Trequite Cross, at Trequite village


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:

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.

The Trequite Cross has survived well as a good example of a wheel-head cross. It suffered only minor damage from its period of reuse, the fractures not involving any material loss from the shaft. In its present location, in the vicinity of its original location, the cross remains as a waymarker to the parish church at St Kew, and marks a route-crossing of ecclesiastical importance in the medieval period, demonstrating a major role of wayside crosses. The former slighting of this cross, its reuse in a secular building fabric and its subsequent restoration and re-erection illustrate well the changing religious attitudes since the Reformation.


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as Trequite Cross, situated on the village green at Trequite village, near St Kew in north Cornwall.

The Trequite Cross which is Listed Grade II is visible as an upright granite cross with a round `wheel' head, set in a modern granite base stone, measuring 2.22m in overall height.

The cross head measures 0.39m high by 0.38m wide and 0.16m thick. Each principal face of the head bears a relief equal-limbed cross with splayed limbs. Slight traces of a narrow peripheral bead are visible on the south west face. The rectangular-section shaft measures 1.39m high and is 0.28m wide by 0.22m thick at the base, tapering slightly to 0.25m wide by 0.1m thick at the neck. The shaft has two cemented transverse fractures, one is 0.26m below the neck, the other is 0.5m above the base. The shaft is centrally positioned and cemented into the large, roughly-shaped, rectangular granite basestone, 0.64m long by 0.58m wide and 0.46m high.

The Trequite Cross is situated on the northern side of the village green in the centre of Trequite, but the pieces comprising the head and shaft were discovered at the adjacent Trequite Farm in 1913 and 1938, built into doorways. The pieces were reunited and re-erected in the new base stone at the present location in December 1947. This location is at an intersection of two routes of religious significance during the medieval period and in view of the proximity of this important medieval junction to the site of the cross's reuse, its present location is considered to be in the vicinity of its original location. The deliberate slighting of wayside crosses in Cornwall was a recurrent action during the religious upheavals of the Reformation (c.AD 1540). The east-west route passing by the cross links the village to the parish church at St Kew to the west, while to the east it extends directly towards Bokelly, now a farm but the site of a medieval oratory. The south east-north west route through Trequite linked the south eastern part of the parish and the crossing point of the River Allen at Kellygreen with the parish church and with the important early medieval monastic site of Lanow, also now a farm north west of Trequite. The south eastern part of this route has been modified since the mid 19th century but its earlier course is depicted on the first edition of the 1 inch: 1 mile Ordnance Survey map.

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)
Olson, L, Early Monasteries in Cornwall, (1989)
AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 325, consulted 1993
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17930,
Information told to MPP fieldworker 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 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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