Medieval wayside cross base on Creed Hill, 400m south of Grampound
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007962
Date first listed: 22-May-1959
Date of most recent amendment: 03-Mar-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Grampound with Creed
National Grid Reference: SW 93493 47880
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.
This wayside cross base has undergone no recorded move from its original position where it supported a cross marking an important route linking two neighbouring parish churches and two major medieval towns, demonstrating well the major function and disposition of wayside crosses and the longevity of many routes still in use. Although only the base survives, its distinctive form places it among the scarce late medieval wayside crosses, near the end of the tradition which produced this class of monument. This monument also forms an integral part of an unusual grouping of such later medieval crosses in this area.
The monument includes a medieval wayside cross base and a 2m protective
margin, situated on Creed Hill, south of Grampound, on a road linking the
parish churches of Grampound and Creed in southern central Cornwall.
The wayside cross base on Creed Hill measures 0.54m in overall height and
survives as a granite block moulded to give an octagonal-section top springing
from a groundfast, square-section base. The octagonal-section top rises 0.1m
from the basal part and measures 0.58m north-south by 0.58m east-west; each
facet of the octagon measures 0.25m wide. The upper surface of the top
contains a centrally placed square mortice, 0.26m north-south by 0.24m
east-west and 0.05m deep, to receive the shaft. An Ordnance Survey benchmark
is incised on the southern facet. The square section basal part has sides
0.64m wide and is 0.44m high. The upper corners of this lower part are rounded
to meet the corner facets of the octagon above.
This cross-base is situated beside the route directly linking the parish
churches of Grampound and Creed, on the eastern side of the River Fal valley.
The route also formed a direct link between the major medieval settlements at
Grampound and Tregony. The style of this cross-base denotes a later medieval
date, about the 15th century, towards the end of the medieval cross series. It
forms one of a group of such later medieval crosses surviving in the Grampound
The surface of the metalled road passing 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: 24271
Legacy System: RSM
Saunders, A.D., AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 549, 1958,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 94/SX 04; Pathfinder Series 1361 Source Date: 1984 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