Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1015462
Date first listed: 30-May-1958
Date of most recent amendment: 23-Dec-1996
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Mid Devon (District Authority)
Parish: Cheriton Bishop
National Grid Reference: SX 77311 93014
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
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.
Cheriton Cross, although not in its original position, survives well close to where it was first erected and is a central feature of the village.
This monument includes a wayside cross at a crossroads in the centre of the
village of Cheriton Bishop 9m to the north of the main east-west road through
the village. The cross is set into a square granite socket stone with
chamfered upper corners, which measures 0.85m square and 0.45m high. The cross
is of Latin shape, octagonal in section and measures 0.3m wide at the base,
0.62m wide at the arms, 0.2m thick at the head and 0.82m high. Its overall
height is 1.27m. The cross which is also now the local war memorial, was moved
at the time of a road widening scheme, but originally stood at the crossroads
near to this site.
The cross is Listed Grade II.
The paving surrounding the cross is excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 28622
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Masson Phillips, E M, 'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon, Part 2, , Vol. 70, (1938), 326-7
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX79SE7, (1989)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1995)
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.
End of official listing