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HER Number:MDV1603
Name:Cross on Whitchurch Down


Restored medieval roadside cross at north-west end of Whitchurch Down.


Grid Reference:SX 492 738
Map Sheet:SX47SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishTavistock
Civil ParishWhitchurch
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWHITCHURCH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 437960
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX47SE/62
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 94021
  • Old SAM Ref: 24810

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1937, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I, 316 (Article in Serial). SDV240502.

By the roadside near the north west end of Whitchurch down stands a cross. Type A. A roughly-shaped socket-stone sunk in the turf (with a square socket- hole penetrating the stone) bears a modern stumpy shaft, on which is mounted the ancient head portion with the arms of the cross of rough rectangular section. On each face between the arms, there is an incised cross. Restored in 1934.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX47SE1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV340620.

Remains of a stone cross restored in 1934. (1945)
A roughly shaped socket stone sunk in the turf bears a modern stumpy shaft on which is mounted the ancient hind portion with the arms of a cross of rough rectangular section. On each face between the arms there is an incised cross. The head is mounted on a ridiculously short shaft but is in good condition. (1950)

Department of Environment, 1987, Tavistock Hamlets, 84 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV221830.

Cross. Mediaeval, largely restored. Granite. Square base set in the ground. Short renewed shaft. Only the head of the cross, with short arms, is original. About 80 centimetres high overall.

Turton, S. D. + Weddell, P. J., 1992, Archaeological Assessment of Tavistock Area Water Supply (Report - Assessment). SDV340617.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1994, Green Lane Cross: a wayside cross at the north-west end of Whitchurch Down (Schedule Document). SDV346785.

The monument includes the complete arms and head of an old granite cross cemented onto a modern granite shaft, which itself is cemented into an old granite socket stone. The cross is sited 3.7 metres from the edge of the tarmac road. The stone is coarse-grained granite.
The arms of the cross are orientated approximately north-west /south-east. Their total width is 0.64 metres. The head extends 0.3 metres above the arms, giving a total height of the surviving head and arms of 0.57 metres. A very weathered incised cross is visible on the south-west face, between the arms, measuring 0.2 metres horizontally by 0.16 metres vertically. The cut itself is 0.02 metres wide by 0.003 metres deep. An incised cross on the north east face, reported in 1937 is doubtful. The modern shaft is crudely cut with drill marks on its south east face. It is of rectangular section measuring 0.33 metres wide by 0.23 metres thick. The socket stone is split and has visible dimensions of 1.08 metres by 0.85 metres. The cross was restored in 1934. The total height of the restored feature is 1.22 metres.
This may well be the cross referred to in a deed of 1310 as `the old cross', and is one of a line of crosses forming a major medieval route out of Tavistock eastwards across Dartmoor. The hollow way of an old track can be traced eastwards from the cross, on the north side of the modern road – this may represent the original medieval routeway. Other details: SAM: 24810.

Tavistock and District Local History Society, 2002, Whitchuch Parish. A short History of a Devon Parish (Monograph). SDV363278.

2009 - 2010, Untitled Source (Photograph). SDV346788.

Google Maps photography at: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=tavistock&aq=&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=18.094759,39.067383&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Tavistock,+United+Kingdom&ll=50.544946,-4.128515&spn=0,0.002384&z=19&layer=c&cbll=50.544877,-4.12842&panoid=GT3u1KuQ9c5ddyutxxPHcA&cbp=12,16.56,,0,5

Ordnance Survey, 2011, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV346129.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV221830List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Tavistock Hamlets. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 84.
SDV240502Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1937. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. A5 Hardback. 316.
SDV340617Report - Assessment: Turton, S. D. + Weddell, P. J.. 1992. Archaeological Assessment of Tavistock Area Water Supply. Exeter Archaeology Report. 92.48. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV340620Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX47SE1. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #81712 ]
SDV346785Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1994. Green Lane Cross: a wayside cross at the north-west end of Whitchurch Down. The Schedule of Monuments. Digital.
SDV346788Photograph: 2009 - 2010. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV53077Related to: Hollow way, Whitchurch Down (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 21 2019 12:14PM