Browse crosses

Location Across the footpath and immediately opposite the Walkhampton Church House. 

O/S Grid Ref: SX/53720/70188       Longitude/Latitude (Degrees+/-):  -4.06453/50.51315  

Map location: Click here to view map.

Purpose:  Possible waymarker for the route between the Abbeys of Buckland and Buckfast or Churchyard Cross for the nearby Walkhampton Church.

Size:  6 feet 7 inches (2.00 metres) tall. 2 feet 1 inch (0.65 metres) across the arms.

Information:  This cross is another that has been badly mutilated in the past. The socket stone was found built into a wall near the Church House and the shaft was found lying, abandoned, in the lane leading to the church. These were brought together and erected at its current site, in 1984, as arranged and funded by Mrs Helen Andrew, who lived nearby. 

The shaft has a wide chamfer for the first 12 inches above ground and a narrower chamfer for the rest of the way to the top. There are four holes showing in one side of the cross, which were made to take gate hangers. This obviously means that, at some point, it has been used as a gatepost, which accounts for the damage done to the head and arms. The socket stone is triangular in shape and is just showing above the ground. The socket stone and shaft are of different types and are unlikely to have been originally of the same cross.

Seven years after the shaft and socket stone were re-erected, the restoration was completed by Bill and Sue Andrew with the addition of a new head, made by local stonemasons Dart & Francis. This marks an interesting repeat of history, for Commander Bill Andrew, who lives at the Church House, is the grandson of Vice Admiral Sir Malcolm Goldsmith, who in 1903 was responsible for the discovery and restoration of Goldsmith's Cross, as well as one of the crosses on Ter Hill

walkhampton_church.jpg (122481 bytes)The church itself lies about half a mile outside of the village of Walkhampton, which would indicate that the church predates the village and was built in this location at a point being central to several local farms. 

Next door to the Church is the old Church House. This building is well documented and dates from the early sixteenth century. A plaque on the wall gives the date of 1698, but this was probably when alterations took place to build the second floor.  

walkhampton_church_house.jpg (98257 bytes)The house has now been converted into a pair of semi-detached cottages. The stone-mullioned windows can still be seen, as can the granite steps that were used to load carts and to mount horses. The inside of the house contains a granite staircase and some stone arches.

wchhse.gif (17673 bytes)The Church House originally belonged to the parishioners and would have been managed by the church wardens. The original purpose of the Church House was to brew and sell ale and it would have been open for business straight after church services - a Public House owned by its customers, what more could one ask for! Besides the brewing of Church Ale, it was the Council Chamber, a collection centre for local Tithes, the distribution centre of bread for the poor and, of course, an inn on the route from Buckfast Abbey to Tavistock Abbey. It ceased trading in 1894 and was restored to its former glory in the early 1980's. This is probably the oldest house in the village and certainly the one with the most history attached to it. As can be seen by this engraving, there was at one time a covered porch or gateway adjacent to the house, which has since disappeared.