North Bovey village cross: a wayside cross at the south west end of North Bovey village green


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009179

Date first listed: 15-Feb-1955

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Sep-1994


Ordnance survey map of North Bovey village cross: a wayside cross at the south west end of North Bovey village green
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge (District Authority)

Parish: North Bovey

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 73996 83885


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

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 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.

North Bovey village cross, although incomplete, has a conspicuous position on the village green, and is an important example of a large medieval wayside cross of a type apparently once quite widespread on eastern Dartmoor.


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


The monument includes the well preserved head, arms and substantial portion of the shaft of a medieval wayside cross formed from a single piece of relatively fine-grained granite. It is cemented onto a small rectangular block of granite which has been placed over an ancient octagonal socket stone. The whole monument, which is a Listed Grade II, is situated at the south west end of North Bovey village green. The arms of the cross are aligned more or less north-south. The height of the ancient portion of the cross (shaft, head and arms) is 1.27m. The shaft is approximately rectangular in section having maximum dimensions of 0.4m by 0.25m. Some stone has been broken off the bottom of the north face of the shaft, and also the bottom of the south face where a crack is poorly filled with cement. Otherwise the cross is in good condition. The width across the arms is 0.65m. Both arms extend 0.12m from the shaft and have a depth of 0.24m. The head extends 0.14m above the arms, and it is 0.34m wide where it joins the arms. The shaft is cemented onto a modern block of very coarse granite measuring 0.5m by 0.31m by 0.25m deep. This in turn is cemented across the socket of an ancient socket stone of relatively fine-grained granite. The socket stone is square, measuring 0.9m by 0.9m by 0.22m depth, but its top corners have been cut away for about 100mm to create an octagonal top surface to the stone (the south east corner is broken off). The socket stone has a bevelled edge on its south side, and a possible bevel on the north. On the west and north sides of the upper surface of the socket stone there are holes partially filled with iron, and another possible hole on the south side. The socket hole itself measures 0.4m by 0.38m, and apparently has rounded corners. It has been filled with cement where it extends beyond the base of the modern rectangular block set across it. Some restoration was carried out in 1829.

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: 24830

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Crossing, W, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor, (1902), 153

End of official listing