Lesquite Cross, 160m NNW of Lesquite Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010861

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Lesquite Cross, 160m NNW of Lesquite Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lanivet

National Grid Reference: SX 06661 62681


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 Lesquite Cross has survived well and, despite an earlier relocation, it remains on its original route and junction. It forms a good example of a wheel-headed cross, complete with its head, shaft and base. Its position on an ancient route forming a medieval pilgrimage route across the Cornish peninsula and a church path within the parish demonstrates well the major functions of wayside crosses, the differing levels at which they functioned and the continuity of many routes still in use. The presence along a single route and in one parish of such a surviving grouping of medieval wayside crosses is rare.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Lesquite Cross, and a protective margin around it, situated beside a minor road junction in central Cornwall, on one of the main routes to the parish church at Lanivet and on an ancient route across mid-Cornwall linking Padstow on the north coast with Fowey on the south coast. The Lesquite Cross survives as an upright granite cross set in a rectangular granite base. The cross has a round or `wheel' head 0.54m high and 0.6m wide by 0.24m thick. The head is decorated on both principal faces with a relief equal limbed cross with widely expanded limbs. A narrow bead, 0.05m wide, extends across the recesses between the limbs on the perimeter of the head. There is a small shallow pit in the centre of the head on the north west principal face, and the cross motif on the south east face is more crudely executed. The rectangular section shaft is 1.7m high and 0.34m wide by 0.24m thick. The shaft is firmly set in a large rectangular base slab measuring 1.2m north east-south west by 0.88m north west-south east, rising 0.16m high. The cross is situated on the south eastern angle of a junction of three roads on a major ancient route across central Cornwall linking the Camel and Fowey estuaries. This route, whose usage is considered to extend back into the prehistoric period, is marked by other surviving medieval wayside crosses, reflecting its medieval function as a pilgrimage route for travellers from Ireland and Wales to holy sites on the Continent. The cross also lies on one of the main church paths in Lanivet parish, a path marked by a number of other surviving medieval wayside crosses, including examples 620m and 950m to the north west. Although the cross is situated at its original junction as noted in early records, in 1885 it was removed to a garden at Lank, St Breward, where the historian Langdon illustrated it in 1886. It was returned to its original junction at Lesquite in 1926. The surface of the metalled road passing to the north west of the cross but within the area of the protective margin, and the barbed wire around the cross shaft and extending to the fence south east of the cross, 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: 26238

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Cornwall County Council, , The Saint's Way, (1992)
Keast, J, The Story of Fowey, (1987)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 196, consulted 1994
consulted 1994, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 21372,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 06/16 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing