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 moved several times the two wayside crosses, south and east of Bonallack Barton survive comparatively well and the decoration of the western cross is amongst the best of its type in Cornwall.
The monument, which falls into two areas of protection, includes two wayside crosses situated in the garden of Bonallack Barton, overlooking the Helford River. The eastern cross survives as a decorated wheel-headed cross and a short length of shaft. It measures approximately 0.6m high. Both faces of the head are decorated with a Latin cross in relief and the shaft has chamfered angles. This cross once stood at Treprison, near Helston, where it was used as a stile, although Langdon recorded it in Cross Street, Helston, until it was later moved to Bonallack Barton. It has since been moved within the garden following the loss of a large tree which caused it to be re-sited nearby.
The western cross survives as a decorated wheel-head on a short length of decorated shaft set into a modern base. It is approximately 1.2m high. The head on both sides is decorated with wide surrounding beading containing an equal-limbed cross in relief with expanded ends. In the middle on the front face is a small boss. The shaft is decorated on both the front and back with incised patterns, including double chevrons to the front. Originally the cross had been beside the path leading to Trelill Holy Well from where it had been taken to Gweal Mayon. Langdon later found it too in Cross Street, Helston and from there it was moved to Bonallack Barton.
PastScape Monument No:-427139