Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross 40m west of St Uny's Church, Lelant

A Scheduled Monument in St. Ives, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1886 / 50°11'19"N

Longitude: -5.4366 / 5°26'11"W

OS Eastings: 154785.050274

OS Northings: 37721.427583

OS Grid: SW547377

Mapcode National: GBR DXY5.Y80

Mapcode Global: VH12M.QJ67

Entry Name: Wayside cross 40m west of St Uny's Church, Lelant

Scheduled Date: 1 December 1960

Last Amended: 19 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018157

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30430

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Ives

Built-Up Area: Lelant

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Lelant

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated in the cemetery to the
west of St Uny's Church.
The cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head; the
overall height of the monument is 1.08m. The principal faces are orientated
north west-south east. Both principal faces are decorated, and have a narrow
bead around their outer edges. The north west face bears a relief figure of
Christ, with outstretched arms; the feet and lower legs are missing. The south
east face bears a relief equal limbed cross with expanded ends to the limbs;
the lower limb has a narrow extenion or shaft extending onto the top of the
cross shaft. The shaft measures 0.68m high by 0.26m wide and is 0.22m thick.
This wayside cross was formerly located in a base stone by the western wall of
the churchyard, but was moved into the western cemetery at Lelant prior to
1896 when the historian Langdon recorded it there. The cross is Listed Grade

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 wayside cross 40m west of St Uny's Church has survived well, and is a
good example of a `wheel' headed cross. Its decoration with a figure of Christ
on one face and a cross on the other, is rare. The removal of the cross from
its position outside the churchyard wall and into the western cemetery in the
later 19th century illustrates well the changing attitudes to religion and the
impact of crosses on the local landscape since the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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