Medieval wayside cross at Redgate


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)
St. Cleer
National Grid Reference:
SX 22773 68585

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. 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 as 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. Of the 35 surviving on Bodmin Moor, 21 are recorded as wayside crosses. Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval routeways, settlement patterns and the development of sculptural traditions. 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 Redgate Cross has survived well, with only minor alteration from its re-use as gatepost. It forms a good, complete example of the rare, slab-form sub-group of Cornish wayside crosses. Its known former situation, at the junction of two medieval routes, shows well the relationship between such crosses and early thoroughfares. The longevity both of certain routeways and of upright route-markers is demonstrated well by the presence of a Prehistoric standing stone on one of those routes. The proximity of the cross's original location to the medieval settlements and field systems along those routes provides the broader medieval context within which this wayside cross functioned.


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated at a crossroads on an ancient route across the southern edge of Bodmin Moor. The cross survives as an upright granite slab rising 1.37m above ground level, set firmly in a large boulder which is fully beneath the ground surface and covered by turf. The slab is sub-rectangular in section, 0.2m thick and tapered from 0.36m wide at its base to 0.26m at the head. Its south-east edge is chamfered and it has a roughly shaped, rounded head. The two principal faces of the cross bear a single-line incised latin cross. On each face, the incised cross rises 0.9m along the midline of the slab from ground level, the cross-arms extending 0.1m to either side of the incised mid-line. On the south-east side of the slab, 0.3m below the top, is a lead filled hole containing the remains of an iron staple, a result of the former re-use of the cross as a gatepost. This cross was discovered in 1931 1.6km north of its present location, in use as a gatepost to a field belonging to North Trekeive Farm. At that location it was sited at the junction of two ancient valley routes across Bodmin Moor, one along the upper River Fowey valley, the other following the Siblyback and Withey Brook valleys, the latter route also marked by a Prehistoric standing stone. Each valley contains a succession of deserted medieval settlements and field systems. Also in 1931, the cross was removed to its present position, on a grass verge on the north side of the crossroads at Redgate. This is a little further along the route following the River Fowey valley, at a point where it is crossed by another ancient route along the southern edge of Bodmin Moor which is itself marked by a series of medieval wayside crosses in their original locations.

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:


AM 7 scheduling documentation for CO 296, Consulted 1993
Consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17260,
Preston-Jones, A.E., AM107 scheduling documentation for CO 296, 1988,
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.

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