Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross in Camborne churchyard, 10m west of the church

A Scheduled Monument in Camborne, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2135 / 50°12'48"N

Longitude: -5.3022 / 5°18'7"W

OS Eastings: 164500.922083

OS Northings: 40045.943252

OS Grid: SW645400

Mapcode National: GBR FX93.S2P

Mapcode Global: VH12J.1WSR

Entry Name: Wayside cross in Camborne churchyard, 10m west of the church

Scheduled Date: 28 July 1958

Last Amended: 18 September 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018491

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31823

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Camborne

Built-Up Area: Camborne

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Camborne and Tuckinghill

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated 10m of Camborne parish
The wayside cross, which is Listed Grade II, survives as an upright granite
shaft with a round, `wheel' head. The overall height of the monument is 1.9m.
The head measures 0.3m high by 0.23m wide and is 0.19m thick. Both principal
faces, which are orientated east-west, bear an equal limbed cross with
slightly expanded ends to the limbs, formed by four rounded, triangular
sinkings. At the neck of the cross, immediately below the head there is a
rounded projection to either side of the shaft. Also there is a hole near the
bottom of the head which goes right through the cross. The shaft measures 1.6m
high by 0.53m wide at the base tapering to 0.25m at the top, and is 0.42m
thick at the base tapering to 0.21m at the top. On the east face of the shaft
is a panel of incised decoration, consisting of lines of shallow holes. On the
west face there is a line of three holes down the centre of the shaft.
It has been suggested that this wayside cross was originally a boundary stone
between the parishes of Gwinear and Gwithian. In 1613 it was called the `Meane
Cadoarth' or battle stone. Its name may commemorate a battle at Reskajeage,
5km to the north west. The panel of dots or shallow holes on the shaft is
traditionally believed to represent each person killed in the battle.
In 1896 when the historian Langdon visited the cross, it was in use as a
gatepost on Connor Downs, 4.5km south west of Camborne church. It was
considered that the cross probably marked the road between Hayle and Camborne,
on an important early route through Cornwall, close to the modern A30 trunk
road. The route from Camborne to Hayle is crossed at Connor Downs by minor
routes to Gwithian and the north coast, and routes south towards the important
market town of Helston. In 1904 the cross was moved into Camborne churchyard
and erected in its present location.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 medieval wayside cross in Camborne churchyard, 10m west of the church, is
a good example of its class and survives well, despite having been reused as a
gatepost. The projections at the neck are rare, and the rows of shallow holes
are an unusual form of decoration on the shaft. Its reuse as a gatepost and
its removal to the churchyard in the early 20th century demonstrates well the
changing attitudes to religion and their impact on the local landscape since
the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Consulted July 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 26629,
p.8, Thomas, DH, Historical notes and Brief Guide to Camborne Parish Church, (1989)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364
Source Date: 1989

Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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