Penn Beacon Cross

Browse crosses

LocationIncised into a rock a short distance to the south of Penn Beacon

O/S Grid Ref: SX/599/628       Longitude/Latitude (Degrees+/-):  -3.97465/50.44826 (approx.)

Map location:  Click here to view map.

Purpose: We are not aware of the purpose of this incised cross.

Size: The cross has not yet been measured.

 Information: This cross, which has been incised onto a boulder just to the south of Penn Beacon, has now weathered quite badly and is not easy to see ordinarily.  The incision has therefore been picked out in chalk, in the photo opposite, so that it can be clearly seen.

lee_moor_clay_works.jpg (91863 bytes)To the south and west of Penn Beacon lies a massive white scar in the landscape that is the Lee Moor China Clay Works.  In fact the clay works are made up several smaller areas, such as Shaugh Lake, Wotterwaste, Whitehill Yeo and Cholwichtown, but they all come under the umbrella of the Lee Moor China Clay Works.  China clay has been extracted from this area since the early years of the 19th century and is used in a variety of household products e.g. Paper, Paint, Fibreglass, Cosmetics and Pharmaceuticals as well as Porcelain and China, of course. 

China Clay is found in areas where the granite rocks have decomposed, due to age and weathering, to form Kaolin.  The Kaolin is extracted from the ground using high-pressure water jets, with the Kaolin mixing with the water to form a kind of slurry.  This slurry undergoes a series of processes to remove all the impurities, including Mica, Feldspar and Quartz, and is then bleached to improve the whiteness of the finished product.  Although clay mining has existed in the area for over 100 years, the peak years were in the 1980's when the combined output of China Clay in Devon and Cornwall accounted for about 50% of the world's production.  Although more recently production locally is on a much reduced scale, Lee Moor is still an important and significant source for the nation's china clay requirements.

Our thanks to Bob Noakes for bringing this cross to our attention and for providing the main photo (above right).