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Trewane Cross in St Neot churchyard

A Scheduled Monument in St. Neot, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4822 / 50°28'56"N

Longitude: -4.5582 / 4°33'29"W

OS Eastings: 218603.659502

OS Northings: 67839.5276

OS Grid: SX186678

Mapcode National: GBR N9.LYTP

Mapcode Global: FRA 17BS.B0S

Entry Name: Trewane Cross in St Neot churchyard

Scheduled Date: 19 May 1952

Last Amended: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016776

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31844

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Neot

Built-Up Area: St Neot

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Neot

Church of England Diocese: Truro


This List entry has been amended to add sources for further reading (13/12/2016)

The monument includes a medieval churchyard cross situated to the south of
St Neot church on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor. The cross, which is Listed
Grade II, survives as an upright lantern head of Cateclewse stone mounted on a
modern granite shaft and two stepped base, 2.35m in overall height.
Cateclewse stone is a greenstone from Trevose on the north Cornish coast which
was used for elaborate sculpture in Cornish churches during the medieval
period. The head measures 0.82m high by 0.33m wide. The principal faces are
orientated east-west, while all four faces of the head are decorated with
scenes in relief: the west principal face bears a crucifixion scene with the
head of God the Father above the cross; the east principal face bears the
figure of a man holding a book and a staff; the north face bears a figure of a
man with a crook or possibly a flail and a book; and the south side is
decorated with the Virgin and Child. All the figures are set beneath ogee
arched canopies. The two male figures may represent a saint and a farmer. The
figures are depicted in medieval dress and are skillfully executed. There is a
small hole through the head from north to south.
This cross head is cemented onto a modern hexagonal shaft of pink granite or
Luxulianite, 1.18m high by 0.25m wide. The shaft is cemented onto a two
stepped granite base. The upper step measures 0.82m north-south by 0.8m east-
west and is 0.2m high. The lower step is constructed of blocks of granite and
measures 1.07m square by 0.15m high. On the west face of this step is an
inscription which reads: `This ancient cross was erected here to the glory of
God and to the memory of the men of St Neot parish who gave their lives for
their king and country 1914-1918'. On the west end of the top step are two
iron cannon balls, one on either side of the cross shaft.
This cross was found in the 1790s at Trewane Manor in the parish of St Kew,
near the north coast of Cornwall. Trewane was the home of the Grylls family.
Around 1816 the cross was moved to Luxulyan where Gerveys Grylls was vicar,
and it was mounted on the Luxulyanite shaft. In 1852 the cross was moved to
Helston and in 1866 to Lewarne in the Glynn valley, south east Cornwall. In
1918 the cross was re-erected in its present location in St Neot churchyard as
the parish war memorial.
The metalled footpath and the gutter to the north of the cross, the metalled
footpath to the south, the row of gravestones to the east, and the memorial
stone to the west where they fall within the cross's 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.
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

A standing cross is a free standing upright structure, usually of stone,
mostly erected during the medieval period (mid 10th to mid 16th centuries AD).
Standing crosses served a variety of functions. In churchyards they served as
stations for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of Palm
Sunday. Elsewhere, standing crosses were used within settlements as places for
preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of
sanctuary. Standing crosses were also employed to mark boundaries between
parishes, property, or settlements. A few crosses were erected to commemorate
battles. Some crosses were linked to particular saints, whose support and
protection their presence would have helped to invoke. Crosses in market
places may have helped to validate transactions. After the Reformation, some
crosses continued in use as foci for municipal or borough ceremonies, for
example as places for official proclamations and announcements; some were the
scenes of games or recreational activity.
Standing crosses were distributed throughout England and are thought to have
numbered in excess of 12,000. However, their survival since the Reformation
has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and
religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by
iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval
standing crosses, with or without cross-heads, are now thought to exist. The
oldest and most basic form of standing cross is the monolith, a stone shaft
often set directly in the ground without a base. The most common form is the
stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stone and raised upon a
flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th
centuries until after the Reformation. Where the cross-head survives it may
take a variety of forms, from a lantern-like structure to a crucifix; the more
elaborate examples date from the 15th century. Much less common than stepped
crosses are spire-shaped crosses, often composed of three or four receding
stages with elaborate architectural decoration and/or sculptured figures; the
most famous of these include the Eleanor crosses, erected by Edward I at the
stopping places of the funeral cortege of his wife, who died in 1290. Also
uncommon are the preaching crosses which were built in public places from the
13th century, typically in the cemeteries of religious communities and
cathedrals, market places and wide thoroughfares; they include a stepped base,
buttresses supporting a vaulted canopy, in turn carrying either a shaft and
head or a pinnacled spire. Standing crosses contribute significantly to our
understanding of medieval customs, both secular and religious, and to our
knowledge of medieval parishes and settlement patterns. All crosses which
survive as standing monuments, especially those which stand in or near their
original location, are considered worthy of protection.

Trewane Cross survives well, although the head is mounted on a modern shaft
and base. It is a late example of a cross, these lantern head crosses dating
to the later medieval period. It is a rare example of a cross of Cateclewse
stone and the sculpture is especially fine. From its ornate style it was
possibly originally a churchyard cross. Its discovery and several movements
around Cornwall during the 19th century and earlier 20th century to its
present reuse as a war memorial, reflect well the changing attitudes to
religion and their impact on the local landscape since the medieval period.
This is one of five crosses now located in St Neot churchyard, the other four
being the subject of a separate scheduling.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses in East Cornwall, (1996)
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
War Memorials Register, accessed 13/12/2016 from
Consulted July 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 17141,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 06/16; Pathfinder Series 1347
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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