Wayside cross in Lansallos churchyard


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014235

Date first listed: 09-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross in Lansallos 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: Lansallos

National Grid Reference: SX 17195 51593


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 wayside cross in Lansallos churchyard has survived well and is a good example of the rather uncommon `Latin' cross type. The unusual shape of the upper limb is unique, and the cross motif is the largest incised Latin cross on a Cornish cross. It may have originally marked the parish boundary on a footpath between Lansallos and its adjoining parish of Lanteglos by Fowey. Its re-erection in the early 20th century 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 situated within the churchyard at Lansallos, on the south east coast of Cornwall. The wayside cross survives as an upright granite head and shaft standing to a height of 0.8m. The cross-head has unenclosed arms, a form called a `Latin' cross, its principal faces orientated east-west. The head measures 0.74m wide across the side arms, each of which are 0.27m wide and 0.16m thick. The upper limb extends 0.27m high above the side limbs and is 0.34m wide expanding to 0.48m wide, the top tapering in to 0.43m wide. There is a shallow slot, 0.04m deep and 0.09m long by 0.07m wide in the top of the head. The shaft is 0.28m wide and 0.17m thick. Each principal face is decorated with an incised Latin cross which extends down the length of the shaft. The wayside cross is situated to the west of the church at Lansallos. It was found lying in a field 200m to the north west of the church; the historian Langdon recorded it in this position. In 1919 the cross was moved to the churchyard and erected in its present position. It has been suggested that the cross marked the parish boundary on a footpath from Lansallos to Lanteglos by Fowey. The grave with its headstone and surrounding kerb to the east of the cross and the grave with its headstone and surrounding kerb to the north west where they lie within the protective margin around the cross, are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included. 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: 28465

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 37193,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 05/15; St Austell and Fowey Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing