Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross in Lelant Lane, 670m north west of St Uny's Church

A Scheduled Monument in St. Ives, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1899 / 50°11'23"N

Longitude: -5.4453 / 5°26'43"W

OS Eastings: 154171.518

OS Northings: 37888.348752

OS Grid: SW541378

Mapcode National: GBR DXY5.LJ4

Mapcode Global: VH12M.KHM9

Entry Name: Wayside cross in Lelant Lane, 670m north west of St Uny's Church

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Last Amended: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018572

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31830

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: St. Ives

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 on the top of a hedge
in Lelant Lane, west Cornwall.
The wayside cross, which is Listed Grade II, survives as an upright granite
head and shaft mounted on a modern granite base. The head has unenclosed arms,
a form called a `Latin' cross, its principal faces orientated north east-south
west. The head and shaft measure 0.64m high, and the head measures 0.43m wide
across the side arms. The upper limb is missing, and the edges of the side
limbs are chamfered, as are the edges of the shaft which measures 0.19m wide.
There is a relief figure of Christ with outstretched arms along the side
limbs; the tunic and legs extend down the shaft. The shaft is cemented in to a
modern rectangular granite base measuring 0.74m north west-south east by 0.62m
north east-south west and is 0.2m high. On the base is a metal plaque
recording the re-erection of the cross by the St Ives Old Cornwall Society in
This cross was first recorded at the end of the 19th century as being built
into the hedge, it became buried in the hedge in the early part of the 20th
century but was rediscovered in 1956 and the St Ives Old Cornwall Society
restored and re-erected it in its present location. The plaque states that the
cross is believed to date from around 900 AD, but the style of the cross, the
chamfered edges to the limbs and shaft suggest a later medieval date.
The fire hydrant sign, the fire hydrant supply pipe and its cover to the
south east of the cross where they fall within the monuments protective margin
and are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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 medieval wayside cross in Lelant Lane survives reasonably well, despite
the loss of its upper limb. It is a good example of an uncommon `Latin' cross
type, and is a rare example of a `Latin' cross with a figure of Christ motif.
It remains in its original position on its original route on the road from
Lelant to St Ives, continuing its original function as a waymarker
demonstrating well the major role of such wayside crosses.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses of West Penwith, (1997)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364
Source Date: 1989

Source: Historic England

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