Wayside cross 330m south west of Penpol House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017640

Date first listed: 29-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross 330m south west of Penpol House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Crantock

National Grid Reference: SW 79407 60567


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 330m south west of Penpol House has survived well. The medieval cross-base is a late example, and has been reused for a modern copy of a wheel headed four holed cross. There is no record of the cross-base having been moved. It continues to mark its original route, to a crossing point on the River Gannel estuary, and at a more local level a route within the parish to the major medieval collegiate church at Crantock. It demonstrates well the longevity of many routes still in use.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross-base with a modern cross-shaft and head mounted in it, situated by the roadside on a minor route between Crantock and Penpol. The overall height of the cross is 2.11m. The principal faces of the modern cross are orientated north east-south west. The head measures 0.43m wide by 0.22m thick and is fully pierced by four holes. Both principal faces are decorated with a relief equal limbed cross with expanded ends. The shaft measures 1.4m high by 0.47m wide at the base, tapering to 0.23m at the top, and is 0.34m thick at the base tapering to 0.23m at the top. This modern head and shaft are mounted on a medieval cross-base. This almost square granite base measures 0.54m north west-south east by 0.52m north east-south west and is 0.31m high. The upper part of the base slopes down and out from the shaft. The cross is Listed Grade II. The cross is believed to have marked a route from the north east across the River Gannel estuary to the major medieval collegiate church at Crantock. There is a footpath about 6m south of the cross which follows a route towards the Gannel estuary. A slate plaque set into the wall near the cross records that the modern cross was set up in 1928 as a memorial to George Metford Parsons, parish priest 1894-1924.

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: 30436

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A, Stone Crosses in Mid Cornwall, (1994)
Consulted June 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 25316,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 75; Pathfinder Series 1352 Source Date: 1977 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing