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Enclosure and chapel, 295m north west of North Bank Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Belford, Northumberland

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6042 / 55°36'15"N

Longitude: -1.8357 / 1°50'8"W

OS Eastings: 410452.282822

OS Northings: 634523.723838

OS Grid: NU104345

Mapcode National: GBR H3MM.DW

Mapcode Global: WHC0J.SD2L

Entry Name: Enclosure and chapel, 295m north west of North Bank Cottage

Scheduled Date: 4 April 1951

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1006515

English Heritage Legacy ID: ND 285

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Belford

Built-Up Area: Belford

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Belford St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle

Details

The monument includes the remains of a chapel and enclosure of medieval date, situated on the summit of Chapel Hill. The enclosure is sub-rectangular in shape and sits on a rock platform that is protected on its south west side by Chapel Crag. It measures approximately 59m north west to south east by 34m transversely and is separated into two parts by a bisecting wall. The enclosure is surrounded by a bank which is preserved as a low earthwork. Near the southern edge of the enclosure and close to the edge of Chapel Crag lie the remains of St Mary's Chapel. The chapel is preserved as the low walls and foundations of a rectangular building measuring approximately 18m by 6.4m. The chapel is medieval in date and 13th century historical sources indicate that it was the chapel of the Muschamp family. The enclosure and the chapel are understood to be contemporary.

SOURCES
PastScape Monument No:- 7685 (enclosure), 7680 (chapel)
NMR:- NU13SW3 (enclosure), NU13SW2 (chapel)
Northumberland HER:- 5113 (enclosure), 5112 (chapel)

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A medieval chapel is a building, usually rectangular, containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate for Christian worship in the pre- Reformation period. Chapels were designed for congregational worship and were generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provided accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which was the main domain of the priest and contained the principal altar. Around 4000 parochial chapels were built between the 12th and 17th centuries as subsidiary places of worship built for the convenience of parishioners who lived at a distance from the main parish church. Other chapels were built as private places of worship by manorial lords and lie near or within manor houses, castles or other high-status residences. Chantry chapels were built and maintained by endowment and were established for the singing of masses for the soul of the founder. Some chapels possessed burial grounds. Unlike parish churches, the majority of which remain in ecclesiastical use, chapels were often abandoned as their communities and supporting finances declined or disappeared. Many chantry chapels disappeared after the dissolution of their supporting communities in the 1540s. Chapels, like parish churches, have always been major features of the landscape. A significant number of surviving examples are identified as being nationally important. The sites of abandoned chapels, where positively identified, are particularly worthy of statutory protection as they were often left largely undisturbed and thus retain important information about the nature and date of their use up to their abandonment.
The remains of the chapel 295m north west of North Bank Cottage are well preserved and provide an insight into the character of religious life in the medieval period. It contains archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. The survival of a broadly contemporary enclosure enhances the importance of the monument, as does the fact that it has been identified in medieval documents as belonging to a named family.

Source: Historic England

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