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Wayside cross shaft in St Andrew's churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in Tywardreath and Par, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.3574 / 50°21'26"N

Longitude: -4.694 / 4°41'38"W

OS Eastings: 208465.980001

OS Northings: 54303.766501

OS Grid: SX084543

Mapcode National: GBR N4.VS32

Mapcode Global: FRA 1813.5E6

Entry Name: Wayside cross shaft in St Andrew's churchyard

Scheduled Date: 1 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014225

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28440

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Tywardreath and Par

Built-Up Area: St Blazey

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Tywardreath

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a medieval wayside cross shaft situated in St Andrew's
churchyard, Tywardreath, in southern central Cornwall.
The wayside cross survives as an upright shaft of fine grained granite
standing to a height of 1.02m. The shaft is of octagonal section, and
measures 0.33m wide at the base tapering to 0.29m at the top, and is 0.32m
thick. The north east, north west, south east and south west sides of the
shaft slope out 0.29m above the base to form the moulded foot.
The cross shaft was recorded by the historian Langdon in 1896 by Par railway
station; in the 1920s it was recorded near St Andrew's bridge 0.25km to the
north of the station. In 1939 the cross was donated to the local Old Cornwall
Society who re-erected it in 1957 in its present position in Tywardreath
churchyard. The cross is believed to have acted as a landmark for people
crossing the estuary from Tywardreath to St Blazey, and it has been suggested
that the cross stood near St Andrew's bridge to protect the road, or probably
to mark the river crossing. The cross may originally have been located at the
priory at Tywardreath, demolished soon after the Dissolution of the
Monasteries in 1536. It is a late example of a cross shaft and would have had
either a `Latin' type cross head or a lantern cross head.
The metalled surface of the footpath and its timber edging strip passing to
the south of the cross and the assorted granite blocks and fragments of
gravestones to the north, where they lie within the protective margin of the
cross are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is
included.

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.

This wayside cross shaft in St Andrew's churchyard has survived reasonably
well despite the loss of its head, and is a good example of the later style of
cross shaft. This cross acted as a waymarker on a route across the river
between Tywardreath and Par, and may have been connected with the priory at
Tywardreath. Its subsequent re-erection in the churchyard demonstrates well
the changing attitudes to religion and their impact on the local landscape
since the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Other
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 20529,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 05/15; St Austell and Fowey
Source Date: 1980
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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