Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross in St John's churchyard, Treslothan

A Scheduled Monument in Camborne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1937 / 50°11'37"N

Longitude: -5.2928 / 5°17'34"W

OS Eastings: 165073.769

OS Northings: 37816.79

OS Grid: SW650378

Mapcode National: GBR FX95.JC3

Mapcode Global: VH12Q.6DRD

Entry Name: Wayside cross in St John's churchyard, Treslothan

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Last Amended: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016750

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31851

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Camborne

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Treslothan

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated to the east of
St John's church.
The wayside cross, which is 1.03m high, survives as an upright granite shaft
with a round, `wheel' head mounted on a two step modern granite base. The head
and shaft together measure 0.77m high; the head measures 0.45m wide and 0.17m
thick. The principal faces are orientated ENE-WSW and both are decorated; the
ENE face bears a relief figure of Christ with outstretched arms, legs wide
apart and a narrow bead around the outer edge of the head, terminating at the
neck; the WSW face bears a relief Latin cross, the lower limb extending down
onto the shaft. The shaft, which is mounted in a modern two step granite base,
measures 0.22m wide by 0.14m thick at the base and 0.18m at the top. The top
step of the base measures 0.42m square and 0.14m high, whilst the lower step
is 0.69m square and 0.12m thick.
This cross was originally mounted on a hedge bank at Killivose crossroads, 1km
north west of St John's Church. In 1896 the historian Langdon recorded it as
having been found in a ditch on the Pendarves Estate, and erected on the two
step base in the grounds of Pendarves House. When the house was demolished in
1955 the cross was removed to its present site in the churchyard. The cross is
Listed Grade II.
The modern gravel surface surrounding the cross where it falls within its
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.

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 in St John's churchyard survives well. It is a good
example of a wayside cross with a rare figure of Christ motif on one face. The
removal and re-erection of the cross, first to a garden in the 19th century,
and to the churchyard in the 20th century, 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)
listing entry for Treslothan, top of Cornish cross,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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