HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV7578
Name:Luscombe Cross, Harbertonford


Remains of a late medieval granite stone cross which was reused as a directional marker in the 17th century. The top was restored as a memorial in the late 19th century. The cross was restored again in 2003 following vehicle damage.


Grid Reference:SX 792 579
Map Sheet:SX75NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishHarberton
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishHARBERTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 448584
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX75NE/4
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 101279
  • Old SAM County Ref: 526
  • Old SAM Ref: 33743
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX75NE4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CROSS (Constructed, XV to XIX - 1401 AD to 1895 AD (Between))

Full description

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1937, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I, 399 (Article in Serial). SDV240502.

Other details: Plate 40 Figure 20.

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1943, Notes on Some Old Roadside Stones in South West Devon, 165 (Article in Serial). SDV148816.

Luscombe Cross. At the roadside between Totnes and Harbertonford, at crossroads about 2 kilometres north of Harbertonford. Type C. An octagonal socket stone, the sides of which are straight for half their height and then slope inwards under a rounded projecting top edge. The shaft is rectangular with hollow chamfered edges and tapers slightly upwards. Its upper half is modern, and bears a most unsuitable "Celtic" head, dated 1895. On the four main faces of the shaft there are letters cut in relief as follows; south 'K' (Kingsbridge), east 'D' for Dartmouth (damaged), north 'T' for Totnes, west 'B' for Brent, indicating subsequent use as a primitive direction post. Not an original Other details: Site 65.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1957 - 1961, SX75NE4 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV346489.

Luscombe Cross a Masson Phillips 'Type C' cross. Other details: Photograph.

Ministry of Public Building and Works, 1964, Luscombe Cross (Schedule Document). SDV346487.

A Late Medieval cross of granite, altered, probably in the early 17th century, after decapitation, to a direction post, and restored in 1895. Comprises a monolithic octagonal base with a heavy edge voll and a gentle cavetto beneath, a shaft about 13 inches by 9 inches and with hollow chamfers at each corner, at which the lower 3 feet are original and inscribed B (Brent) T (Totnes) D (Dartmouth) and K (Kingsbridge) - the initials large in relief, the rest incised, the upper 2 feet renewed and marked 'RGH 21-5-1895', an incorrect wheel head also of 1895. Other details: Monument 526.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2000, Luscombe Cross (Schedule Document). SDV346486.

Luscombe Cross includes a free-standing stone cross situated in the angle of the junction of two roads; to Luscombe and Harberton. It stands on partly grassed open ground, probably in its original position and may date from the 15th century. The cross is Listed Grade II. The cross comprises a heavy octagonal base of granite, surmounted by a granite shaft whose upper half was replaced in 1895. The base, which is 0.75 metres high, is partly buried in the turf which is raised here in a low mound. It measures 1.13 metres across its flat sides, and has a heavily chamfered upper part, below a rough roll moulding. Above this, the top is slightly convex with the shaft socketed in and set with lead. The shaft, of rectangular section, has oblique chamfers on all four corners, with pyramid stops to the base. The Medieval shaft survives to 0.85 metres high and tapers in width from 0.27 metres at the base to 0.32 metres at its top and in thickness from 0.26 metres to 0.23 metres. Heavy directional letters have been dressed onto all four flat sides: T - Totnes (north side), D - Dartmouth (east), K - Kingsbridge (south), and B - Brent (west). Beneath these some smaller letters, probably initials, are crudely incised. In 1895, a new upper shaft and Celtic wheel head, 1.2 metres higher than the original cross, was added with additional Roman numerals for the distances involved. These do not match up, and it is obvious that the cross head was put on the wrong way round. The original head could have been lost during the Reformation in the 16th century. The letters are typical of granite direction posts of the 17th century in this area. The modern road surface is excluded from the scheduling where it falls within the 2 metres protective margin of the cross, although the ground beneath it is included. Standing crosses were mostly erected during the Medieval period. Luscombe Cross is a well-preserved example of a rare isolated preaching cross situated at a road junction, an uncommon location for this type of cross. It has an unusual history subsequent to its slighting during the Reformation of the 16th century, including its reuse as a direction post in the 17th century. Other details: Monument 33743.

Unknown, 2003, Ancient Monument Now Fully Restored (Article in Serial). SDV347184.

Repaired in 2003 following vehicle damage in 2002. Other details: Photograph.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2003, Untitled Source (Correspondence). SDV346488.

Scheduled Monument Consent granted, subject to conditions or works concerning the repair of the vandalised and broken Medieval cross.

Watson, A., 2007-2017?, Devon Crosses, 286, (Vol 3), sketch (Un-published). SDV360833.

Luscombe Cross stands at a crossroads between Totnes and Harbertonford, about one and a quarter miles north of Harbertonford. An octagonal socket stone, the sides of which are straight for half their height and then slope inwards under a rounded projecting top edge. The shaft is rectangular with hollow chamfered edges and tapers slightly upwards. The upper half is modern and bears a ‘Celtic’ head, dated 1895. On the four faces of the ancient shaft there are letters cut in relief – southern face ‘K’ (Kingsbridge), eastern face ‘D’ (Dartmouth), northern face ‘T’ (Totnes), western face ‘B’ (Brent). These indicate use as a direction post, they are evidently not original features as the granite of the shaft has been cut away to leave them standing in relief in sunken panels. On the modern half of the shaft an inscription reads – ‘R G H, 21-3, 1895’.
Cross height 2.03 metres, span 0.57 metres. Base 0.38 by 0.25 metres. Socket stone 0.99 by 0.99 metres by 0.68 metres high.

National Monuments Record, 2011, 444584 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV346490.

Luscombe Cross is a well preserved, medieval, free standing stone cross situated on open ground in the angle of the junction of two roads to Luscombe and Harberton. It rests possibly in its original position and may date from the 15th century.

English Heritage, 2011, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV346128.

Luscombe Cross was Listed on 9th February 1961. Wayside cross and guide post. Probably 15th and 16th century. Head and top of shaft renewed in 1895. Granite. Large octagonal base, battened inwards at top to rough roll mould. Lower part of shaft with hollow chamfered corners, carved on four sides with the letters B, K, D and T in upper case without serifs. These are probably the initials for directions to (South) Brent, Kingsbridge, Dartmouth and Totnes. The top section of shaft was replaced with wheel-head shaft inscribed "RGH 2-5 1895". Other details: LBS Number 101279.

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

'Stone Cross (restored)' shown on modern mapping on the south side of the Luscombe Cross road junction.

Fairweather, C., 2012, Luscombe Cross (Un-published). SDV363407.

The cross stands on an ancient ridgeway, at a high point between Totnes and Harbertonford. There are a number of old holly trees growing close by.
The cross has an octagonal granite base, 3feet 6 inches diameter and 2 feet four inches high, supporting a rectangular shaft with chamfered corners. The lower part of the shaft 2 feet 10 inches high, is also of granite and inscribed with a single letter on each side, indicating the direction to Totnes (T), Dartmouth (D), Kingsbridge (K) and South Brent (S). The style of the letters suggests they are early 19th century in date.
The upper part of the shaft was set up by Sir Robert Harvey of Dundridge as a memorial to his son Robert Godefroy Harvey who died, aged 10, in May 1895. It is of finer stone, 3 feet 10 inches high, and topped with a Celtic wheel cross, 2 feet in diameter. It is inscribed R G H/21-5/1895 on its western face. Roman numerals are also inscribed on each face, above the letters below: VII over the T, I over the B, I over the D and IV over the K. The meaning of the numbers is not clear as they do not appear to correspond to distances.
The cross was damaged on New Year's Eve 2002 and restored in November 2003. The stone masons laid newly minted coins in the mortar, continuing the tradition of placing coins on the plinth. A local name for the cross is Pennies Cross.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV148816Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1943. Notes on Some Old Roadside Stones in South West Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 75. A5 Hardback. 165.
SDV240502Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1937. The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. A5 Hardback. 399.
SDV346128List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2011. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV346129Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2011. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #48259 ]
SDV346486Schedule Document: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2000. Luscombe Cross. The Schedule of Monuments. A4 Stapled.
SDV346487Schedule Document: Ministry of Public Building and Works. 1964. Luscombe Cross. The Schedule of Monuments. Foolscap.
SDV346488Correspondence: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2003. Scheduled Monument Consent Letter. Letter.
SDV346489Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1957 - 1961. SX75NE4. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV346490National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2011. 444584. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV347184Article in Serial: Unknown. 2003. Ancient Monument Now Fully Restored. Totnes Times. Photocopy.
SDV360833Un-published: Watson, A.. 2007-2017?. Devon Crosses. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. 286, (Vol 3), sketch.
SDV363407Un-published: Fairweather, C.. 2012. Luscombe Cross. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 18 2019 12:08PM