Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross at Bulland Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Sampford Courtenay, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7945 / 50°47'40"N

Longitude: -3.9454 / 3°56'43"W

OS Eastings: 262987.14075

OS Northings: 101239.377197

OS Grid: SS629012

Mapcode National: GBR KW.ZBB9

Mapcode Global: FRA 26MZ.W6R

Entry Name: Wayside cross at Bulland Cross

Scheduled Date: 22 October 1971

Last Amended: 15 November 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013738

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27312

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 at Bulland Cross, in Sampford
Courtenay, at the crossroads between Bulland Lane, Chapple Lane and Cliston
Lane. The wayside cross is complete and set into a hedge at the roadside. The
cross is 2.3m high and has an octagonal shaft which is 0.43m wide at the base
and tapers to 0.3m at the arms. The cross measures 0.7m wide at the arms and
0.3m at the head. At the back of the cross and 0.33m from the head is a recess
which measures 0.23m high, 0.1m wide and 0.06m deep and is rectangular in
The Bulland Cross is thought to date to the 14th to 15th centuries and is of a
type common to Devon.
Excluded from the scheduling are the field boundary bank and metalled road
surface where they fall within the cross's protective margin, although the
ground beneath both 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 wayside cross at Bulland Cross survives well and is likely to be in its
original position. It is one of a group of five crosses in Sampford Courtenay
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-017, (1982)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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