Ancient Monuments

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Tencreek Cross in St Martin's churchyard 3.5m south east of the church

A Scheduled Monument in Liskeard, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4532 / 50°27'11"N

Longitude: -4.4606 / 4°27'38"W

OS Eastings: 225419.969

OS Northings: 64380.613

OS Grid: SX254643

Mapcode National: GBR NG.NS1J

Mapcode Global: FRA 17KV.L17

Entry Name: Tencreek Cross in St Martin's churchyard 3.5m south east of the church

Scheduled Date: 9 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014021

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26256

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Liskeard

Built-Up Area: Liskeard

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Liskeard

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Tencreek Cross,
situated within St Martin's churchyard at Liskeard, in south east Cornwall.
The wayside cross survives as an upright granite head and shaft set in a
rectangular base. The cross-head has unenclosed arms, a form called a `Latin'
cross, its principal faces orientated east-west. The overall height of the
monument is 2.1m. The head measures 0.68m wide across the side arms, each of
which are 0.35m wide and 0.12m thick. The upper limb extends 0.17m high above
the side limbs. The shaft is 0.37m wide at the base tapering slightly to 0.34m
below the side arms, and 0.21m thick at the base tapering slightly to 0.15m
below the side arms. On the east face of the head and shaft is an incised
cross, starting 0.12m below the top of the upper limb, and extending down the
shaft, ending 0.42m above the base. On the west face there is an incised cross
on the head only. The side arms are joined to the cross by cement joints.
There is a cement filled hole in the head, 0.11m in diameter, which pierced
the shaft. Another cement filled hole, 0.05m in diameter, pierced the shaft
0.78m above the base. The rectangular granite base measures 0.94m north-south
by 0.9m east-west, and is 0.12m above ground level.

The Tencreek Cross is situated on a level grass area within St Martin's
churchyard close to the south east corner of the church. It was recorded by
the historian Langdon in 1903 in use as a gatepost on Tencreek Farm,
Menheniot. Tencreek Farm is 1.37km south east of the church, close to the
route of the modern A38. This route was one of the main routes of entry into
Cornwall from the ferry crossing over the River Tamar at Saltash, through to
the medieval market town of Liskeard. The cross may have marked the way to a
chapel at Tencreek, as the historian Henderson mentions that Tencreek was
granted a licence for a chapel in 1385. In 1903 the cross was removed to St
Martin's churchyard and re-erected in its present position. New side limbs
were added, as the original side arms had been removed to facilitate its
former reuse as a gatepost.

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 Tencreek Cross has survived well and is a good example of the rather
uncommon `Latin' cross type. In its original position it probably marked the
way to a chapel at Tencreek, to the south east of Liskeard, close to a major
early route into Cornwall from the east. Its former reuse as a gatepost and
its subsequent removal and re-erection in the churchyard demonstrates well the
changing attitudes to religion and changes in the local landscape since the
medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Cornwall: Volume I, (1906)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 26/36; Pathfinder Series 1348
Source Date: 1983

Source: Historic England

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