Wayside cross in Sancreed churchyard, 10m east of the church

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015626

Date first listed: 27-Oct-1967

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Nov-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross in Sancreed churchyard, 10m east of the church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Sancreed

National Grid Reference: SW 42044 29346

Summary

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 Sancreed churchyard has survived well and is a good example of a wheel headed cross. In its original position it acted as a waymarker on a route within the parish to the church at Sancreed. Its removal to the churchyard and re-erection there illustrates well the changing attitudes to religion and their impact on the local landscape since the medieval period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated to the east of the church at Sancreed on the Penwith peninsula in the far west of Cornwall. This is one of five crosses now present in the churchyard. The wayside cross survives as a short section of upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head. The overall height of the monument is 0.79m. The principal faces are orientated east-west. The head measures 0.45m high by 0.56m wide and is 0.2m thick. The east principal face bears a relief `Latin' cross with the lower limb extending down onto the top of the shaft. A narrow bead runs around the outer edge of the head and extends down onto the top of the shaft on either side. The west face of the cross is not visible as it is against the old churchyard wall. The shaft measures 0.34m high by 0.31m wide and is 0.17m thick. There is a fracture across the shaft 0.13m below the head. This wayside cross is located to the east of Sancreed church, just beyond the old churchyard boundary wall in the later extension to the churchyard. This cross was originally located 1.25km to the north east of Sancreed church, on a footpath from Reskennals to Sancreed, where the footpath crossed the Tremethick to Grumbla road. At some time in the past it was removed to the churchyard at Sancreed.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 29212

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Other
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 28712.72,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 32/42; Pathfinder Series 1368 Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing