Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Wayside cross in Sancreed churchyard, 20m south east of the church

A Scheduled Monument in Sancreed, Cornwall

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 50.1079 / 50°6'28"N

Longitude: -5.6091 / 5°36'32"W

OS Eastings: 142043.769646

OS Northings: 29326.369664

OS Grid: SW420293

Mapcode National: GBR DXJD.HHL

Mapcode Global: VH05G.QKK5

Entry Name: Wayside cross in Sancreed churchyard, 20m south east of the church

Scheduled Date: 27 October 1967

Last Amended: 12 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015056

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29213

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Sancreed

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Sancreed

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated to the south east of
the church at Sancreed on the Penwith peninsula in the far west of Cornwall.
This is one of five crosses now present in the churchyard.
The wayside cross, which is Listed Grade II, survives as a short section of
upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head. The overall height of the
monument is 0.67m. The principal faces are orientated north east-south west.
The head measures 0.54m wide by 0.17m thick. Each principal face bears a
relief Latin cross with the lower limb extending down onto the top of the
shaft. The upper part of the cross motif has been formed by two triangular
sinkings, forming the upper limb and a narrow bead around the outer edge of
the head. The whole of the background around the lower part of the cross motif
is sunk.
This wayside cross is located on the top of a hedge, the boundary between the
modern extension to the churchyard and the road through Sancreed. This cross
was originally located on top of a hedge at Anjarden 0.5km to the south west
of Sancreed church, on a minor road from Tregonebris to Sancreed. At some time
in the past it was removed to the churchyard.
The kerb surround of a grave to the east of the cross falls within its
protective margin and is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath
is included.

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 Sancreed churchyard has survived well and is a good
example of a wheel headed cross. In its original position it acted as a
waymarker on a route within the parish to the church at Sancreed. Its removal
to the churchyard and re-erection there, illustrates 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)
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.28719.91,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 32/42; Pathfinder Series 1368
Source Date: 1980

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.