University of Exeter Press

Ancient and High Crosses of Cornwall

Cornwall's Earliest, Tallest and Finest Medieval Stone Crosses

    • 288 Pages

    Winner of the Holyer an Gof Award 2022 (Leisure and Lifestyle)

    An illustrated guide to one hundred of the finest early Cornish stone crosses, dating from around AD 900 to 1300. These characteristic features of the Cornish landscape are splendid examples of their type, exhibiting a wide geographical spread and a certain weather-beaten beauty.

    The medieval stone crosses of Cornwall have long been objects of curiosity both for residents and visitors. This is the first ever accessible volume on the subject, combining detailed description and discussion of the crosses with information on access, colour images and suggestions for further reading. An approachable but academically rigorous work, it includes analysis of the decorative designs and sculptural techniques, accompanied by high-quality photographs which illustrate the subtleties of each cross, often hard to discern in situ.

    Ancient and High Crosses of Cornwall offers an ideal introduction for the general reader but will also prove essential to local historians, landscape historians, archaeologists and anyone working in the area of Cornish studies or connected with the Cornish diaspora.


    No one knows more about Cornwall’s early sculptured stones than the team behind this book. This handy guide is packed with up-to-date and reliable information to help residents and visitors alike to explore and enjoy this wonderful body of monuments, which tell us so much about society and culture in ancient Cornwall.

    Katherine Forsyth, Professor of Celtic Studies, University of Glasgow
    Granite stone crosses are an iconic feature of the Cornish landscape. Every resident and visitor to Cornwall will want to have a copy of this book in their car, for a fascinating insight into their history and purpose, based on the authors’ own ground-breaking research.
    Derek Craig, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture project

    With its well-illustrated, information-packed catalogue and good bibliography for further reading, this volume is an excellent invitation to both specialist and the uninitiated to explore the earliest, tallest and finest medieval crosses of Cornwall, and I certainly intend to try it out.

    Michael King
    Down County Museum




    Historical overview

    Inscriptions on the crosses

    Cornish groups or schools of stone sculpture

    Dating the monuments

    Function of the crosses

    Antiquarian study and restoration


    Using this book to visit crosses

    A note on photography


    Catalogue of Crosses

    Advent, Tresinney

    St Allen

    St Blazey, Biscovey
    Blisland, St Pratt’s Cross
    Bodmin, Carminow
    St Breock, Whitecross
    St Breward 1
    St Breward 2
    St Breward 3, Middle Moor Cross
    St Buryan 1
    St Buryan 2, Crows an Wra

    Camborne 1, Fenton-Ia
    Camborne 2, Gwealavellan
    Cardinham 1
    Cardinham 2
    Cardinham 3, Treslea

    St Cleer 1, Doniert Stone

    St Cleer 2, Other Half Stone

    St Cleer 3, Long Tom

    St Cleer 4, Holy Well

    St Clement

    St Clether, Cross Gates

    St Columb Major

    Constantine 1, Trewardreva

    Constantine 2, Trevease


    St Dennis

    Egloshayle 1, Pencarrow

    Egloshayle 2, Three Hole Cross

    Egloshayle 3, The Prior’s Cross

    St Endellion, Long Cross

    St Erth 1

    St Erth 2

    St Ewe, Lanhadron


    Fowey, Tristan Stone

    St Germans, Carracawn Cross


    Gulval 1

    Gulval 2

    Gwinear 1, Connor Downs

    Gwinear 2, Lanherne Cross

    St Juliot

    St Just-in-Penwith

    St Kew 1, Job’s Cross

    St Kew 2, Polrode Cross

    Laneast 1

    Laneast 2, Laneast Downs

    Lanhydrock 1

    Lanhydrock 2, Treffry

    Lanivet 1

    Lanivet 2

    Lanivet 3, Lesquite

    Lanlivery, Milltown

    Lanteglos by Camelford 1

    Lanteglos by Camelford 2



    St Levan

    Lostwithiel, Crewel Cross


    Mabe, Helland

    Madron 1, Boscathnoe

    Madron 2, Boswarthen

    Menheniot, Tencreek


    St Michael’s Mount

    Minster, Waterpit Down

    St Minver, St Michael Porthilly

    Mullion, Predannack


    St Neot 1, 2

    St Neot 3, Four Hole Cross

    Padstow 1

    Padstow 2

    Padstow 3, Prideaux Place

    Paul 1

    Paul 2

    Paul 3, Kerris, Carlankan

    Pelynt, Trelay

    Penzance, Market Cross

    Perranzabuloe, St Piran’s Cross 203

    Phillack 206

    Quethiock 208

    Roche 210

    Sancreed 1 212

    Sancreed 2 214

    Sancreed 3, Brane 218

    Sennen, Trevear 220

    South Petherwin, Holyway Cross 222

    Stithians, Tretheague 224

    St Teath 226

    Tintagel 1 229

    Tintagel 2, Bossiney 232

    Truro 234

    Wendron 1 236

    Wendron 2, Meruny 237

    Wendron 3, Merther Uny 238

    St Wenn, Crossy Ann


    Parish Pages

    St Allen
    St Buryan
    St Clether
    Lanteglos by Camelford Lelant
    St Neot






    Ann Preston-Jones has an extensive knowledge of the county’s archaeology, with over thirty years’ experience working for Historic England and Cornwall Archaeological Unit. Her experience is mostly in the care, conservation and management of those sites which make Cornwall special and she has a particular passion for sculptured stone monuments. 

    Andrew Langdon has been recording and researching the stone crosses of Cornwall, as well as medieval ecclesiastical monuments more generally, throughout his lifetime, beginning when he was still at school. He has written extensively on the crosses and has much practical experience in their repair and restoration.  

    Elisabeth Okasha spent most of her working life in University College Cork, retiring as professor emerita. Her research interests and publications are mainly in the area of early medieval inscriptions, covering those in Anglo-Saxon England, Cornwall, Pictland and Ireland.

      • 288 Pages
      • 270 Colour illustrations, 30 Black & white line drawings, 1 Maps