Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross 330m south west of Penpol House

A Scheduled Monument in Crantock, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4035 / 50°24'12"N

Longitude: -5.1056 / 5°6'20"W

OS Eastings: 179407.092962

OS Northings: 60567.10809

OS Grid: SW794605

Mapcode National: GBR ZB.ZL0J

Mapcode Global: FRA 076Z.DRQ

Entry Name: Wayside cross 330m south west of Penpol House

Scheduled Date: 29 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017640

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30436

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Crantock

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Crantock

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross-base with a modern cross-shaft
and head mounted in it, situated by the roadside on a minor route between
Crantock and Penpol. The overall height of the cross is 2.11m.
The principal faces of the modern cross are orientated north east-south
west. The head measures 0.43m wide by 0.22m thick and is fully pierced by four
holes. Both principal faces are decorated with a relief equal limbed cross
with expanded ends. The shaft measures 1.4m high by 0.47m wide at the base,
tapering to 0.23m at the top, and is 0.34m thick at the base tapering to 0.23m
at the top. This modern head and shaft are mounted on a medieval cross-base.
This almost square granite base measures 0.54m north west-south east by 0.52m
north east-south west and is 0.31m high. The upper part of the base slopes
down and out from the shaft. The cross is Listed Grade II.
The cross is believed to have marked a route from the north east across the
River Gannel estuary to the major medieval collegiate church at Crantock.
There is a footpath about 6m south of the cross which follows a route towards
the Gannel estuary. A slate plaque set into the wall near the cross records
that the modern cross was set up in 1928 as a memorial to George Metford
Parsons, parish priest 1894-1924.

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 330m south west of Penpol House has survived well. The
medieval cross-base is a late example, and has been reused for a modern copy
of a wheel headed four holed cross. There is no record of the cross-base
having been moved. It continues to mark its original route, to a crossing
point on the River Gannel estuary, and at a more local level a route within
the parish to the major medieval collegiate church at Crantock.
It demonstrates well the longevity of many routes still in use.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Consulted June 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 25316,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 75; Pathfinder Series 1352
Source Date: 1977

Source: Historic England

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