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HER Number:MDV5192
Name:Petre's Cross, Western Whitebarrow

Summary

Wayside cross positioned on a round cairn on Quickbeam Hill. Measures 1.3 metres high and is of rectangular section with both arms broken off. It was one of four set up by Sir William Petre, who had purchased Brent Manor after the Dissolution of the Monasteries from Buckfast Abbey in 1557 and was used to mark the bounds of the Forest of Dartmoor in 1557 and 1786. Cairn has been disturbed by the construction of a shelter in the mid-19th century by workers at the Red Lake peat ties, who re-used the cross as a chimney lintel at the same time. Following the partial destruction of the building the cross was re-erected.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 653 654
Map Sheet:SX66NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
Civil ParishSouth Brent
DistrictSouth Hams
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH BRENT

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX 66 NE 37
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX66NE/19/1
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX66NE37
  • Pastscape: 441459

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WAYSIDE CROSS (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

Unknown, Unknown source (Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry). SDV152953.

It was known to early map makers as Donn, and other 18th and 19th century cartographers including Mudge who published the 1st edition of the 1 inch Ordnance Survey map in 1809 marked the Western Whitebarrow as Petre's Cross Tor. It is possible that Sir William Petre was encroaching on Duchy land as surveys both before and after his time show the Eastern Whitebarrow as the boundary point that the forest bound ran to from Wella Brook Foot. However it is now formally fixed as the boundary of the Forest of Dartmoor.
Description - a carefully shaped square section shaft of coarse grey granite, 1.3 metres long, 0.4 metres wide, and 0.2 metres deep. At the upper end there is a tenon 9 inches wide and the full thickness of the stone, while the other end is concealed by the rocks supporting it.


Donn, B., 1765, Map of the County of Devon (Cartographic). SDV339776.


Crossing, W., 1888, Amid Devonia's Alps; or Wanderings and Adventures on Dartmoor, 35 (Monograph). SDV152959.


Burnard, R., 1890, Dartmoor Pictorial Records, Vol 1 page 48 (Article in Serial). SDV346960.


Baring Gould, S., 1900, A Book of Dartmoor, 211 (Monograph). SDV277387.


Crossing, W., 1902, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor, 15-17 (Monograph). SDV178385.


Crossing, W., 1912 (1965), Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor, 372 (Monograph). SDV320981.


Masson Phillips, E. N., 1937, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I, 310 (Article in Serial). SDV240502.

On Whitebarrow, about 4 miles n of Harford. Type A. A portion of the shaft of a cross of rough rectangular section set up on a cairn, in an inverted position, with the tenon upwards. All that remains of one of the four crosses mentioned as boundary marks in an inquisition on the boundary on Brent Moor, dated 1557, at which time certain rights were held by Sir William Petre, in virtue of his possession of the manor of South Brent.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1950, SX66NE37, 4/5/1950 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV152955.

Petre's Cross (length 1.3 metres, width 400 millimetres, depth 200 millimetres). Part of the shaft of a stone cross which has been set up in Western White Barrow. Measurements given.


Robinson, R., 1977-1979, South Brent Parish Checklist (Worksheet). SDV151046.


Starkey, F. H., 1983, Dartmoor Crosses and Some Ancient Tracks, 21 (Monograph). SDV345128.


Hemery, E., 1983, High Dartmoor, 294-5 (Monograph). SDV249702.


Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England, 1993-1998, Dartmoor Royal Forest Project, Simon Probert, (21-FEB-1996) (Report - Survey). SDV346608.

SX65366549. Petre's Cross is as described. A 1:2500 survey is deposited in the archive.


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

'Petre's Cross on Western White Barrow (remains of)' is depicted on the modern mapping.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 13/07/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

This monument includes a round cairn, wayside cross and shelter situated on the summit of a ridge known as Quickbeam Hill. The wayside cross is positioned on the cairn, but is inverted. It measures 1.3m high and is of rectangular section with both arms broken off. It was one of four set up by Sir William Petre, who had purchased Brent Manor after the Dissolution of the Monasteries from Buckfast Abbey in 1557 and was used to mark the bounds of the Forest of Dartmoor in 1557 and 1786.
The round cairn has been disturbed by the construction of a two roomed shelter within the structure of the cairn itself measuring 11.5m long by 4.7m wide and having a fireplace and chimney. This was constructed in about 1847 by workers at the Red Lake peat ties, in connection with the Naptha Works at Shipley, who re-used the cross as a chimney lintel at the same time. Following the partial destruction of the building the cross was re-erected.
There appears to have been some encroachment onto Duchy Land by Sir Petre with boundary maps deviating between boundary marks on this cairn and its neighbour Eastern White Barrow through time.
The considerable changes of use for this dramatically positioned round cairn, wayside cross and shelter known collectively as Western White Barrow and Petre’s Cross are the main reasons for its importance, how one monument can so dramatically indicate the changing aspects of land-use on Dartmoor, social disputes, religious upheavals and industrial changes is difficult to match. In one place it is possible to observe a palimpsest of change and altering values and social conditions.


National Monument Record, 2016, Pastscape, Accessed 13/07/2016 (Website). SDV359354.

The portion of the shaft of Petre's Cross (name confirmed) stands 0.8 metres high, and is of rectangular section, 0.37 metres by 0.18 metres with the broken tenon, 0.22 metres by 0.18 metres and 0.5 metres high, uppermost. See photograph.
Ordnance Survey 1:10 000 Survey, revised. (Citing Field Investigators Comments, F1 CPC 17-JUL-1977)
The cross was destroyed in or about 1847 by workmen who built themselves a house on the cairn, and having knocked the arms off built the shaft into the building as a clavel over the fireplace. The building has been demolished but its remains are still visible. The cross was later re-erected to act as a boundary mark. Both arms are missing leaving it badly mutilated. (Citing Starkey and Hemery monographs, both 1983)

Sources / Further Reading

SDV151046Worksheet: Robinson, R.. 1977-1979. South Brent Parish Checklist. South Brent Parish Checklist. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV152953Unattributed Sites and Monuments Register Entry: Unknown. Unknown source.
SDV152955Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1950. SX66NE37. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. 4/5/1950.
SDV152959Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1888. Amid Devonia's Alps; or Wanderings and Adventures on Dartmoor. Amid Devonia's Alps; or Wanderings and Adventures on Dartmoor. Digital. 35.
SDV178385Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1902. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Dartmoor. Unknown. 15-17.
SDV240502Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1937. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. A5 Hardback. 310.
SDV249702Monograph: Hemery, E.. 1983. High Dartmoor. High Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 294-5.
SDV277387Monograph: Baring Gould, S.. 1900. A Book of Dartmoor. A Book of Dartmoor. Unknown. 211.
SDV320981Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1912 (1965). Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor. Hardback Volume. 372.
SDV339776Cartographic: Donn, B.. 1765. Map of the County of Devon. Unknown. Map (Paper).
SDV345128Monograph: Starkey, F. H.. 1983. Dartmoor Crosses and Some Ancient Tracks. Dartmoor Crosses and Some Ancient Tracks. Paperback Volume. 21.
SDV346608Report - Survey: Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England. 1993-1998. Dartmoor Royal Forest Project. Royal Commission for the Historical Monuments of England Field/Recording In. Unknown. Simon Probert, (21-FEB-1996).
SDV346960Article in Serial: Burnard, R.. 1890. Dartmoor Pictorial Records. Dartmoor Pictorial Records. 1. Unknown. Vol 1 page 48.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #32477 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 13/07/2016.
SDV359354Website: National Monument Record. 2016. Pastscape. http://www.pastscape.org.uk. Website. Accessed 13/07/2016.

Associated Monuments

MDV13192Related to: Boundary stone north-east of Petre's Cross (Monument)
MDV28057Related to: Ruined building at Western Whitebarrow (Building)
MDV5193Related to: Western Whitebarrow (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jul 13 2016 9:18AM