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HER Number:MDV8728
Name:Hele Cross: a wayside cross 700m south east of Wormhill

Summary

Late Medieval wayside granite cross set on a bank in a square granite socket stone which itself is resting on three courses of visible stonework. The shaft and arms are octagonal in section, with chamfers and both arms and head are splayed. The shaft plus head measures 1.76 metres high. The cross is well crafted and preserved, and is likely to date to the years around AD 1500. Local tradition says that it was removed from a chapel that once stood nearby, though it is likely to be more or less in situ. In 1868 it was made secure after being threatened by gravel digging.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 721 841
Map Sheet:SX78SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishNorth Bovey
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH BOVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78SW/13
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)
  • Old SAM County Ref: 358
  • Old SAM Ref: 24829

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • WAYSIDE CROSS (XV to XVI - 1450 AD to 1550 AD (Between))

Full description

Ormerod, G. W., 1873-1874, Wayside Crosses in the District bordering the east of Dartmoor, 393-4 (Article in Serial). SDV346648.


Crossing, W., 1892, Old Stone Crosses of the Dartmoor Border, 127-8 (Monograph). SDV279564.


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, 67 (Article in Serial). SDV259023.

Opposite to the front of Hele Farmhouse is another very beautiful cross, but it is probably not of equal antiquity to those on Week Down.


Masson Phillips, E. N., 1937, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon: Part I, 329, plate 39, figure 17 (Article in Serial). SDV240502.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953, SX78SW24, 6/5/1953 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV303073.

At the roadside near Hele, between North Bovey and Beetor Cross.
Type C, 1.7 metres high. A socket-stone, square at the base with corner shoulders, and octagonal above, supports a cross, of rectangular section at the base and with chamfered edges above. The shaft tapers upwards and the head and arms expand outwards (Citing Masson Phillips, 1937).
A Maltese cross, base 10 inches high rectangular at the bottom (36 by 29 inches), octagonal at the top. The cross is 5 feet 10 inches high and the arms are 25 inches wide, the head rising 7 inches above them. At the bottom the girth of the shaft is 42 inches diminishing to 37 inches under the arms. A tradition exists that the cross was brought from a small chapel that once stood close to the stream just below. Here pilgrims were wont to gather before setting off for the Abbey at Tavistock. Hele Cross stands upon masonry several feet high, raised with a view to its preservation by the late Earl of Devon in 1868 (Citing Crossing, 1892).
The cross stood on the edge of a hallow made by people carrying away friable granite and in August 1868 it was "set up a little to the back of its original position (Citing Ormerod, 1874).
Previous descriptions are correct, but its present position is no safer than its previous one, as the pedestal is cracking due to subsidence and soil erosion of the bank on which it stands. No trace of chapel found (06/05/1953).


Department of Environment, 1987, North Bovey, 143 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV348844.

Wayside cross. Late medieval. Well cut granite. Maltese cross with octagonal shaft and arms standing in a socket-stone square at the base and octagonal above.


Ancient Monuments, 1993, Hele Cross (Schedule Document). SDV303071.

Hele Cross.
Exceptionally well-preserved and elegant late Medieval wayside cross formed from a single piece of moderately coarse granite. Set on a bank in a square granite socket stone which rests on three courses of visible stonework.
Arms are aligned nearly north-west by south-east. Shaft and arms are octagonal in section, with chamfers 0.1 metres wide with tall pointed stops, 0.35 metres high, at base of shaft. Arms and head are splayed. Shaft is rectangular in section, with chamfers, and measures 0.29 metres by 0.25 metres. Height of shaft and head is 1.76 metres. Width across arms is 0.65 metres. Each arm extends 0.18 metres from the shaft, with a depth ranging from 0.27 metres against the shaft to 0.32 metres at the splayed end.
Head of the shaft extends 0.19 metres above the arms. Its minimum width is 0.28 metres against the arms from where it splays upwards to a width of 0.31 metres at the top. Head has a flat top, of which a small portion has broken away at the northern end.
An iron clamp on the east side of the cross secures the shaft to the socket stone. The clamp extends 0.25 metres up the face of the shaft. The socket stone measures 0.95 metres by 0.75 metres by 0.26 metres deep. Socket is not visible.
Probably dates from around 1500. Local tradition is that it was moved from a chapel which once stood nearby though it is probably more or less in-situ. Made secure in 1868 after being threatened by gravel digging.


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

'Stone Cross' is depicted on the modern mapping.


Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England, Accessed 19/07/2016 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

The monument includes an exceptionally well preserved and elegant late medieval wayside cross formed from a single piece of moderately coarse granite. It is set on a bank in a square granite socket stone which itself is resting on three courses of visible stonework, below which there is a drop of about 0.8m to the road level. It is at a T-junction of minor roads, on the east side of the junction.
The arms are aligned nearly north west-south east. The shaft and arms are octagonal in section, with chamfers 0.1m wide. The chamfers have tall pointed stops, 0.35m high, at the base of the shaft. Both arms and head are splayed. The height of the shaft plus head is 1.76m. The shaft is neatly rectangular in section, with chamfers, and measures 0.29m by 0.25m. The width across the arms of the cross is 0.65m.
Both arms have identical dimensions, extending 0.18m from the shaft and with a depth ranging from 0.27m against the shaft to 0.32m at their splayed ends.
The head of the shaft extends a maximum of 0.19m above the arms. Its minimum width is 0.28m against the arms from where it splays upwards to a width of 0.31m at the top. The head has a flat top, of which a small portion has broken away at its northern end.
An iron clamp on the east side of the cross secures the shaft to the socket stone. The clamp extends 0.25m up the face of the shaft. The socket stone measures 0.95m by 0.75m by 0.26m deep. The socket itself is not visible.
The cross is well crafted and preserved, and is likely to date to the years around AD 1500. Local tradition says that it was removed from a chapel that once stood nearby, though it is likely to be more or less in situ. In 1868 it was made secure after being threatened by gravel digging.
Hele Cross is one of the best preserved and most elegantly finished of late medieval Dartmoor wayside crosses. It is conspicuously sited at a junction of minor roads.

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. 329, plate 39, figure 17.
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. 67.
SDV279564Monograph: Crossing, W.. 1892. Old Stone Crosses of the Dartmoor Border. Old stone crosses of the Dartmoor border. Unknown. 127-8.
SDV303071Schedule Document: Ancient Monuments. 1993. Hele Cross. The Schedule of Monuments. Unknown.
SDV303073Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953. SX78SW24. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index. 6/5/1953.
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. 393-4.
SDV348844List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. North Bovey. Historic Houses Register. A4 Single Sheet. 143.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #108808 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. Accessed 19/07/2016.

Associated Monuments

MDV77047Related to: Hele farmstead, North Bovey (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jul 19 2016 10:08AM