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Wayside cross 620m south west of Basil Farm

A Scheduled Monument in St. Clether, Cornwall

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6277 / 50°37'39"N

Longitude: -4.5622 / 4°33'43"W

OS Eastings: 218879.317873

OS Northings: 84024.085391

OS Grid: SX188840

Mapcode National: GBR N9.9XMH

Mapcode Global: FRA 17BD.VWW

Entry Name: Wayside cross 620m south west of Basil Farm

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Last Amended: 19 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018002

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30439

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Clether

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Clether

Church of England Diocese: Truro

Details

The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated at a crossroads known
as Cross Gates, south west of Basil Farm. It is believed that it has always
marked this junction.
The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel'
head. The overall height of the monument is 1.52m. The principal faces are
orientated north east-south west. The head is 0.66m wide, and both principal
faces bear a relief equal limbed cross with slightly expanded ends to the
limbs. The top of the head on the north east face has been fractured at some
time in the past, the fracture worn smooth by natural erosion. There is a
narrow bead around the edge of both principal faces. At the neck are two
rounded projections, one on either side of the shaft. The shaft measures
0.46m wide by 0.14m thick.
This wayside cross is located on a hedge at the junction of two minor roads,
on the north eastern edge of Bodmin Moor. This junction is on the ancient
route from Davidstow to Altarnun, and is crossed by the road to St Clether
and Trevillian's Gate. All four of these locations had holy wells and
additional religious assoctiations. Trevillian's Gate gave access to routes
across north western Bodmin Moor, across the northern flank of Roughtor hill,
where there was a focus for medieval religious monuments.

MAP EXTRACT
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
pilgrimages.
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 wayside cross 620m south west of Basil Farm has survived well. It is a
good example of a`wheel' headed cross, and has projections at its neck, a rare
feature, sometimes found on crosses in north Cornwall. It is one of a group of
crosses found around the manor of Basil, marking routes to the church and holy
well at St Clether. It is believed that this cross is close to its original
location, maintaining its original function as a waymarker at this junction.
It demonstrates well the role of wayside crosses in the medieval landscape.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses in East Cornwall, (1996)
Other
Title: 1": 1 mile Ordnance Survey Map; sheet 30; Camelford
Source Date: 1889
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 08/18: Pathfinder Series 1325
Source Date: 1986
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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