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 St Ingunger Cross has survived well, earlier records confirming it in its
present position at this road junction. It forms a good example of a
wheel-head cross, complete with its head, shaft and base. Its position on an
ancient route across the Cornish peninsula, used since the prehistoric period
and later by medieval pilgrims, demonstrates well the continuity of such major
routeways and the relationship between wayside crosses and early
thoroughfares. This relationship is shown at a more detailed level by the
cross's location on a route to the parish church at Lanivet.
The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, the St Ingunger Cross, and a
2m protective margin, situated beside a road junction in central Cornwall, on
an ancient route across mid-Cornwall linking Padstow on the north coast with
Fowey on the south coast.
The St Ingunger Cross survives as an upright granite cross set in a large
groundfast granite boulder. The cross has a round or 'wheel' head, 0.49m in
diameter and 0.12m thick. The head is decorated on both principal faces by a
low-relief cross with widely expanded arms meeting the outer edges of the
head. The head and shaft were originally formed from a single block but due to
a subsequent break, the head has been cemented to the shaft at the neck, a
repair that had been made prior to 1896 when the antiquary A G Langdon
recorded the cross. The shaft is plain, undecorated and rectangular in
section, measuring 0.28m across its north and south faces by 0.2m thick. The
shaft rises to a height of 0.81m from its emergence at the centre of the
base-slab: a large, roughly shaped, sub-rectangular granite boulder measuring
1m east-west by 0.73m north-south, and rising 0.27m above ground level.
The cross is situated on the northern side of a road junction on a major
ancient route across central Cornwall linking the Camel and Fowey estuaries.
This route, the usage of which is considered to extend back into the
prehistoric period, is marked by several other surviving medieval wayside
crosses, reflecting a medieval function as a pilgrimage route for travellers
from Ireland and Wales to holy sites on the Continent. The St Ingunger Cross
is also situated 300m south-east of the broadly contemporary St Congar's Well,
and marks one of several thoroughfares within the parish to the church at
The surface of the metalled road passing south of the cross and the footpath
guidepost, also to the south of the cross, are excluded from the scheduling
although the ground beneath these features is included.
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.