Beatland Corner socket stone: a wayside cross 900m south east of Shaugh Prior church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009185

Date first listed: 30-Jun-1995


Ordnance survey map of Beatland Corner socket stone: a wayside cross 900m south east of Shaugh Prior church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: Shaugh Prior

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 54836 62416


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.

Beatland Corner socket stone survives more or less in situ, marking the location of a wayside cross at the junction of important medieval routes, along which other significant crosses survive.


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


The monument includes a rectangular socket stone for a wayside cross, formed of moderately coarse granite. It is situated at Beatland Cross on the east side of the road leading to Cadover Bridge, and about 22m north of the actual crossroads. The west edge of the stone is 3.5m from the road edge to the west. This location is on an important medieval route northwards from Plympton. The base dimensions of the stone are 0.73m by 0.63m. The maximum height of the stone above ground surface is 0.54m. On the top surface of the stone a neat rectangular socket has been cut, with straight sides. On the west and south sides the inner edge of the socket is only 0.12m from the outer edge of the stone, while on the east side it is 0.18m and on the north side 0.21m. The long axis of the socket is orientated NNE-SSW. The base dimensions of this socket are 0.36m(maximum) by 0.26m. The top surface of the stone has been broken away on the west and south edges of the socket. The present maximum surviving depth of the socket, which is likely to be its original depth, is 0.16m. This socket would once have housed a medieval wayside cross at this important junction.

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: 24818

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing