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Wayside cross in St Levan churchyard, 10m north 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 Levan churchyard, 10m north east of the church

List entry Number: 1015816

Location

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

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: St. Levan

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 20-Jul-1972

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: 29216

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 Levan churchyard has survived well and is a good example of a wheel headed cross. There is no record of its having been moved. It retains its original function as a waymarker on its original route on a footpath within the parish to the church.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated to the north east of the church at St Levan on the south coast of Penwith in the far west of Cornwall. This is one of two 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 rectangular granite base. The overall height of the monument is 0.92m. The principal faces are orientated north east-south west. The head measures 0.55m in diameter and is 0.2m thick. Both principal faces are decorated with a relief equal limbed cross, with expanded ends to the three upper limbs. There is a bead, 0.07m wide around the outer edge of the head on both faces. The shaft measures 0.18m high by 0.34m wide and is 0.16m thick. All four corners of the shaft are chamfered. The shaft is mounted on a large, rectangular base measuring 0.67m north west-south east by 0.7m north east-south west, and is 0.22m high. This cross is positioned at the north east entrance to the churchyard at St Levan, on a footpath to the church from Rospletha and Porthcurno. The historian Langdon illustrated it in this position in 1896. The chamfer on the corners of the cross shaft, and the clean cut appearance of the cross motif suggest that this cross is a late example of a wayside cross.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Other
Consulted 1995, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.28301.8,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 32/42; Pathfinder Series 1368 Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SW 38043 22224

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1015816 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 11:19:33.

End of official listing