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HER Number:MDV2444
Name:Wigford Down Cross: a wayside cross 230 metres west-north-west of Cadover Bridge

Summary

Wigford Down cross is an impressive Medieval wayside cross set on open moorland with public access. The head, arms and socket stone are all ancient. It is likely to be sited on or near its original location, as a medieval track passes close by. The surrounding ring banks, which may well date to the 19th century restoration, are a rare feature.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 553 647
Map Sheet:SX56SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMeavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMEAVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56SE/33
  • Old SAM County Ref: 433
  • Old SAM Ref: 24821

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WAYSIDE CROSS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1937, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I, 312 (Article in Serial). SDV240502.

Cadover, on the moor a short distance north west of Cadover Bridge, about two miles south of Meavy stands a cross, 2.743 metres high. Type A. The ancient upper portion of a cross of rough rectangular section, set up on a modern shaft, in the ancient circular socket stone, the square socket hole of which penetrates the stone. On each face between the arms there are incised cross crosslets, that on the northern face being scarcely distinguishable as this face is badly fractured. The cross is similar in form to those in Shaugh Prior on the edge of the moor.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX56SE28 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV215857.

Stone Cross. The total width of the arms is 0.78 metres, and their maximum depth is 0.25 metres.


Department of Environment, 1987, Meavy, 78 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV252327.

Moorland cross. Medieval but restored probably in 19th century. Roughly hewn granite Latin cross on rough circular base. Head appears to have been cemented back onto shaft.
The south arm extends 0.2 metres beyond the shaft and the north arm 0.18 metres. There is an incised cross between the arms on the west face of the cross, much obscured by lichens. The cut is not visible against the north arm and down the shaft, as a portion of the west face of the cross has been severely damaged with a thickness of 70 millimetres – 90 millimetres split away. The present dimensions of the incised cross are about 0.33 metres vertically and 0.39 metres horizontally. The cut is 30 millimetres – 40 millimetres wide and about 5 millimetres deep. The top and 2 arms of the incised cross may well have ended in small crosslets.


Ancient Monuments, 1993, The Schedule of Monuments (Schedule Document). SDV126938.

Wigford Down cross. Head, arms and upper portion of the shaft of a medieval wayside cross of coarse granite, cemented on top of a modern shaft, which is crudely cemented into an ancient circular granite socket stone, which is fully exposed. Located on open moorland, some 20 metres from the ancient enclosures of Cadworthy Farm to the south-west, and on the line of a medieval route north westwards from Cadover Bridge towards Tavistock. A low double bank and ditch surrounds the cross, creating a circular feature terraced into the hillslope, with a maximum diameter of about 8 metres.
On the east face of the cross there is a complete incised cross between the arms. It measures about 0.44 metres vertically by 0.36 metres horizontally. The tail and head of this cross extend about 100 millimetres above and below the arms respectively. The cut is 30 millimetres wide and has a maximum depth of about 7 millimetres. The top and arms of this cross may well have ended in crosslets, like that on the west face. The modern shaft is squarish in section, 0.32 metres by 0.3 metres by 0.35 metres by 0.32 metres. It has drill marks visible on its north-east and north-west edges . The cement which joins this shaft to the modern shaft is in reasonable condition and has a struck prehistoric flake of flint, 10 millimetre long, embedded in it on the east side of the cross. Where the modern shaft is attached to the socket stone, cement extends laterally up to 0.12 metres from the base of the shaft and is up to 60 millimetres thick.
On the west side of the cross an apparent ancient hollow way passes by the outer ring bank and heads just west of north. This may be the course of the medieval track beside which the cross was originally set.
The ancient socket stone, which is set in a slight hollow, is 1.27 metres in diameter and has a maximum visible depth of 0.15 metres. Around the hollow is a double ring bank, with a ditch between the banks. Both banks are about 0.15 metres high, the inner one being about 0.7 metres wide and the outer one about 1 metre wide. The cross and ring banks create an integral feature, terraced into the hillslope, resulting in a scrap of about 0.5 metres on the downslope (south-west) side. The cross is said to have been first restored by soldiers on manoeuvres in 1873, and it may be that the ring banks date from this period.
The total height of cross above the socket stone is 2.37 metres, of which 1.4 metres is the modern shaft and 0.96 metres the ancient portion. The arms of the cross are aligned nearly north-south. The ancient shaft is rectangular in section, 0.36 metres by 0.29 metres, though it widens under the arms to 0.38 metres. Its edges have slight chamfers, with a maximum width of 50 millimetres, though these are damaged on the west face of the cross except for a length of 0.16 metres under the south arm. The head of the cross extends 0.3 metres above the arms. Like the shaft, it is widest where it joins the arms (0.35 metres), but tapers to 0.25 metres at its top. On the west face a diagonal crack runs down from the head across the north arm where it is visible underneath the arm.


Berry, N., 2005, Lower Cadworthy Farm, Meavy, 7 (Report - Survey). SDV360144.

Restored Medieval cross between the fields and the road may be marking the line of a Medieval road mentioned in 1381.


Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

'Stone Cross (restored)' is depicted on the modern mapping. Map object based on this source.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 29/06/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

The monument includes the head, arms and upper portion of the shaft of a medieval wayside cross of coarse granite, cemented on top of a modern shaft, which itself is crudely cemented into an ancient circular granite socket stone, which is fully exposed.
The cross, which is Listed Grade II, is located on open moorland, some 20m from the ancient enclosures of Cadworthy Farm to the south west, and on the line of a medieval route north westwards from Cadover Bridge towards Tavistock. A low double bank and ditch surrounds the cross, creating a circular feature terraced into the hillslope, with a maximum diameter of about 8m. The total height of the cross above the socket stone is 2.37m, of which 1.4m is the modern shaft and 0.96m the ancient portion. The arms of the cross are aligned nearly north-south. The ancient shaft is rectangular in section, 0.36m by 0.29m, though it widens under the arms to 0.38m. Its edges have slight chamfers, with a maximum width of 50mm, though these are damaged on the west face of the cross except for a length of 0.16m under the southern arm. The head of the cross extends 0.3m above the arms. Like the shaft, it is widest where it joins the arms (0.35m), but tapers to 0.25m at its top.
On the west face a diagonal crack runs down from the head across the northern arm where it is visible underneath the arm. The total width of the arms is 0.78m, and their maximum depth is 0.25m. The southern arm extends 0.2m beyond the shaft and the northern arm 0.18m. There is an incised cross between the arms on the western face of the cross, much obscured by lichens. The cut is not visible against the northern arm and down the shaft, as a portion of the west face of the cross has been severely damaged with a thickness of 70mm-90mm split away. The present dimensions of the incised cross are about 0.33m vertically and 0.39m horizontally. The cut is 30mm-40mm wide and about 5mm deep. The top and two arms of the incised cross may well have ended in small crosslets.
On the east face of the cross there is a complete incised cross between the arms. It measures about 0.44m vertically by 0.36m horizontally. The tail and head of this cross extend about 100mm above and below the arms respectively. The cut is 30mm wide and has a maximum depth of about 7mm. The top and arms of this cross may well have ended in crosslets, like that on the west face. The modern shaft is squarish in section, 0.32m by 0.3m by 0.35m by 0.32m. It has drill marks visible on its north east and north west edges. The cement which joins this shaft to the modern shaft is in reasonable condition and has a struck prehistoric flake of flint, 10mm long, embedded in it on the east side of the cross. Where the modern shaft is attached to the socket stone, cement extends laterally up to 0.12m from the base of the shaft and is up to 60mm thick.
The ancient socket stone, which is set in a slight hollow, is 1.27m in diameter and has a maximum visible depth of 0.15m. Around the hollow is a double ring bank, with a ditch between the banks. Both banks are about 0.15m high, the inner one being about 0.7m wide and the outer one about 1m wide. The cross and ring banks create an integral feature, terraced into the hillslope, resulting in a scarp of about 0.5m on the downslope (south west) side.
The cross is said to have been first restored by soldiers on manoeuvres in 1873, and it may be that the ring banks date from this period. On the west side of the cross an apparent ancient hollow way passes by the outer ring bank and heads just west of north. This may be the course of the medieval track beside which the cross was originally set.
Wigford Down cross is an impressive medieval wayside cross set on open moorland with public access. The head, arms and socket stone are all ancient. It is likely to be sited on or near its original location, as a medieval track passes close by. The surrounding ring banks, which may well date to the 19th century restoration, are a rare feature.

Sources / Further Reading

  • Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1993. The Schedule of Monuments. The Schedule of Monuments.
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX56SE28. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
  • Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1937. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. A5 Hardback. 312.
  • List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Meavy. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 78.
  • Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
  • National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 29/06/2016.
  • Report - Survey: Berry, N.. 2005. Lower Cadworthy Farm, Meavy. National Trust Report. A4 Spiral Bound. 7.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7251 - Lower Cadworthy Farm: Archaeological and Historic Landscape Survey

Date Last Edited:Jul 28 2017 11:58AM