Two wayside crosses in St Hilary's churchyard


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018206

Date first listed: 24-Jul-1998


Ordnance survey map of Two wayside crosses in St Hilary's churchyard
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018206 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 00:37:22.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: St. Hilary

National Grid Reference: SW 55044 31284


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.

These medieval wayside crosses survive reasonably well, despite one having had the top of its head blown off. Originally both crosses would have acted as waymarkers. The original location of the cross from Trewhella is recorded: it marked a route within the parish to the church at St Hilary. Their removal into the churchyard, one in the 19th century and the other early in the 20th century demonstrate well the changing attitudes to religion and their impact on the local landscape since the medieval period.


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


The monument includes two medieval wayside crosses situated to the south of the church in St Hilary's churchyard in west Cornwall. One wayside cross is located on the east side of the footpath through the churchyard where the footpath bends round to the east; the other is on the west side of the footpath. Both are Listed Grade II. The cross on the east side of the footpath survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head. The overall height of the monument is 0.91m. The principal faces are orientated north west-south east. The head measures 0.41m high by 0.48m wide and is 0.13m thick. The north west face bears an equal limbed cross in relief; a flat, wide bead runs around the outer edge of the head. The south east face is plain. The shaft measures 0.5m high by 0.26m wide and is 0.15m thick. It is believed that this cross came from Treverbyn 0.5km east of St Hilary's church where it was in use as a stile. By 1896 when the historian, Langdon, recorded the cross it was in its present location in the churchyard. The other cross on the west side of the footpath survives as an upright granite shaft with a round `wheel' head, mounted on a modern granite base. The overall height of the monument is 1.17m. The principal faces are orientated east-west. The head measures 0.38m wide and 0.27m thick. Both principal faces bear a relief equal limbed cross. The top of the head has been damaged at some time in the 19th century. The shaft measures 0.5m high by 0.28m wide and is 0.25m thick. The shaft is cemented into a block of granite which measures 0.56m north-south by 0.49m east-west and is 0.33m high. This cross was located at Trewhella, 1.25km north east of St Hilary's church, where it marked the junction of Trewhella Lane and a footpath but was removed to the churchyard in 1905. The inscription on the base reads `This cross was removed from Trewhella in the year 1905 in order to ensure its better preservation in the future by permission of Lord St Levan the owner of its original site'. The gravel surface of the footpath passing between the two crosses is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath, included as a protective margin, is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 30447

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Langdon, A G, Old Cornish Crosses, (1896)
Consulted July 1997, Cornwall entry for PRN No. 29382,
Consulted July 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 29161,
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: 1:25000 Ordnance Survey Map; SW 33/43/part 53; Pathfinder 1364 Source Date: 1989 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing