Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross on Whitcross Hill, immediately north of Seaview Terrace

A Scheduled Monument in Carn Brea, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2119 / 50°12'42"N

Longitude: -5.2607 / 5°15'38"W

OS Eastings: 167453.585804

OS Northings: 39742.208435

OS Grid: SW674397

Mapcode National: GBR Z2.3M6J

Mapcode Global: VH12J.RXQY

Entry Name: Wayside cross on Whitcross Hill, immediately north of Seaview Terrace

Scheduled Date: 30 May 1930

Last Amended: 16 November 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016461

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31840

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Carn Brea

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Saint Illogan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, situated on the top of a hedge
on Whitecross Hill, to the south east of Camborne.
The wayside cross, which is Listed Grade II, survives as the upper part of an
upright granite shaft with a round `wheel' head, its principal faces
orientated north east-south west. Both principal faces bear a `Latin' cross
in relief, the lower limb extending down the shaft. The overall height of the
monument is 0.6m. The head measures 0.45m wide by 0.22m thick. The top of the
head has been fractured on both principal faces at some time in the past.
This cross was found in 1930 built into the base of the hedge near its present
location. Both the fact that the cross is on Whitecross Hill and that the
adjacent field was named `Cross field' on the Tithe Apportionment Map
indicated the possible existence of a cross here. It was re-erected on top of
the hedge in 1947 by the Old Cornwall Society. Whitecross Hill forms part of
a route from Camborne to Helston on the south coast of Cornwall, linking up
with a major medieval and later route from Redruth to Helston.
The post and wire fence to the south west of the cross, where it falls within
the monument's protective margin, is excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath is included.

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
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.

The medieval wayside cross on Whitecross Hill survives reasonably well,
despite the loss of the lower part of its shaft. It is a good example of a
wheel headed cross. It remains close to its original location maintaining its
function as a waymarker on its original route, demonstrating well the major
role of such wayside crosses.

Source: Historic England


Consulted July 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 35261,
Preston Jones, A, FMW report for CO 255,
Title: 1'' Ordnance Survey Map Truro and Lizard Head; Sheet 96
Source Date: 1813

Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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