Ancient Monuments

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Sea Lane Cross, Lelant

A Scheduled Monument in St. Ives, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.1784 / 50°10'42"N

Longitude: -5.4438 / 5°26'37"W

OS Eastings: 154225.312822

OS Northings: 36611.3842

OS Grid: SW542366

Mapcode National: GBR DXY6.M83

Mapcode Global: VH12M.LSG2

Entry Name: Sea Lane Cross, Lelant

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Last Amended: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018574

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31832

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, known as Sea Lane Cross,
situated on the top of a hedge at the junction of a minor road, The Saltings,
and the A3074 in Lelant.
The Sea Lane Cross, which is Listed Grade II, survives as an upright granite
shaft with a round, `wheel' head mounted on a modern granite base, its
principal faces orientated north east-south west.
The head measures 0.46m wide by 0.4m high and is 0.24m thick. The south west
face bears a Latin cross in bold relief, the lower limb extending down onto
the top of the shaft. At the centre of the limbs is a small round hole and
there is a narrow bead around the outer edge of the head. The top of the
north west face has been fractured at some time in the past. This face bears a
relief Latin cross with a narrow bead around the outer edge of the head. The
shaft measures 0.46m high by 0.32m wide and is 0.29m thick. All four corners
of the shaft are chamfered. On the south west face are two holes which suggest
that the cross was reused as a gatepost at some time in the past. The shaft is
cemented into a large, rectangular block of granite, measuring 0.71m north
east-south west by 0.47m north east-south west and is 0.45m high.
This cross was recorded by the historian Langdon in 1896 as standing against
the hedge close to its present location. Only one principal face was visible.
Early in the 20th century the cross was removed from the hedge, mounted
on a modern base and erected in its present position. The chamfered angles of
the shaft suggest a late medieval date for the cross. It has been suggested
that this cross marked a route across the Hayle estuary, as it marks a
junction on the main route from Lelant to St Ives with a minor road down to
the estuary.
The wood and metal house name sign `Woodlands' to the north west of the cross
and the street name sign to the south where they fall within the cross's
protective margin are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath is included.

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.

Sea Lane medieval wayside cross survives well, despite its probable past reuse
as a gatepost. It is a good example of a wheel headed cross which is situated
close to its original location. The cross continues its original function as a
waymarker, both marking a route within the parish to the church and marking a
junction on the main route from Lelant to St Ives, demonstrating well the
major roles 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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