Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross in Sampford Courtenay village 55m NNW of Cherrywell Cottages

A Scheduled Monument in Sampford Courtenay, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7895 / 50°47'22"N

Longitude: -3.9412 / 3°56'28"W

OS Eastings: 263265.374

OS Northings: 100672.295

OS Grid: SS632006

Mapcode National: GBR KW.ZRC0

Mapcode Global: FRA 27M0.BC5

Entry Name: Wayside cross in Sampford Courtenay village 55m NNW of Cherrywell Cottages

Scheduled Date: 20 December 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013735

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27309

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Sampford Courtenay

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Sampford Courtenay St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


This monument includes a wayside cross situated beside a road junction between
Southey Lane and an unclassified road to Belstone Corner, 55m NNW of
Cherrywell Cottages, in the village of Sampford Courtenay.
The cross is of octagonal section and the shaft tapers upwards. At the base
it measures 0.34m in diameter and tapers to 0.28m at the top of the shaft. The
arms and head are also of octagonal section, and the arms measure 0.76m wide
by 0.23m thick. The cross is 2.1m high and at a height of 0.68m there is a
break in the cross where it has been repaired.
The cross is of a type common to Devon and thought to date to the 14th to 15th
The cross was re-erected at some time after 1900 by Kings College, Cambridge,
the lords of the manor. It had been found in 1900 in a cottage at Mount Ivy,
which was being demolished. The cross shaft was being used as a fireplace jamb
and the cross head had been built into the chimney. The cross is in a very
prominent location and is one of a group recorded within the village.
The cross is Listed Grade II.

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.

Despite not being in its original position, the wayside cross 55m NNW of
Cherrywell Cottages survives well and is one of a group of five in the
village, an unusual concentration in this area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon : Part 1, , Vol. 69, (1936-37), 335
Clayton,C, (1994)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS60SW-033, (1972)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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