Wayside cross in the grounds of Pencarrow, 130m SSE of Pencarrow House


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 04042 70949

Reasons for Designation

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 which might have a more specifically religious function, including providing access to religious sites for parishioners and funeral processions. Wayside crosses vary considerably in form and decoration but several regional types have been identified. The Cornish wayside crosses form one such group. The commonest type includes a round, or `wheel', head on the faces of which various forms of cross were carved. The design was sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ. Less common forms include the `Latin' cross, where the cross-head itself is shaped within the arms of an unenclosed cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low-relief cross on both faces. Over 400 crosses of all types are recorded in Cornwall. Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval routeways, settlement patterns and the development of sculptural traditions and their survival is somewhat differential because of periods of religious turbulence during the Reformation when many were subject to damage or partial destruction by iconoclasts. Despite having been relocated, the wayside cross in the grounds of Pencarrow, 130m SSE of Pencarrow House survives comparatively well. It is one of the largest of the four-hole crosses in Cornwall and forms part of a discrete stylistic grouping.


The monument includes a wayside cross, situated in the grounds of Pencarrow where it is in use as a prominently placed garden ornament. The cross survives as a pierced decorated wheel-headed cross standing up to 1m high fixed to a modern base. The four pierced holes are cusped and the expanded arms of the cross are linked by a stone ring. The centre of the cross is ornamented with a large boss. The cross head was found in 1870 at Trescowe Farm in an exceptionally wide and high stone hedge. It was subsequently set up in the grounds of Pencarrow. Described by Langdon in 1896, he suggested it was one of a group of five similar examples. It has been variously attributed as being a boundary marker for a manor, a deer park or a parish. Sir John Molesworth-St Aubyn suggested the cross was imported to the estate from Bodmin Moor in the 18th century. The cross is situated within a Registered Park and Garden (1643).

Sources: HER:- PastScape Monument No:-431831


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
CO 234
Legacy System:


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.

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