Devonshire writer John Fisher tells the story of how John…
One of the gems you’ll come across whilst driving along the old Exeter to Barnstaple road is the ancient Copplestone Cross that sits smack in the middle of the A377.
It seems to stand forlornly, witness to over a 1,000 years of life, when wolves and wild boar still roamed and the naughty Normans had yet to invade our shores.
Certainly dating back to Saxon times, this granite cross was mentioned in a charter from 974 as Copelan Stan. It’s believed the cross was erected in commemoration of Bishop Putta the second, who was murdered in 910 whilst travelling from his see at Bishops Tawton to pay a visit to the Saxon viceroy Uffa at Crediton.
It seems previously to have stood proudly on a substantial raised granite plinth. I can only surmise that its lowered appearance is due to the road surface having been raised over the years. Being appalled by the sight of such cheap looking moulded concrete planters lying the base was my initial reaction – this gem deserves much more of our respect, perhaps the Council could step in with a view to providing better protection from traffic and also improve the aesthetic of this valuable historic monument (search on Google for images of Copplestone Cross to see the difference in apparent height).