Trevescan Cross 340m SSW of Sennen Church


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Trevescan Cross 340m SSW of Sennen Church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SW 35638 25174

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.

The Trevescan Cross has survived well as a good example of a wheel headed cross with an unusual form of cross motif. Although slightly relocated, it remains a marker on its original route which combined an important regional highway with a route within the parish to the church, demonstrating well the major roles of wayside crosses and showing the longevity of many routes still in use.


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross and a protective margin around it situated beside the road south of Sennen in west Cornwall, near the western end of the main route through the Cornish peninsula and on the route around the periphery of the Penwith peninsula in west Cornwall. The Trevescan Cross, Listed Grade II , survives as an upright granite shaft with a round `wheel' head, set against a wall beside the road. The cross rises to an overall height of 1.49m above the ground. The head measures 0.53m high by 0.61m wide and is 0.23m thick. Each principal face bears a relief Latin cross 0.76m long by 0.61m wide; the side and upper limbs have slightly splayed ends. The lowermost limb extends below the head along the upper 0.25m of the shaft. The east face is partly obscured by the hedgebank. The rectangular- section shaft is 0.96m high and tapers slightly from 0.39m wide at the neck to 0.38m wide at the base. The shaft has a cemented old fracture joint, 0.02m wide, situated 0.71m above ground level. The Trevescan Cross is situated at the east side of the road running south from the parish church at Sennen, also forming the main route around the southern periphery of the Penwith peninsula and only 1.25km east of the western end of the main route, the modern A30, through the Cornish peninsula at Land's End. Early records indicate that the cross has been moved approximately 120m north from its former position close to the junction of the route around the peninsula with the branch west to Land's End. The fire hydrant sign to the south of the cross, the fire hydrant supply pipe and its cover to the south west of the cross and the metalled surfaces of the modern footpath and road to the west of the cross, all of which are within the area of the protective margin, are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

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:
Legacy System:


consulted 1994, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 28535.4,
Saunders, A.D., AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 759, 1970, consulted 1994
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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