Stone crosses

Mylor 12
The cross in Mylor churchyard, thought to be the tallest in Cornwall

You could call these ancient monuments but most of them are from the Christian era and so we have collected them separately.

There appear to have been several reasons for erecting crosses:

  • As wayside crosses, beside tracks or paths, showing the way to the nearest parish church
  • As boundary markers, usually parish boundaries
  • As memorial crosses – and here we cheat again by including inscribed stones – commemorating famous people or events
  • As Churchyard crosses, closely allied to use as memorials, especially when associated with ancient lanns or burial grounds
  • As market crosses, places for meeting

What we have no way of knowing is whether any of the crosses that we see today started life as menhirs. The Mylor cross illustrated here may well have been one of these before it found a new use.

A journey through the landscape and history of Cornwall