A collection of walks, discoveries, insights and pictures of exploring Dartmoor National Park
November 1, 2023
Mysteries surrounding Shaden Moor Cross
Shaden Moor Cross stands on a granite base beside the road, just north of the Brag Lane junction with the road between Beatland Corner and Cadover Bridge. It is a typical of other Dartmoor Crosses insofar as the shaft and cross do not ‘match’; the granite cross being quite ancient and the shaft being relatively modern. There isn’t anything particularly remarkable about this.
That said, there are a couple of mysteries surrounding the cross. Firstly, according to two differently dated 20th century OS maps (1937 and 1949), the cross appears that it may well have been ‘moved’ around 30m from beside a drystone wall adjacent to Shaden Moor to its current position next to the road. Is this a map makers error which might date back to the 19th century where the cross is also located on maps beside the drystone wall or was it actually physically moved sometime in the middle of the 20th century? Secondly, there is a ruin of a modern looking building located approx. half way between the two aforementioned locations relating to the cross. The building ruin is quite small and is unusual insofar as the walls are very thick. It is possible that the building was constructed in the 20th century and it is not inconceivable dates back to the time when the map makers changed the location of the cross (ie between 1937 and 1949). Therefore, is it possible that the moving of the cross and the construction of the building are related (however bizzare that may sound)?
E.NMasson Phillips (1937) – The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon
T. Sandes (1997) – A Pilgrimage to Dartmoor’s Crosses
M. Fletcher and S. Probert (1998) , Shaugh Moor, Devon – An Archaeological Survey (Report – Survey).