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:MDV8229
Name:Week Down Cross, Chagford

Summary

Well-preserved wayside cross, formed from a single piece of coarse granite, with stumpy arms aligned nearly north-south. Incised crosses on the west and north faces and the letters 'IA' are also inscribed on the north face. Cross is a well-preserved example of a medieval wayside cross, in a striking location with wide views. Its relatively primitive style suggests a considerable age, and even the possibility of having a prehistoric origin.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 711 865
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NW/8
  • Old SAM County Ref: 798
  • Old SAM Ref: 24824

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WAYSIDE CROSS (VIII to Early Medieval - 701 AD? to 1399 AD (Between))

Full description

Ormerod, G. W., 1873-1874, Wayside Crosses in the District bordering the east of Dartmoor, 391-392 (Article in Serial). SDV346648.

Cross type A. Formerly stood close to road from Chagford to North Bovey.


Crossing, W., 1892, Old Stone Crosses of the Dartmoor Border, 118-119 (Monograph). SDV279564.

Removed to present spot in 1897. Incised Maltese crosses on each face, and modern letters "IA" on its north side. Cross inclines to south, and faces east to west.


Thornton, W. H., 1900-1901, Some Notes on the More Recent History of a Few Ancient Crosses Which Are to be Found in the Neighbourhood of North Bovey, 65-68 plate 8 (Article in Serial). SDV259023.


Masson Phillips, E. N., 1937, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I, 324, plate 32, figure 4 (Article in Serial). SDV240502.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SX78NW24 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV258398.

Week Down Cross. Medieval stone wayside cross not in-situ.
By the roadside about 2 kilometres south of Chagford. A rough pillar cross with very short arms and a rounded (weathered) head, rudely shaped with four stones arranged crosswise flat on ground at base, one to each face. At the crossing of the arms there is an incised cross, the ends of which are slightly expanded; that on east face is better cut than that on west (citing Grimes, W. F., 27/5/1939).
Rectangular in section, much weathered but appears to be complete. Letters "IA" about 75 millimetres high and shallowly cut (21/3/1953).


Ancient Monuments, 1993, Week Down cross: a wayside cross 530m south west of Yellam (Schedule Document). SDV258395.

Well-preserved wayside cross, formed from a single piece of coarse granite, and set on open ground, some 9 metres north of the edge of what is now a minor road. The arms of the cross, which are very stumpy, are aligned nearly north-south. The head is rounded. The cross has a substantial lean to the south-west but appears to be stable.
Maximum visible length of the cross is 2.09 metres. Its present maximum height above the turf on the south side is 1.95 metres. The shaft is roughly rectangular in section, but tapers on the north and south faces from the base upwards. At the base it has maximum dimensions of 0.52 metres by 0.42 metres but under the arms this has been reduced to about 0.3 metres by 0.40 metres. The head is further reduced in size, to about 0.24 metres by 0.33 metres. The south-east corner of the shaft has a chamfer with a maximum width of about 50 millimetres. The other edges of the shaft are slightly rounded.
Both arms appear to be intact, yet extend a maximum of only 70 millimetres from the shaft. The south arm has a depth of 0.28 metres, and the north arm a depth of 0.23 metres. The head is straight-edged on the north side, but has a rounded top and south side. It extends 0.3 metres above the arms.
On the east face, between the arms, there is an incised cross with four splayed ends. The cross measures 0.24 metres by 0.24 metres. The cut is 35 millimetres - 40 millimetres wide, expanding to a maximum of 60 millimetres at the splayed ends. The depth of the cut is a maximum of about 15 millimetres.
Between the arms of the west face is an incised cross with splayed arms. It measures 0.19 metres wide by 0.2 metres high. The cut has a width ranging from 40 millimetres at the centre to 50 millimetres at the splayed ends. The maximum depth of the cut is 15 millimetres.
On the north face of the shaft, 0.23 metres below the arms, the letters 'IA' are finely incised slightly east of the centre of the shaft. The letters are 60 millimetres high. The cuts are 3 - 4 millimetres wide and 1 - 2 millimetres deep. There is a possible cross-piece on the stem of the letter 'I'.
Four slab-like stones surround the base of the cross, one for each face, and appear to be securing the cross. The cross is not quite in-situ having been moved in 1867. It now appears to be sited on top of a stony scarp, which may be prehistoric. The scarp leads to the south-west where its stony composition is visible where it is crossed by a path. The scarp is approximately 3 metres in width by 0.5 metres in height.
This cross is a strong candidate for being a Christianised prehistoric standing stone, on account of its very stumpy yet seemingly original arms, its rounded head, its relatively undressed state and its impressive location.


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

'Cross' is depicted on the modern mapping.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 18/07/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

The monument includes a well preserved wayside cross, formed from a single piece of coarse granite, and set on open ground, some 9m north of the edge of what is now a minor road. There are wide views from this location. The arms of the cross, which are very stumpy, are aligned nearly north-south. The head of the cross is rounded. The cross has a substantial lean to the south west, but appears to be stable.
The maximum visible length of the cross is 2.09m. Its present maximum height above the turf on the south side is 1.95m. The shaft is roughly rectangular in section, but tapers on the north and south faces from the base upwards. At the base it has maximum dimensions of 0.52m by 0.42m but under the arms this has been reduced to about 0.3m by 0.40m. The head is further reduced in size, to about 0.24m by 0.33m. The south east corner of the shaft has a chamfer with a maximum width of about 50mm. The other edges of the shaft are slightly rounded. Both arms appear to be intact, yet extend a maximum of only 70mm from the shaft. The south arm has a depth of 0.28m, and the north arm a depth of 0.23m. The head is straight-edged on the north side, but has a rounded top and south side. It extends 0.3m above the arms.
On the east face, between the arms, there is an incised cross with four splayed ends. The cross measures 0.24m by 0.24m. The cut is 35mm-40mm wide, expanding to a maximum of 60mm at the splayed ends. The depth of the cut is a maximum of about 15mm.
Between the arms of the west face is an incised cross with splayed arms. It measures 0.19m horizontally by 0.2m vertically. The cut has a width ranging from 40mm at the centre to 50mm at the splayed ends. The maximum depth of the cut is 15mm. On the north face of the shaft, 0.23m below the arms, the letters IA are finely incised slightly east of the centre of the shaft. The letters are 60mm high. The cuts are 3mm-4mm wide and 1mm-2mm deep. There is a possible cross-piece on the stem of the letter I. Four slab-like stones surround the base of the cross, one for each face, and appear to be securing the cross.
The cross is not quite in its original situation having been moved in 1867. It now appears to be sited on top of a stony scarp, which may be prehistoric. The scarp leads to the south west where its stony composition is visible where it is crossed by a path. The scarp is approximately 3m in width by 0.5m in height. This cross is a strong candidate for being a Christianised prehistoric standing stone, on account of its very stumpy yet seemingly original arms, its rounded head, its relatively undressed state, and its impressive location.
Week Down cross is a well preserved example of a medieval wayside cross, in a striking location with wide views. Its relatively primitive style suggests a considerable age, and even the possibility of having a prehistoric origin.

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. 324, plate 32, figure 4.
SDV258395Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1993. Week Down cross: a wayside cross 530m south west of Yellam. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
SDV258398Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SX78NW24. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV259023Article in Serial: Thornton, W. H.. 1900-1901. Some Notes on the More Recent History of a Few Ancient Crosses Which Are to be Found in the Neighbourhood of North Bovey. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1. Digital. 65-68 plate 8.
SDV279564Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1892. Old Stone Crosses of the Dartmoor Border. Old stone crosses of the Dartmoor border. Unknown. 118-119.
SDV346648Article in Serial: Ormerod, G. W.. 1873-1874. Wayside Crosses in the District bordering the east of Dartmoor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 6. A5 Hardback. 391-392.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #49596 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 18/07/2016.

Associated Monuments

MDV8273Related to: Field system on Week Down, Chagford (Monument)
MDV8253Related to: Shorter Cross 350 metres north-west of Middlecott, Chagford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jul 24 2017 10:33AM