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Crossroads

Crossroads

When is a cross not a cross? simple, when it’s a Dartmoor Cross. As with many things on the moor – nothing is as it ever seems. The ‘cross’ in this context simply denotes a  junction of three or more roads/lanes. There are well over 200 specific named cross’ on the moor which when considering the miles of roads and lane is nothing astounding. But just to confuse things there are also a large number of stone crosses on the moor which are also prefixed with the word ‘cross’. If you really want a spanner in the works then some of the cross’ also have stone crosses stood at them so you get for example; Sanduck Cross (road junction) and Sanduck Cross (wayside stone cross). How do folk know what’s what, I don’t know they just do. You will also find that the name of the cross is written vertically and fixed to the post. To save time and presumably money the ‘cross’ suffix is reduced to a black Maltese cross type symbol, so you actually see for example on the sign – Butts Crossroads

There are some splendid names such as; Bethel Combe Cross, Brandiron Cross, Daisy Kingwell Cross, Firestone Cross, Pig’s Leg Cross etc. and my favourite, probably because I used to pass it every day is Mucksy Lane Cross. Below is a list of the majority of the Dartmoor crossroads’.

Name Location   Name Location
ALSTON CROSS SX 7761 7135   JORDAN CROSS SX 7085 7512
ALSTON CROSS SX 7761 7135   JURSTON CROSS SX 6983 8518
AUSEWELL CROSS SX 7390 7205   KELLY CROSS SX 7905 8192
BARNE CROSS SX 7625 8373   KINGS CROSS SX 8044 8001
BARROW WAY CROSS SX 6735 8957   KNOWLES CROSS SX 7473 6960
BATWORTHY CROSS SX 7082 8544   LANGSTONE CROSS SX 7427 8170
BATWORTHY MILL CROSS SX 7083 8547   LANGSTONE CROSS SX 7614 7093
BEADON CROSS SX 8155 8110   LEIGH CROSS SX 6720 5742
BEATLAND CORNER CROSS SX 5482 6240   LEIGH CROSS SX 7050 6110
BECKAMOOR CROSS SX 5347 7430   LEIGH CROSS SX 8427 8090
BECKHAMS TREE CROSS SX 8378 8360   LEIGHON CROSS SX 7510 8017
BEETOR CROSS SX 7130 8430   LETTAFORD CROSS SX 7099 8409
BELSTONE CROSS SX 6210 9369   LEWTHORN CROSS SX 7795 7610
BERRY CROSS SX 8077 8993   LEY CROSS SX 7229 7948
BETHEL COMBE CROSS SX 7872 7435   LITTLE CROSS SX 7056 6968
BETHEL CROSS SX 7822 7427   LIVATON CROSS SX 6767 9351
BINNAMORE CROSS SX 6873 6141   LOCKS GATE CROSS SX 6963 7398
BIRCHANGER CROSS SX 7728 7557   LOWER BLACKATON CROSS SX 6978 7783
BLACKATON CROSS SX 6976 7782   LOWER DOWN CROSS SX 7990 7819
BLACKATON CROSS  SX 6783 8899   LOWERDOWN CROSS SX 7990 7818
BLOODY POOL CROSS SX ???     ???   LOWERY CROSS SX 5487 6926
BOVEY CROSS SX 7432 8470   MARDON CROSS SX 8010 8395
BOWDOWN CROSS  SX 7243 6254   MARWOOD’S CROSS SX 6788 5805
BRANDIRON CROSS  SX 8340 8092   MEAD CROSS SX 7777 7118
BUDE CROSS SX 6312 9477   MOON’S CROSS SX 6524 9411
BUGSHEAD CROSS SX 7341 8540   MOOR CROSS SX 7040 6399
BULLATON CROSS SX 8045 8230   MOORSHEAD CROSS SX 7141 6310
BULLHORNSTONE CROSS SX 6836 6023   MUCKSY LANE CROSS SX 6947 8545
BURCHANGER CROSS SX 7728 7557   NETHERTON CROSS SX 7350 9105
BURROUGH CROSS SX 7526 9102   OAKHILL CROSS SX 6968 6068
BUTTS CROSS SX 7000 7306   OWLACOMBE CROSS SX 7649 7276
CATOR GREEN CROSS SX 6798 7666   OXENHAM CROSS SX 6628 9442
CHAGFORD CROSS SX 6882 8830   PEAR TREE CROSS SX 7504 6932
CHAGFORD CROSS SX 7502 8643   PETER TAVY CROSS SX 5081 7649
CHALLACOMBE CROSS SX 6949 8306   PIGS LEG CROSS SX 5284 8911
CHAPPLE CROSS SX 6718 8902   PLACE CROSS SX 7614 7093
CHERITON CROSS SX 6808 5860   PLAY CROSS SX 7058 6930
CHESTON CROSS SX 6808 5860   POOLMILL CROSS SX 8062 8205
CHURCH CROSS SX 7391 6660   REDDACLEAVE KILN CROSS SX 7041 6394
CLIFFORD CROSS SX 7812 8983   REW CROSS SX 7550 7076
COLD EAST CROSS SX 7406 7420   REWDOWN CROSS SX 7507 7110
COLESWORTHY CROSS SX 8064 7589   REWLEA CROSS SX 7550 7103
COMBESHEAD CROSS SX 6391 5828   RIDGEY CROSS SX 7120 6926
COSSICK CROSS SX 7737 8612   RINGHILL CROSS SX 6720 9416
COTTAMOOR CROSS SX 5163 7617   ROCKPARK CROSS SX 7650 7089
COTTLES CROSS SX 5641 9330   ROUND CROSS SX 7370 6682
COXHILL CROSS SX 7310 6525   ROWDEN CROSS SX 7015 7632
COXTOR CROSS SX 5163 7617   ROWELL CROSS SX 5130 8510
CREEK CROSS SX 7728 7027   SANDHILL CROSS SX 7445 8704
CRIPTOR CROSS SX 5461 7225   SANDS GATE CROSS SX 6979 9023
CROSS FURZES SX 6988 6680   SANDUCK CROSS SX 7663 8354
CUDDYFORD CROSS SX 7573 7093   SANDYWAYS CROSS SX 7203 8830
DAISY KINGWELL CROSS SX 6192 5722   SHAPLEY CROSS SX 6827 8509
DEAN CROSS SX 7201 6285   SHAPTOR CROSS SX 8154 8111
DOCCOMBE CROSS SX 7731 8645   SHEWTE CROSS SX 7954 7890
DOWNSTOW CROSS SX 6919 6253   SHUTE CROSS SX 6806 5827
DREWSTON CROSS SX 7207 8757   SIGFORD CROSS SX 7768 7525
DRUID CROSS SX 7433 7079   SINGMOOR CROSS SX 7192 8551
DRYFORD CROSS SX 7010 7531   SLADE CROSS SX 7990 8121
DRYWELL CROSS SX 7010 7531   SMOKEY CROSS SX 7723 7629
EAST ASH CROSS SX 6800 9110   STAWELL’S BUSH CROSS SX 7681 7093
EASTER LANE CROSS SX 7106 7510   STICKLEPATH CROSS SX 6437 9401
EASTON CROSS SX 7190 8880   STIDSON CROSS SX 7154 6038
FACTORY CROSS SX 6941 8782   STINIEL CROSS SX 7079 8553
FIRESTONE CROSS SX 6679 9302   STONE CROSS SX 7074 9101 
FIVE CROSS SX 7820 7492   STONE CROSS SX 7195 7454
FIVE WYCHES CROSS SX 8055 7830   SUMMERHILL CROSS SX 7444 6961
FOUR CROSS SX 7846 7535   THOMAS’S CROSS SX 8145 8925
FOX & HOUND CROSS SX 5252 8670   THORNS CROSS SX 7303 8542
FULLAFORD POOL CROSS SX 7339 6577   THROWLEIGH CROSS SX 6687 9075
FURZLEIGH CROSS SX 8196 7968   TIPLEYHILL CROSS SX 7998 7571
GALLOWS PARK CROSS SX 7720 7071   TONGUE END CROSS SX 6231 9490
GEES CROSS SX 5583 6670   TORHILL CROSS SX 6860 9044
GIDLEIGH CROSS SX 6724 8832   TORPEEK CROSS SX 6604 5660
GINGAFORD CROSS SX 7025 6244   TOWNSEND CROSS SX 6482 9378
GOODSTONE CROSS SX 7864 7202   TRENNAWAY CROSS SX 7272 9083
GOOSEFORD CROSS SX 6767 9184   TWO THORNS CROSS SX 6781 7092
GRADDON CROSS SX 5641 9330   UPPACOTT CROSS SX 7379 8861
GREATWEEK CROSS SX 7147 8760   WALLAFORD CROSS SX 7232 6562
GREYSTONE CROSS SX 7491 9152   WARREN’S CROSS SX 5137 7335
HALL CROSS SX 6247 5982   WATCHING PLACE CROSS SX 7129 8419
HALSHANGER CROSS SX 7581 7308   WAY DOWN CROSS SX 7049 8598
HAM HILL CROSS SX 7406 7420   WEDDICOTT CROSS SX 7049 8598
HARBOURNEFORD CROSS SX 7170 6225   WEEK CROSS SX 7268 8511
HARESFOOT CROSS SX 7370 7662   WELLSTOR CROSS SX 7396 7210
HAWSON CROSS SX 7104 6819   WHITE GATE CROSS SX 6949 8880
HAYNE CROSS SX 7506 8069   WHITEABURY CROSS SX 7203 8849
HEATHFIELD CROSS SX 5992 6016   WHITEY CROSS SX 7042 6831
HEATREE CROSS SX 7298 8097   WHITEY CROSS SX 7655 6951
HELE CROSS SX 6130 6103   WILLIS’S CROSS SX 7997 7530
HELE CROSS SX 7199 8473   WITHECOMBE CROSS SX 6962 8931
HELE CROSS SX 7452 7040   WOODHOUSE CROSS SX 7943 7641
HEYTREE CROSS SX 7298 8097   YALLAND CROSS SX 6910 6270
HOCKMOOR HEAD SX 7276 6733   YARNERPITTS CROSS SX 6806 8893
HOOKS CROSS SX 7790 7261   YELLANDS CROSS SX 6983 8518
HORSEPIT CROSS SX 7432 8470   YOLLAND CROSS SX 693     633
HOSPIT CROSS SX 7432 8470   ZEAL CROSS SX 8135 8952
HOWTON CROSS SX 7442 8705   ZEAL HEAD CROSS SX 6482 9378
HUMPHREY’S CROSS SX 7215 6932   ZEMPSON CROSS SX 7155 6290

All across the country crossroads have always been viewed with some apprehension and are usually linked with weird goings on and Dartmoor is no exception. Some have burials associated with them such as the famous Jay’s Grave and these tend to be suicides or villains. Other’s are haunted by various spectres such as the Watching Place Cross and Bloody Pool Cross. Near to Lock’s Gate Cross was supposed to have been the gallows which served the nearby manor of Spitchwick and it is said that the occasional ghostly apparition appears on suitably dark nights. At Bude Lane Cross there stands what is thought to be an early Christian stone called – ‘The Honest Man‘, could this have been to provide some divine protection? It was also believed that if the route of a corpse road passed through a crossroads it would prevent the spirit of the deceased ever returning home to haunt its living relatives.

Many of Dartmoor’s cross’ have been used in boundaries as markers along the limits such as Cross Furzes or Hawson Cross. A few years ago someone or some people decided it would be nice to start a collection of the cross’s nameplates and many were stolen. One theory at the time was that they were being taken for their scrap metal value but I would have thought you would need a heap of them to make it worthwhile.

An excellent way to see the moorland fringes of Dartmoor would be to visit every cross

About Tim Sandles

Tim Sandles is the founder of Legendary Dartmoor

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