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HER Number:MDV2334
Name:Marchant's Cross, Meavy


Marchant's Cross, Meavy. Tall granite roadside cross measuring (over 2.5 meters in length) 180 metres south of Marchant's Bridge (PRN 2349). There is an incised cross on each face, between the arms. Was damaged in 1937 and 1984 in road accidents but has been well repaired. Listed and Scheduled.


Grid Reference:SX 546 668
Map Sheet:SX56NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishMeavy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMEAVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX56NW19
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 439077
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NW/24
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 92702
  • Old SAM County Ref: 535
  • Old SAM Ref: 24807

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CROSS (Early Medieval to Mid 20th Century - 1066 AD to 1937 AD (Between))

Full description

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

Marchant's Cross, by the roadside, a short distance south of Marchant's Bridge, about one mile south-east of Meavy. Type A. A very tall massive cross of rough rectangular section set in the ground. There is an incised cross on each face, between the arms. It is probably the "Smalacumbacrosse" of the 13th century foundation deed of Buckland Abbey. Damaged 1937. Stump of cross removed to Meavy Church.

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1938, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part II, 304 (Article in Serial). SDV6308.

Other details: Plate 30, Figure 1.

Worth, R. H., 1942, Marchant's Cross, Meavy, 203-6 (Article in Serial). SDV251791.

Marchant's Cross stands at the foot of Lynch Hill, 200 yards south of Meavy Ford. In November 1937, it was struck by a runaway car and broken off at a point six inches below the surface. Excavation for re-erection revealed an irregular shaped socket-stone which was left uncovered when the cross was repaired. The cross was re-erected to a height of 7 feet 11 1/2 inches as against its previous height of 8 feet 4 inches.

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1943, Supplementary Notes on the Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon. (Third Paper), 261 (Article in Serial). SDV320746.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX56NW19 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV251784.

Marchant's Cross. Rough socket stone, single stone head and arms. Simple cross incised on two faces.

Robinson, R., 1982, List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982 (Un-published). SDV345608.

Department of Environment Field Monument Warden site visit 27th April 1982.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1984, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV251788.

The cross was severely damaged on 21/11/1984 in an accident. It was broken into three parts. Plans are made to repair the cross. Other details: File AC.15.12.

Department of Environment, 1985, Scheduled Monument Consent Letter (Correspondence). SDV251789.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted for repair of cross.

Greeves, T. A. P., 1985, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV251787.

The cross was repaired 13/8/1985. Total length of shaft 2.66 metres, of which 2.43 metres stands above the socket. Inscribed with old Ordnance Survey benchmark. Other details: File AC 15.12.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 1994, Marchant's Cross: a wayside cross 700m south east of Meavy (Schedule Document). SDV251794.

The monument includes a well preserved wayside cross of moderately coarse-grained granite, set in a granite socket stone at the junction of a minor public road with the lane to Yeo Farm. Both these routes were important in medieval times.
The cross was formed from a single piece of stone which is rectangular in section, measuring 0.34 metres by 0.26 metres, and has slightly chamfered edges 0.05 metres wide. The arms of the cross are aligned nearly north-south. The height of the shaft above the socket is 2.33 metres. The total width of the arms is 0.69 metres, and their total depth is 0.34 metres. The head extends above the arms 0.35 metres. There is an incised cross on each face between the arms, that on the west face measures 0.68 metres by 0.36 metres (the width of the incision is 0.02 - 0.04 metres and it has a maximum depth of 0.005 metres) and that on the east face measures 0.7 by 0.36 metres (0.03 - 0.04 metres wide by 0.01 metres maximum depth). Visible edges of the socket stone measures 1.2 metres by 0.9 metres. There is some slight damage on the south east corner of the shaft 1.15 metres above the base, on the east side of the north arm, and the bottom corner of the south arm. The shaft of the cross was broken at the base in 1937, and again in 1984 when there was also a break diagonally across the arms. This damage (caused by runaway vehicles) has been well repaired, though the stump of the cross which was moved to the churchyard at Meavy in 1937 has since been lost. The cross is Listed Grade II. There is an Ordnance Survey bench mark at the base of the west face of the shaft.
Marchant's Cross is one of the largest surviving wayside crosses in the Dartmoor region. Despite twice being damaged this century, it has been well repaired and remains well preserved. Although there is no absolute proof that this is the cross recorded as `Smalacumbacrosse' in the late 13th century it is a likely candidate, and certainly existed at the time the record was made. There is every reason to believe that the cross is sited in its original position at the junction of what, in medieval times, were important routes. Published photographs survive of the cross from 1890 onwards.

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

'Marchant's Cross' depicted on modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2011, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV347072.

Wayside Cross. Referred to in a document of 1291 so it presumably dates back at least to this time. Roughly hewn monolithic granite Latin cross with short arms inscribed with Latin cross on front and back. Source: W.G. Hoskins. Devon (Listing description 1967) Other details: LB UID: 92702.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV240502Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1937. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. A5 Hardback. 312.
SDV251784Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX56NW19. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV251787Correspondence: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1985. Letter. Unknown.
SDV251788Correspondence: Greeves, T. A. P.. 1984. Lethigo Landscape Architects & Environmental Planners Plan. Unknown.
SDV251789Correspondence: Department of Environment. 1985. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Unknown.
SDV251791Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1942. Marchant's Cross, Meavy. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 74. Unknown. 203-6.
SDV251794Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 1994. Marchant's Cross: a wayside cross 700m south east of Meavy. The Schedule of Monuments. Digital.
SDV320746Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1943. Supplementary Notes on the Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon. (Third Paper). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 75. A5 Hardback. 261.
SDV345608Un-published: Robinson, R.. 1982. List of Field Monument Warden Visits 1982. Lists of Field Monument Warden Visits. Printout.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #83863 ]
SDV347072National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2011. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV6308Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1938. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part II. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 70. A5 Hardback. 304.

Associated Monuments

MDV107522Related to: Marchants, Meavy (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Sep 13 2021 10:12AM