Wayside cross in St Bartholomew's churchyard


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014218

Date first listed: 23-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross in St Bartholomew's churchyard
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Warleggan

National Grid Reference: SX 15633 69088


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 wayside cross in St Bartholomew's churchyard has survived reasonably well, and is a good example of a wheel-headed cross. Its former reuse as a gatepost, and its re-erection in the churchyard in the 19th century demonstrate well the changing attitudes to religion and their impact on 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 situated to the south of the church in St Bartholomew's churchyard on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor in south east Cornwall. The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head, standing to an overall height of 1.52m. The principal faces are orientated north-south. The head measures 0.44m high by 0.56m wide and is 0.19m thick. Both principal faces bear a relief Latin cross, the lower limb extending down on to the shaft. On the south face the upper limb has been fractured and is missing. On the north face the cross motif has been badly mutilated; most of the upper limb and one of the side limbs remain. A hole, 0.04m in diameter, has been pierced right through the head, through the upper limb of the cross motif. The north face bears another hole, 0.04m in diameter and 0.12m deep on the lower west side. The shaft measures 1.08m high by 0.37m wide and is 0.22m thick at the base widening slightly to 0.26m at the top. Both principal faces are decorated with the extended lower limb of the cross motif, which terminates in an expanded foot. On the north face near the base of the shaft is a 0.05m diameter hole, 0.08m deep, and on the west face are two more holes: one is 0.05m in diameter and 0.06m deep, the other is 0.04m in diameter and 0.08m deep. These holes are the result of the former reuse of the cross as a gatepost. This wayside cross is located immediately to the south of St Bartholomew's Church. Its original site is not recorded but it was in use as a gatepost at Carburrow, near Treveddoe, 1.5km north of St Bartholomew's churchyard. The cross was removed to the churchyard and re-erected in its present position in 1858. The concrete gutter to the east and north of the cross and the metalled surface of the footpath passing to the south and west, where they lie within the protective margin of the cross are excluded from the scheduling, although 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: 28458

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 1597,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 06/16 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing