Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross in Ludgvan churchyard, 8m east of the church

A Scheduled Monument in Ludgvan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1447 / 50°8'41"N

Longitude: -5.4929 / 5°29'34"W

OS Eastings: 150542.209403

OS Northings: 33028.640498

OS Grid: SW505330

Mapcode National: GBR DXT9.GR5

Mapcode Global: VH12S.QMZD

Entry Name: Wayside cross in Ludgvan churchyard, 8m east of the church

Scheduled Date: 8 June 1971

Last Amended: 12 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015068

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28468

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Ludgvan

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Ludgvan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated to the east of the
church in Ludgvan churchyard on the south coast of west Cornwall. This is one
of three crosses now present in the churchyard.
The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel'
head set on a modern two stepped base. The overall height of the monument is
1.13m. The principal faces are orientated north west-south east. The head
measures 0.42m high by 0.48m wide and is 0.18m thick. Both principal faces are
decorated. The north west face bears an incised Latin cross, with the lower
limb extending down the length of the shaft. This cross motif is formed by two
parallel incised lines running the length of the head and shaft, the side
limbs formed by two parallel lines to each side. The south east face is
decorated with a very eroded relief equal limbed cross with expanded ends to
the limbs, and a bead around the outer edge of the head. The shaft measures
0.23m high by 0.3m wide and is 0.19m thick. The shaft is undecorated except
for the incised lower limb of the Latin cross motif on the north west face.
The shaft is cemented onto a modern two stepped granite base. The upper step
measures 0.49m north east-south west by 0.46m north west-south east and is
0.25m high. The lower step measures 0.6m north east-south west by 0.57m north
west-south east and is 0.23m high; the top part of this step slopes out 0.06m
from the base of the upper step.
The cross is situated by the east entrance to the churchyard at Ludgvan. It
was discovered in a rockery in the rectory garden in 1912. It was removed to
the churchyard and re-erected on a modern base in its present location.

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 Ludgvan churchyard has survived well despite being
mounted on a modern base. It is a good example of a wheel headed cross, with
an unusual incised cross motif. Its reuse in a rockery and subsequent removal
to the churchyard demonstrates well the changing attitudes to religion that
have prevailed since the Reformation and the impact of these changes on the
local landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hitchens, A H, Ludgvan Parish Church, a short history, (1986)
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 29109,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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