Wayside cross and cross-base in Camborne churchyard, 10m south west of the church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018490

Date first listed: 28-Jul-1958

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Sep-1998


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross and cross-base in Camborne churchyard, 10m south west of the church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Camborne

National Grid Reference: SW 64504 40026


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 medieval wayside cross in Camborne churchyard, 10m south west of the church, survives reasonably well, despite having been reused to support the winding mechanism for a well. It is a good example of a wayside cross, originally by a chapel at Troon, on a route into Camborne from the south. Its reuse as part of a well head and its removal to the churchyard in the 19th 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 a medieval wayside cross mounted in a medieval cross-base situated to the south west of Camborne parish church. The wayside cross, which is Listed Grade II, survives as an upright granite shaft with a round, `wheel' head, the overall height being 1.87m. The head measures 0.45m in diameter and is 0.23m thick. Both its principal faces, orientated east-west, bear a relief equal limbed cross with slightly expanded ends to the limbs and a bead around the edge. The cross motif on the west face is well worn with smooth, rounded edges. The south side of the head has been straightened. The shaft measures 1.42m high by 0.32m wide and is 0.26m thick. On the east face of the shaft is faint incised decoration, consisting of vertical lines and triangles. The south side of the shaft at the base has been repaired with concrete. There are five holes in the shaft on the east face and three on the west face. These holes are the result of a later reuse of the cross as part of a well head, having the iron supports of the winding mechanism attached to it. This shaft is cemented into a rectangular granite cross-base. The cross-base measures 0.89m north-south by 0.74m east-west and is 0.2m high. Embedded in the south east corner of the base is the link of an iron chain, where once the parish stocks were attached. There is a small slate plaque cemented to the base and incised as follows: `This ancient Cornish cross was found at Crane, Camborne'. This cross was first recorded by the antiquarian, Borlase, in 1750, when it stood in the grounds of St Ia's chapel at Troon, 2.25km south east of Camborne church. By 1896 the cross had been moved to Crane, 0.25km south west of Camborne church, where it was in use as part of a well head. The cross was then removed from Crane and erected in Camborne churchyard, in a cross-base which was already in the churchyard. It has been suggested that this cross-base is possibly part of the original churchyard cross, and may be connected with a cross-head which is mounted on the east wall of the church.

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: 30450

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'The Cornish Magazine' in Recently Discovered Crosses, , Vol. Volume 1, (1898)
Consulted July 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No. 26626,
Consulted July 1997, Cornwall SMR entry for PRN No.26627,
p.8, Thomas, DH, Historical notes and Brief Guide to Camborne Parish Church, (1989)
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