Ancient Monuments

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Cross 470m north of Lambrenny

A Scheduled Monument in Davidstow, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.652 / 50°39'7"N

Longitude: -4.5823 / 4°34'56"W

OS Eastings: 217551.330135

OS Northings: 86773.030607

OS Grid: SX175867

Mapcode National: GBR N8.8BSJ

Mapcode Global: FRA 179C.0MT

Entry Name: Cross 470m north of Lambrenny

Scheduled Date: 25 September 1934

Last Amended: 16 November 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018699

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31845

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Davidstow

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Davidstow

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Lambrenny Cross,
situated beside the farm track to Lambrenny on the northern edge of Bodmin
The Lambrenny Cross survives as an upright granite shaft and head 1.36m high.
The head has unenclosed arms, a form called a `Latin' cross, its principal
faces orientated east-west. The head measures 0.31m across the side arms and
is 0.14m thick. The southern side arm has been fractured at some time in the
past. The shaft measures 0.32m wide at the base tapering to 0.23m below the
side arms and is 0.3m thick at the base tapering to 0.22m at the top.
This cross is believed to be in its original location on a footpath from
Lambrenny, 0.5km south of the cross, to the parish church at Davidstow, 2.5km
to the north west. This was the path along which the dead were carried from
Lambrenny to the church. The cross was also used for private prayer.

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.

The medieval wayside cross 470m north of Lambrenny survives well, and is a
good example of the uncommon `Latin' form of cross. It is believed to be in
its original location and maintains its original function as a waymarker on
its original route, marking a church path. It demonstrates 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 North Cornwall, (1992)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 08/18: Pathfinder Series 1325
Source Date: 1986

Source: Historic England

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