At the road junction in the
centre of the village.
Grid Ref: 605 597 Map location: Click here to view map.
Purpose: Village Cross.
Size: 10 feet 9 inches (3.28 m) tall. 4 feet (1.22 m) across the arms. The base of the shaft measures 15 inches (0.38 m) wide and 15 inches (0.38 m) deep.
Information: This relatively modern Latin cross, erected in 1902, stands beneath a large tree at the crossroads in the centre of the village. The area around both the cross and the tree has been neatly cobbled. The cross is set up on an octagonal plinth of three steps. Each step is topped off with a flat slab, which slightly overlaps the riser. The shaft, which tapers towards the top, is square at the base and octagonal above. The head and arms are also octagonal to match. The whole cross is in very good condition, as one would expect of a cross that is only about 100 years old.
There is an inscription around the riser of the bottom step, which reads:
AD 1900 – OS NOSTRAQUE DEO – IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF – FREDERIC ROGERS, LORD BLACHFORD K.C.M.G. – AND OF HIS WIFE GEORGIANA MARY – HE SERVED HIS COUNTRY FAITHFULLY WITH 25 YEARS IN THE COLONIAL OFFICE.
Frederic Rogers was a distinguished civil servant in the Colonial Office. On retirement he became the Squire of Blachford, a large estate on the outskirts of the village of Cornwood. The manor house is about ½ mile to the north east of the village, but the vast estate lands extend right onto the moor itself. In fact there are a number of boundary stones on the moor which still bear the inscription of ‘BB’, for Blachford Bounds. Amongst these is Broad Rock, above Erme Head, some 5 miles from the manor house. Frederic Rogers died in 1902 and the Barony of Blachford has now become extinct.
Cornwood, which is often referred to locally as ‘Cross’, stands at the junction of two ancient trackways. These are the routes from Buckfast Abbey to Plympton Priory and from Tavistock to Ivybridge. The former is more fully described in the page for the Harford Churchyard Cross. It is therefore quite likely that Cornwood would originally have had a cross to mark this important junction. However, no record or trace of such a cross can be found.
The current cross was erected as a memorial to Frederic Rogers, shortly after his death. It was designed by Mr James Hine and crafted locally, under his supervision, from granite obtained within the parish. Frederic Rogers was held in such esteem, that the cross was dedicated in a ceremony conducted by the Bishop of Exeter.
In the middle of the village, next to the village shop, is the former Smithy with its ‘Upping-Stocks’ or Mounting Block outside. This would have been used for riders to mount their horses and to assist in loading carts etc. Opposite the old Smithy is the Jubilee Fountain, which bears the Blachford Arms of a deer between two leafed stalks.
Also within the Blachford Estate, the unusually named woodland of Hawns and Dendles runs up the valley, between the River Yealm and the Broadall Gulf, onto the moor. This is a truly magical place with the dense overhead canopy of trees, carpet of moss over the ground and water cascading over granite boulders in the river bed. No-one is quite certain how the name of Hawns came about, but it has been suggested that a Madam Hawns once owned a mansion within the western half of this woodland. However, records show that Dendles is a corruption of the name ‘Daniels’, who once owned a property within the eastern portion of the Woodland.