Wayside cross at Durdon Cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013610

Date first listed: 10-Jan-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Aug-1995


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross at Durdon Cross
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013610 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 05:47:48.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Northlew

National Grid Reference: SX 52213 98847


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.

Despite restoration, the wayside cross at Durdon Cross survives comparatively well and is likely to be on or close to its original position. The cross is of ornate construction and is recorded in the early part of the 16th century as a boundary marker.


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


This monument includes a wayside cross at a crossroads called Durdon Cross. The cross was mentioned as a bound mark in a return of the boundaries of the Chase of Okehampton belonging to Henry, Marquis of Exeter in 1532/3. The shaft is octagonal in section and embedded into the ground. It measures 0.34m thick at the base and the length of each octagonal side is 0.12m. The shaft tapers slightly upwards and at a height of 0.8m there is a collar which is 0.3m wide. The shaft continues above this for a further 0.16m. At this point the arms which measure 0.54m wide and 0.2m thick project outwards. The cross head is 0.26m wide and 0.16m thick. The height from collar to head is 0.63m and the ornate head is tied to the shaft by four iron bars. The cross is Listed Grade II. Excluded from the scheduling are the water hydrant and highway sign where they fall within the cross's protective margin, however 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.


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

Legacy System number: 27331

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon : Part 1, , Vol. 69, (1936-37), 333
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX59NW-036, (1983)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1994)

End of official listing