Wayside cross in Ludgvan churchyard, 8m east of the church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015068

Date first listed: 08-Jun-1971

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Nov-1996


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross in Ludgvan churchyard, 8m east 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: Ludgvan

National Grid Reference: SW 50542 33029


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 Ludgvan churchyard has survived well despite being mounted on a modern base. It is a good example of a wheel headed cross, with an unusual incised cross motif. Its reuse in a rockery and subsequent removal to the churchyard 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 in Ludgvan churchyard on the south coast of west Cornwall. This is one of three crosses now present in the churchyard. The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head set on a modern two stepped base. The overall height of the monument is 1.13m. The principal faces are orientated north west-south east. The head measures 0.42m high by 0.48m wide and is 0.18m thick. Both principal faces are decorated. The north west face bears an incised Latin cross, with the lower limb extending down the length of the shaft. This cross motif is formed by two parallel incised lines running the length of the head and shaft, the side limbs formed by two parallel lines to each side. The south east face is decorated with a very eroded relief equal limbed cross with expanded ends to the limbs, and a bead around the outer edge of the head. The shaft measures 0.23m high by 0.3m wide and is 0.19m thick. The shaft is undecorated except for the incised lower limb of the Latin cross motif on the north west face. The shaft is cemented onto a modern two stepped granite base. The upper step measures 0.49m north east-south west by 0.46m north west-south east and is 0.25m high. The lower step measures 0.6m north east-south west by 0.57m north west-south east and is 0.23m high; the top part of this step slopes out 0.06m from the base of the upper step. The cross is situated by the east entrance to the churchyard at Ludgvan. It was discovered in a rockery in the rectory garden in 1912. It was removed to the churchyard and re-erected on a modern base in its present location.

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: 28468

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hitchens, A H, Ludgvan Parish Church, a short history, (1986)
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 29109,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing