Wayside cross in Tregaminion chapel yard, 8m south of the chapel


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014227

Date first listed: 17-Jun-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 05-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross in Tregaminion chapel yard, 8m south of the chapel
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Fowey

National Grid Reference: SX 09667 51898


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 Tregaminion chapel yard has survived substantially intact despite the re-shaping of the head. It is a good example of a wheel- headed cross with an unusual cross motif. Its reuse as part of a footbridge, its removal to Buckfast Abbey and subsequent return to Cornwall, and its re- erection on a millstone in the chapel yard at Tregaminion in the 19th century illustrate well the changing attitudes to religion and their impact on the local landscape which 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 in Tregaminion chapel yard, on the south coast of central Cornwall.

The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head set in an octagonal millstone base. The granite head measures 0.39m high by 0.35m wide, and 0.13m thick. The principal faces are orientated north west- south east. Both faces bear a relief equal limbed cross with widely splayed ends to the limbs. The lower limb is wider than the other three limbs and the spaces between the limbs are oval in shape. The lower limb on the north west face extends down the shaft for 1.07m, in low relief, ending in an expanded, rounded foot. The south west side of the head has been fractured, to bring it in line with the shaft, a result of its former reuse as part of a footbridge across a stream. The shaft measures 1.4m high, and is 0.25m wide by 0.24m thick tapering to 0.15m at the top. The north west face of the shaft bears the extended lower limb and foot of the cross motif. The south east face of the shaft is plain and badly worn. The octagonal granite base measures 0.64m north-south by 0.63m east-west and is 0.22m high above ground level. The sides of this base are decorated with a pattern of incised zigzag lines and a series of small holes.

This wayside cross was discovered in 1889 in use as part of a footbridge across a stream at Milltown in Lanlivery parish, 6km north of Tregaminion. The head had been reshaped so that it would lie flat against another stone. The monks of Buckfast Abbey, Devon bought the cross for five pounds and moved it to Buckfast. When the landowner, William Rashleigh of Menabilly, heard about the cross, he claimed it and had it re-erected in the chapel yard at Tregaminion, in its present location.

The decorated octagonal base stone came from Polridmouth, 1.5km SSE of Tregaminion, where it was in use as a pivot stone for some mill machinery. The central hole was enlarged to receive the cross shaft.

This 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: 28442

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing