Medieval wayside cross at Tregaminion
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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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 70774 12617
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
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 wayside cross at Tregaminion has survived well and is close to its original position. It is a good example of a wheel-headed wayside cross, bearing a distinctive and unusual style of cross motif on its west face. It remains as a marker on the way to the church within the parish demonstrating well the role of wayside crosses and showing the longevity of many roads still in use.
The monument includes a medieval wayside cross and a protective margin around
it, situated in the hamlet of Tregaminion, east of Lizard Town, at a junction
on the road leading to Landewednack parish church, near the southern end of
the Lizard peninsula in south west Cornwall.
The cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round `wheel' head,
standing to an overall height of 1.31m. The head measures 0.43m high by 0.52m
wide and 0.21 thick. The west face bears a low-relief equal-limbed Latin
cross, with a narrow raised bead around the outer edge of the head, the bead
continuing down the outer edges of the shaft. The lower limb of the cross
motif is extended as a narrow band down the length of the shaft by two incised
lines. The east face of the head bears a low-relief equal-limbed cross with
widely expanded ends; the upper edge of the upper limb has been truncated by a
slight fracture along the top edge of the head. The rectangular-section shaft
stands 0.88m high and measures 0.37m wide, tapering in thickness from 0.21m at
the base to 0.16m at the neck. The shaft is undecorated on the east face and
edges. On the east face, just below the head, is a 0.04m diameter hole, about
0.04m deep, at the centre of a wide transverse groove marking the junction
between the head and shaft.
The cross is situated on a grass verge on the east side of a modern minor road
junction at Tregaminion, to the east of Lizard Town. This junction is at the
edge of the former Cross Common, at the focus of routes from the western parts
of Landewednack parish to the church 380m along the lane to the ENE. Although
the cross is known to have been moved short distances on several occasions,
its present location is considered to be at the original junction.
The metalled surface of the modern road passing to the west of the cross but
within the area of the protective margin, and the modern signpost to the south
of the cross are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is
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 10416,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 61/71 Source Date: 1986 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