Ancient Monuments

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Medieval wayside cross in St Ivo's churchyard, 10m ESE of the church

A Scheduled Monument in St. Ive, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4798 / 50°28'47"N

Longitude: -4.3838 / 4°23'1"W

OS Eastings: 230967.168608

OS Northings: 67154.588652

OS Grid: SX309671

Mapcode National: GBR NK.M1SX

Mapcode Global: FRA 17PS.KZD

Entry Name: Medieval wayside cross in St Ivo's churchyard, 10m ESE of the church

Scheduled Date: 16 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014856

English Heritage Legacy ID: 26246

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Ive

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Ive

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross set against the south east
boundary wall of the churchyard at St Ive, 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 north west-south east. The overall
height of the monument is 1.8m. The cross stands 1.66m high above the base and
leans slightly to the south east. The head measures 0.51m wide across the side
arms, each of which are 0.25m high; the north east arm is 0.18m thick and the
south west arm is 0.15m thick. The upper limb is 0.14m high, 0.3m wide and
0.12m thick. The shaft is 0.29m wide and 0.23m thick at the base tapering
slightly to 0.2m just below the side arms. On the south east face of the
shaft, 0.27m below the side arms is a 0.04m diameter hole containing a small
rectangular lump of iron embedded in lead, probably the remains of a gate
fitting indicating its former reuse as a gatepost. The lower 0.71m of this
face of the shaft is obscured by the south eastern boundary wall of the
churchyard. The rectangular granite base measures 0.92m north east-south west
by 0.48m north west-south east and is 0.14m high above ground level. The
south east edge of the base is built into the boundary wall.
This wayside cross was discovered in 1932 at a location 80m to the south west
of its present position in one of the glebe fields where it was in use as a
gatepost. It is believed that the cross originally marked a church path and
the glebe boundary.
The gravel surface of the modern footpath passing to the north west of the
cross is excluded from the scheduling where it falls within the cross's
protective margin, but the ground beneath is included.
The cross is Listed Grade II.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 St Ivo's churchyard has survived well and is a good
example of the rather uncommon `Latin' cross type. In its original position
the cross functioned both as a waymarker on a church path and as a boundary
marker marking the edge of glebe land. In its present location it retains its
former functions both as a boundary stone, marking the edge of the churchyard
and as a waymarker beside a path to the church, demonstrating well two of the
major roles of wayside crosses. Its removal to the churchyard after its
discovery in 1932 illustrates the changing attitudes to religion and their
impact on the local landscape since the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 6856,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 26/36; Pathfinder Series 1348
Source Date: 1983

Source: Historic England

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