Vincent Mine Cross


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)
National Grid Reference:
SX 20825 79335

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 within 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 Vincent Mine Cross has survived well. Despite its minor relocation, it remains as a marker beside its original route and close to its original position. It forms a good example of the rather uncommon 'Latin' cross type, with its head and shaft complete. The location of this cross beside a route of prime importance since the medieval period and marked by other medieval crosses shows well the major function of wayside crosses and the longevity of many major thoroughfares still in use.


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Vincent Mine Cross, situated beside the main route into Cornwall as it crosses north east Bodmin Moor in eastern Cornwall. The Vincent Mine Cross survives with an upright granite head and shaft. The cross-head has unenclosed arms, a form called a 'Latin' cross, its principal faces orientated to the south east and north west. The cross stands 0.71m high. The head measures 0.57m across the side-arms, each of which is 0.23m wide. The upper limb is 0.23m high, 0.23m wide and tapers markedly in thickness from 0.16m at its base to 0.08m at its terminal edge. The shaft rises 0.31m to the side-arms, is 0.16m thick and tapers in width from 0.35m at ground level to 0.31m at the side-arms. The Vincent Mine Cross is situated at the north west side of the main route into Cornwall as it crosses north east Bodmin Moor from the River Tamar crossing near Launceston to the ENE. This route has been of considerable importance since the medieval period and is marked at intervals by several other surviving wayside crosses. It subsequently developed into a turnpike road and remains of major importance as a national route, the modern A30T. The cross derives its name from the nearby 19th century St Vincent's Mine. This cross was recorded by the historian Langdon in 1896 as being on a hedgebank on the south east side of the road. The cross was moved slightly from that location in 1969 for road widening and it was relocated to its present position on the opposite side of the road when this section of the A30T was converted to dual carriageway in 1991-2. While the cross was awaiting re-erection during the latter relocation, its total length, out of the ground, was measured as 1.32m.

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
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A G, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Cornish Crosses: Recent News, , Vol. 31, (1992), 154-165
AM7 scheduling documentation and maplets for CO 297, consulted 1993
consulted 1993, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1002,
Given in letter, 8/93, Information given to MPPFW by Mr Andrew Langdon, (1993)
Re. Vincent Mine Cross, CO 297, Hooley, A.D., Filenotes of 13/5/92 & 18/5/92 from A.D. Hooley to R.Iles, (1992)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 27/37; Pathfinder Series 1339 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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