Ancient Monuments

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Culverland Cross in St Martin's churchyard to the north west of the church

A Scheduled Monument in Liskeard, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4536 / 50°27'12"N

Longitude: -4.461 / 4°27'39"W

OS Eastings: 225391.024

OS Northings: 64418.039

OS Grid: SX253644

Mapcode National: GBR NF.NZXH

Mapcode Global: FRA 17JV.RVB

Entry Name: Culverland Cross in St Martin's churchyard to the north west of the church

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 17 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014022

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26257

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 Culverland 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
roughly shaped granite 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 1.34m. The head measures 0.47m wide across the side arms,
each of which are 0.24m wide and 0.16m thick. The upper limb is 0.15m high,
0.18m wide and is 0.14m thick. The shaft measures 0.23m wide and 0.14m thick
at the base widening slightly to 0.17m thick below the side arms. The shaft
has a fracture, with a cement repair 0.67m above the base. There is a 0.03m
diameter cement filled hole in the shaft, 0.28m above the base on the west
face, possibly the result of the former reuse of the cross as a gatepost. The
irregularly shaped granite base measures 0.75m north-south by 0.79m east-west,
and is 0.2m high. On the west side is a small brass plaque bearing this
inscription: `This ancient cross probably the original Culverland Cross was
found on land at Vensloe, Liskeard the property of Samuel Bone Churchwarden
and Mayor of Liskeard and re-erected here by him September 1908'.
Culverland is a minor crossroads to the north east of Liskeard, on an early
route from the centre of Liskeard to St Cleer.
The metalled surface of the footpath passing to the north and west of the
cross and the two gravestones to the south are excluded from the scheduling
where they fall within the protective margin of the cross, 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.

The Culverland Cross in St Martin's churchyard has survived well and is a good
example of the rather uncommon `Latin' cross type. It may have originally
marked a crossroads to the north west of Liskeard on an early route to St
Cleer and routes over Bodmin Moor. Its probable 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


, accessed from
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 26/36; Pathfinder Series 1348
Source Date: 1983

Source: Historic England

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