Wayside cross 620m south west of Basil Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018002

Date first listed: 22-Mar-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Mar-1998


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross 620m south west of Basil Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Clether

National Grid Reference: SX 18879 84024


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 wayside cross 620m south west of Basil Farm has survived well. It is a good example of a`wheel' headed cross, and has projections at its neck, a rare feature, sometimes found on crosses in north Cornwall. It is one of a group of crosses found around the manor of Basil, marking routes to the church and holy well at St Clether. It is believed that this cross is close to its original location, maintaining its original function as a waymarker at this junction. It demonstrates well the role of wayside crosses in the medieval landscape.


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


The monument includes a medieval wayside cross situated at a crossroads known as Cross Gates, south west of Basil Farm. It is believed that it has always marked this junction. The wayside cross survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head. The overall height of the monument is 1.52m. The principal faces are orientated north east-south west. The head is 0.66m wide, and both principal faces bear a relief equal limbed cross with slightly expanded ends to the limbs. The top of the head on the north east face has been fractured at some time in the past, the fracture worn smooth by natural erosion. There is a narrow bead around the edge of both principal faces. At the neck are two rounded projections, one on either side of the shaft. The shaft measures 0.46m wide by 0.14m thick. This wayside cross is located on a hedge at the junction of two minor roads, on the north eastern edge of Bodmin Moor. This junction is on the ancient route from Davidstow to Altarnun, and is crossed by the road to St Clether and Trevillian's Gate. All four of these locations had holy wells and additional religious assoctiations. Trevillian's Gate gave access to routes across north western Bodmin Moor, across the northern flank of Roughtor hill, where there was a focus for medieval religious monuments.

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: 30439

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Stone Crosses in East Cornwall, (1996)
Title: 1": 1 mile Ordnance Survey Map; sheet 30; Camelford Source Date: 1889 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 08/18: Pathfinder Series 1325 Source Date: 1986 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing