Wayside cross in the garden hedge of Southcott Cottage, at a crossroads called Southcott Cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013612

Date first listed: 17-Mar-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Aug-1995


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross in the garden hedge of Southcott Cottage, at a crossroads called Southcott Cross
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: West Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Okehampton Hamlets

National Grid Reference: SX 54997 94836


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 wayside cross in the garden hedge of Southcott Cottage survives well and is likely to be in its original position. Its importance is enhanced by the unusual feature of the incised decoration of a crucified figure on one face, and of the Virgin Mary (or a monk in prayer), on the opposite face.


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


This monument includes a wayside cross built into the hedge of Southcott Cottage and is situated at a crossroads called Southcott Cross. It is a tall granite cross of octagonal section which tapers slightly upwards. The shaft measures 0.4m square at the base, 0.35m square under the arms and 0.72m wide at the arms. The head is 0.3m wide and 0.43m high; the arms are 0.26m thick and the cross is 1.78m high. The cross is rare in Devon in having an incised crude representation of a crucified figure on the western face between the arms. The figure is 0.35m high, 0.38m wide at the arms and 0.07m wide across the feet. On the eastern face of the cross is a second figure, thought to represent either a monk in prayer or the figure of the Virgin Mary with hands clasped. It is of similar size to the first figure. A drill hole has been cut at some time into the right hand arm of the cross. Excluded from the scheduling is the garden wall where it falls within the cross's protective margin, athough the ground beneath the wall 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: 27334

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), 334
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX59SW-008, (1981)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1994)

End of official listing