Hillerton Cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015461

Date first listed: 07-Feb-1997


Ordnance survey map of Hillerton Cross
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Bow

National Grid Reference: SX 71994 98141


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.

The wayside cross known as Hillerton Cross, although not in its original position survives well close to where it was first erected and is documented from the eighth century onwards.


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


This monument includes a wayside cross at Hillerton Cross situated at a crossroads between unclassified roads leading from Cheriton Bishop to Bow and Colebrooke to Bowbeer. The cross is prominently situated at the roadside with its pedestal incorporated into a hedge bank. It occupies a hilltop location with commanding views over the surrounding countryside. The cross has a modern two stepped square pedestal made from granite, which measures 1.41m square and 0.67m high. It has a chamfered top edge and into the upper step a square socket stone is set. This measures 1.1m across and 0.21m high. The shaft is square at the base and measures 0.3m square. The Latin cross is made from a single piece of granite. The cross is octagonal in section and measures 2.3m high, 0.78m wide at the arms and 0.31m thick. The overall height of cross and pedestal is 3.18m. It is of a type found throughout Devon and thought to date to between the 14th and 15th centuries. This cross is mentioned in at least two medieval documents. In the first charter written in AD 739 it is described as a landmark in the boundary of Cridie, whilst in the second, dating to around AD 1100 it is described as the site of Haelre Dune in the boundary of Creedy Land. 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: 28621

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Finberg, H P R, The Early Charters of Devon and Cornwall, (1953), 8
Masson Phillips, E M, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon, Part 2, , Vol. 70, (1938), 318
Rose-Troup, F, 'Devonshire Association Transactions' in Crediton Charters of the Tenth Century, , Vol. 74, (1942), 247
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX79NW2, (1990)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1995)

End of official listing