cross, 160m NNW of Lesquite Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Lanivet, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4321 / 50°25'55"N

Longitude: -4.7237 / 4°43'25"W

OS Eastings: 206661.367002

OS Northings: 62681.363501

OS Grid: SX066626

Mapcode National: GBR N2.Q4H3

Mapcode Global: FRA 07ZX.CJW

Entry Name: Lesquite Cross, 160m NNW of Lesquite Farm

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Last Amended: 9 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010861

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26238

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Lanivet

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Lanivet

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Lesquite Cross,
and a protective margin around it, situated beside a minor road junction in
central Cornwall, on one of the main routes to the parish church at Lanivet
and on an ancient route across mid-Cornwall linking Padstow on the north coast
with Fowey on the south coast. The Lesquite Cross survives as an upright
granite cross set in a rectangular granite base. The cross has a round or
`wheel' head 0.54m high and 0.6m wide by 0.24m thick. The head is decorated on
both principal faces with a relief equal limbed cross with widely expanded
limbs. A narrow bead, 0.05m wide, extends across the recesses between the
limbs on the perimeter of the head. There is a small shallow pit in the centre
of the head on the north west principal face, and the cross motif on the south
east face is more crudely executed. The rectangular section shaft is 1.7m high
and 0.34m wide by 0.24m thick. The shaft is firmly set in a large rectangular
base slab measuring 1.2m north east-south west by 0.88m north west-south
east, rising 0.16m high.
The cross is situated on the south eastern angle of a junction of three roads
on a major ancient route across central Cornwall linking the Camel and Fowey
estuaries. This route, whose usage is considered to extend back into the
prehistoric period, is marked by other surviving medieval wayside crosses,
reflecting its medieval function as a pilgrimage route for travellers from
Ireland and Wales to holy sites on the Continent. The cross also lies on one
of the main church paths in Lanivet parish, a path marked by a number of other
surviving medieval wayside crosses, including examples 620m and 950m to the
north west. Although the cross is situated at its original junction as noted
in early records, in 1885 it was removed to a garden at Lank, St Breward,
where the historian Langdon illustrated it in 1886. It was returned to its
original junction at Lesquite in 1926.
The surface of the metalled road passing to the north west of the cross but
within the area of the protective margin, and the barbed wire around the cross
shaft and extending to the fence south east of the cross, are excluded from
the scheduling but 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 Lesquite Cross has survived well and, despite an earlier relocation, it
remains on its original route and junction. It forms a good example of a
wheel-headed cross, complete with its head, shaft and base. Its position on an
ancient route forming a medieval pilgrimage route across the Cornish peninsula
and a church path within the parish demonstrates well the major functions of
wayside crosses, the differing levels at which they functioned and the
continuity of many routes still in use. The presence along a single route and
in one parish of such a surviving grouping of medieval wayside crosses is

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cornwall County Council, , The Saint's Way, (1992)
Keast, J, The Story of Fowey, (1987)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 196, consulted 1994
consulted 1994, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 21372,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 06/16
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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