Browse crosses

LocationHigh above the road, on the left hand side and amongst the trees, on approaching Leigh Bridge from Chagford.

O/S Grid Ref:  SX/68352/87557       Longitude/Latitude (Degrees+/-):  -3.86444/50.67274 

Map location:  Click here to view map.

Purpose:  Probable waymarker at nearby Teigncombe Farm, which is on the route of the ancient Mariner’s Way.

Size: The new replacement cross measures 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 metres) high and 14 inches (0.36 metres) across the arms.  The shaft, which tapers up from the base, narrows from 11 inches (0.28 metres) to 8 inches (0.20 metres) wide and is 8½ inches (0.22 metres) deep.  The incised cross on the head measures 4½ inches (0.11 metres) by 4½ inches (0.11 metres), within an incised circle which has a diameter of 7¼ inches (0.18 metres).  The previous cross (see Information below) measured 4 feet (1.22 metres) high and 14 inches (0.36 metres) across the arms. The incised cross was 5½ inches (0.14 metres) high and 4½ inches (0.11 metres) across the arms.

Information:  During a previous visit to the area, in June 2015, the original cross was found to be missing. On making enquiries, we were informed by leigh_bridge_cross3.jpg (174609 bytes) the Dartmoor National Park Authority that the granite shaft had become weak over the years and that the cross had fallen over during the winter of 2013/14.  The Park Authority rescued the cross and were holding it in storage until a decision could be made on how best it might be repaired and restored to the site. The photo to the left shows the short length of shaft that remained sticking out the top of the boulder where the break occurred.  It now seems as though the old cross was too weak to be repaired and put back out on site.  However, the National Park Authority commissioned a new cross to be made as a replica of the original and this was placed out on site during July 2019. 

leigh_bridge_cross_new2.jpg (199050 bytes)The cross is set on top of two large natural boulders, one on top of the other, and is half hidden by the surrounding trees. The head and arms of the original cross were part of an ancient cross that is thought to have once stood at Teigncombe Farm, about ¾ mile to the south-west. A large circular socket stone, which is thought to have originally supported this cross was, for many years, in use as a roadside gatepost quite close to Teigncombe Farm.  However, on my visit to this site, in 2021, I found that the socket stone had been replaced by a round wooden gatepost and the socket is now lying on the ground, under the hedge, just inside the field.  The rectangular hole in the socket stone would appear to match the likely size of the original shaft of the cross. As the Mariner’s Way, of which more detail can be found on our page for Leeper Cross, passes through Teigncombe Farm it is a likely place for an ancient cross to be found.
The original rugged cross was erected in position by a Mr Clampitt, early in the 20th Century. The incised cross was on the roadside face and the cemented joint, between the cross and the  replacement shaft, could clearly be seen. The new shaft, which was rectangular in section, was slightly tapered and was deliberately roughly hewn in an attempt to match the cross. The width of  the shaft reduced leigh_bridge_old.jpg (97165 bytes) from 13 inches (0.33 metres) at the base to 9 inches (0.23 metres) just below the arms and measured 7 inches (0.18 metres) in depth. The highest point of the boulders is 8 feet  9 inches (2.67 metres) above the bank immediately in front of them.

teign_meet.jpg (205453 bytes)The picturesque Leigh Bridge, which spans the South Teign River, stands just a few yards down the road from the cross, immediately upstream of the confluence of the two Teign rivers. The North Teign, flowing down through the woods below the Gidleigh Park Hotel, meeting the South Teign, pouring down from the overflow of the Fernworthy Reservoir. A little way downstream from the bridge, on the right hand bank of the river and standing in private grounds is the Puggiestone. This stone, which is set in a beautifully landscaped garden, is one of a number of boundary stones around the parish of Chagford.