MSO7703 - Original site of Raleigh's Cross (Monument)


A boundary cross first documented in 1425/6, probably originally marking the boundary of the Raleigh estate at Nettlecombe. It was moved from within the National Park boundary to its present position in the late 18th/early 19th Century.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

[ST 03723442] Raleigh's Cross (NR) (Site of) (NAT) [ST 03893442] Raleigh's Cross (NAT). [1] Raleigh's Cross near the 'Raleigh's Arms Inn' formerly stood in a field on the north side of the road whence it was removed to its present site. The remains consist of the large socket; a single step and the stump of a shaft all much weather-worn and broken. It was probably erected 26 Edw. 1 to mark the manorial boundary of the Raleigh family of Nettlecombe. (See illust). [2] The remains of the cross are as described. See G.P. AO/65/182/2. Published survey, 1/2500 correct. [3,4] ST03SW NETTLECOMBE CP RALEIGH'S CROSS 7/39 Raleigh's Cross 22.5.69 II* Boundary Cross. 13th Century. Red sandstone. Remains of square shaft set in octagonal socket, damaged, about 700 mm high. Pooley illustrates the cross with broached corners to the socket which rests on a square base, perhaps now concealed beneath the earth. The cross was first referred to in 1425-6 when it stood to the North at the junction of 5 ways, (now 4), by a dangerous bog. It was moved to its present position in the late 18th - early 19th Century. [5] Raleigh's Cross was said to have been built originally as a landmark for travellers near a dangerous bog north of the Brendon ridgeway, making the junction of five ways, only four of which survive. It was mentioned as a marker in a view of the Nettlecombe manor boundary in 1425-6. The cross was moved to its present position 'forty or fifty years ago' [6,7] Additional Bibliography. [8-9] Ralegh's Cross is the base and stump of a (medieval) cross shaft. It stands to the northwest, and in the garden of, the Ralegh's Cross Inn at SS 03885 34415. The cross comprises two elements: 1. The base. This is 0.95 metres square and 0.3 metres thick. It is made of local red sandstone and has been damaged, however two corners survive intact and show some decoration. 2. The shaft. This survives as a stump, 0.7 metres high, square in section, and made from local red sandstone. The top part is missing, presumably snapped off, because there are no traces of a lug or socket on the remaining piece. [11] The extant cross (which stands outside the Park boundary) was visited in June 2013 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 4A. [12] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [13] A stone cross marked the manorial boundary of the Raleigh family at Nettlecombe and the meeting of five roads near a dangerous bog on open moor. The cross also marked the parish boundary between Nettlecombe and Clatworthy. The cross is first mentioned in a document of 1425/6 and its repositioned stump can be found near the inn. [14] The current location of the cross is recorded by the Somerset HER (PRN 30737). [15]

Sources/Archives (15)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1888.
  • <2> Monograph: Pooley, C.. 1877. An historical and descriptive account of the old stone crosses of Somerset. 62.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PALMER, JP. Mid 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 5 August 1965.
  • <5> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . DOE (HHR) W Somer Dist (Elworthy et al) Somer 21st Dec 1984 23.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Unknown. 1383-1384. Court roll for the manor of Nettlecombe.
  • <7> Serial: Dunning, R. W. (editor). 1985. A History of the County of Somerset. Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research. 5. p 113 (M C Siraut).
  • <8> Article in serial: Anonymous. 1883. Raleigh's Cross. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 29. Part I, pp 47-8.
  • <9> Monograph: Snell, F. J.. 1906. Memorials of Old Somerset. p 135, illustration.
  • <10> Article in serial: Green, E.. 1889. A Benevolence Granted to Charles II by the Hundreds of Williton, Freemanors, and Carhampton. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 35. Part II, pp 53-82. p 74-5.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Wilson-North, R.. Various. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 11 November 1998.
  • <12> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <13> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 188445, Updated 31 May 2022.
  • <14> Monograph: Blackman, H., Blaylock, S., Thomas, C. and Wall, N.. 2019. A field guide to Exmoor's traditional roadside fingerposts. Exmoor National Park Authority. 1st Edition. p 38.
  • <15> Archive: South West Heritage Trust. 1977-. Somerset Historic Environment Record. PRN 30737.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12318
  • Local List Status (Unassessed)
  • National Monuments Record reference: ST 03 SW5
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 188445
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35479



Grid reference ST 0371 3441 (point) Centred on
Map sheet ST03SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Jun 30 2022 12:05PM


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