ore recent than the more famous and highly decorated Saxon preaching crosses, next to which later stone churches were built, these wayside crosses are much simpler and mostly from the Norman period up to the fifteenth century.
Many have been moved (victims of later building work) some to churchyards for safe keeping, some to an appropriate place in a town or village to become the basis for a war memorial after 1918. Others have been reused as boundary markers by later landowners. But some, surrounded by trees or exposed on the moors, still mark ancient roads – the less used the track in later centuries, the more likely its stone crosses are still visible.
The best concentration, giving some clue as to how they were once part of the landscape and how useful they might have been in often featureless countryside, is in Devon on and around Dartmoor. Found mainly at crossroads, they deserve to be better known.
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