Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross and cross-base immediately north east of the Donald Thomas Daycare Centre, 180m east of St Meriadoc and St Martin's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Camborne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2136 / 50°12'49"N

Longitude: -5.2994 / 5°17'58"W

OS Eastings: 164699.6218

OS Northings: 40055.872178

OS Grid: SW646400

Mapcode National: GBR FX93.TJS

Mapcode Global: VH12J.3W7M

Entry Name: Wayside cross and cross-base immediately north east of the Donald Thomas Daycare Centre, 180m east of St Meriadoc and St Martin's Church

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Last Amended: 12 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016749

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31850

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Camborne

Built-Up Area: Camborne

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Camborne and Tuckinghill

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross mounted on a medieval
cross-base situated immediately to the north east of the Donald Thomas Daycare
Centre. The cross is Listed Grade II.
The wayside cross, which is 0.72m high, survives as an upright granite shaft
with a round, `wheel' head, 0.54m wide and 0.2m thick. The principal faces are
orientated north-south, and both are decorated: the south face bears a relief
Latin cross; the north face has a relief figure of Christ with outstretched
arms. There is a narrow bead around the outer edge of both principal faces.
Immediately below the head, at the neck, are two rounded projections, one to
either side of the shaft; each projects 0.1m beyond the edge of the shaft. On
the south face of the shaft is a deeply incised semi-circular groove. Only a
small portion of the upper shaft survives, cemented into a cross-base which
originally supported another cross.
The granite cross-base measures 0.92m east-west by 0.91m north-south and is
0.3m thick. It has rounded sides and resembles a large boulder.
It has been suggested that the cross originally marked a path to Camborne
church. By 1896 it had been moved to the Literary Institute (now the Donald
Thomas Daycare Centre) in Camborne town centre where the historian Langdon
recorded it as having been at the rear of the Institute for many years, being
but recently moved to the front of the building. The cross was set up in the
cross-base in its present location in 1924. The cross-base originally
supported Roskear Cross, opposite Tuckingmill Church, 1.25km north east of its
present location. The Roskear Cross was removed to a garden in Camborne for
many years until it was removed to Crewkerne in Somerset in 1916.
The paving slabs around the cross where they fall within its protective margin
are excluded from the scheduling, although 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.

The medieval wayside cross and cross-base immediately north east of the
Donald Thomas Daycare Centre survive reasonably well. The cross is a good
example of a wayside cross, probably originally marking a church path. The
cross is unique as being the only example in Cornwall of a cross head
displaying both a figure of Christ and projections at the neck. These
projections are rare and are more usually found in crosses in north Cornwall.
Both the removal of the cross and the cross-base to the Literary Institute in
the 19th and early 20th centuries, demonstrate 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 G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Consulted July 1998, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.26622,
Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.26623,
FMW report for CO 137, (1989)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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