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Wayside cross socket stone at road junction 70m east of St Peter's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Dowland, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8745 / 50°52'28"N

Longitude: -4.0355 / 4°2'7"W

OS Eastings: 256885.479002

OS Northings: 110306.078001

OS Grid: SS568103

Mapcode National: GBR KR.TCHH

Mapcode Global: FRA 26FS.HNP

Entry Name: Wayside cross socket stone at road junction 70m east of St Peter's Church

Scheduled Date: 20 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013732

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27304

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dowland

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Dowland St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

This monument includes a socket stone for a wayside cross, situated at the
southern side of a road junction between the B3217 and an unclassified road in
the village of Dowland. The base of the socket stone measures 0.74m square and
is 0.36m high. The stone has ribbed corner shoulders and is octagonal above.
The socket hole measures 0.34m long by 0.32m wide and 0.12m deep.
The metalled road surface is excluded from the scheduling where it falls
within the cross's protective margin. The cross is Listed Grade II.

MAP EXTRACT
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
pilgrimages.
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 the shaft having been removed, the socket stone at the road junction
70m east of Dowland church survives comparatively well in what is likely to be
its original location. This forms one of a pair of crosses in Dowland, the
other being located 6m south of Dowland church.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E M, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon, Part 2, , Vol. 70, (1938), 313
Other
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS51SE-010,
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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