Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross, 6m south of St Mary's Church, Par

A Scheduled Monument in St. Blaise, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.3501 / 50°21'0"N

Longitude: -4.7307 / 4°43'50"W

OS Eastings: 205824.794

OS Northings: 53582.9055

OS Grid: SX058535

Mapcode National: GBR N2.W8NH

Mapcode Global: FRA 08Z3.NST

Entry Name: Wayside cross, 6m south of St Mary's Church, Par

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016369

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30425

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Blaise

Built-Up Area: St Blazey

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Par

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated within the churchyard
at St Mary's Church, Par.
The wayside cross survives as an upright granite head and shaft set on a
rectangular base which is mounted on a round granite millstone. The head has
unenclosed arms, a form called a `Latin' cross, its principal faces orientated
east-west. The overall height of the monument is 2.46m. The head measures
0.58m wide across the side arms, each of which are 0.2m high. All four corners
of the three upper limbs are chamfered, and the ends of each limb are also
chamfered. The head has been fractured immediately below the upper limbs, and
has been rejoined to the shaft at some time in the past. The shaft and head
measure 1.86m high and is 0.32m wide at the base tapering to 0.2m below the
side arms, and is 0.2m thick. All four corners of the shaft are chamfered,
giving an octagonal section shaft, but sloping out 0.23m above the base to
form a square, moulded base to the shaft. The shaft is mounted in a modern
granite base, measuring 0.75m north-south by 0.63m east-west and is 0.42m
high. The shaft is cemented in to the base, and the top edges of the base are
chamfered. This base is mounted on a large millstone, approximately 1.47m in
diameter and 0.18m high.
From the style of the shaft, and the chamfering on the head, this cross
appears to be a late example of a medieval wayside cross.

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 has survived well as a good example of the rather uncommon
`Latin' cross type. Although there is no record of its original location, its
removal to the churchyard and its re-erection there demonstrates 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, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Consulted July 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 20477,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 05/15; St Austell and Fowey
Source Date: 1980

Source: Historic England

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