Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Westcott Cross, 480m south east of Westcott Lodge

A Scheduled Monument in St. Dominick, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.4888 / 50°29'19"N

Longitude: -4.2871 / 4°17'13"W

OS Eastings: 237853.36036

OS Northings: 67937.579452

OS Grid: SX378679

Mapcode National: GBR NP.LGMP

Mapcode Global: FRA 17XR.TWB

Entry Name: Westcott Cross, 480m south east of Westcott Lodge

Scheduled Date: 8 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018019

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29227

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Dominick

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: St Dominic

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Westcott Cross,
situated at a minor road junction close to the A388, the main route between
Callington and Saltash in south east Cornwall.
The Westcott Cross survives as an upright granite cross shaft mounted in a
rectangular granite base. The overall height of the monument measures 0.43m.
The shaft measures 0.43m high above the cross base, but extends 0.22m through
the socket of the base into the ground. The front and back faces of the shaft
measure 0.34m wide at the base, widening slightly to 0.36m at the top, and
the side faces measure 0.17m wide at the base, tapering slightly to 0.15m.
The top of the shaft has been fractured. The principal faces are orientated
north-south. The north face bears the bottom part of the lower limb of a
relief cross, probably a `Latin' cross. There is a bead on either side of the
shaft which passes around the lower edge of the lower limb, forming a recessed
panel around the relief limb/cross. The south principal face is plain. The
cross base measures 0.64m north-south by 1.02m east-west and is set flush with
the ground. The socket in which the cross shaft is mounted is not centrally
placed but is towards the west side of the base. The cross is Listed Grade II.
The Westcott Cross was originally located by the roadside at a junction of the
A388, the major route between Callington and Saltash where there is an
ancient crossing point of the River Tamar into Devon, and a minor road to
Amytree and a crossing of the River Lynher at Clapper Bridge. The Westcott
Cross is first mentioned in 1613 in the parish Glebe Terriers as a bound cross
on the boundary between the parishes of St Dominick with St Mellion.

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 Westcott Cross survives close to its original location, and despite the
loss of its upper shaft and head, it retains its original functions as a
waymarker and boundary stone. It demonstrates well two of the major roles of
wayside crosses, and the longevity of many routes still in use.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Jones, A, Nowakowski, J, Thorpe, C, Archaeological Investigations at Viverdon Down, Archive Report, (1995)
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses in East Cornwall, (1996)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses in East Cornwall, (1996)
Consulted July 1996, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 6805,
pp.1-2, Thomas, N, Replacement of Westcott Cross, Field Officers Report, (1995)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 26/36; Pathfinder Series 1348
Source Date: 1983

Source: Historic England

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