Wayside cross 130m north of Crawford Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020612

Date first listed: 24-Jul-2002


Ordnance survey map of Wayside cross 130m north of Crawford Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: North Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Tarrant Crawford

National Grid Reference: ST 92310 02716


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.

Despite the fact that it has been raised onto new steps and the head replaced, the wayside cross 130m north of Crawford Farm is relatively well-preserved and, as it survives in its original location, it remains an important example of its class.


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


The monument includes the remains of a medieval wayside cross, at a road junction, 130m north of Crawford Farm. The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is of probable 15th century date, and appears to be in its original position, although the archaeological context may have been disturbed by road sufacing and the constuction of the new stone steps on which the cross now sits. Pope, writing in 1906, shows a photograph of the cross in this position with the surrounding area stripped of turf in preparation for road surfacing. The cross has a square socket stone, about 0.75 sq m in plan and 0.4m high, with the lower part of a stone shaft, about 0.45 sq m in plan, surviving to a height of 0.55m, set diagonally and secured with lead. In 1914 the cross was restored and the socket stone set on two stone steps and a new upper shaft added. The new stone base bears the inscription `This wayside cross was restored and set on new steps on the old site by many friends of Tarrant Crawford Anno domini MDCCCCXIV'. The cross lies within the hamlet of Tarrant Crawford which now consists of a small cluster of houses around the road junction, although earthworks of former house sites and closes can be seen in the adjacent fields west of the cross. These are not included in this scheduling. All road surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, where they fall within the cross's 2m protective margin, although the ground beneath these features 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: 33570

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume IV, (1972), 87
Pope, A, The Old Stone Crosses of Dorset, (1926), 132-133

End of official listing