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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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In 1861, alterations were being made in the Guildhall of the town of Plympton. In the removal of a wall running east and west, separating the court from the lock-up or clink, a fine granite monolith, upwards of nine feet long, was found built into it lengthways.

Cross in Plympton Maurice Churchyard

Photographed in 1900 by local GP,

Dr. Charles Aldridge M.D

"This stone was brought out so that it might form a part of the face of the wall, and to make the latter quite smooth, one of the chamfers, where the upper part of the square base runs into the elegant tapering octagonal of the shaft, was hacked off by the mason. This stone proved to be the shaft of a cross. The iron dowel projected for a foot or so above the sop, and was so firmly fixed as to resist all efforts to remove it to shorten it to take the new head.

The wall in which this shaft was found was probably built in 1680, certainly not later, so that the stone remained where it was in place for nearly two centuries.

It was purchased of the builder and it has been carefully preserved until the opportunity for its restoration - now happily arrived nearly forty years later - should come. there is a question whether this was the shaft of the cross which at one time stood in the Market Place of the town, within a very few feet from where the cross is now re-erected, or whether it was the churchyard cross.

In either case it would have been dedicated to God, and its present position is an appropriate one. The approximate date of the shaft is AD 1380, which is also about the date of the chapel of St. Maurice in the church. The cross has been re-erected close outside the south porch. The restoration was completed under the direction of Mr. James Hine*, F.R.I.B.A, and was re-dedicated by the Bishop of Crediton 27th November 1900."

*Possibly James Hine of Messrs Hine & Odgers of Plymouth


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