Crewel Cross, at No Man's Land
- 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 08939 59099
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 Crewel Cross has survived well and is a good example of a wheel-head cross. This is one of the largest wayside crosses in Cornwall. The changing form from the lower to the upper shaft is unusual and the presence of interlace decoration is rare. Although it has been moved a short distance, its original location at the junction of two ancient routeways is known and demonstrates well the role of wayside crosses in marking major cross-country routes. The re-siting of the cross at the modern equivalent of that medieval junction also provides a good example of the developing pattern of communications since the medieval period.
The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, the Crewel Cross, situated at
the junction of two major early routeways near Lostwithiel in southern
The Crewel Cross survives with an upright granite shaft and a circular 'wheel'
head, mounted in a large, ground-fast base slab and situated on a
sub-triangular grass verge at the intersection of two roads. The cross stands
2.84m high and is formed from two separate slabs mortared together: the head
and an upper 0.95m of the shaft form one piece, and the lower shaft forms the
other. The cross head measures 0.63m high by 0.61m wide and 0.2m thick. On
both of its flat principal faces, the head bears a low-relief cross motif with
flared arms, raised slightly from the flat, slightly recessed, background
between the arms. The cross shaft rises 2.21m from the ground to the base of
the head. The lower 0.84m is of flattened oval section, tapering down to the
ground surface from 0.41m wide to 0.36m wide at the base. Above this lower
portion, the shaft is of rectangular section, with a distinct central bulge
from which it tapers gradually to both the head and lower shaft. This upper
portion measures up to 0.52m wide by 0.26m thick. Its east-facing principal
face bears a raised midrib which rises to the base of the head from an
enlarged circular terminal at the base of the shaft's upper portion. The
west-facing principal face of the shaft is not decorated. The narrow faces of
the shaft, facing north and south, bear slight, heavily eroded traces of
interlace decoration, surviving as a pattern of pecked hollows.
The Crewel Cross was formerly situated 100m NNE of its present location, at
the junction of the main route from Bodmin to the south coast with a path
linking the town of Lostwithiel with the village of Lanlivery, and close to
the boundary between those two parishes. The cross was re-erected at its
present location in 1901, where it remains on the route south from Bodmin but
at the point where it meets the modern main road along the south coast.
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:
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entries for PRN 5013-4,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 05/15; St Austell and Fowey Source Date: 1980 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