Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross in Egloshayle churchyard, 0.16m west of the church porch

A Scheduled Monument in Wadebridge, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.5127 / 50°30'45"N

Longitude: -4.8212 / 4°49'16"W

OS Eastings: 200073.830222

OS Northings: 71902.068498

OS Grid: SX000719

Mapcode National: GBR ZV.MWCN

Mapcode Global: FRA 07SP.X4S

Entry Name: Wayside cross in Egloshayle churchyard, 0.16m west of the church porch

Scheduled Date: 13 February 1958

Last Amended: 4 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014217

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28457

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Wadebridge

Built-Up Area: Wadebridge

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Breoke

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated in Egloshayle
churchyard in the River Camel valley in north Cornwall.
The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel'
head, standing to a height of 0.94m. The head measures 0.42m high by 0.37m
wide and is 0.19m thick. The principal faces are orientated north-south. Both
principal faces have a recessed bead around the outer edge of the head, this
bead continues down the shaft. The south face is decorated, the north face is
plain. The south face bears a Latin cross, the side limbs having slightly
splayed ends to the limbs and the lower limb having a `bead' to either side of
it. This motif is unclear. The antiquarian Maclean in the 1870s suggested
that it was a fleur de lys but the historian Langdon in 1896 illustrated it
as a Latin cross with a broad vertical limb. There is a shallow slot in the
top of the head, 0.03m wide by 0.05m long and 0.04m deep. The rectangular
section shaft measures 0.52m high, by 0.29m wide at the base tapering slightly
to 0.26m at the top and is 0.22m thick.
The wayside cross is located in the churchyard at Egloshayle, immediately to
the west of the church porch. There is no record of its original location and
it was moved from the north side of the churchyard to its present position in
the early 20th century.
The memorial plaques to the north and west of the cross, the concrete gutter
to the east and the gravel surface of the footpath passing to the south, where
they lie 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 Egloshayle churchyard has survived well, and is a good
example of a wheel-headed cross. The decoration on the south face is unusual.
Its removal to the north side of the churchyard and its later re-erection by
the porch 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, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses of North Cornwall, (1992)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 07/17; Pathfinder Series 1338
Source Date: 1988

Source: Historic England

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