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Three medieval wayside crosses 70m SW of Trebartha Hall

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Three medieval wayside crosses 70m SW of Trebartha Hall

List entry Number: 1012045


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: North Hill

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 14-Feb-1948

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jan-1993

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 15177

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time.

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 among 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 places so marked might be on regularly used routes linking ordinary settlements or the routes may have a more specifically religious function, including providing access to religious sites for parishioners and funeral processions. Wayside crosses vary considerably in form and decoration, due in part to their development over the period during which they were erected, but several regional types have been identified. The Cornish wayside crosses form one such variant, drawing greatly for their designs on the local traditions employed for crosses at churchyards, monastic and market sites. Commonest among these are crosses made from a single slab, with a round, or `wheel', head on whose faces various forms of cross were carved. The design was sometimes supplemented with a relief figure of Christ, with perforations between the cross-arms or mouldings between the head and shaft, or with decoration on the shaft which can be especially elaborate on some early examples. Less common forms employed as wayside crosses in Cornwall include the `Latin' cross, where the cross-head itself is shaped as the arms of an unenclosed cross, and, much rarer, the simple slab with a low-relief cross on both faces. Over 400 crosses of all types are recorded in Cornwall. Of the 35 surviving on Bodmin Moor, 21 are recorded as wayside crosses. Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval religious expression and to our knowledge of medieval routeways, settlement patterns and the development of sculptural traditions. All wayside crosses which survive as earth-fast monuments, except those which are both extremely damaged and removed from their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

These wayside crosses at Trebartha Hall have survived well despite their removal to their present location. Each cross displays a variation on the basic Latin cross form, which is scarce in Cornwall. The original location and context for each of these crosses is known and two of them derive from sequences of other wayside crosses that still survive at original sites along routeways. The known original location of these crosses by routeways still in use and marked by other wayside crosses along their course demonstrates well the function of wayside crosses and the continuity of parts of the road network from the medieval period to the present day.


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


The monument includes three medieval wayside crosses, known to have been erected originally beside routeways in the vicinity of the now-demolished Trebartha Hall, and now situated together in the grounds of the Hall near the confluence of the Withey Brook with the River Lynher, just beyond the NE edge of Bodmin Moor. These three medieval crosses were collected together from the neighbourhood during the later 19th and early 20th centuries by the former owners of the Trebartha Hall estate, the Rodd family. They now stand firmly erected, 1.5m apart, within a small enclosure around a sunken well in pasture close to the site of the Trebartha Hall. All three are formed as Latin crosses, that is, the shape of the cross-arms form the edges of the cross-head and all are constructed of granite. The cross at the northern end of the enclosure is known as the Knighton or Plusha Cross. This cross stands 1.27m high, its shaft tapering evenly from base to top, from 0.46m wide and 0.18m thick to 0.25m wide and 0.08m thick. The cross-arms at each side are broken across, one surviving as a stump, the other broken close to its junction with the shaft. Each side-arm is 0.3m wide where it joins the shaft, matching the basal width of the intact upper arm. The cross shows no surface decoration and, though the original surface is neatly finished, it retains no dressing marks. The removal of the side-arms is due to its secondary use as a gate-post, which also caused a perforation, 0.076m in diameter, to be made through the shaft to one side of its midline and just above the level of the side-arms' lower edge. A smaller pecked hollow in the shaft's present northern face, 0.012m below the perforation, is considered to be the site of a lead-plug to secure a gate-latch. This cross is first recorded by an antiquary in 1838 as standing at Plusha, a hamlet near Knighton Farm and 2.75km NNW of its present location and on the main medieval and later route from Launceston to Bodmin and west Cornwall, now followed by the A30 trunk road. A series of medieval wayside crosses, of which this was formerly one, still survive along that route with examples situated 2km west and 3km NE of Plusha. After its record at Plusha, the cross is mentioned as being found at Upton Farm, 375m SW of Knighton Farm and part of the Trebartha Estate. By 1912, this cross was moved to serve as a gate-post at NGR SX26067790 at the entrance of a cart-road constructed in 1909 between Trebartha and Plusha via Knighton Farm, and still on the Trebartha Estate. By 1940, the cross was erected near the Battens Cross, described below, in the grounds of Trebartha Hall at NGR SX26407744, 200m ESE of its present position where it is believed to have marked the grave-site of one of the owners' horses. It had been removed by 1950 but by 1979 it had been recovered and re-erected in its present position. The other two wayside crosses are situated along the eastern side of the small enclosure. The northern of these is called the Sturts or Holy Well Cross and is mounted in a granite staddle-stone, a small circular slab used for supporting a hay rick off the ground, the stone being embedded in the turf. This small Latin cross stands 0.66m high above the staddle-stone. Its shaft measures 0.3m wide and 0.2m thick, but its width has been reduced slightly towards the base, probably to facilitate its mounting. The cross-arms are of equal width, 0.2m, and project 0.1m from the shaft. All edges of the shaft and arms of this cross are chamfered except for the edges of the cross-arm terminal faces. Both faces of the cross bear an incised cross, visible as a pecked groove following the shaft and cross-arm midlines. The incised cross on the eastern face, as the cross is now orientated, has limbs of equal length measuring 0.13m each; that on the western face is similar but has a longer lower limb and is embellished by pecked, expanded triangular terminals on each of the arms and the lower limb. This cross has been situated at its present location, mounted in the staddle-stone, since at least 1896 when it was described by the antiquary Langdon who recorded that the then owner discovered it built into the gable of a cottage near Trebartha. Several more recent studies have identified this cross as that originally situated at NGR SX28487227, 5.7km to the SSE of its present location, at Sturts Corner, Upton Cross in neighbouring Linkinhorne parish. That location is also on a medieval routeway, from Launceston to Dobwalls and beyond, which is still marked by several surviving crosses. The third cross, known as the Battens Cross, is the southern of the two crosses along the eastern side of the enclosure. It stands 1m high and the shaft measures 0.23m wide and 0.18m thick. The head is roughly formed with short limbs of unequal width and the surface of the cross is heavily eroded with no evidence for decoration. This cross was discovered prior to 1906 at NGR SX27357655, built into a rickyard wall at Battens Farm, North Hill. Recent studies indicate that the cross originally stood at the cross-roads 440m east of Battens Farm, where several adjoining fields include `cross' in their names. This cross-roads, at NGR SX27807650, is on the later medieval and modern route from Launceston to Liskeard and is 1.9km SE of its present location. By 1940 the cross had been removed from Battens Farm to accompany the Plusha or Knighton Cross, marking another horse-grave in the grounds of Trebartha Hall at NGR SX26417745, 200m ESE of its present location. At an unrecorded date between 1971 and 1979, the cross was moved to its present location. Two other pieces of historical stonework are situated at the periphery of this monument along the western side of the small enclosure. The northern item is a pentagonal granite direction slab, raised 0.25m above the ground on a small granite plinth. Each edge has pecked lettering in an 18th century style marking the destination it faced, as follows, working clockwise: Liskeard Road / Bodmin Road / Camelford Road / Launceston Road / Callington Road. This combination of routes meeting at one point indicates the slab's likely original site at Five Lanes, on the Launceston to Bodmin road, now the A30, on the NE edge of Bodmin Moor. The southern item is a granite column fragment of unknown origin, the pecked column portion measuring 0.3m in diameter and 0.1m high, above which rises a roughly fractured, unshaped mass measuring 0.5m wide and 0.25m thick. The well beneath the crosses is brick-lined and was once used as a cool store for Trebartha Hall. The modern iron railings and gate of the enclosure are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896), 423
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896), 259
Penaluna, , Historical Survey, (1838), 20
Ellis, G E, 'Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries' in Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries, , Vol. 29, (1962), 38
King, G, Sheppard, P, 'Cornish Archaeology' in Parochial Checklist of Antiquities 10: Parish of North Hill, , Vol. 18, (1979), 128-132
AM7 scheduling description for CO 311,
AM7 scheduling description for CO 312, Consulted 1/1992
AM7 scheduling documentation for CO 313; Trebartha Hall, Cross 3, c.1940
Consulted 1/1992, CCRA SM register entry for SX 27 NE/13,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17414,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17479,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17479.01,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17480,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17487,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17487.01,
consulted 1/1992, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 17525,
Consulted 1/1992, Gray, V K, AM 107 FMW report for CO 312 dated 1/12/1979, (1979)
Dated ref to cross sited as now, Gray, V K, AM 107 FMW report for CO 313 dated 1/12/1979, (1979)
Re crosses formerly on horse graves, Information from owner's relative, Mrs Rosemary Latham, 1/1992, (1992)
Re former use of well as cool store, Information from owner's relative, Mrs Rosemary Latham (well), (1992)
Re location of St Tawney's Well, Information from estate owner Mr E M L Latham (well), (1992)
Re origin of the `estate drive', Information from estate owner Mr E M L Latham; 12/1991, (1991)
Title: 1:25000 First Series Ordnance Survey Map; sheet SX 27; Bodmin Moor (East) Source Date: 1963 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 28/38; Launceston (Pathfinder 1326) Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SX 233804 & SX 272823

National Grid Reference: SX 26200 77480


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