Medieval wayside cross 85m north east of Trewardreva Mill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010850

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Medieval wayside cross 85m north east of Trewardreva Mill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Constantine

National Grid Reference: SW 72951 30414


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.

The cross has survived well and remains as a marker on its original route despite having been moved slightly from its original location. The very thick shaft and the style of the incised decoration are unusual features. The location of this cross on a route within the parish to the church and a route linking the parish church with one of its chapels and with the main regional settlement of Penryn demonstrates well the role of wayside crosses and the longevity of many routes still in use.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross and a protective margin around it, situated beside the road from Constantine to Mabe in south west Cornwall. The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head standing to an overall height of 2.05m. The head measures 0.5m high by 0.57m wide and 0.24m thick. Both principal faces of the head bear unusual designs in incised decoration. The north west face has six incised lines radiating out from the centre, the lowermost two radials are joined by a slightly curved incised line across the base of the head. From this curve, three short parallel incised lines extend down the upper portion of the shaft, the central line being shorter than those to each side. The south east principal face bears an equal-limbed incised cross, 0.43m long by 0.43m wide, with a marked inclination to the right and contained within an incised circle. From the lower arc of this circle, two incised lines run parallel for 0.98m down either side of the shaft, linked by two cross-lines to define the sides of a double rectangular panel. Within the upper panel, below the neck of the cross, is an incised diagonal or St Andrew's cross. Below this, a midline incised line bisects the lower panel, extending beyond the upper and lower ends of the panel to give an incised Latin cross at each end. The rectangular-section shaft measures 1.55m high and is 0.28m thick, tapering from 0.44m wide at the base to 0.39m at the neck; the sides of the shaft taper slightly from the north west face, which is 0.04m wider than the south east face. The cross is located in a recess in the hedge, as a waymarker on one of the main tracks to the church within the parish of Constantine, close to the point where that route is crossed by a valley route now followed by public footpaths. The cross is also on the road linking Constantine with its chapel at Bonallack, and beyond to the important medieval settlement and port of Penryn. The historian Langdon in 1896 recorded that the cross had lain on the ground for many years and was re-erected about 1865 near to where it lay. The metalled surface of the modern road passing to the south east of the cross but within the area of the protective margin is excluded from the scheduling; 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: 24308

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Henderson, C, The Cornish Church Guide, (1928)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing