Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross in Tregaminion chapel yard, 8m south of the chapel

A Scheduled Monument in Fowey, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3362 / 50°20'10"N

Longitude: -4.6759 / 4°40'33"W

OS Eastings: 209667.294

OS Northings: 51897.93

OS Grid: SX096518

Mapcode National: GBR N4.XBPZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 1834.S57

Entry Name: Wayside cross in Tregaminion chapel yard, 8m south of the chapel

Scheduled Date: 17 June 1970

Last Amended: 5 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014227

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28442

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Fowey

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Tywardreath

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, situated in Tregaminion
chapel yard, on the south coast of central Cornwall.

The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel'
head set in an octagonal millstone base. The granite head measures 0.39m high
by 0.35m wide, and 0.13m thick. The principal faces are orientated north west-
south east. Both faces bear a relief equal limbed cross with widely splayed
ends to the limbs. The lower limb is wider than the other three limbs and the
spaces between the limbs are oval in shape. The lower limb on the north west
face extends down the shaft for 1.07m, in low relief, ending in an expanded,
rounded foot. The south west side of the head has been fractured, to bring it
in line with the shaft, a result of its former reuse as part of a footbridge
across a stream. The shaft measures 1.4m high, and is 0.25m wide by 0.24m
thick tapering to 0.15m at the top. The north west face of the shaft bears the
extended lower limb and foot of the cross motif. The south east face of the
shaft is plain and badly worn. The octagonal granite base measures 0.64m
north-south by 0.63m east-west and is 0.22m high above ground level. The sides
of this base are decorated with a pattern of incised zigzag lines and a series
of small holes.

This wayside cross was discovered in 1889 in use as part of a footbridge
across a stream at Milltown in Lanlivery parish, 6km north of Tregaminion. The
head had been reshaped so that it would lie flat against another stone. The
monks of Buckfast Abbey, Devon bought the cross for five pounds and moved it
to Buckfast. When the landowner, William Rashleigh of Menabilly, heard about
the cross, he claimed it and had it re-erected in the chapel yard at
Tregaminion, in its present location.

The decorated octagonal base stone came from Polridmouth, 1.5km SSE of
Tregaminion, where it was in use as a pivot stone for some mill machinery. The
central hole was enlarged to receive the cross shaft.

This cross is Listed Grade II.

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 Tregaminion chapel yard has survived substantially
intact despite the re-shaping of the head. It is a good example of a wheel-
headed cross with an unusual cross motif. Its reuse as part of a footbridge,
its removal to Buckfast Abbey and subsequent return to Cornwall, and its re-
erection on a millstone in the chapel yard at Tregaminion in the 19th century
illustrate well the changing attitudes to religion and their impact on the
local landscape which have prevailed since the Reformation.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 05/15; St Austell and Fowey
Source Date: 1980

Source: Historic England

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