Ancient Monuments

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Berrycombe Cross, on the north side of Berrycombe Road at its junction with Cardell Road

A Scheduled Monument in Bodmin, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4746 / 50°28'28"N

Longitude: -4.7268 / 4°43'36"W

OS Eastings: 206608.955389

OS Northings: 67415.992584

OS Grid: SX066674

Mapcode National: GBR N2.MHN5

Mapcode Global: FRA 07ZS.Y0W

Entry Name: Berrycombe Cross, on the north side of Berrycombe Road at its junction with Cardell Road

Scheduled Date: 29 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017639

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30435

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Bodmin

Built-Up Area: Bodmin

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Bodmin

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Berrycombe
Cross, with a Victorian horse trough attached to its base, situated by the
roadside on the west side of the junction of Berrycombe and Cardell roads in
The cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head
mounted on a modern granite base. The overall height of the cross is 2.87m.
The principal faces are orientated east-west. Both principal faces are
decorated with a relief equal limbed cross, and have a narrow bead around
their outer edges. The cross-head is cemented on to the shaft. This shaft
measures 1.55m high by 0.54m wide at the base, tapering to 0.3m at the top,
and is 0.24m thick. The shaft has been fractured in two places, and has been
repaired. The shaft is cemented into a modern granite base which measures
1.2m north-south by 0.99m east-west and is 0.69m high. The upper part of the
base slopes down from the shaft, and there is on each side a semi-circular
moulding. Immediately in front of the east face is a granite horse trough.
This trough measures 1.04m north-south by 0.69m east-west and is 0.41m high.
It has been suggested that this cross originally marked the boundary of the
manor of Bodiniel, 1km to the north west of its present location. At some
time in the past the cross was pulled down and lay in a heap of stones close
to the county gaol where it remained for many years. When the goal was rebuilt
in 1850, the cross was re-erected on a new base, which incorporated the horse
trough. The cross was erected at the centre of the junction of Scarlet's Well,
Berrycombe, Cardell and Copshorne roads. It remained there until in 1968 a
lorry ran into it and it broke into three pieces. In 1973 the cross was
restored and placed in its present location, close to the wall of Bodmin gaol
at the west side of the road junction. The cross is Listed Grade II.
The metalled surface of the footpath to the north, south and east of the
cross, the services marker and access point to the north 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.

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 a `wheel' headed
cross. Although it has been moved from its original location, it continues to
mark its original junction demonstrating the longevity of many routes still in
use. It may also originally have marked the boundary of a nearby manor, well
illustrating two of the major roles of wayside crosses.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses in East Cornwall, (1996)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Consulted June 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 4306,
Consulted June 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 4306,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 06/16; Pathfinder Series 1347
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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