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HER Number:MDV7927
Name:Granite pillar near Moors Head


An octagonal granite pillar was recorded in the 1960s in use as a field gate-post near to Moors Head, Dean Prior. Although this could be the remains of a cross, it is more likely to be a decorative pillar from the 16th century Moors Head mansion nearby. Recorded and photographed in 2013.


Grid Reference:SX 712 634
Map Sheet:SX76SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDean Prior
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishDEAN PRIOR

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: 444931
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX76SW/4

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1954, Supplementary Notes on the Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon (Fourth Paper), 177 (Article in Serial). SDV15725.

In the lane near Morshead farm there is an octagonal granite shaft, tapering upwards, in use as a gate-post. This could be a cross shaft, or equally well a pillar to support a lean-to roof.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1960, SX76SW6 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV162580.

The pillar is of rectangular section 0.2 meters by 0.3 meters at the base and tapering slightly to the top. It is 1.6 meters high (excluding the buried part) the edges chamfered to a height of 1.2 meters where there are well defined stops. The unchamfered top of the northern face has a rough finish. There would be good grounds for supposing the stone to be a cross with the arms cut off if the southern face were similar, but here the stone is continually smooth. Probably a decorative pillar from the 16th century Moors Head farm nearby. Other details: Ground photograph (indistinct photocopy of).

Watson, A., 2007-2017?, Devon Crosses, 310, (Vol 3), images (Un-published). SDV360833.

Moorshead, SX712635
A cross shaft stands on the east side of the road, north of Moorshead Farm, Dean Prior. In use as a gatepost, it consists of a tapering shaft of octagonal section, the horizontal arms of which have been knocked off, though the top limb of the head remains.
Cross height 1.47 metres. Base 0.27 by 0.20 metres, top 0.25 by 0.17 metres. Chamfer of 7.62 centimetres.

Google, 2011, Google Maps UK (Website). SDV347157.

On Google Maps (Street View) at this location (SX71286347) you can see the existing gateway but the hedge growth and quality of the photograph image are inconclusive in proving whether the pillar remains in use as a gate-post at this location.

Watson, A., 2013, Moorshead, Dean Prior, 4 x photos (24/09/2013) (Photograph). SDV361040.

Images of the shaft in position, both from outside the gateway on the road and inside.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15725Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1954. Supplementary Notes on the Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon (Fourth Paper). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 86. A5 Hardback. 177.
SDV162580Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1960. SX76SW6. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV347157Website: Google. 2011. Google Maps UK. Website.
SDV360833Un-published: Watson, A.. 2007-2017?. Devon Crosses. Mixed Archive Material + Digital. 310, (Vol 3), images.
SDV361040Photograph: Watson, A.. 2013. Moorshead, Dean Prior. Digital. 4 x photos (24/09/2013).

Associated Monuments

MDV77457Related to: Moorshead farmstead, Dean Prior (Monument)
MDV7943Related to: Remains of mansion at Moors Head, Dean Prior (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Apr 17 2018 11:55AM