‘This is the broken shaft of a medieval cross, which, with the original pedestal, has, after sundry wanderings, been recently erected at the corner of the Maesmawr Road.’
RCHM, An Inventory of Ancient Monuments, Denbighshire (1914)
It is not known with any certainty where Croes y Beddau was originally sited. Curiously, it seems the only reference to an earlier position was mentioned in a small Llangollen guide book written by W.T. Simpson in 1853, who claims it was sited at, ‘the extreme foot of the Mountain, on the junction of the Oswestry road.’ The best as can be said, then, is that it was likely a small distance from its current location - and that is interesting. Edward Lhuyd, who knew it as ‘Kroese’r Badha’ at the end of the 17th century makes no mention of its situation.
It was moved at some time at the beginning of the 20th century. The Royal Commission visited it in its current location in June 1911, and it did not appear on OS maps at the junction of Tyn Dwr and Maesmawr Road until 1910 (published 1914). Why it was moved is unknown.
Our lack of clear information as to its original position makes its purpose difficult to understand. But, if Simpson is right in suggesting it was originally on the Oswestry Road, it is possible it was one of a series of wayside crosses marking the route over the hills between Llangollen and Chirk (and on to Oswestry), another of which could well be Croes Esgob, further up the hill. It is an area of the most outstanding beauty, and the views afforded of the Pengwern Vale are literally breathtaking.
The cross is now safe within its own little walled and railed enclosure. A sandstone base has the protruding remains of the octagonal shaft, a little shy of half a metre in height and there is a curious groove cut into the top surface of the shaft, the purpose of which is unknown. A curious thing in a curious place - a little wonder.