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Wayside cross in St Allen churchyard, 2m 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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Wayside cross in St Allen churchyard, 2m east of the church

List entry Number: 1015075


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


District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Allen

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 12-Sep-1950

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Nov-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 29207

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 St Allen churchyard has survived well and is a good example of a wheel headed cross. Its deliberate burial in the churchyard, its rediscovery and re-erection there, illustrates 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 to the south east of the church at St Allen in west Cornwall. This is one of three crosses now present in the churchyard.

The wayside cross, which is Listed Grade II, survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head mounted on a modern granite base. The overall height of the monument is 1.1m. The principal faces are orientated north west- south east. The head measures 0.42m high by 0.41m wide and is 0.2m thick. Both principal faces are decorated. The south east face bears a relief equal limbed cross with slightly splayed ends to the limbs enclosed within a narrow bead 0.05m wide, around the outer edge of the head. The north west face is decorated with a relief Latin cross; the lower limb extends down the length of the shaft. A narrow bead, 0.06m wide, passes around the outer edge of the head and continues down the shaft either side of the lower limb of the cross motif. There is a fracture on the north side of the top of the head on this face. The shaft measures 0.42m high by 0.24m wide at the base widening slightly to 0.28m at the top and is 0.22m thick. At the neck, below the head, are two rounded projections one at each side of the shaft. The shaft is cemented into a rectangular block of granite measuring 0.54m north east-south west by 0.38m north west-south east, and 0.26m high.

This wayside cross was found buried in the churchyard close to the east end of the church in 1862 when the grave of Mary Morris, the rector's wife, was being dug. It was re-erected in 1912 on a block of granite at the south east corner of the church, near where it was discovered.

The gravel surface of the footpath passing to the south west and south east of the cross, and the drain to the north west, fall within the cross's 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, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.32071.24,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 85/95; Pathfinder 1353 Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SW 82262 50599


© 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 - 1015075 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 24-Feb-2018 at 03:51:54.

End of official listing