Huckworthy Cross: a wayside cross 1.4km SSW of Sampford Spiney village


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008928

Date first listed: 31-Jan-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 26-Aug-1994


Ordnance survey map of Huckworthy Cross: a wayside cross 1.4km SSW of Sampford Spiney village
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Sampford Spiney

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 52978 71127


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.

Despite some damage in antiquity, Huckworthy Cross is an impressive medieval wayside cross, most likely in its original position at a junction of routes. A published photographic record of the cross exists from c.1900.


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


The monument includes a wayside cross formed from a single piece of coarse-grained granite, set on a turf mound at a junction of minor roads at the western edge of Huckworthy Common. The mound, which is 0.7m above the road surface, forms the southern apex of a grassy triangle. The shaft of the cross is square in section measuring 0.33m across, and has a slight lean to the east. The cross has a stumpy head and arms, and although both arms and the head have been damaged, the general stumpiness is likely to be an original feature. The shaft, which is firmly set, disappears into the turf, and there is no visible sign of a socket stone. However, where the turf mound has been cut by traffic rounding the cross, some stones are visible in the exposed vertical face approximately 0.4m below the base of the visible shaft. These may be part of a revetment. The arms of the cross are aligned due north-south. The total visible height of the cross is 1.9m. The total width of the arms is 0.5m, with the northern arm extending to a maximum of 0.12m from the shaft and the southern arm to a maximum of 0.09m. The maximum vertical depth of the northern arm is 0.22m and of the southern arm 0.195m. The head extends to a maximum of 0.16m above the arms. There is an Ordnance Survey bench mark cut on the southern face of the shaft. The top of the bench mark is 0.42m above turf level. There is a possible mark on the west face of the shaft, close to the northern arm, and another on the north face of the shaft, 0.82m above the turf. These may represent early engravings. Huckworthy Cross is Listed Grade II.

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: 24813

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Crossing, W, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor, (1902), 69
Crossing, W, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor, (1902)
Crossing, W, The Old Stone Crosses of the Dartmoor Borders, (1892), 78
Masson Phillips, E, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon : Part 1, , Vol. 69, (1936-37), 314

End of official listing