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Three medieval wayside crosses 70m south west of Trebartha Hall

A Scheduled Monument in North Hill, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5712 / 50°34'16"N

Longitude: -4.4557 / 4°27'20"W

OS Eastings: 226199.589336

OS Northings: 77479.814141

OS Grid: SX261774

Mapcode National: GBR NG.F79R

Mapcode Global: FRA 17KK.7YF

Entry Name: Three medieval wayside crosses 70m SW of Trebartha Hall

Scheduled Date: 14 February 1948

Last Amended: 18 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012045

English Heritage Legacy ID: 15177

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: North Hill

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: North Hill

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes three medieval wayside crosses, known to have been
erected originally beside routeways in the vicinity of the now-demolished
Trebartha Hall, and now situated together in the grounds of the Hall near the
confluence of the Withey Brook with the River Lynher, just beyond the NE edge
of Bodmin Moor.
These three medieval crosses were collected together from the neighbourhood
during the later 19th and early 20th centuries by the former owners of the
Trebartha Hall estate, the Rodd family. They now stand firmly erected, 1.5m
apart, within a small enclosure around a sunken well in pasture close to the
site of the Trebartha Hall. All three are formed as Latin crosses, that is,
the shape of the cross-arms form the edges of the cross-head and all are
constructed of granite.
The cross at the northern end of the enclosure is known as the Knighton or
Plusha Cross. This cross stands 1.27m high, its shaft tapering evenly from
base to top, from 0.46m wide and 0.18m thick to 0.25m wide and 0.08m thick.
The cross-arms at each side are broken across, one surviving as a stump, the
other broken close to its junction with the shaft. Each side-arm is 0.3m wide
where it joins the shaft, matching the basal width of the intact upper arm.
The cross shows no surface decoration and, though the original surface is
neatly finished, it retains no dressing marks. The removal of the side-arms is
due to its secondary use as a gate-post, which also caused a perforation,
0.076m in diameter, to be made through the shaft to one side of its midline
and just above the level of the side-arms' lower edge. A smaller pecked hollow
in the shaft's present northern face, 0.012m below the perforation, is
considered to be the site of a lead-plug to secure a gate-latch. This cross is
first recorded by an antiquary in 1838 as standing at Plusha, a hamlet near
Knighton Farm and 2.75km NNW of its present location and on the main medieval
and later route from Launceston to Bodmin and west Cornwall, now followed by
the A30 trunk road. A series of medieval wayside crosses, of which this was
formerly one, still survive along that route with examples situated 2km west
and 3km NE of Plusha. After its record at Plusha, the cross is mentioned as
being found at Upton Farm, 375m SW of Knighton Farm and part of the Trebartha
Estate. By 1912, this cross was moved to serve as a gate-post at NGR
SX26067790 at the entrance of a cart-road constructed in 1909 between
Trebartha and Plusha via Knighton Farm, and still on the Trebartha Estate. By
1940, the cross was erected near the Battens Cross, described below, in the
grounds of Trebartha Hall at NGR SX26407744, 200m ESE of its present position
where it is believed to have marked the grave-site of one of the owners'
horses. It had been removed by 1950 but by 1979 it had been recovered and
re-erected in its present position.
The other two wayside crosses are situated along the eastern side of the small
enclosure. The northern of these is called the Sturts or Holy Well Cross and
is mounted in a granite staddle-stone, a small circular slab used for
supporting a hay rick off the ground, the stone being embedded in the turf.
This small Latin cross stands 0.66m high above the staddle-stone. Its shaft
measures 0.3m wide and 0.2m thick, but its width has been reduced slightly
towards the base, probably to facilitate its mounting. The cross-arms are of
equal width, 0.2m, and project 0.1m from the shaft. All edges of the shaft and
arms of this cross are chamfered except for the edges of the cross-arm
terminal faces. Both faces of the cross bear an incised cross, visible as a
pecked groove following the shaft and cross-arm midlines. The incised cross on
the eastern face, as the cross is now orientated, has limbs of equal length
measuring 0.13m each; that on the western face is similar but has a longer
lower limb and is embellished by pecked, expanded triangular terminals on each
of the arms and the lower limb. This cross has been situated at its present
location, mounted in the staddle-stone, since at least 1896 when it was
described by the antiquary Langdon who recorded that the then owner discovered
it built into the gable of a cottage near Trebartha. Several more recent
studies have identified this cross as that originally situated at NGR
SX28487227, 5.7km to the SSE of its present location, at Sturts Corner, Upton
Cross in neighbouring Linkinhorne parish. That location is also on a medieval
routeway, from Launceston to Dobwalls and beyond, which is still marked by
several surviving crosses.
The third cross, known as the Battens Cross, is the southern of the two
crosses along the eastern side of the enclosure. It stands 1m high and the
shaft measures 0.23m wide and 0.18m thick. The head is roughly formed with
short limbs of unequal width and the surface of the cross is heavily eroded
with no evidence for decoration. This cross was discovered prior to 1906 at
NGR SX27357655, built into a rickyard wall at Battens Farm, North Hill. Recent
studies indicate that the cross originally stood at the cross-roads 440m east
of Battens Farm, where several adjoining fields include `cross' in their
names. This cross-roads, at NGR SX27807650, is on the later medieval and
modern route from Launceston to Liskeard and is 1.9km SE of its present
location. By 1940 the cross had been removed from Battens Farm to accompany
the Plusha or Knighton Cross, marking another horse-grave in the grounds of
Trebartha Hall at NGR SX26417745, 200m ESE of its present location. At an
unrecorded date between 1971 and 1979, the cross was moved to its present
Two other pieces of historical stonework are situated at the periphery of this
monument along the western side of the small enclosure. The northern item is a
pentagonal granite direction slab, raised 0.25m above the ground on a small
granite plinth. Each edge has pecked lettering in an 18th century style
marking the destination it faced, as follows, working clockwise: Liskeard Road
/ Bodmin Road / Camelford Road / Launceston Road / Callington Road. This
combination of routes meeting at one point indicates the slab's likely
original site at Five Lanes, on the Launceston to Bodmin road, now the A30, on
the NE edge of Bodmin Moor. The southern item is a granite column fragment of
unknown origin, the pecked column portion measuring 0.3m in diameter and 0.1m
high, above which rises a roughly fractured, unshaped mass measuring 0.5m wide
and 0.25m thick. The well beneath the crosses is brick-lined and was once used
as a cool store for Trebartha Hall.
The modern iron railings and gate of the enclosure are excluded from the
scheduling but the ground beneath them 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

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been
recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The
Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the
best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of
prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human
exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The
well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field
systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains
provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land
use through time.

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 among
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 places so marked might be on regularly used routes
linking ordinary settlements or the routes may have a more specifically
religious function, including providing access to religious sites for
parishioners and funeral processions. Wayside crosses vary considerably in
form and decoration, due in part to their development over the period during
which they were erected, but several regional types have been identified. The
Cornish wayside crosses form one such variant, drawing greatly for their
designs on the local traditions employed for crosses at churchyards, monastic
and market sites. Commonest among these are crosses made from a single slab,
with a round, or `wheel', head on whose faces various forms of cross were
carved. The design was sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ,
with perforations between the cross-arms or mouldings between the head and
shaft, or with decoration on the shaft which can be especially elaborate on
some early examples. Less common forms employed as wayside crosses in Cornwall
include the `Latin' cross, where the cross-head itself is shaped as the arms
of an unenclosed cross, and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low-relief
cross on both faces.
Over 400 crosses of all types are recorded in Cornwall. Of the 35 surviving on
Bodmin Moor, 21 are recorded as wayside crosses. Wayside crosses contribute
significantly to our understanding of medieval religious expression and to our
knowledge of medieval routeways, settlement patterns and the development of
sculptural traditions. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-fast
monuments, except those which are both extremely damaged and removed from
their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

These wayside crosses at Trebartha Hall have survived well despite their
removal to their present location. Each cross displays a variation on the
basic Latin cross form, which is scarce in Cornwall. The original location and
context for each of these crosses is known and two of them derive from
sequences of other wayside crosses that still survive at original sites along
routeways. The known original location of these crosses by routeways still in
use and marked by other wayside crosses along their course demonstrates well
the function of wayside crosses and the continuity of parts of the road
network from the medieval period to the present day.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896), 423
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896), 259
Penaluna, , Historical Survey, (1838), 20
Ellis, G E, 'Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries' in Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries, , Vol. 29, (1962), 38
King, G, Sheppard, P, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Checklist of Antiquities 10: Parish of North Hill, , Vol. 18, (1979), 128-132
AM7 scheduling description for CO 311,
AM7 scheduling description for CO 312, Consulted 1/1992
AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 313; Trebartha Hall, Cross 3, c.1940
Consulted 1/1992, CCRA SM register entry for SX 27 NE/13,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17414,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17479,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17479.01,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17480,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17487,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17487.01,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17525,
Consulted 1/1992, Gray, V K, AM 107 FMW report for CO 312 dated 1/12/1979, (1979)
Dated ref to cross sited as now, Gray, V K, AM 107 FMW report for CO 313 dated 1/12/1979, (1979)
Re crosses formerly on horse graves, Information from owner's relative, Mrs Rosemary Latham, 1/1992, (1992)
Re former use of well as cool store, Information from owner's relative, Mrs Rosemary Latham (well), (1992)
Re location of St Tawney's Well, Information from estate owner Mr E M L Latham (well), (1992)
Re origin of the `estate drive', Information from estate owner Mr E M L Latham; 12/1991, (1991)
Title: 1:25000 First Series Ordnance Survey Map; sheet SX 27; Bodmin Moor (East)
Source Date: 1963

Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 28/38; Launceston (Pathfinder 1326)
Source Date: 1989
SX 233804 & SX 272823

Source: Historic England

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