Ancient Monuments

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Standing cross 300m south east of Trelissick

A Scheduled Monument in Feock, Cornwall

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Latitude: 50.2142 / 50°12'51"N

Longitude: -5.0293 / 5°1'45"W

OS Eastings: 183975.1276

OS Northings: 39303.202892

OS Grid: SW839393

Mapcode National: GBR ZH.BN3H

Mapcode Global: FRA 08CG.6J9

Entry Name: Standing cross 300m south east of Trelissick

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1932

Last Amended: 9 April 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020103

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32946

County: Cornwall

Civil Parish: Feock

Traditional County: Cornwall

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cornwall

Church of England Parish: Feock

Church of England Diocese: Truro


The monument includes a medieval cross, now reused as a garden feature at
Trelissick House, situated on a rock-cut platform on a fairly steep east slope
above the lower River Fal.
The cross is of fairly coarse-grained granite and has a shaft and wheel or
round head, with ornamentation in relief. It stands 1.11m high. The cross
head measures 0.41m across and 0.19m thick. The shaft is 0.29m-0.32m across
and between 0.21m-0.25m thick.
The front, ENE, face of the cross has a figure of Christ on the head and upper
shaft, in high relief. The figure has slightly raised and bent arms, outurned
feet, and a central band, slightly more raised, apparently representing
clothing, at the level of the neck of the cross. The back has remains of a
cross carved in light relief, having a shaft extending down from the level of
its neck for approximately 0.44m, with possible traces of a right arm near the
centre of the wheel head.
The cross is understood to have been brought from Tredrea, St Erth, around
1844; limited damage to the top and NNW side of the wheel head is considered
to have occurred before that move.

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

A standing cross is a free standing upright structure, usually of stone,
mostly erected during the medieval period (mid 10th to mid 16th centuries AD).
Standing crosses served a variety of functions. In churchyards they served as
stations for outdoor processions, particularly in the observance of Palm
Sunday. Elsewhere, standing crosses were used within settlements as places for
preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of
sanctuary. Standing crosses were also employed to mark boundaries between
parishes, property, or settlements. A few crosses were erected to commemorate
battles. Some crosses were linked to particular saints, whose support and
protection their presence would have helped to invoke. Crosses in market
places may have helped to validate transactions. After the Reformation, some
crosses continued in use as foci for municipal or borough ceremonies, for
example as places for official proclamations and announcements; some were the
scenes of games or recreational activity.
Standing crosses were distributed throughout England and are thought to have
numbered in excess of 12,000. However, their survival since the Reformation
has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and
religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by
iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries. Less than 2,000 medieval
standing crosses, with or without cross-heads, are now thought to exist. The
oldest and most basic form of standing cross is the monolith, a stone shaft
often set directly in the ground without a base. The most common form is the
stepped cross, in which the shaft is set in a socket stone and raised upon a
flight of steps; this type of cross remained current from the 11th to 12th
centuries until after the Reformation. Where the cross-head survives it may
take a variety of forms, from a lantern-like structure to a crucifix; the more
elaborate examples date from the 15th century. Much less common than stepped
crosses are spire-shaped crosses, often composed of three or four receding
stages with elaborate architectural decoration and/or sculptured figures; the
most famous of these include the Eleanor crosses, erected by Edward I at the
stopping places of the funeral cortege of his wife, who died in 1290. Also
uncommon are the preaching crosses which were built in public places from the
13th century, typically in the cemeteries of religious communities and
cathedrals, market places and wide thoroughfares; they include a stepped base,
buttresses supporting a vaulted canopy, in turn carrying either a shaft and
head or a pinnacled spire. Standing crosses contribute significantly to our
understanding of medieval customs, both secular and religious, and to our
knowledge of medieval parishes and settlement patterns. All crosses which
survive as standing monuments, especially those which stand in or near their
original location, are considered worthy of protection.

The cross 300m south east of Trelissick survives well. Despite limited damage,
it remains substantially intact. Its function as an ornamental garden feature
illustrates well one form of reuse of this monument type.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896), 277-278
Later maplet on 1963 OS base, AM7, (1932)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1880

Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Map
Source Date: 1907

TS at RIC library, Truro, Baird, RD and Lady White, Old Cornish Crosses, (1961)

Source: Historic England

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