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HER Number:MDV4044
Name:Sheepstor village cross

Summary

The monument, also known as Roman's Cross, includes a well-preserved wayside cross of moderately coarse-grained granite, set on a stepped plinth outside the western gate of Sheepstor churchyard. The cross is Listed Grade II. The monument was restored in 1919 when new arms were cemented on and the plinth was constructed. Before restoration the cross was in use as a rubbing post in a nearby field.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 559 676
Map Sheet:SX56NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSheepstor
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSHEEPSTOR

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX56NE/44
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 92848
  • Old SAM Ref: 24819

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WAYSIDE CROSS (Late Medieval - 1401 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1937, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I, 314 (Article in Serial). SDV240502.

Village cross, in the road, outside the western gate of the churchyard. Type A. An ancient cross shaft of rectangular section with chamfered edges was restored by the addition of new arms, and mounted on a square pedestal of three steps, as a memorial of the coronation of King George V, 1919. The shaft, with the arms knocked off, formerly stood in a field at Burrator as a rubbing post. The head expands above the arms, and the new arms expand outwards.
On each face and running down the shaft to the base, there is a cross in relief. According to W. Crossing "not far from the eastern end of the churchyard, at a point where one lane joins another is a granite stone in the hedge, which is the broken base of the old Sheepstor cross". Masson Phillips could find no trace of this stone. Referred to as 'Roman's Cross' on Ordnance Survey maps.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX56NE3, 8/9/1950 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV217096.

Mounted on pedestal of four steps, 1.6 metres high. Span of arms 0.7 metres, height of pedestal 1.35 metres. In good condition. St. Rumon's Cross suggested as possible dedication.


Department of Environment, 1987, Sheepstor (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV227819.

Latin shape in granite with incised cross on both sides. Square steps. Probably 15th century. Restored.


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

'Roman's Cross (restored)' depicted on the modern map.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 04/07/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

Roman's Cross 50m west of the church is a striking example of a medieval wayside cross which has been well restored, and forms a focal point outside Sheepstor parish church. It is unusual, for western Dartmoor, in having crosses carved in relief on it.
The monument, also known as Roman's Cross, includes a well-preserved wayside cross of moderately coarse-grained granite, set on a stepped plinth outside the western gate of Sheepstor churchyard. The cross is Listed Grade II. The monument was restored in 1919 when new arms were cemented on and the plinth was constructed. Before restoration the cross was in use as a rubbing post in a nearby field. The total height of the cross above the plinth is 1.62m, and the shaft is more or less square in section being 0.3m by 0.29m. The edges of the shaft have a chamfer 60mm wide. The south west face of the shaft has a hole plugged with cement 0.45m above the base. The base of the shaft is cemented into a gap between four blocks of granite. The north west side of the shaft has a relief Maltese cross cut into it. The shaft of the relief cross is 60mm-80mm wide and is raised about 15mm. It extends right to the base of the main shaft. On the south east side, a relief cross survives only below the arms of the cross. It too extends to the base and is about 80mm wide and is raised a maximum of about 20mm. The head of the cross extends a maximum of 0.2m above the arms. It is narrowest (0.24m) where it meets the arms, but at the top is 0.28m wide. The top has been broken off on its south east side, removing the top portion of the relief cross on this side, but has been restored with cement.
The new splayed arms, which are aligned nearly north east-south west, have a total width of 0.68m. They extend a maximum of 0.19m from the shaft and have a maximum depth of 0.32m on their outside edge and of 0.27m against the shaft. The cross is set on a composite modern granite plinth in three steps, with an additional course on the south west side. Each step is about 0.3m in height. Each visible part of the plinth is composed of four granite blocks which are largest at the lowest level. Some of the blocks have drill marks and others were clearly once part of gateposts. The lowest of the top three plinths measures 2.25m by 2.05m externally. The whole monument is constructed on sloping ground so that while on the north east side the base of the cross is only about 0.4m above the level of a path leading to the churchyard gate, on the south west side, against the road, there is a drop of about 1.4m to road level.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV217096Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX56NE3. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. 8/9/1950.
SDV227819List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Sheepstor. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV240502Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1937. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. A5 Hardback. 314.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #90810 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 04/07/2016.

Associated Monuments

MDV78094Related to: Hellingtown farm, Sheepstor (Monument)
MDV4043Related to: The old Vicarage, Sheepstor (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Nov 29 2016 9:45AM