Job's Cross, medieval wayside cross 500m north east of Trewethern


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


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

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
St. Kew
National Grid Reference:
SX 01146 76713

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 pilgrimages. 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 medieval wayside cross has survived reasonably well. Despite some damage to the head from its former reuse as a gatepost, sufficient survives to confirm its original design which has been carefully followed in the neat reconstruction of the head's missing portion. It is a good example of a wheel head cross complete with head, shaft and base. Although moved from its original location, it remains as a waymarker in the same parish and on an analogous route towards the broadly contemporary chapel site at Chapel Amble, demonstrating well the major role of wayside crosses.


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as Job's Cross, situated beside a crossroads near Trewethern on a minor road linking St Kew with Chapel Amble in north Cornwall.

Job's Cross survives with an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head set in a rectangular granite base, measuring 2.13m in overall height. The head measures 0.55m high by 0.56m wide and 0.19m thick and is a composite of two parts resulting from the partial reconstruction of the original damaged head in 1952. The reconstructed part comprises the upper half and much of the lower south eastern quarter of the head; the original part, integral with the shaft, comprises the neck and the lower north western quarter of the head. The two parts are neatly matched and meet along a cemented `L-shaped' join, angled about the centre of the head. Each principal face is decorated with a relief equal-limbed cross with splayed limbs, contained within a narrow peripheral bead. The cross motif measures 0.46m long by 0.46m wide and is depicted in higher relief on the north east face than on the south west. The original part of the head contains the lower limb, the lower edge of the north west limb and the sunken quadrant between them, sufficient to confirm the originality of the design carved on the reconstructed part. The rectangular-section shaft measures 1.38m high, 0.32m wide and 0.23m thick at the base, tapering slightly to 0.2m at the neck. The shaft is set centrally in a large rectangular granite basestone measuring 0.91m by 1.12m and 0.2m thick.

Job's Cross is situated on the west side of a fork in a staggered crossroads on a minor road linking St Kew and its parish church, to Chapel Amble, the site of a medieval chapel. Until its restoration from 1949 to 1952, the cross was located 1.1km to the SSW at Job's Tenement, having previously served as a gatepost beside a stream on a path linking Job's Farm with Carclaze on the road to Chapel Amble. Corroded iron pegs of the gate-hinges remain embedded near the midline of the cross's north east face, at the base of the head and on the shaft, 0.4m above the base.

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)
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses of North Cornwall, (1992)
Given by letter, 8/93, Infomation given to MPPFW by Mr Andrew Langdon, (1993)
Given by letter, 8/93, Information given to MPPFW by Mr Andrew Langdon, (1993)
Scheduling documentation for CO 254,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 07/17; Pathfinder Series 1338 Source Date: 1988 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

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