Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross in Ludgvan churchyard, 6m south of the church

A Scheduled Monument in Ludgvan, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1447 / 50°8'40"N

Longitude: -5.4934 / 5°29'36"W

OS Eastings: 150509.351308

OS Northings: 33026.1814

OS Grid: SW505330

Mapcode National: GBR DXT9.GJM

Mapcode Global: VH12S.QMRF

Entry Name: Wayside cross in Ludgvan churchyard, 6m south of the church

Scheduled Date: 8 June 1971

Last Amended: 12 November 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015070

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28470

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 as an upright granite head and shaft. The head has
unenclosed arms, a form called a `Latin' cross, its principal faces orientated
north east-south west. The overall height of the monument is 1.09m. The head
measures 0.45m wide across the side arms: the north west arm is 0.18m high,
the south east arm is 0.21m high and both arms are 0.2m thick. The north west
arm is smaller and is set higher on the shaft than the south east arm. The
upper limb is 0.15m high, 0.2m wide and is 0.17m thick. In the top of this
upper limb is an irregular shaped shallow indentation, 0.02m deep, 0.13m long
and between 0.04m-0.09m wide. The shaft measures 0.73m high and 0.27m wide,
and is 0.22m thick tapering slightly to 0.19m just below the side arms.
The wayside cross was in its present position in the churchyard at Ludgvan in
1896 when the historian Langdon recorded it there. It may be in its original
location as there is no record of it having been moved.
The metal lamp post to the south east of the cross 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 and is a good
example of the rather uncommon `Latin' cross type. It acted as a waymarker on
a route within the parish to the church. There is no record of its having been
moved and it may be in its original location, maintaining its original
function on its original route.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
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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