Stone cross on Ter Hill
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1002618
Date first listed: 27-Oct-1971
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: West Devon (District Authority)
Parish: Dartmoor Forest
National Park: DARTMOOR
National Grid Reference: SX 64121 70640
Wayside cross 1600m ENE of Childe’s Tomb.
Reasons for Designation
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. The wayside cross 1600m ENE of Childe’s Tomb marks the course of Abbot’s Way across Dartmoor, the original cross was replaced by a replica in 1994, it is still on public view at the visitor centre and the replica is located in the socket stone. Wayside crosses tend to survive differentially as a result of damage by religious iconoclasts during turbulent periods of religious change throughout the Reformation. As a result many bear scars of past damage and the broken state of the original cross attests to a turbulent history. It is known to have been re-erected in 1885 but was found fallen beside its socket stone in 1984 and removed in 1994.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 12 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes a wayside cross situated on the north western upper slopes of Ter Hill. The cross survives as a rectangular socket stone measuring 0.7m long by 0.6m wide and 0.3m high into which a replica stone cross has been inserted. The original cross was subject to repairs carried out in 1885 when broken pieces were clamped together. In 1984 the cross was found to have fallen and broken further. It was repaired and was subsequently removed as the repairs deteriorated. The cross was re-sited in the High Moorland Visitor Centre at Princetown in 1994. At this time a replica cross was inserted into the socket stone and a plaque added.
There are two further crosses nearby, one is scheduled separately but the other is not included because it has not been formally assessed.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: DV 851
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, Volume Four – The South-East , (1993), 211
PastScape Monument No:-443316
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing