Lantern cross 60m north east of Lancarffe


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016752

Date first listed: 12-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Lantern cross 60m north east of Lancarffe
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Helland

National Grid Reference: SX0829168986


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 lantern cross-head 30m north east of Lancarffe survives reasonably well. It is a good example of a lantern cross with the ornately carved scenes on each face. The removal of the cross head to Tredethy in the 19th century, and its return to Lancarffe in the 20th century, with its re- erection on a modern shaft and base 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 lantern cross-head mounted on a modern shaft and base, situated 60m to the north east of the house at Lancarffe. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is 2.05m high, survives as a rectangular cross-head (the rectangular shape resembling that of a lantern), mounted on an octagonal shaft. The cross-head measures 0.56m high by 0.25m wide and 0.25m thick, with principal faces orientated north-south. Each face is decorated with a figure in relief beneath an ogee arched canopy: the north face bears a figure of the Virgin and Child; the south face displays a crucifixion scene; the east face bears a figure wearing a pointed hat, possibly a bishop; and the figure on the west face is very worn and indistinct. The cross-head is mounted on a modern square plinth, 0.25m square and 0.05m thick. This is mounted on top of a modern octagonal granite shaft, which measures 1.25m high by 0.14m wide and 0.14m thick. The shaft is mounted in a modern two stepped base. The upper base stone measures 0.3m square by 0.1m high, the lower step measures 0.77m square by 0.09m high. The lower step is surrounded by large slabs of granite forming a low platform around the cross-base measuring 2.36m square. Lancarffe was originally owned by Bodmin Priory, and the cross-head was originally found here. Later the Hext family owned the estate and removed the cross from Lancarffe in 1850 to another of their houses, Tredethy, St Mabyn in north Cornwall. It was recorded at Tredethy as mounted on an octagonal base stone. In 1946 the cross was returned to Lancarffe and set up on a modern shaft and base. The octagonal base stone is also at Lancarffe, located outside a barn. This elaborately carved cross-head is a late example of a wayside cross and probably dates to the 15th century.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 31853

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses in East Cornwall, (1996)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses in East Cornwall, (1996)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 06/16; Pathfinder Series 1347 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing