Treslea Cross, 750m ENE of Cardinham Church


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 13052 68861

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 Treslea Cross has survived well, with no record of ever having been moved from its original location. It presents a good and complete example of a wheel-head cross, its lack of a visible base being typical of this type of wayside cross in Cornwall. The formation of the cross motif purely by pecked hollows between the arms is an uncommon technique and the presence of raised bosses along the edge of the head is unusual. Its location beside this ancient routeway demonstrates well some of the roles of wayside crosses in marking both major cross-country routes and ways within the parish to the church.


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, the Treslea Cross, situated at a junction on an early routeway near Cardinham on southern Bodmin Moor. The Treslea Cross, which is also grade II* listed building, survives with an upright granite shaft and a circular 'wheel' head, situated on a triangular grass verge at the intersection of three roads. The cross head measures 0.44m high by 0.56m wide and 0.22m thick. On both of its flat principal faces, a cross motif with flared arms enclosed by the circular perimeter of the head is formed by four shallow, pecked hollows radiating from near the centre of the face towards the top left and right and the bottom left and right. Three small rounded bosses project 0.04m from the edges of the head, one at each side and one on top. The cross shaft rises 1.1m from the ground to the base of the head. It is of rectangular section, tapering from 0.43m wide and 0.18m thick at the base to 0.35m wide and 0.2m thick at the head. The shaft has edge-chamfers, 0.07m wide, and a raised midrib, 0.09m wide, extending the length of the shaft on both principal faces. The Treslea Cross stands at the junction of two roads near Cardinham village; one road forms an early east-west route skirting the southern edge of Bodmin Moor from which the other road branches to the north-west. The cross is also situated on one of several main routes to the parish church in Cardinham parish. Two other medieval crosses are located in Cardinham churchyard, while in the same parish, the broadly contemporary Trezance Holy Well is located 800m to the north-west of this monument. An area 2m wide beyond the cross is included in the scheduling to ensure its protection. Within this area the modern signpost to the north-west of the cross 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)
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1545,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 06/16; Pathfinder Series 1347, Bodmin Source Date: 1989 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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