Berrycombe Cross, on the north side of Berrycombe Road at its junction with Cardell Road


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017639

Date first listed: 29-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Berrycombe Cross, on the north side of Berrycombe Road at its junction with Cardell Road
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bodmin

National Grid Reference: SX0660967416


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 a `wheel' headed cross. Although it has been moved from its original location, it continues to mark its original junction demonstrating the longevity of many routes still in use. It may also originally have marked the boundary of a nearby manor, well illustrating two of the major roles of wayside crosses.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross, known as the Berrycombe Cross, with a Victorian horse trough attached to its base, situated by the roadside on the west side of the junction of Berrycombe and Cardell roads in Bodmin. The cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head mounted on a modern granite base. The overall height of the cross is 2.87m. The principal faces are orientated east-west. Both principal faces are decorated with a relief equal limbed cross, and have a narrow bead around their outer edges. The cross-head is cemented on to the shaft. This shaft measures 1.55m high by 0.54m wide at the base, tapering to 0.3m at the top, and is 0.24m thick. The shaft has been fractured in two places, and has been repaired. The shaft is cemented into a modern granite base which measures 1.2m north-south by 0.99m east-west and is 0.69m high. The upper part of the base slopes down from the shaft, and there is on each side a semi-circular moulding. Immediately in front of the east face is a granite horse trough. This trough measures 1.04m north-south by 0.69m east-west and is 0.41m high. It has been suggested that this cross originally marked the boundary of the manor of Bodiniel, 1km to the north west of its present location. At some time in the past the cross was pulled down and lay in a heap of stones close to the county gaol where it remained for many years. When the goal was rebuilt in 1850, the cross was re-erected on a new base, which incorporated the horse trough. The cross was erected at the centre of the junction of Scarlet's Well, Berrycombe, Cardell and Copshorne roads. It remained there until in 1968 a lorry ran into it and it broke into three pieces. In 1973 the cross was restored and placed in its present location, close to the wall of Bodmin gaol at the west side of the road junction. The cross is Listed Grade II. The metalled surface of the footpath to the north, south and east of the cross, the services marker and access point to the north where they fall within the cross's 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: 30435

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses in East Cornwall, (1996)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Consulted June 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 4306,
Consulted June 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 4306,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 06/16; Pathfinder Series 1347 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing