Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Horn's Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Holne, Devon

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Latitude: 50.5239 / 50°31'26"N

Longitude: -3.8778 / 3°52'40"W

OS Eastings: 266985.334348

OS Northings: 71032.43203

OS Grid: SX669710

Mapcode National: GBR Q8.WKLS

Mapcode Global: FRA 27RP.52K

Entry Name: Horn's Cross

Scheduled Date: 9 February 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019221

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28741

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Holne

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Holne St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


The monument includes a wayside cross known as Horn's Cross situated on a
gentle north facing slope of Holne Moor overlooking the valley of the River
Dart. The cross includes a socket stone, a crude modern shaft and an original
head and arms. The socket stone measures 0.82m by 0.89m, protrudes 0.33m above
the ground and is orientated north east to south west. The modern shaft is
1.63m high and measures 0.35m by 0.3m at the base and 0.23m by 0.34m at the
top. The shaft bears traces of tare and feather working indicating that it
was produced sometime after 1800. The arms of the cross measure 0.57m wide by
0.23m high and 0.2m thick. The head is 0.22m high by 0.2m wide.

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 known as Horn's Cross 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


Books and journals
Crossing, W, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor, (1987), 102-3

Source: Historic England

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