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HER Number:MDV11700
Name:Dunsland Cross, Dunsland House


An octagonal possible cross shaft, lacking head and arms, was being used as a support post for the roof of an old cart shed at dunsland house, following 1920s restoration of the shed. Dunsland House burnt down in 1967 and the shaft was left lying in the stable yard, amongst a pile of masonry remains from the house. Recorded as heavily encrusted with lichen and moss (1992). The shaft thought ot be all that remains of Dunsland Cross.


Grid Reference:SS 409 051
Map Sheet:SS40NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBradford
Ecclesiastical ParishBRADFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS40NW/23

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV12959.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV12960.

Masson phillips, e. /trans devon ass/69(1937)318.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV12961.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Untitled Source (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV24.

Vis=16/10/1978 (os) the old cart shed is now destroyed; nothing is known locally of the cross shaft or its whereabouts (os).

National Trust, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV5615.

Vis=-/11/1992 (national trust) octagonal cross shaft lying horizontally in stable yard, one end resting against carriage shed (ss40nw/6/3) amongst pile of masonry remains from house. At top of and halfway up shaft, are remains of iron hooks, suggesting more recent use as gate post or similar. Now heavily encrusted with lichen and moss (national trust).

Masson Phillips, E. N., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV5785.

A possible octagonal cross shaft, lacking head and arms, being used as a support post for the roof of an old cart shed at dunsland house, (ss40900512). The shaft could also be all that remains of dunsland cross (masson phillips).

Watson, A., 2007-2017?, Devon Crosses, 151, (Vol 2), sketch, 2014 photograph (Un-published). SDV360833.

Dunsland Cross SS408051
An ancient cross shaft formerly stood in a shed at Dunsland House. Dunsland Cross is applied to the crossroads, on the main road from Holsworthy to Highampton, about four miles east of Holsworthy. This apparently is the site of a cross mentioned as a bond mark in return of the boundaries of 'the chase of Okehampton', 1532-33.
In the 1920s when restoring the old cart shed at Dunsland (joined to the Tudor wing of the house), one of the granite posts supporting the roof was found to be a slender octagonal shaft, tapering upwards. This shaft, lacking arms or head, is considered to be the shaft of a cross, probably the shaft is all that remains of Dunsland Cross. It was left in place, a wall being removed to show it off. Dunsland House, owned by the National Trust, unfortunately burnt down in 1967. The ancient cross shaft now lies neglected beside an outbuilding, amongst other dressed granite artefacts, at the ruin of Dunsland House.
A letter was sent to the National Trust archaeologist in May 2009 to express disappointment in the crosses current predicament and suggesting it be re-erected nearby. The National Trust at that time were considering storing the shaft in the outhouse at Dunsland, with limited access.
Cross shaft length 2.62 metres, base: 0.33 metres by 0.33 metres, top: 0.25 by 0.25 metres. Pointed stops 0.43 metres.
Colour photograph dated 2014 included with report.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV12959Migrated Record:
SDV12960Migrated Record:
SDV12961Migrated Record:
SDV24Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV360833Un-published: Watson, A.. 2007-2017?. Devon Crosses. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. 151, (Vol 2), sketch, 2014 photograph.
SDV5615Migrated Record: National Trust.
SDV5785Migrated Record: Masson Phillips, E. N..

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 29 2018 10:45AM