Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Medieval wayside cross in the churchyard at St Endellion

A Scheduled Monument in St. Endellion, Cornwall

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 50.5733 / 50°34'24"N

Longitude: -4.8311 / 4°49'52"W

OS Eastings: 199630.094

OS Northings: 78671.461

OS Grid: SW996786

Mapcode National: GBR ZV.HSCB

Mapcode Global: FRA 07RK.5PW

Entry Name: Medieval wayside cross in the churchyard at St Endellion

Scheduled Date: 9 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014011

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28435

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Endellion

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Endellion

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross mounted on an architectural
fragment in the western extension to the churchyard at St Endellion on the
north coast of Cornwall.

The wayside cross survives as an upright granite head and upper shaft set on
a fragment of moulded granite. The cross-head has unenclosed arms, a form
called a `Latin' cross, its principal faces orientated east and west. The
overall height of the monument is 1.05m. The head measures 0.44m across the
side arms, each of which are 0.14m wide and 0.19m thick. The upper limb is
0.19m high by 0.2m wide and 0.18m thick. The three upper limbs are circular in
section, and there is a small, shallow indentation in the top of the upper
limb. The circular-section shaft is 0.2m wide by 0.12m thick. The head and
upper section of the shaft are joined to the architectural fragment of moulded
granite by a wide band of cement up to 0.2m thick. This fragment of granite
measures 0.27m wide by 0.13m thick. The east face of the fragment is plain,
and the sides slope in to the narrower west face, forming rounded mouldings to
either side of the west face. The shaft of the cross is wider than the granite
fragment that it is mounted on.

This cross was removed from the medieval manor of Tresungers, 1km to the
north east of St Endellion, in 1922. It was mounted on the granite fragment,
possibly part of a window mullion, to increase its height. The cross was then
erected in the western extension to the churchyard at St Endellion, in its
present location. It was illustrated by the historian Maclean in 1873,
revealing a hole in the base of the shaft. Its size and shape suggest that it
may originally have been a gable cross.

The headstone and surrounding kerb to the north of the cross and the memorial
plaque to the north west, where they fall within the protective margin of the
cross are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath 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.

This wayside cross in St Endellion churchyard has survived well despite being
mounted on a possible mullion fragment. It is a good example of the rather
uncommon `Latin' cross type, with unusual circular-section limbs. Its removal
from the medieval manor of Tresungers to the churchyard at St Endellion in the
early 20th century demonstrates well the changing attitudes to religion and
their impact on the local landscape since the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses of North Cornwall, (1992)
Maclean, J, History of Trigg Minor, (1873)
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 26277,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 87/97; Pathfinder Series 1337
Source Date: 1981

Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 07/17; Pathfinder Series 1338
Source Date: 1988

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.