Bosent Cross, 325m ENE of South Bosent Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007752
Date first listed: 24-Apr-1939
Date of most recent amendment: 22-Oct-1993
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Dobwalls and Trewidland
National Grid Reference: SX 22251 63559
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 having a more specifically religious
function, including those providing access to religious sites for parishioners
and funeral processions, or marking long-distance routes frequented on
Over 350 wayside crosses are known nationally, concentrated in south-west
England throughout Cornwall and on Dartmoor where they form the commonest type
of stone cross. A small group also occurs on the North York Moors. Relatively
few examples have been recorded elsewhere and these are generally confined to
remote moorland locations.
Outside Cornwall almost all wayside crosses take the form of a 'latin' cross,
in which the cross-head itself is shaped with the projecting arms of an
unenclosed cross. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and
decoration. The commonest type includes a round, or 'wheel', head on the faces
of which various forms of cross or related designs were carved in relief or
incised, the spaces between the cross arms possibly pierced. The design was
sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ and the shaft might bear
decorative panels and motifs. Less common forms in Cornwall include the
'Latin' cross and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low relief cross on both
faces. Rare examples of wheel-head and slab-form crosses also occur within the
North York Moors group. Most wayside crosses have either a simple socketed
base or show no evidence for a separate base at all.
Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval
religious customs and sculptural traditions and to our knowledge of medieval
routeways and settlement patterns. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-
fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from
their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.
The Bosent Cross has survived well, with no recorded move from its original position. It forms a good example of a latin cross complete with head, shaft and base. Its situation on an ancient ridge-top route demonstrates well the relationship between such crosses and early thoroughfares, while its location also on a parish boundary shows well the multiple purposes that such crosses may have served.
The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated at a crossroads and on
a parish boundary on an ancient route from Bodmin Moor to the south coast in
The Bosent Cross survives as an upright granite cross set in a rectangular
granite base. The cross has a head with unenclosed arms, a form called a
'latin' cross, with its principal faces orientated east-west. The cross stands
to a height of 1.7m above its base. The shaft is square in section with
chamfered edges 0.09m wide. The shaft tapers from 0.29m wide at the top of the
head to 0.34m at the base and has a thickness of 0.25m. The side-arms measure
0.53m across their terminal faces, with chamfered edges except along each
terminal face. The upper edges of the side arms emerge 0.22m below the top of
the shaft. The surfaces of the cross are not decorated. The shaft is set in
the centre of a ground-fast granite base-slab measuring 1.05m by 0.84m along
the outer edges and rising 0.1m above ground level.
The cross is situated on a hilltop near the centre of a crossroads on an
ancient north-south ridge-top route linking southern Bodmin Moor with the
south coast near Looe and marked by several other surviving crosses. The other
route at the crossroads similarly follows east-west spurs to link Liskeard
with St Pinnock village; the cross is also situated on the boundary between
the parishes of St Pinnock and Liskeard.
An area 2m wide beyond the base of the cross is included in the scheduling to
ensure its protection. Within this area the metalled surface of the modern
road passing south-east of the cross-base is excluded from the scheduling but
the ground beneath is included.
MAP EXTRACT 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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 24252
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Title: 1": 1 mile Ordnance Survey Map Source Date: 1865 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Sheet 25, Tavistock
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 26/36; Pathfinder Series 1348 Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
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