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Chapel Amble Cross in St Kew churchyard, 30m north west of the church

A Scheduled Monument in St. Kew, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5584 / 50°33'30"N

Longitude: -4.795 / 4°47'41"W

OS Eastings: 202124.882016

OS Northings: 76910.903753

OS Grid: SX021769

Mapcode National: GBR ZW.VXGX

Mapcode Global: FRA 07VL.7RY

Entry Name: Chapel Amble Cross in St Kew churchyard, 30m north west of the church

Scheduled Date: 16 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014010

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28434

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Kew

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Kew

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Chapel Amble
Cross, situated to the north west of the church in St Kew churchyard in north
Cornwall.

The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel'
head. The overall height of the monument is 1.58m. The principal faces are
orientated east-west. The granite head measures 0.52m high by 0.53m wide and
is 0.23m thick. Both principal faces bear a relief equal limbed cross, with
widely expanded ends to the limbs. The top of the upper limb on the west face
has been fractured. A narrow bead 0.05m wide runs around the edge of each
face. The rectangular-section shaft measures 1.06m high, 0.33m wide and is
0.19m thick. Both edges on the east face are chamfered with a 0.06m wide
chamfer. The upper 0.63m of the west face on the north edge is also chamfered,
and the lower edge has had the chamfer removed. The south edge has also been
cut back to remove the chamfer; this face of the shaft appears to have been
cut back from its original face, as an area 0.63m by 0.2m wide on the upper
north side stands proud of the lower and south side. There is a 0.05m diameter
lead filled hole containing a small lump of iron, 0.32m below the head on the
east face, a result of its former reuse as a gatepost. The cross has a marked
lean towards the south.

The Chapel Amble Cross was discovered in 1912 in use as a gatepost in a field
at Chapel Amble, a hamlet 2.4km south west of St Kew. This wayside cross may
have originally marked the route to the medieval chapel of St Aldhelm. It was
found at the gate to a field named `chapel meadow', close to the probable
site of the chapel. The historian Henderson stated that a chapel to St Aldhelm
was licensed in 1383 at Chapel Amble. The cross was subsequently removed to
the churchyard at St Kew and placed over an otherwise unmarked grave.

The headstones to the west and north of the cross where they fall within its
protective margin are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath is
included. 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.

The Chapel Amble Cross has survived well, and is a good example of a
wheel-headed cross. The chamfered edges of the shaft suggest that this is a
late example. In its original location this cross probably marked the way to
the medieval chapel of St Aldhelm at Chapel Amble. Its removal to the
churchyard and re-erection there in the early 20th century illustrates the
changing attitudes to religion which have prevailed since the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Henderson, C, The Cornish Church Guide, (1928)
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses of North Cornwall, (1992)
Other
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17929,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 07/17; Pathfinder Series 1338
Source Date: 1988
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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