Westcott Cross, 480m south east of Westcott Lodge


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018019

Date first listed: 08-Dec-1997


Ordnance survey map of Westcott Cross, 480m south east of Westcott Lodge
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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. Dominick

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Mellion

National Grid Reference: SX 37853 67938


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 Westcott Cross survives close to its original location, and despite the loss of its upper shaft and head, it retains its original functions as a waymarker and boundary stone. It demonstrates well two of the major roles of wayside crosses, and 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, known as the Westcott Cross, situated at a minor road junction close to the A388, the main route between Callington and Saltash in south east Cornwall. The Westcott Cross survives as an upright granite cross shaft mounted in a rectangular granite base. The overall height of the monument measures 0.43m. The shaft measures 0.43m high above the cross base, but extends 0.22m through the socket of the base into the ground. The front and back faces of the shaft measure 0.34m wide at the base, widening slightly to 0.36m at the top, and the side faces measure 0.17m wide at the base, tapering slightly to 0.15m. The top of the shaft has been fractured. The principal faces are orientated north-south. The north face bears the bottom part of the lower limb of a relief cross, probably a `Latin' cross. There is a bead on either side of the shaft which passes around the lower edge of the lower limb, forming a recessed panel around the relief limb/cross. The south principal face is plain. The cross base measures 0.64m north-south by 1.02m east-west and is set flush with the ground. The socket in which the cross shaft is mounted is not centrally placed but is towards the west side of the base. The cross is Listed Grade II. The Westcott Cross was originally located by the roadside at a junction of the A388, the major route between Callington and Saltash where there is an ancient crossing point of the River Tamar into Devon, and a minor road to Amytree and a crossing of the River Lynher at Clapper Bridge. The Westcott Cross is first mentioned in 1613 in the parish Glebe Terriers as a bound cross on the boundary between the parishes of St Dominick with St Mellion.

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: 29227

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Jones, A, Nowakowski, J, Thorpe, C, Archaeological Investigations at Viverdon Down, Archive Report, (1995)
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)
Consulted July 1996, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN 6805,
pp.1-2, Thomas, N, Replacement of Westcott Cross, Field Officers Report, (1995)
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SX 26/36; Pathfinder Series 1348 Source Date: 1983 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing