Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross in Ludgvan churchyard, 10m south east of the church

A Scheduled Monument in Ludgvan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1447 / 50°8'40"N

Longitude: -5.493 / 5°29'34"W

OS Eastings: 150535.616908

OS Northings: 33025.34433

OS Grid: SW505330

Mapcode National: GBR DXT9.GP0

Mapcode Global: VH12S.QMYF

Entry Name: Wayside cross in Ludgvan churchyard, 10m south east of the church

Scheduled Date: 8 June 1971

Last Amended: 12 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015069

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28469

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 within the churchyard
at Ludgvan, on the south coast of west Cornwall. This is one of three crosses
now present in the churchyard.
The wayside cross survives with an upright granite shaft and a round or
`wheel' head set in a granite base. The principal faces are orientated north
east-south west. The overall height of the monument is 1.7m. The head measures
0.38m high by 0.38m wide and is 0.11m thick. Both principal faces are
decorated with a cross in low relief. Immediately below the equal limbed cross
on the north east face is a rounded projecting band across the neck. The lower
limb of the cross on the south west face extends down the shaft for 0.31m. The
shaft measures 1.32m high by 0.29m wide and is 0.12m thick. The shaft is
mounted in a circular granite base, measuring 0.77m north east-south west by
0.81m north west-south east. This wayside cross is situated near the south
east angle of the churchyard at Ludgvan, where it marks the main route from
Ludgvan to the major ancient, and modern, route through Cornwall, now the
A30T. The historian Langdon, when he recorded this cross in 1896 believed that
it was probably in situ. More recently it has been suggested the cross shaft
now in the base may not belong to it and that this base was possibly the base
of the original churchyard cross. The ornately decorated shaft of the original
churchyard cross is built into the steps of the church tower.
The headstone to the north of the cross base 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 Ludgvan churchyard has survived well, remaining in its
original location and retaining its original function as a waymarker,
demonstrating well the longevity of many routes still in use. It is a good
example of a wheel headed cross, with an unusual rounded bead at its neck.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hitchens, A H, Ludgvan Parish Church, a short history, (1986)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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