Chagford C. of E. Primary School Cross

Browse crosses

Location: The cross is sited on the splay of the vehicular entrance to the Chagford Church of England Primary School, opposite the entrance to the Fire Station.

O/S Grid Ref:  SX/70311/87904               Longitude/Latitude (Degrees+/-):  -3.83685/50.67630

Map location:  Click here to view map.

Purpose: The cross serves to mark the building of the new Church of England Primary School, at Chagford. 

Size: The cross is 4 feet 10 inches (1.47 metres) tall and measures 17 inches (0.43 metres) across the arms.  The shaft is 10 inches (0.25 metres) wide, as measured beneath the arms, and an average of 12 inches (0.31 metres) deep.  The St John's cross inscribed into the head is 12 inches (0.31 metres) tall by 11 inches (0.28 metres) wide. 

Information:  Two of the Foundation Governors of the new school, the Reverend Paul Seaton-Burn and Jon Bint came up with idea that the erection of a cross on the school premises would be an ideal way to mark the construction of the new school and would also serve to strengthen the identity of the school within the town.

chagford_school_0469.jpg (127843 bytes) The stone was donated by Jon Bint's former boss, Matt Bonfield, ex-Hilton Supplies, which subsequently became a branch of Bradford's Building Supplies.  It lay in their yard at Moretonhampstead and was originally an old gatepost at Matt Bonfield's home, out the back of Chagford.  Bradford's Tool Hire donated the use of a large disc cutter to help undertake the initial rough cut of the cross, which took place over two days during the Christmas holidays in 2017.  Jon then used his medium and small cutters to finish it off over two baking hot days in June 2018.  Bradford's Building Supplies donated the use of a crane lorry to transport the stone to and from Jon's home, with the finished cross being delivered to the school site on Saturday 14th July 2018.  The Kier Group, who were building the new school, arranged to install the cross the same day, taking great care to align it specifically as requested.  Jon Bint has now cleaned up the area around the cross, which will be properly landscaped in the near future, perhaps with some heather around the cross to give it a true moorland look. 

chagford_school_rear.jpg (131302 bytes)The cross is a modern take on the traditional local stone crosses, especially those of Chagford's old Market and War Memorial, Week Down and Bennet's Crosses.  The front of the head has a St John's cross, while the rear has 'MMXVIII' (2018) inscribed across the arms, with a small rather runic-looking 'JB' (Jon Bint) monograph above.  On the four faces to the lower end of the shaft are the initial letters of the four parishes that comprise the School catchment area: 'C' (Chagford - Front), 'G' (Gidleigh - Left side), 'T' (Throwleigh - Rear) and 'D' (Drewsteignton - Right side).

The supply and erection of this cross has been a real team effort, led by Jon Bint (seen in the photo on the left with the Bishop of Exeter), with help and support from:  Patrick Clifford, Alan chagford_school_0493.jpg (116631 bytes)Cockwill, Terry Wilson & Vicky Wilkinson (all Bradford's chagford_school_0500.jpg (134402 bytes) Building Supplies, Moretonhampstead), Sam Foy (Bradford's Tool Hire, Newton Abbot), Chris Jewell & John (Kier Group - the School's construction firm), Matt Bonfield, Chris Smallwood (Gidleigh Farmer) and Gabe & Tim Bint.  On Wednesday 10th October 2018, a ceremony was held at the site when the new school building was officially opened by local author, Michael Morpurgo.  The ceremony was also attended by the Bishop of Exeter, who took this opportunity of blessing the new cross and Jon Bint gave a speech on the history of the cross and the work involved in setting it upon site.

Our thanks to Jon Bint for bringing this cross to our attention, supplying some of the photos and providing us with all the detail of how it came into being.