Ancient Monuments

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Forrabury Cross, 40m SSW of Forrabury church

A Scheduled Monument in Forrabury and Minster, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.6861 / 50°41'9"N

Longitude: -4.6974 / 4°41'50"W

OS Eastings: 209554.999328

OS Northings: 90852.529011

OS Grid: SX095908

Mapcode National: GBR N3.6576

Mapcode Global: FRA 1718.9SY

Entry Name: Forrabury Cross, 40m SSW of Forrabury church

Scheduled Date: 14 January 1959

Last Amended: 4 January 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013462

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26232

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Forrabury and Minster

Built-Up Area: Boscastle

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Forrabury

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Forrabury Cross,
and a protective margin around it, situated beside a path leading to the
church at Forrabury on the north Cornish coast.
The Forrabury Cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel'
head set in a limestone base, standing 1.86m in overall height. The head
measures 0.37m high by 0.39m wide and is 0.14m thick. Both principal faces
bear a relief equal limbed cross with slightly splayed ends, 0.37m high by
0.37m across; the motif on the south west face is very eroded. The south west
face of the head has a small hole in its centre, 0.05m in diameter and 0.06m
deep. The shaft measures 1.31m high and tapers from 0.33m wide by 0.21m thick
at the base to 0.3m wide and 0.15m thick at the neck. The shaft is plain and
undecorated, but bears two holes on the south west face: the upper hole is
0.34m above the base and is 0.05m in diameter by 0.07m deep; the lower hole is
0.22m above the base and is 0.06m in diameter by 0.05m deep. These holes plus
that in the head derive from a former reuse as a gatepost. The limestone base
is mostly covered by thick, coarse turf but the south east side is exposed.
The base measures 0.83m long by 0.73m wide and is 0.18m high.
The Forrabury Cross is situated to the south of the churchyard wall at
Forrabury, beside the church path where it acts as a final waymarker to the
parish church. It has been at this location since at least 1866. It lies close
to a field called `Cross Parke' on the 1840 tithe map which is to the south
west of the monument's present location and is considered to indicate its
original position a little further along the church path.
The surface of the modern metalled footpath passing south east of the cross
but within the area of the protective margin is 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 Forrabury Cross has survived well and is a good example of a wheel headed
cross. It remains on its original route, close to its original position, and
retains its original function as a waymarker within the parish to the church
at Forrabury, demonstrating well the role of wayside crosses.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses of North Cornwall, (1992)
consulted 1994, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 702.1-.2,
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 09 SE
Source Date: 1982

Source: Historic England

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