Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross 100m north west of East Langford

A Scheduled Monument in Bow, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7968 / 50°47'48"N

Longitude: -3.8144 / 3°48'51"W

OS Eastings: 272222.04584

OS Northings: 101266.043262

OS Grid: SS722012

Mapcode National: GBR L2.Z1J1

Mapcode Global: FRA 26WZ.RRD

Entry Name: Wayside cross 100m north west of East Langford

Scheduled Date: 15 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013722

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27322

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Bow

Built-Up Area: Bow

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Bow (or Nymet Tracey) with Broad Nymet

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a wayside cross situated 100m north west of East
Langford on Station Road leading from Bow. It survives as an ancient
fragment of shaft with modern pedestal, socket stone, head and arms.
The modern pedestal is octagonal in shape with a diameter of 1.6m. The length
of each side is 0.7m and it is 0.2m high. Above this is a modern socket stone
which measures 0.91m square at the base and 0.3m high. It is octagonal above
with the length of each side being 0.38m. The ancient portion of shaft is
1.05m high, 0.27m square at the base, octagonal above small stops and tapers
upwards. Above the shaft a modern head and arms have been added. This
measures 0.55m wide at the arms, is 0.23m thick and 0.83m high.
The cross is said to have once been part of a pavement in the village of Bow,
and originally brought from Clannaborough. It was rescued and restored in
This cross is Listed Grade II.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

Despite restoration, the ancient portion of the wayside cross 100m north west
of East Langford survives well and remains close to its original position.
The circumstances of its removal and the location from which it was taken are
well documented.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E M, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon, Part 2, , Vol. 70, (1938), 317
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS70SW-007, (1990)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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