Nun's or Siward's Cross, Princetown, Dartmoor National Park

Nun's or Siward's Cross, Princetown, Dartmoor National Park

Probably the most famous stone cross on Dartmoor, Nun's or Siward's Cross sits on the intersection of a number of ancient travel routes.

Nun's or Siward's Cross is one of a high number of crosses on the Buckfast to Tavistock Monastic Route. It's also on what the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map refers to as the Abbot's Way and the Harvey British Mountain Map 'Dartmoor' map as the Jobber's Road. The ancient travel routes were used by monks from local abbeys and those working, or jobbing, in the local wool industry.

Today, Nun's or Siward's Cross is on the modern Granite and Gears Princetown and Burrator Cycling Route and on the path of countless walks to Dartmoor's south plateau, the Burrator Reservoir area and Drizzle Combe.

Nun's Cross Farm is nearby.

We've positioned Nun's or Siward's Cross on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location. To visit for the first time, we'd recommend wandering in from Princetown or one of the car parking areas on the Princetown to Whiteworks road. The track running from Princetown to Nun's or Siward's Cross is one of Dartmoor's few very obvious paths.

You can also wander up from the car parking areas at the eastern end of Burrator Reservoir or from the car parking area below Gutter Tors. These are marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer OL28 'Dartmoor' map.

Last, for an adventure, follow the Buckfast to Tavistock Monastic Route or the Abbot's Way.

This site is intended to be a practical guide to Dartmoor. Experts such as William Crossing provide historical information. To learn more about Nun's or Siward's Cross refer to 'Crossing's Guide to Dartmoor'. This is a section of text from that guide:

'More than one of the Dartmoor crosses is referred to in documents relating to the forest and commons, but none receives so early a mention as Siward's Cross. It is named as a forest bondmark by the perambulators of 1240, who draw the line from 'Elysburghe' (now Eylesbarrow) 'et sic linealiter usque at crucem Sywardi,' but that it was in existence long before that time there is good reason for believing. Standing on the line of a branch of the Abbots' Way (T.1), it may possibly have been set up by the monks of Tavistock as a mark to that path, and their house was founded before the close of the tenth century; but it is quite likely that it is of rather later erection, and that its name is indicative of that period. There could never have been much traffic over this branch of the Abbots' Way, and during the earlier years of Tavistock Abbey it is questionable whether there was any. We may with more probability look upon the cross as having been erected in the time of the Confessor, when Siward, Earl of Northumberland, held the manors of Tavei and Wifleurde.'