Medieval wayside cross in St Ivo's churchyard, 0.3m south of the church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014014

Date first listed: 16-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Medieval wayside cross in St Ivo's churchyard, 0.3m south of the 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: St. Ive

National Grid Reference: SX 30938 67146


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.

This medieval wayside cross has survived reasonably well. The south face of the head and shaft display an unusual incised design. The cross is believed to have been located at a junction on the main route between St Ive and Quethiock, where it would have functioned both as a waymarker and a boundary stone between the two parishes, so fulfilling two of the major roles of wayside crosses. In its present position the cross functions as a symbol of the ancient link between the Church of St Ivo and the Knights Templars and Hospitallers, showing one form of the post-medieval development of wayside crosses and illustrating the changing attitudes to religion that have prevailed since the Reformation.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated within the churchyard at St Ive, in south east Cornwall. The wayside cross survives as an upright granite slab set on a modern rectangular base. The overall height of the monument is 0.93m. The cross stands 0.71m high above the granite base. The head measures 0.33m high by 0.38m wide and 0.16m thick. The south principal face displays an equal limbed cross with slightly expanded limbs. The cross is formed by incised lines and is in light relief, the quadrants between the limbs are in high relief, giving the cross the appearance of being recessed. The lower limb of the cross extends down the top of the shaft, and a narrow groove runs from the mid-point of the base of this limb down the length of the shaft. The top limb is truncated by a fracture across the top of the head. The sides of the head are also fractured, the original round shape has been altered, and the sides of the head have been straightened in line with the shaft. Below each of the side limbs is a narrow groove, 0.02m wide, which runs parallel with the side limbs for 0.08m, then turns to run down the length of the shaft. On the north principal face a relief equal limbed cross with slightly expanded limbs is displayed. The top limb is truncated by a fracture across the top of the head. The lower limb has been removed by a niche or recess immediately below the centre of the cross motif. This niche measures 0.57m long by 0.17m wide and 0.04m deep; it has a rounded top, and continues down the length of the shaft. The lower edge of the niche on the east side is fractured. The shaft measures 0.38m high by 0.35m wide and is 0.2m thick; the east side has a 0.03m diameter cement filled hole at its base. The shaft is cemented into the rectangular granite base which measures 0.49m east-west by 0.32m north-south and is 0.22m high. The south side of this modern base slopes at an angle to the ground and bears a small metal plaque with an inscription which reads `This stone represents the historic link with the Knights Templars and Hospitallers who held the Advowson of this parish, and the Preceptory of Trebeigh 1150-1540. Erected by the Liskeard and Callington branches of the Old Cornwall Society 1981'. The cross is located in the churchyard of St Ivo's immediately south of the church and to the east of the south porch. It was found in 1965, about 100m south east of its present location, in the garden of the former rectory, now The Chantry, at St Ive. The historian Ellis in 1966 suggested that this cross may have marked the parish boundary between St Ive and Quethiock parishes, possibly at a junction where the road to Quethiock meets the route from St Ive to Menheniot. The small hole in the east side of the shaft may result from its former reuse as a gatepost, as may the mutilation of the wheel head. The niche in the north side also indicates an unknown former reuse of the cross. The cross now functions as a symbol of the ancient link between the church of St Ivo and the Knights Templars and Hospitallers. The Knights Templars possessed the manor of Trebigh until 1314 when they were suppressed and the manor passed to the Hospitallers who owned it until the Reformation in 1538. The Knights Templars had a church at Temple on the south west side of Bodmin Moor, which with the manor of Trebigh was known as the Preceptory of Trebigh. Trebigh is 460m west of St Ivo's church. The metalled surface of the modern footpath and its wooden edging strip passing to the south of the cross and the iron grating 1.14m to the north east of the cross are excluded from the scheduling, where they fall within the cross's protective margin, but the ground beneath is included. The cross is Listed Grade II.

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: 26247

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Henderson, C, The Cornish Church Guide, (1928)
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for Prn 6831,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 26/36; Pathfinder Series 1348 Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing