Tencreek Cross in St Martin's churchyard 3.5m south east of the church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014021

Date first listed: 09-May-1996


Ordnance survey map of Tencreek Cross in St Martin's churchyard 3.5m south east 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: Liskeard

National Grid Reference: SX 25420 64381


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 Tencreek Cross has survived well and is a good example of the rather uncommon `Latin' cross type. In its original position it probably marked the way to a chapel at Tencreek, to the south east of Liskeard, close to a major early route into Cornwall from the east. Its former reuse as a gatepost and its subsequent removal and re-erection in the churchyard demonstrates well the changing attitudes to religion and changes in the local landscape since the medieval period.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Tencreek Cross, situated within St Martin's churchyard at Liskeard, in south east Cornwall. The wayside cross survives as an upright granite head and shaft set in a rectangular base. The cross-head has unenclosed arms, a form called a `Latin' cross, its principal faces orientated east-west. The overall height of the monument is 2.1m. The head measures 0.68m wide across the side arms, each of which are 0.35m wide and 0.12m thick. The upper limb extends 0.17m high above the side limbs. The shaft is 0.37m wide at the base tapering slightly to 0.34m below the side arms, and 0.21m thick at the base tapering slightly to 0.15m below the side arms. On the east face of the head and shaft is an incised cross, starting 0.12m below the top of the upper limb, and extending down the shaft, ending 0.42m above the base. On the west face there is an incised cross on the head only. The side arms are joined to the cross by cement joints. There is a cement filled hole in the head, 0.11m in diameter, which pierced the shaft. Another cement filled hole, 0.05m in diameter, pierced the shaft 0.78m above the base. The rectangular granite base measures 0.94m north-south by 0.9m east-west, and is 0.12m above ground level.

The Tencreek Cross is situated on a level grass area within St Martin's churchyard close to the south east corner of the church. It was recorded by the historian Langdon in 1903 in use as a gatepost on Tencreek Farm, Menheniot. Tencreek Farm is 1.37km south east of the church, close to the route of the modern A38. This route was one of the main routes of entry into Cornwall from the ferry crossing over the River Tamar at Saltash, through to the medieval market town of Liskeard. The cross may have marked the way to a chapel at Tencreek, as the historian Henderson mentions that Tencreek was granted a licence for a chapel in 1385. In 1903 the cross was removed to St Martin's churchyard and re-erected in its present position. New side limbs were added, as the original side arms had been removed to facilitate its former reuse as a gatepost.

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: 26256

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Cornwall: Volume I, (1906)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 26/36; Pathfinder Series 1348 Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing