Bosent Cross, 325m ENE of South Bosent Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
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 pilgrimages. 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 south-east Cornwall. 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:
Legacy System:


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

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