Wayside cross 2m south of St Uny's Church, Lelant
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
- St. Ives
- National Grid Reference:
- SW 54810 37724
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
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 wayside cross 2m south of St Uny Church has survived reasonably well, despite the loss of its shaft, as a good example of a `wheel' headed cross. Its decoration with a figure of Christ on one face and a cross on the other is rare. Its removal from Trevethoe in the 19th century, its re-erection on the top of a hill, its later return to Trevethoe and re-erection in St Uny's churchyard earlier this century, illustrates well the changing attitudes to religion and the impact of crosses on the local landscape since the medieval period.
The monument includes a medieval wayside cross in St Uny's churchyard
situated to the south of the church. The cross survives as a round, granite
`wheel' head mounted on a modern granite shaft. The overall height of the
monument is 1.07m. The principal faces are orientated north-south. Both
principal faces are decorated, and have a narrow bead around their outer
edges. The south face bears a relief figure of Christ with outstretched arms
and the head inclined to one side; the body terminates at the lower edge of
the cross-head, although originally the figure would have extended onto the
shaft. The north face bears a relief equal limbed cross with expanded ends to
the limbs. A 0.12m long slot, 0.04m wide and 0.03m deep has been cut in
the centre of the cross motif, and the letters `H H' have been incised on this
face. The cross-head is cemented on to the modern shaft. This shaft measures
0.56m high by 0.27m wide and is 0.23m thick.
The wayside cross was first mentioned by the antiquarian Blight in 1858 as
being removed from Trevethoe, 1.5km south west of St Uny's Church. It was set
up at the top of a hill, possibly Trencrom Hill, 3.25km south west of St Uny's
Church. Later the cross-head was knocked off its shaft and rolled down hill.
The head was set up on a wall by a cottage at Rosejarne, but around 1916 was
returned to Trevethoe House. It remained there until 1955 when it was
re-erected in St Uny's churchyard.
The gravestone to the south west of the cross, the slate memorial slabs to the
east and their associated burial urns and the wide drain or gutter to the
north are not included in the scheduling.
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:
- Legacy System:
Consulted July 1996, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.31232,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW63; Pathfinder Series 1365 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing