Wayside cross and cross-base immediately north east of the Donald Thomas Daycare Centre, 180m east of St Meriadoc and St Martin's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016749

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross and cross-base immediately north east of the Donald Thomas Daycare Centre, 180m east of St Meriadoc and St Martin's Church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Camborne

National Grid Reference: SW 64700 40056


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.

The medieval wayside cross and cross-base immediately north east of the Donald Thomas Daycare Centre survive reasonably well. The cross is a good example of a wayside cross, probably originally marking a church path. The cross is unique as being the only example in Cornwall of a cross head displaying both a figure of Christ and projections at the neck. These projections are rare and are more usually found in crosses in north Cornwall. Both the removal of the cross and the cross-base to the Literary Institute in the 19th and early 20th centuries, demonstrate 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 mounted on a medieval cross-base situated immediately to the north east of the Donald Thomas Daycare Centre. The cross is Listed Grade II. The wayside cross, which is 0.72m high, survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head, 0.54m wide and 0.2m thick. The principal faces are orientated north-south, and both are decorated: the south face bears a relief Latin cross; the north face has a relief figure of Christ with outstretched arms. There is a narrow bead around the outer edge of both principal faces. Immediately below the head, at the neck, are two rounded projections, one to either side of the shaft; each projects 0.1m beyond the edge of the shaft. On the south face of the shaft is a deeply incised semi-circular groove. Only a small portion of the upper shaft survives, cemented into a cross-base which originally supported another cross. The granite cross-base measures 0.92m east-west by 0.91m north-south and is 0.3m thick. It has rounded sides and resembles a large boulder. It has been suggested that the cross originally marked a path to Camborne church. By 1896 it had been moved to the Literary Institute (now the Donald Thomas Daycare Centre) in Camborne town centre where the historian Langdon recorded it as having been at the rear of the Institute for many years, being but recently moved to the front of the building. The cross was set up in the cross-base in its present location in 1924. The cross-base originally supported Roskear Cross, opposite Tuckingmill Church, 1.25km north east of its present location. The Roskear Cross was removed to a garden in Camborne for many years until it was removed to Crewkerne in Somerset in 1916. The paving slabs around the cross where they fall within its protective margin are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

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: 31850

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Consulted July 1998, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.26622,
Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.26623,
FMW report for CO 137, (1989)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing