Wayside cross at crossroads 120m NNW of St Andrew's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013737

Date first listed: 31-May-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 20-Dec-1995


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross at crossroads 120m NNW of St Andrew's Church
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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: Sampford Courtenay

National Grid Reference: SS 63190 01378


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 at a crossroads 120m NNW of St Andrew's Church survives well and is thought likely to be in its original position. This cross is one of a group of five in the village, an unusual concentration in this area.


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


This monument includes a wayside cross in Sampford Courtenay standing at a crossroads between Bulland Lane, Weirford Lane and an unclassified road through the village. The shaft of the cross is ancient; the head and arms are modern. The cross measures 0.3m at the base and tapers to 0.22m. The ancient section of shaft attains a height of 1.36m. The restored head is directly above the shaft and measures 0.56m wide at the arms, is 0.22m in thickness and is 0.7m high. The shaft and head are octagonal in section although the back of the shaft has been trimmed. The cross head is of a plain Latin shape and probably dates to the 15th century. The cross is one of a group lying within the vicinity of Sampford Courtenay village. In 1919 the shaft was found during alterations to an old farmhouse, approximately opposite to the present site. It was being used as a supporter for a fireplace beam. The cross was re-erected and restored in its original site in 1927 after the demolition of the house. The cross is Listed Grade II. The metalled road surface is excluded from the scheduling where this falls within the cross's protective margin, although 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: 27311

Legacy System: RSM


Clayton,C, (1994)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS60SW-012, (1982)
MPP fieldwork by H.Gerrard, (1994)

End of official listing