Wayside cross in St John's churchyard, Treslothan


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016750

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Apr-1999


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross in St John's churchyard, Treslothan
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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 65074 37817


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 in St John's churchyard survives well. It is a good example of a wayside cross with a rare figure of Christ motif on one face. The removal and re-erection of the cross, first to a garden in the 19th century, and to the churchyard in the 20th century, 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 situated to the east of St John's church. The wayside cross, which is 1.03m high, survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head mounted on a two step modern granite base. The head and shaft together measure 0.77m high; the head measures 0.45m wide and 0.17m thick. The principal faces are orientated ENE-WSW and both are decorated; the ENE face bears a relief figure of Christ with outstretched arms, legs wide apart and a narrow bead around the outer edge of the head, terminating at the neck; the WSW face bears a relief Latin cross, the lower limb extending down onto the shaft. The shaft, which is mounted in a modern two step granite base, measures 0.22m wide by 0.14m thick at the base and 0.18m at the top. The top step of the base measures 0.42m square and 0.14m high, whilst the lower step is 0.69m square and 0.12m thick. This cross was originally mounted on a hedge bank at Killivose crossroads, 1km north west of St John's Church. In 1896 the historian Langdon recorded it as having been found in a ditch on the Pendarves Estate, and erected on the two step base in the grounds of Pendarves House. When the house was demolished in 1955 the cross was removed to its present site in the churchyard. The cross is Listed Grade II. The modern gravel surface surrounding the cross where it falls within its protective margin is 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: 31851

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
listing entry for Treslothan, top of Cornish cross,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing