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Marchant's Cross: a wayside cross 700m south east of Meavy

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Marchant's Cross: a wayside cross 700m south east of Meavy

List entry Number: 1008924

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Meavy

National Park: DARTMOOR

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 03-Jul-1964

Date of most recent amendment: 26-Aug-1994

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 24807

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provides direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives 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 settlements, or on routes which might have 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 110 examples of wayside crosses are known on Dartmoor, where they form the commonest type of stone cross. Almost all of the wayside crosses on the Moor take the form of a `Latin' cross, in which the cross-head itself is shaped within the projecting arms of an unenclosed cross. Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval routeways, settlement patterns and the development of sculptural traditions. All wayside crosses on the Moor which survive as earth-fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

Marchant's Cross is one of the largest surviving wayside crosses in the Dartmoor region. Despite twice being damaged this century, it has been well repaired and remains well preserved. Although there is no absolute proof that this is the cross recorded as `Smalacumbacrosse' in the late 13th century it is a likely candidate, and certainly existed at the time the record was made. There is every reason to believe that the cross is sited in its original position at the junction of what, in medieval times, were important routes. Published photographs survive of the cross from 1890 onwards.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a well preserved wayside cross of moderately coarse-grained granite, set in a granite socket stone at the junction of a minor public road with the lane to Yeo Farm. Both these routes were important in medieval times. The cross was formed from a single piece of stone which is rectangular in section, measuring 0.34m by 0.26m, and has slightly chamfered edges 0.05m wide. The arms of the cross are aligned nearly north-south. The height of the shaft above the socket is 2.33m. The total width of the arms is 0.69m, and their total depth is 0.34m. The head extends above the arms 0.35m. There is an incised cross on each face between the arms, that on the west face measures 0.68m by 0.36m (the width of the incision is 0.02m-0.04m and it has a maximum depth of 0.005m) and that on the east face measures 0.7m by 0.36m (0.03m- 0.04m wide by 0.01m maximum depth). Visible edges of the socket stone measure 1.2m by 0.9m. There is some slight damage on the south east corner of the shaft 1.15m above the base, on the east side of the north arm, and the bottom corner of the south arm. The shaft of the cross was broken at the base in 1937, and again in 1984 when there was also a break diagonally across the arms. This damage (caused by runaway vehicles) has been well repaired, though the stump of the cross which was moved to the churchyard at Meavy in 1937 has since been lost. The cross is Listed Grade II. There is an OS bench mark at the base of the west face of the shaft.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Burnard, R, Dartmoor Pictorial Records I, (1890), 47-8
Burnard, R, Dartmoor Pictorial Records I, (1890)
Masson Phillips, E, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon : Part 1, , Vol. 69, (1936-37), 312
Masson Phillips, E M, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon, Part 2, (1938)
Masson Phillips, E M, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon, Part 2, (1938), 304
Worth, R H, 'Report & Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Marchants Cross, Meavy, , Vol. 74, (1942), 203-206
Worth, R H, 'Report & Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Marchants Cross, Meavy, , Vol. 74, (1942)
Worth, R H, 'Report & Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Marchants Cross, Meavy, , Vol. 74, (1942), 205

National Grid Reference: SX 54597 66810

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1008924 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 24-Nov-2017 at 06:57:02.

End of official listing