Towards the Western end of Sticklepath
Village, at the junction of the A30 with the narrow road that leads to the
hamlet of Skaigh. The cross is high up on the bank immediately on your
right hand side.
Grid Ref: 639 941 Map location: Click here to view map.
Purpose: Not known.
Size: The stone is 4 feet 5 inches (1.35 metres) high, 15 inches (0.38 metres) wide at the bottom and tapering to 9 inches (0.23 metres) at the top. It is 12 inches (0.31 metres) in depth. The relief cross is 2 feet 5 inches (0.74 metres) high and 6½ inches (0.16 metres) across the arms.
Information: This is one of two stones in the Sticklepath area that are thought to be Saxon Crosses, of a similar style to that of the Sourton Green Cross. The other is the Sticklepath (Bude Lane) Cross, which is situated about a mile to the West of the village. Both are currently acting as boundary markers for the village.
A large cross is shown in relief on the Western face of the stone and is rather unusual in proportion. The arms, at 14½ inches below the top, are about half way down the cross. There is also a round knob at the top of the cross. This gives it very much the appearance of, an out of proportion, sword. Harry Starkey described the cross in heraldic terms as a ‘Cross Pomel’. Alternatively, William Crossing described it as a Latin cross.
In looking around the stone I was unable to detect any engravings on the other faces. There was, however, a hole in the top of the stone, which measures 2 inches in diameter and 1½ inches deep. I am unable to determine the reason for this hole.
As with the other Sticklepath Saxon Cross, at Bude Lane, research shows that there were other engravings on this stone, which have since weathered or faded away. The Eastern face is described as showing the following figures, from top to bottom: A semi-circle, St. Andrew’s Cross, cartouche-like figure, another St. Andrew’s Cross and two parallel waved lines, similar to a letter ‘S’. The semi-circle was open at the top and the cartouche-like figure resembles an egg timer. I have not come across anything recorded for the other two faces.
Another interesting point is that the 1874 description of the relief cross matches today’s description, except that it places it on the Northern face. However, Mr G.W. Ormerod wrote that the stone once fell down when it was undermined during the building of a new road. It now would appear as though it has been turned through 90 degrees when re-sited to its current position. Presumably this would shift the above description of the markings on the Eastern face to the current Northern one.
The name of Ladywell takes is derived from the site of the nearby well, where villagers used to draw their supply of water. This was to be found at the side of the road, just before the junction. An inscription on the well read: "Lady Well. Drink and be Thankful". It has now been made into a decorative feature and a plaque has been included to commemorate its past use.
The inscribed stone, although high up on the bank, is surrounded by a number of young trees. During my visit a friendly robin took up position in the trees and spent the whole time singing his tuneful song. At times he was so close to me that I felt I could have put my hand out and touched him. It was with great reluctance that I had to leave him and move on.