Medieval wayside cross 320m south west of Higher Trevivian
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1008163
Date first listed: 22-Mar-1932
Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jul-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SX 16890 85255
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 Trevivian cross has survived reasonably well despite the loss of its shaft and part of its head. Earlier records indicate no removal from its original position where it remains as a waymarker, demonstrating a major role of wayside crosses and the longevity of many routes still in use. The presence of raised bosses projecting from the base of the head is unusual, but forms a recurrent feature of crosses in this area, a distribution important for our understanding of the context of cross manufacture and design. The absence of a distinct bead around the edge of the principal faces is rare.
The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated on a minor road to
Trevivian on the north east edge of Bodmin Moor in north Cornwall.
This granite wayside cross survives with a round `wheel' head set in a cross
basestone, standing 0.83m in overall height. The head measures 0.55m high,
0.53m wide and 0.15m thick. The upper part of the western half of the head was
irregularly fractured away earlier this century but details of its full design
are known from its illustration by the historian A G Langdon in 1896 when the
head was complete. The head is decorated on both principal faces by a low-
relief equal-limbed cross with slightly splayed ends to the limbs. The limbs
stop short of the edge which lacks a distinct bead. Two small rounded bosses
project 0.05m to either side of the base of the head. The head is positioned
in the central socket of a large ovoid basestone whose edges are set flush
with the ground. The basestone measures 1.6m north-south by 1m east-west, and
has a slightly convex upper surface.
The Trevivian cross is situated beside the north side of a minor road near the
hamlet of Trevivian, on a former route across Davidstow Moor from the
Camelford area towards the crossing points of the River Inny at Treglasta and
Tregulland. The cross is also considered to mark a supplementary line of
another route marked by several wayside crosses which runs a little to the
south east via the distinctive hill of Roughtor, linking Michaelstow, to the
south west, with Warbstow to the NNE.
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: 24280
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses of North Cornwall, (1992)
Given by letter, 8/93, Information given to MPPFW by Mr Andrew Langdon, (1993)
Title: 1": 1 mile Ordnance Survey Map; sheet 30; Camelford Source Date: 1889 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 08/18; Pathfinder Series 1325; Camelford Source Date: 1986 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