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 Trevia Cross head has survived reasonably well and despite the loss of its
original shaft, it remains a good example of a wheel-headed cross, with an
unusual, slender-limbed relief cross motif. Its known former location beside a
church path, in the same parish as its present position, shows well the major
function of wayside crosses and shows clearly the longevity of many routes
still in use. The burial of this cross in the hedgebank until the late 19th
century and its subsequent restoration illustrates the changing attitudes to
religion that have prevailed since the Reformation and the impact of those
changes on the landscape.
The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Trevia Cross, and
a 2m protective margin, situated beside a road junction at Sportsmans, on the
south-west edge of Camelford in north Cornwall.
The Trevia Cross survives with a large round or 'wheel' head and the integral
neck of its original shaft cemented on a modern groundfast shaft. The cross
measures 1.3m in overall height. The head is 0.52m in diameter and 0.2m thick.
Each principal face of the head bears a relief equal-limbed cross, 0.4m high
by 0.4m across the limbs. The limbs are of a constant 0.07m width and extend
to a 0.06m wide peripheral bead. The surviving neck of the original shaft,
immediately below the head, is 0.08m high and of rectangular section, 0.3m
wide and 0.19m thick, undecorated. This neck is cemented onto a modern granite
shaft 0.7m high, 0.35m wide and 0.22m thick, tapering to meet the original
neck at its upper end.
The Trevia Cross has been situated on the modern shaft at the western side of
a road junction in the Sportsmans district of south-west Camelford since 1970.
The cross was discovered in August 1894 buried in a hedgebank 274m west of the
former Camelford workhouse, which was located adjacent to the west of the
present location of the cross. The deliberate burial of a number of such
crosses beside their original sites took place during the Reformation
(c.1540). The location of its burial is beside a road south of Trevia village.
This road is part of a route across the northern part of the parish which
runs, via present footpaths and minor roads, directly to the parish church at
Lanteglos by Camelford. Shortly after its discovery, the cross was removed for
safety to the garden of Trevia Farm where it remained until 1970 when it was
re-erected in its present position.
The surface of the modern footpath passing east of the cross is excluded from
the scheduling but the ground beneath 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.