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
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.
End of official listing