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Wayside cross in Gunwalloe churchyard, 0.75m east of the church

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Wayside cross in Gunwalloe churchyard, 0.75m east of the church

List entry Number: 1015063


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Gunwalloe

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 12-Nov-1996

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 29221

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 Gunwalloe churchyard has survived well and is a good example of a wheel headed cross. It probably acted as a waymarker on a church path. Its removal from Gunwalloe to Penrose, and later re-erection in the churchyard at Gunwalloe, demonstrates well the changing attitudes to religion that have prevailed since the Reformation and the impact of these changes on the local landscape.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated to the east of the church at Gunwalloe on the Lizard peninsula in south west Cornwall. The wayside cross, which is Listed Grade II, survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head mounted on a square granite base. The overall height of the monument is 0.82m. The principal faces are orientated north west-south east. The head measures 0.41m high by 0.46m wide and is 0.17m thick. The south east face bears a relief equal limbed cross; the north west face is plain. The shaft measures 0.21m high by 0.3m wide and is 0.19m thick. The shaft is cemented into an almost square granite base, measuring 0.43m north east-south west by 0.48m north west-south east and 0.2m high. This wayside cross is located by the east corner of Gunwalloe church. Its original site is unknown, but it is believed to have acted as a waymarker on the path across the stream which crosses the beach to the south east of the church. At some time in the past the cross was thrown down and local tradition stated that the cross was lying at the bottom of this stream. The Rev Cummings in 1875 discovered that the cross and base had been removed to Penrose, 5.5km north west of Gunwalloe church, for preservation. The cross was returned to Gunwalloe and was re-erected in its present location in the churchyard. The gutters along the outer edges of the church walls to the north and west of the cross fall within its protective margin and are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 52/62; Pathfinder Series 1369 Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SW 66035 20547


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1015063 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 23-Sep-2018 at 09:08:30.

End of official listing