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Wayside cross in Gwennap churchyard

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 Gwennap churchyard

List entry Number: 1016289

Location

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

County:

District: Cornwall

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Gwennap

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 22-Mar-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Dec-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 30403

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 has survived reasonably well, despite the reuse of the lower shaft as part of a stile. It is a good example of a wheel headed cross with a rare figure of Christ motif on one face, and a `Latin' cross on the shaft. Its removal from its original location, its reuse as part of a stile, and its repair and re-erection in the churchyard illustrate 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 north of the church at Gwennap in west Cornwall. The wayside cross, which is Listed Grade II*, is visible as an upright granite shaft with a round or `wheel' head, measuring 1.76m in overall height. The head measures 0.52m in diameter and is 0.16m thick. The principal faces, both of which are decorated, are orientated north-south. The north principal face bears a relief figure of Christ, 0.37m tall, with outstretched arms. The south principal face bears a relief `Latin' cross, the broad lower limb continues down the length of the shaft. The outer edge of both principal faces is decorated with a narrow bead. On the north face the bead continues around the base of the head and the feet of the Christ figure merge into it. On the south face the bead continues down either side of the shaft. The shaft measures 1.24m high by 0.26m wide at the base widening slightly to 0.29m at the top, and is 0.16m thick. The north principal face of the shaft is decorated with a relief `Latin' cross. The lower portion of the shaft had been reused as the lowest step of a stile on a church path. The base of the shaft is set in concrete. The flat tombstone, and the slate headstones to the south of the cross 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 G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Other
Consulted 1996, AM7 for CO 169,
Information from Andrew Langdon, (1996)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 74/84; Pathfinder Series 1360 Source Date: 1977 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: SW 73871 40118

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 - 1016289 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 24-Nov-2017 at 02:50:01.

End of official listing