Wayside cross in Ludgvan churchyard, 6m south of the church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015070

Date first listed: 08-Jun-1971

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Nov-1996


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross in Ludgvan churchyard, 6m south 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 50509 33026


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 and is a good example of the rather uncommon `Latin' cross type. It acted as a waymarker on a route within the parish to the church. There is no record of its having been moved and it may be in its original location, maintaining its original function on its original route.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated within the churchyard at Ludgvan, 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 head and shaft. The head has unenclosed arms, a form called a `Latin' cross, its principal faces orientated north east-south west. The overall height of the monument is 1.09m. The head measures 0.45m wide across the side arms: the north west arm is 0.18m high, the south east arm is 0.21m high and both arms are 0.2m thick. The north west arm is smaller and is set higher on the shaft than the south east arm. The upper limb is 0.15m high, 0.2m wide and is 0.17m thick. In the top of this upper limb is an irregular shaped shallow indentation, 0.02m deep, 0.13m long and between 0.04m-0.09m wide. The shaft measures 0.73m high and 0.27m wide, and is 0.22m thick tapering slightly to 0.19m just below the side arms. The wayside cross was in its present position in the churchyard at Ludgvan in 1896 when the historian Langdon recorded it there. It may be in its original location as there is no record of it having been moved. The metal lamp post to the south east of the cross is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath is included.

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: 28470

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing