Culverland Cross in St Martin's churchyard to the north west of the church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014022

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Culverland Cross in St Martin's churchyard to the north west 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 25391 64418


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 Culverland Cross in St Martin's churchyard has survived well and is a good example of the rather uncommon `Latin' cross type. It may have originally marked a crossroads to the north west of Liskeard on an early route to St Cleer and routes over Bodmin Moor. Its probable 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 Culverland 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 roughly shaped granite 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 1.34m. The head measures 0.47m wide across the side arms, each of which are 0.24m wide and 0.16m thick. The upper limb is 0.15m high, 0.18m wide and is 0.14m thick. The shaft measures 0.23m wide and 0.14m thick at the base widening slightly to 0.17m thick below the side arms. The shaft has a fracture, with a cement repair 0.67m above the base. There is a 0.03m diameter cement filled hole in the shaft, 0.28m above the base on the west face, possibly the result of the former reuse of the cross as a gatepost. The irregularly shaped granite base measures 0.75m north-south by 0.79m east-west, and is 0.2m high. On the west side is a small brass plaque bearing this inscription: `This ancient cross probably the original Culverland Cross was found on land at Vensloe, Liskeard the property of Samuel Bone Churchwarden and Mayor of Liskeard and re-erected here by him September 1908'. Culverland is a minor crossroads to the north east of Liskeard, on an early route from the centre of Liskeard to St Cleer. The metalled surface of the footpath passing to the north and west of the cross and the two gravestones to the south are excluded from the scheduling where they fall within the protective margin of the cross, but 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: 26257

Legacy System: RSM


, accessed from
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 26/36; Pathfinder Series 1348 Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing