Wayside cross, 6m south of St Mary's Church, Par


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016369

Date first listed: 08-Dec-1997


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross, 6m south of St Mary's Church, Par
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Blaise

National Grid Reference: SX 05825 53583


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 well as a good example of the rather uncommon `Latin' cross type. Although there is no record of its original location, its removal to the churchyard and its re-erection there demonstrates well the changing attitudes to religion and their impact on the local landscape since the medieval period.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated within the churchyard at St Mary's Church, Par. The wayside cross survives as an upright granite head and shaft set on a rectangular base which is mounted on a round granite millstone. The head has unenclosed arms, a form called a `Latin' cross, its principal faces orientated east-west. The overall height of the monument is 2.46m. The head measures 0.58m wide across the side arms, each of which are 0.2m high. All four corners of the three upper limbs are chamfered, and the ends of each limb are also chamfered. The head has been fractured immediately below the upper limbs, and has been rejoined to the shaft at some time in the past. The shaft and head measure 1.86m high and is 0.32m wide at the base tapering to 0.2m below the side arms, and is 0.2m thick. All four corners of the shaft are chamfered, giving an octagonal section shaft, but sloping out 0.23m above the base to form a square, moulded base to the shaft. The shaft is mounted in a modern granite base, measuring 0.75m north-south by 0.63m east-west and is 0.42m high. The shaft is cemented in to the base, and the top edges of the base are chamfered. This base is mounted on a large millstone, approximately 1.47m in diameter and 0.18m high. From the style of the shaft, and the chamfering on the head, this cross appears to be a late example of a medieval wayside cross.

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: 30425

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Consulted July 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 20477,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 05/15; St Austell and Fowey Source Date: 1980 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing