The Long Cross, an early Christian memorial stone and medieval wayside cross, and a post-medieval guide post 400m north of Trelights


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


© Crown Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2021. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008164.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 04-Mar-2021 at 04:34:21.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Endellion
National Grid Reference:
SW 98982 79733

Reasons for Designation

Early Christian memorial stones are inscribed free-standing stones commemorating named individuals and dating to the early medieval period (c.AD 400 - 1100). The stones are erect, roughly dressed or undressed slabs, bearing incised inscriptions, usually set in one or more vertical lines down one face of the slab but in four examples the text runs horizontally across the slab. All except two recorded texts are in Latin and, depending on their date, may be inscribed in a script of Romanised capitals or an insular form of lower case lettering called miniscules, or a mixture of the two. Six stones also have inscriptions in an Irish script called ogham. Most inscriptions are simple, bearing a personal name and often stating a family relationship. Fourteen stones contain elements of the simple inscriptions within a longer, complex inscriptive formula, often including the phrase 'hic iacet' (here lies). Additional decoration is found on very few stones and usually comprises a cross within a circle. Early examples, prior to the eighth century AD, may bear an early Christian symbol called a Chi Rho monogram, compounding the first two Greek letters of the name 'Christ'. Early Christian memorial stones are largely restricted to areas which retained Celtic traditions during the early medieval period, with at least 139 recorded from Wales. In England, they are almost entirely confined to the south west peninsula; of the 56 recorded examples, 37 occur in Cornwall, 11 in Devon, a group of five in Dorset, and single examples in Somerset, Hampshire and Shropshire. As a very rare and diverse class of monument important for our understanding of the social organisation and the development of literacy and Christianity during the early medieval period, all surviving groundfast examples of early Christian memorial stones are considered worthy of protection. Largely post-dating the early Christian memorial stones, wayside crosses are one of several types of medieval Christian cross, erected mostly during the 9th - 15th century AD period. Besides serving the function of reiterating and reinforcing the Christian faith amongst those who passed the cross, wayside crosses often fulfilled a role as waymarkers, especially in difficult or otherwise unmarked terrain. The crosses might be on regularly used routes linking ordinary settlements or on routes having a more specifically religious function. 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. Outside Cornwall, almost all wayside crosses are formed as a 'Latin' cross, in which the projecting arms of the cross-head are unenclosed. In Cornwall wayside crosses vary considerably in form and decoration. The commonest type is the round or 'wheel' head on the faces of which various forms of cross or related designs were carved or incised. The Latin cross is less common, and much rarer are simple slabs with a low relief or incised cross on both faces. 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. The Long Cross has survived well as a complete and very rare example of an early Christian memorial stone, not materially affected by the later mortice in the head or by the fracture across the shaft. Its importance is further emphasised by being one of only six such memorial stones in England that bear an ogham inscription and one of only four inscribed memorial stones in south west England that bear the Chi Rho monogram. In view of these features and its several links with local traditions about the period contemporary with this memorial's construction, this stone has recieved mention in national and regional reviews on the nature of early Christianity and on political developments in western Britain in the early post-Roman period. The inscription itself is of importance from a period generally lacking in such historical references. Its reuse as the shaft for a wayside cross demonstrates the developing roles of cross-marked slabs during the medieval period, and despite the loss of the head of the wayside cross and its temporary relocation in the later 19th and early 20th centuries, the cross remains as a marker at its original junction, demonstrating well the major roles of wayside crosses, marking the way to the parish church, and an important route within the parish to the medieval manor at Roscarrock and the harbour at Port Quin. The cross also illustrates the longevity of many such routes still in use. The presence of the adjacent post-medieval guide post at the junction demonstrates the development of secular waymarkers after the upheavals in religious attitudes in the 16th century.


The monument includes an early Christian memorial stone, which later functioned as a medieval wayside cross, called the Long Cross, situated at a junction of the same name on the road linking St Endellion with the site of a medieval manor house at Roscarrock and with the harbour at Portquin on the north Cornish coast. The monument also includes a post medieval granite guide post adjacent to the north west of the cross. The Long Cross survives as an erect rectangular-section granite shaft set in a roughly-shaped rounded base-slab of local metamorphic stone. It measures 1.59m in overall height. The shaft, comprising the early Christian memorial stone, is 1.48m high, measuring 0.29m wide by 0.2m thick at the base, tapering to 0.18m thick at the top. The shaft has a cemented repair to a transverse fracture across its lower third. At the upper end of the south west principal face of the shaft is an incised motif called a 'Chi Rho monogram', visible as an upright cross formed from a capital letter 'I' with a central cross-bar. The lower and side limbs of this motif end with large curved transverse strokes, called serifs, but the terminal of the uppermost limb curves round to form an open letter 'P'. This motif measures 0.2m long and 0.2m wide. The 'Chi Rho' monogram is an early medieval shorthand symbol for Christ, formed by the first two Greek letters for Christ, and dated in south west England from the later fifth to seventh centuries AD. Below the Chi Rho monogram is a transverse curved line with small rounded terminals which arches over a Latin inscription incised in two parallel lines running down the shaft. The inscription is in an early medieval form of script derived from Roman-style capitals and reads 'Brocagni ihc iacit nadotti filius' which translates as 'Brocagnus lies here, the son of Nadottus'. Along the right hand, southern, edge of the same face is another inscription incised in an early medieval script of Irish origin called 'ogham', which occurs on Christian monuments of the fifth and sixth centuries AD. The ogham incription, whose lettering is represented entirely by short incised lines in varying multiples and at various angles, has been read as 'Brocagni' repeating the name in the Latin inscription. The use of the Chi Rho monogram, the inscriptions in both Latin and ogham, the formula employed in the Latin inscription and the style of the lettering, combine to suggest a sixth century date for this memorial stone. Near the upper end of the north east principal face of the shaft is a very low relief equal-limbed cross. In the top edge of the shaft is a flattened oval mortice slot measuring 0.1m by 0.05m and 0.9m deep. This slot is considered to be a later medieval feature to secure a separate cross head when this complete early Christian memorial stone later functioned as the shaft of a medieval wayside cross. The shaft is set in a large sub-circular boulder of local rock, roughly shaped and measuring 0.88m across and rising up to 0.11m above ground level. The Long Cross is situated at a junction of the same name where a ridge-top route running north west from St Endellion forks, one branch continuing along the ridge to the harbour at Portquin, the other extending NNW to the site of the medieval manor house at Roscarrock. Another road also joins this junction from the village of Trelights to the south. An early medieval cemetery has been discovered near the church at St Endellion. The dedication of that church is to St Endellienta, whom tradition claims to have been one of the children of the Irish king Brychan who acquired the throne of the area which is now known as Brecon in south Wales in the fifth or sixth century AD. The period to which the tradition relates and its inclusion of Irish influence are features shared with this memorial stone, with one writer equating the name 'Brocagni' on the inscription to the 'Brychan' of the legend. The ridge-top route passing east-west through St Endellion is an ancient route heading towards a Roman crossing point of the River Camel estuary near St Enodoc to the east; its continuation is also marked by an early medieval inscribed and decorated cross shaft. Early 19th century records describe this stone in its base at its present location. Later in the 19th century the shaft, but not its base, was moved 2.4km to the north west to Doyden headland on the coast. In 1932 the cross was returned to its base at its former, and present, location. The post-medieval granite guide post is situated 3.12m north west of the Long Cross. It is visible as a square-section granite shaft, 1.52m high with sides 0.2m-0.23m wide, surmounted by a flat, rectangular granite slab measuring 0.55m long by 0.42m wide and 0.17m thick. The sides of the slab are incised with the destinations along the four roads they face, as follows; to the north east 'Roscarrock', to the south east 'Port Isaac', to the south west 'Padstow', and to the north west 'Portquin'. The upper western edge of the shaft has been repaired with a new section of granite and the western corner of the direction slab has also been fractured. This is one of a distinctive group of 18th century guide posts which employ this design found in north Cornwall and around the periphery of Bodmin Moor. The modern signpost west of the Long Cross, the GPO marker post south west of the guide post and the surface of the modern metalled road passing south west of the Long Cross are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Henderson, C, The Cornish Church Guide, (1928)
Hindle, B P, Roads Tracks and their Interpretation, (1993)
Laing, L, The Archaeology of Late Celtic Britain and Ireland, (1975)
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses of North Cornwall, (1992)
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses of North Cornwall, (1992)
Olson, L, Early Monasteries in Cornwall, (1989)
Thomas, C, 'Lundy Field Soc. Annual Report' in Beacon Hill Revisited, , Vol. 42, (1991)
Trudgian, P, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Excavation Of A Burial Ground At St Endellion, Cornwall, (1987), 145-52
Trudgian, P, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Excavation Of A Burial Ground At St Endellion, Cornwall, (1987), 145-52
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 26276,
Given by letter, 8/93, Information given by Mr Andrew Langdon, (1993)
Okasha, E, Monument Class Description for 'Early Christian Memorial Stones', (1990)
Scheduling documentation and maplet for CO 363, consulted 1993
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 87/97; Pathfinder Series 1337 Source Date: 1981 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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].