Leapra Cross: a wayside cross at the entrance to Moor Gate Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009180

Date first listed: 19-Nov-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Sep-1994


Ordnance survey map of Leapra Cross: a wayside cross at the entrance to Moor Gate Farm
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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 70220 83325


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.

Leapra Cross consists of the head and arms of a medieval wayside cross, of particular interest on account of relief carvings of crosses on both faces, and also because of its position on or near an important north-south route across the eastern fringe of Dartmoor.


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


The monument includes the squared head and arms and short length of the shaft of a medieval wayside cross of coarse granite with large feldspar crystals. It is set on top of a hedgebank on the west side of the gateway leading to Moor Gate Farm, about 23m south of the B3212 Moretonhampstead to Princetown road. The cross is not in situ, having been found elsewhere on the farm. It was set up in its present location in 1937. The visible height of the cross is 1.02m. The arms of the cross are aligned roughly west-east. The shaft is rectangular in section measuring 0.38m (north face) by 0.32m (east) by 0.34m (south) by 0.27m (west). The width across the arms is 0.58m. The south arm, which appears to be intact, extends 0.17m from the shaft and has a depth of 0.3m. The north arm, which is damaged, extends only 0.07m from the shaft and has a depth of 0.29m. The head extends above the arms 0.22m. The width of the head is 0.31m. The north face of the shaft has a fine relief cross carved on it, which has splayed arms and a splayed foot. The relief cross measures 0.82m vertically by 0.32m horizontally, and is raised 30mm. The carved shaft of the relief cross is 100mm-120mm wide, and the head of the cross is 80mm wide. The east arm of the relief cross is splayed to 120mm (the west arm is eroded). The foot of the relief cross has a triangular splay 0.19m high which widens to 0.3m at the base. The south face of the shaft also has a relief cross carved on it, raised 70mm. This cross measures about 0.57m vertically by 0.32m horizontally. Most of the carving is about 70mm wide but the end of the arms and the head of the cross are slightly splayed to about 80mm. The cross has been set on top of a large granite slab 0.9m long by 0.2m deep and is a Listed Building 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: 24832

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon : Part 1, , Vol. 69, (1936-37), 329

End of official listing