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The Carew Cross

A Grade I Listed Building in Carew, Pembrokeshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.698 / 51°41'52"N

Longitude: -4.8278 / 4°49'40"W

OS Eastings: 204676

OS Northings: 203708

OS Grid: SN046037

Mapcode National: GBR GB.S0K0

Mapcode Global: VH2PJ.8LL4

Entry Name: The Carew Cross

Listing Date: 14 May 1970

Last Amended: 6 February 1997

Grade: I

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 5938

Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary

Location: In Carew village, in a small roadside enclosure taken from Castle Green opposite the Carew Inn.

County: Pembrokeshire

Town: Tenby

Community: Carew (Caeriw)

Community: Carew

Locality: Carew Village

Traditional County: Pembrokeshire

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History

The Cross is believed to commemorate Maredudd ap Edwin, who, with his brother Hywel, was joint ruler of Deheubarth from 1033. This is on the basis of the reading of its inscription proposed by C A Ralegh Radford. Maredudd was slain in 1035, and the Cross may therefore be very closely dated. It is decorated in the same school of carving as the cross at Nevern.

The Cross consists of two stones of different origin. The top is Carmarthenshire sandstone and the lower part an igneous stone from Preseli. Its original location is is unrecorded, and it is only known with certainty to have been at Carew from about 1690. Its roadside location is unusual for such early Christian monuments, and it may have been brought to its present location as an ornament to the Castle. The damage to the W face of the upper stone (part of the carved design having flaked off) occurred before 1690.

Fenton in 1811 illustrates the Cross standing on a low plinth. In about 1822 (Laws says 1826) the road was lowered and the Cross reset on a plinth bearing that date. The top stone became dislodged in 1844, and the Vicar of Carew, Rev. Lloyd, caused it to be reset in its socket in lead. The foot of the Cross was vandalised with a bench-mark in about 1860. The stone was at risk from traffic, so in 1925 it was moved back from the road for safety. It was removed altogether for safety during the 1939-45 war and stored in a basement in the Castle. After return to the roadside its position has again been improved. Access to the W side with its inscription is now ideal although the view of the E side is obscured by railings.

Exterior

The upper stone consists of a wheel-head and neck of sandstone, the carved cross having short enlarging arms overlapping the ring and terminating in segments of a circle. The voids between the ring and the arms of the cross are pierced. On one face the cross carries inscribed cruciform lines, on the other a fragment of an interlace survives but most of the design is lost. The neck carries two panels of key decoration on each side. There is no edge decoration. The upper stone is tenoned into the lower one, with some lead-staining of the latter.
The lower stone is also decorated in entirely abstract patterns. There are four panels on each side, of varying size, with key or interlace decorations. One panel on the W face carries an inscription at the left, with a blank at the right seemingly waiting for a second inscription which was never added. The inscription is read as 'Margiteut Rex Edg[uin] Filius'. The two edges of the lower stone are decorated in guilloche. The stone has little ramped enlargements at the foot.

Reasons for Listing

Listed grade I as a characteristically Welsh composite cross and one of the finest early Christian monuments in the Principality.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Carew Inn
    At the junction of the village main street and the A4075. At the front are cast-iron railings on a high plinth wall of rubble masonry.
  • II Castle Entrance Gatepiers and Old Cobbler's Shop
    At the entrance to Carew Castle, nearly opposite to the Carew Inn.
  • II No 1 & 2
    In Carew village, adjacent to the Carew Inn. There is a white-painted stone wall at the front with a slate coping and neat iron railings, and two large gate-piers.
  • II Old Stable Cottage
    In a mid position in the row attached at the E of the Carew Inn.
  • II Castle Lodge
    In a mid position in the row attached at the E end of the Carew Inn. There is a later rubble-stone wall at the front with gatepiers and an iron gate.
  • II Wesley Chapel
    In Carew village, at the E side of the road approaching Carew Bridge. The Chapel stands back from the road behind a high wall with gatepiers and wrought-iron gates.
  • II No. 5 Picton Terrace,,,Carew Village,Tenby,,SA70 8SL
    At the E end of the row which is attached to Carew Inn. Small forecourt with rubble masonry walls returning at the left to a wide gateway with stone piers.
  • II Telephone Call-box
    On the road-side, opposite Picton Terrace, in the centre of the village.

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