Ancient Monuments

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Wayside cross on Down Ridge 730m south west of Saddle Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Dartmoor Forest, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5266 / 50°31'35"N

Longitude: -3.8918 / 3°53'30"W

OS Eastings: 266005.514828

OS Northings: 71355.855551

OS Grid: SX660713

Mapcode National: GBR Q8.W81D

Mapcode Global: FRA 27QN.ZLH

Entry Name: Wayside cross on Down Ridge 730m south west of Saddle Bridge

Scheduled Date: 9 February 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019220

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28740

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Dartmoor Forest

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Holne St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Details

The monument includes a wayside cross situated on a gentle south east facing
slope overlooking Holne Moor. The cross is concreted into a cleft in a large
granite rock, is of Latin type, stands 1.06m high and is broken into two parts
which are now held together by iron bars. The head of the cross measures
0.28m high, whilst the arms are 0.69m wide and extend 0.18m beyond the shaft
on either side.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and,
because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most
complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The
great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provides direct evidence
for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards.
The well preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites,
land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later
industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the
pattern of land use through time.
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 settlements, or on routes which might have a more specifically
religious function, including those providing access to religious sites for
parishioners and funeral processions, or marking long distance routes
frequented on pilgrimages.
Over 110 examples of wayside crosses are known on Dartmoor, where they form
the commonest type of stone cross. Almost all of the wayside crosses on the
Moor take the form of a `Latin' cross, in which the cross-head itself is
shaped within the projecting arms of an unenclosed cross.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
routeways, settlement patterns and the development of sculptural traditions.
All wayside crosses on the Moor which survive as earth-fast monuments, except
those which are extremely damaged and removed from their original locations,
are considered worthy of protection.

Despite historic damage, the wayside cross on Down Ridge 730m south west of
Saddle Bridge, survives comparatively well and, together with a number of
other crosses, denotes the route of a medieval track leading across the moor
between Tavistock and Buckfast Abbeys.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Starkey, F H, Dartmoor Crosses And Some Ancient Tracks, (1989), 34

Source: Historic England

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