Medieval wayside cross in St Ivo's churchyard, 10m ESE of the church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014856

Date first listed: 16-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Medieval wayside cross in St Ivo's churchyard, 10m ESE 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: St. Ive

National Grid Reference: SX 30967 67155


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 Ivo's churchyard has survived well and is a good example of the rather uncommon `Latin' cross type. In its original position the cross functioned both as a waymarker on a church path and as a boundary marker marking the edge of glebe land. In its present location it retains its former functions both as a boundary stone, marking the edge of the churchyard and as a waymarker beside a path to the church, demonstrating well two of the major roles of wayside crosses. Its removal to the churchyard after its discovery in 1932 illustrates 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 set against the south east boundary wall of the churchyard at St Ive, in south east Cornwall. The wayside cross survives as an upright granite head and shaft set in a rectangular base. The cross-head has unenclosed arms, a form called a `Latin' cross, its principal faces orientated north west-south east. The overall height of the monument is 1.8m. The cross stands 1.66m high above the base and leans slightly to the south east. The head measures 0.51m wide across the side arms, each of which are 0.25m high; the north east arm is 0.18m thick and the south west arm is 0.15m thick. The upper limb is 0.14m high, 0.3m wide and 0.12m thick. The shaft is 0.29m wide and 0.23m thick at the base tapering slightly to 0.2m just below the side arms. On the south east face of the shaft, 0.27m below the side arms is a 0.04m diameter hole containing a small rectangular lump of iron embedded in lead, probably the remains of a gate fitting indicating its former reuse as a gatepost. The lower 0.71m of this face of the shaft is obscured by the south eastern boundary wall of the churchyard. The rectangular granite base measures 0.92m north east-south west by 0.48m north west-south east and is 0.14m high above ground level. The south east edge of the base is built into the boundary wall. This wayside cross was discovered in 1932 at a location 80m to the south west of its present position in one of the glebe fields where it was in use as a gatepost. It is believed that the cross originally marked a church path and the glebe boundary. The gravel surface of the modern footpath passing to the north west of the cross is excluded from the scheduling where it falls within the cross's protective margin, but 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 26246

Legacy System: RSM


Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 6856,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 26/36; Pathfinder Series 1348 Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing