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Trevalsa Cross 350m north west of Trerice

A Scheduled Monument in St. Allen, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.326 / 50°19'33"N

Longitude: -5.0683 / 5°4'5"W

OS Eastings: 181700.377001

OS Northings: 51841.545999

OS Grid: SW817518

Mapcode National: GBR ZD.GHV7

Mapcode Global: FRA 0885.P7Q

Entry Name: Trevalsa Cross 350m north west of Trerice

Scheduled Date: 6 April 1951

Last Amended: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016290

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24297

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Allen

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Kenwyn with St Allen

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Trevalsa Cross,
situated at a minor junction east of Zelah in western Cornwall.
This wayside cross survives with a round `wheel' head on an upright granite
shaft set in a modern granite base. The overall height of the monument is
1.1m. The head measures 0.46m high by 0.45m wide and 0.18m thick. The
north west and south east principal faces of the cross each bear a relief
equal limbed cross, the limbs meeting a narrow peripheral bead around the
head.
The shaft measures 0.68m high by 0.24m wide and 0.19m thick. Immediately
below the head on the north west edge, a rounded projection extends 0.08m
beyond the edge of the shaft; an equivalent projection on the opposite side
of the neck has been removed. The shaft is cemented into a modern granite base
set flush with the ground. This base measures 1.14m south west-north east by
1.05m north west-south east.
The Trevalsa Cross was recorded in 1896 by the historian Langdon, when it was
being used as a gatepost in a nearby meadow.
This wayside cross is situated in the north west angle of the junction of
three minor roads linking the north western parts of the parish with the
church at St Allen. The roads also provide a link within the parish to the
main route throuth western Cornwall, now the A30T, which passes through the
nearby village of Zelah. This latter function has resulted, since 1985, in
the fracture face being used by the County Highways Department as the surface
for a painted signpost marked with arrows indicating the directions to Zelah
and the A30. This pratice has now ceased.
The cross is Listed Grade II.
The metalled surface of the modern road passing to the south east of the cross
and the culvert to the north west are excluded from the scheduling but the
ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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
pilgrimages.
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 has survived reasonably well despite some damage from its
former use as a gatepost. It is a good example of a wheel headed cross; its
broad central raised band and the beading along the shaft are unusual while
projections on the sides of the neck are rare outside north Cornwall. Its
former secular reuse as a gatepost and its subsequent re-erection show the
changing attitudes to such monuments after the religious upheavals of the
Reformation. Its re-erection as a waymarker, close to its site of earlier
reuse, on a route within the parish to the church at St Allen and to an
important regional throughfare, demonstrates well the major role and the
differing uses for wayside crosses.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Other
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 85/95; Pathfinder 1353
Source Date: 1983
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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