Hawson Cross


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021102

Date first listed: 12-Jun-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 15-Jul-2003


Ordnance survey map of Hawson Cross
© 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 - 1021102 .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 12-Dec-2018 at 23:37:45.


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

County: Devon

District: South Hams (District Authority)

Parish: West Buckfastleigh

National Park: DARTMOOR

National Grid Reference: SX 71054 68163


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

Reasons for Designation

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and, because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provides direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards. The well preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. 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 settlements, or on routes which might have 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 110 examples of wayside crosses are known on Dartmoor, where they form the commonest type of stone cross. Almost all of the wayside crosses on the Moor take the form of a `Latin' cross, in which the cross-head itself is shaped within the projecting arms of an unenclosed cross. Wayside crosses contribute significantly to our understanding of medieval routeways, settlement patterns and the development of sculptural traditions. All wayside crosses on the Moor which survive as earth-fast monuments, except those which are extremely damaged and removed from their original locations, are considered worthy of protection.

Despite historic damage, the wayside cross known as Hawson Cross survives comparatively well and together with a number of other crosses denotes the route of a medieval track leading across the moor between Tavistock and Buckfast Abbeys.


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


The monument includes a wayside cross situated on a ridge between the Holy Brook and River Mardle. The cross stands on a triangular-shaped road island adjacent to an old tree known as Stumpy Oak. This cross is one of several that denote a route known as the Monks' Path, which linked the medieval abbeys of Buckfast, Tavistock and Buckland. Other crosses along this route are the subject of separate schedulings. The cross includes a socket stone, a mostly modern shaft and a short length of original shaft together with the head and arms. The socket stone now lies largely buried below the turf and supports a 2.18m high Latin cross. The modern shaft measures 0.36m by 0.34m at the base and 0.28m by 0.29m at the top. The arms of the cross measure 0.8m wide and the head is 0.27m high. The cross was restored by the Dartmoor Preservation Association in 1952. The cross is Listed Grade II.

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: 34446

Legacy System: RSM


www.dartmoor-crosses.org.uk/hawsons.htm, accessed from www.dartmoor-crosses.org.uk/hawsons.htm

End of official listing