Manaton Memorial Cross

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LocationJust inside the lych gate to Manaton Churchyard.

O/S Grid Ref:  SX/74958/81279       Longitude/Latitude (Degrees+/-):  -3.76888/50.61777 

Map location:  Click here to view map.

Purpose: The cross serves as the village war memorial.

Size: The shaft is 7 feet 2 inches (2.18 metres) tall and measures 14 inches (0.36 metres) square at the base.  It is not possible to reach up to measure the head, but it is estimated to be around 2 feet 6 inches (0.76 metres) tall and 2 feet (0.61 metres) across the arms.

 Information: The head of the cross is unusual in that both the shaft and the arms are chamfered to a point, both along their edges and at their ends.  The shaft is set into a large socket stone arrangement, on  a plinth of two steps.  The socket stone measures 2 feet 10 inches (0.86 metres) high by 3 feet (0.91 metres) wide and 2 feet 6 inches (0.76 metres) deep.  The top step of the plinth is 12 inches (0.30 metres) high by 4 feet (1.22 metres) wide and 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 metres) deep.  The bottom step is 14 inches (0.36 metres) high by 7 feet (2.13 metres) wide and 6 feet 6 inches 1.98 metres) deep.

The cross is dedicated to the local men who lost their lives during both World War I and II.  Shown around the top of the four edges of the socket stone are the words: In Grateful Memory of the / Men of Manaton who fell / in the Great War 1914 - 1919 / To the Glory of God. The western face of the socket stone also shows the words: Greater Love Hath no Man Than This That a Man Lay Down his Life for his Friends.  The eastern face shows the names of the men who died during the first World War and the southern face shows those who perished during the second World War 1939 - 1945. 

manaton_lych_gate.jpg (144845 bytes)The cross stands just inside the lych gate to the churchyard.  The lych gate is quite a grand affair but, unlike a number of other Dartmoor lych gates, it does not have a large stone on which to rest the coffin whilst passing through.  Just down the hill, at the junction of the roads, there is an ancient stone well set back into the wall.  This would at one time have provided a water supply to the whole of the village but is now, of course, redundant. 

The village of Manaton is stretched out for some distance along the road and is really two villages merged into one.  The upper village is centred around the Church, Village Hall and Green, manaton_well.jpg (178818 bytes)whilst about mile down the road the lower village is centred around the Kestor Inn and includes the picturesque thatched hamlet of Water.  Between the years 1908 and 1923, the novelist John Galsworthy would often visit the village and stay at Wingstone, which is just a short distance to the south west of the church.  Whilst walking around the area he came across Kitty Jay's water_hamlet.jpg (157328 bytes) Grave and, after discovering the legend surrounding the grave, he was inspired into writing his short story The Apple Tree, in 1916.

At the far end of the churchyard, from the lych gate, stands an ancient waymarker cross, which probably once stood on a track leading to the church, but has now been brought into the churchyard for safekeeping.