Wayside cross shaft in St Andrew's churchyard


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014225

Date first listed: 01-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross shaft in St Andrew'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: Tywardreath and Par

National Grid Reference: SX 08466 54304


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 shaft in St Andrew's churchyard has survived reasonably well despite the loss of its head, and is a good example of the later style of cross shaft. This cross acted as a waymarker on a route across the river between Tywardreath and Par, and may have been connected with the priory at Tywardreath. Its subsequent re-erection in the churchyard demonstrates 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 shaft situated in St Andrew's churchyard, Tywardreath, in southern central Cornwall. The wayside cross survives as an upright shaft of fine grained granite standing to a height of 1.02m. The shaft is of octagonal section, and measures 0.33m wide at the base tapering to 0.29m at the top, and is 0.32m thick. The north east, north west, south east and south west sides of the shaft slope out 0.29m above the base to form the moulded foot. The cross shaft was recorded by the historian Langdon in 1896 by Par railway station; in the 1920s it was recorded near St Andrew's bridge 0.25km to the north of the station. In 1939 the cross was donated to the local Old Cornwall Society who re-erected it in 1957 in its present position in Tywardreath churchyard. The cross is believed to have acted as a landmark for people crossing the estuary from Tywardreath to St Blazey, and it has been suggested that the cross stood near St Andrew's bridge to protect the road, or probably to mark the river crossing. The cross may originally have been located at the priory at Tywardreath, demolished soon after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. It is a late example of a cross shaft and would have had either a `Latin' type cross head or a lantern cross head. The metalled surface of the footpath and its timber edging strip passing to the south of the cross and the assorted granite blocks and fragments of gravestones to the north, where they lie within the protective margin of the cross are excluded from the scheduling, 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: 28440

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 20529,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 05/15; St Austell and Fowey Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing