Doublestiles Cross, at the junction of Duchy Avenue and Henver Road


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010856

Date first listed: 03-Oct-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Doublestiles Cross, at the junction of Duchy Avenue and Henver Road
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Newquay

National Grid Reference: SW 83322 62016


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 Doublestiles Cross has survived well as a good example of the rare slab form of cross whose thick, rounded section is a rare feature of that cross type. Despite dramatic landscape changes around it, the cross has remained almost at its original location as one of two medieval way-markers on the path to the parish church at St Columb Minor, and preserves a route of even earlier significance between the collegiate church and its chapelry. Although the course of the path has been slightly modified, this cross still stands at the junction of the successor public footpath and the road east from Newquay, demonstrating well the major functions of wayside crosses and the longevity of many routes still in use, even after they have undergone extensive urbanisation. The survival of successive earlier landscape elements which this cross exemplifies also extends to the parish church with which the cross is orientated, pre-dating the formation of the modern parish of Newquay.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Doublestiles Cross, and a protective margin around it, situated at a minor modern junction on the main easterly road out of Newquay on the north Cornish coast, at a former intersection of that road with a path running north east to the church at St Columb Minor.

The Doublestiles Cross survives as an upright granite pillar rising 0.93m high. The cross is of slab form, with the head merging directly into the shaft. The slab measures 0.31m wide by 0.21 thick at the upper end, which has a roughly rounded upper edge. At the upper end, the south west face bears a low-relief Latin cross 0.31m across and 0.36m high. The north east face may originally have borne a similar motif but only some ambiguous weathered lumps remain. Below these features of the head, the shaft is ovoid in section 0.32m wide and 0.2m thick, with slightly rounded faces, particularly so on the north east face, and rounded corners. The cross is firmly set in the ground with no visible evidence of a base, matching the observation by the historian Langdon, in 1896, that the shaft was tightly packed beneath the surface with stones rather than set in a base slab.

The Doublestiles Cross is situated on a wide grass verge on a housing estate in the eastern suburbs of Newquay, at the junction of Duchy Road with the main route linking Newquay with the east, the modern A392 road. The cross is only one metre from its original location where, before the urban expansion of Newquay, it was situated on the edge of a field called `Cross Close', by the junction of the main route with a parish footpath leading to the church at St Columb Minor, 0.75km to the north east. In the medieval period, the church at St Columb Minor was a chapelry of a collegiate church at Crantock, south west of Newquay. This path was of importance at that time as the direct link between these two dependent medieval religious establishments. The line of the path north east from the cross survives in a modified form as a public footpath. A second wayside cross is also located 520m to the south west along the former line of the same path. The modern parish of Newquay, within which Doublestiles Cross and its church path are situated, was only created in 1918; this medieval monument preserves the route relating to the former parish of St Columb Minor and the earlier route to the church at Crantock.

The modern information plaque to the south east of the cross but within the area of the protective margin is 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: 26233

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Henderson, C, The Cornish Church Guide, (1928)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
consulted 1994, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 4649,
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 86 SW Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 86/96 Source Date: 1985 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: 6": 1 mile Ordnance Survey Map; Cornwall sheet XXXIX NE Source Date: 1907 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: c.1907 Edition.

End of official listing