Forrabury Cross, 40m SSW of Forrabury church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013462

Date first listed: 14-Jan-1959

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Forrabury Cross, 40m SSW of Forrabury church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Forrabury and Minster

National Grid Reference: SX 09555 90853


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 Forrabury Cross has survived well and is a good example of a wheel headed cross. It remains on its original route, close to its original position, and retains its original function as a waymarker within the parish to the church at Forrabury, demonstrating well the role of wayside crosses.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Forrabury Cross, and a protective margin around it, situated beside a path leading to the church at Forrabury on the north Cornish coast. The Forrabury Cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head set in a limestone base, standing 1.86m in overall height. The head measures 0.37m high by 0.39m wide and is 0.14m thick. Both principal faces bear a relief equal limbed cross with slightly splayed ends, 0.37m high by 0.37m across; the motif on the south west face is very eroded. The south west face of the head has a small hole in its centre, 0.05m in diameter and 0.06m deep. The shaft measures 1.31m high and tapers from 0.33m wide by 0.21m thick at the base to 0.3m wide and 0.15m thick at the neck. The shaft is plain and undecorated, but bears two holes on the south west face: the upper hole is 0.34m above the base and is 0.05m in diameter by 0.07m deep; the lower hole is 0.22m above the base and is 0.06m in diameter by 0.05m deep. These holes plus that in the head derive from a former reuse as a gatepost. The limestone base is mostly covered by thick, coarse turf but the south east side is exposed. The base measures 0.83m long by 0.73m wide and is 0.18m high. The Forrabury Cross is situated to the south of the churchyard wall at Forrabury, beside the church path where it acts as a final waymarker to the parish church. It has been at this location since at least 1866. It lies close to a field called `Cross Parke' on the 1840 tithe map which is to the south west of the monument's present location and is considered to indicate its original position a little further along the church path. The surface of the modern metalled footpath passing 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: 26232

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses of North Cornwall, (1992)
consulted 1994, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 702.1-.2,
Title: 1:10000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 09 SE Source Date: 1982 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing