Cross in the Vicarage Garden
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1004649
Date first listed: 08-Oct-1934
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SW 73095 37172
Wayside cross in the grounds of the former Vicarage, 40m north of the church in Stithians.
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 previously buried in the churchyard and moved to its current location, the wayside cross in the grounds of the former Vicarage, 40m north of the church in Stithians survives comparatively well and bears witness to its turbulent religious past. It remains close to where it was originally found but may equally have been brought to the churchyard from elsewhere as a form of protection.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 2 December 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 in the grounds of the former Vicarage opposite the church in Stithians. The cross survives as a decorated wheel head and shaft measuring up to 1.2m high. The head and shaft are decorated on both sides with a Latin cross in relief which extends down the shaft. On one side of the head the cross is defined by four carved depressions and on the other by two similar depressions on the upper limbs only. The cross is leaning slightly. Mentioned by Blight in 1872 and Langdon in 1896 the cross was found buried in the churchyard.
A similar cross in the churchyard is the subject of a separate scheduling.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: CO 239
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:-427615
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