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Chapel at Chapel House Farm 200m west of Wervin Old Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Wervin, Cheshire West and Chester

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2407 / 53°14'26"N

Longitude: -2.8713 / 2°52'16"W

OS Eastings: 341948.784846

OS Northings: 371871.715763

OS Grid: SJ419718

Mapcode National: GBR 8ZDZ.50

Mapcode Global: WH881.VSXZ

Entry Name: Chapel at Chapel House Farm 200m west of Wervin Old Hall

Scheduled Date: 9 April 1981

Last Amended: 24 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014724

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27590

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Wervin

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Ellesmere Port Team

Church of England Diocese: Chester

Details

The monument includes the remains of a ruined chapel together with the extent
of the surviving burial ground. The chapel (Grade II Listed) is known to have
been in use in the 13th century, and to have survived the Reformation, as a
minister was in office in 1590.
The north east corner of a single celled building survives as a standing ruin,
and the north wall is traceable as a line of stone footings in the turf. The
south and west walls are buried in the grass but are known from archaeological
survey to survive as foundations. The chapel stands on a small mound raised
from the promontory above marshy ground. The latter is an ancient watercourse
now cut off by the Shropshire Union Canal. The mound represents the extent of
the original burial ground and has been raised by the introduction of the
burials.
The walls of the chapel show that it was originally built of coursed ashlar
sandstone with a rubble and mortar core. The exterior dimensions were 5.6m by
6.3m. The present remains stand 3.4m high and only 1.8m in length at their
widest point on the east side. The walls average 0.9m thick. The burial ground
was oval and 60m long by 35m wide on the west and wider end. The slight traces
of a boundary ditch enclose an area of 0.17ha.
There are unconfirmed reports of burials found outside the burial ground,
possibly when the sand quarry, which takes out a part of the mound on the west
side, was in use. These are likely to have been early in date, predating the
the formal enclosure of the burial ground. They may indicate an early
Christian site as the origin of the present chapel.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 chapel remains at Wervin survive well and the site retains significant
upstanding fabric. The foundations have been surveyed by underground sensing
and are intact. The burial ground has not been destroyed by the intrusion of a
quarry to the west and a hollow way to the north. The burials will thus be
largely undisturbed and will retain important information about the village
population during the 350 years that the chapel was in use. The site may have
been a Christian site during the early medieval period and therefore will
yield evidence of previous building or structures on the mound.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Burne, R V H, The Monks of Chester The History of St. Werburghs Abbey, (1962), 23
Leycester, P, Historical Antiquities: Volume II, (1673), 196
Matthews, K J, Quinn, C, Wervin Chapel of Ease, (1994), 33
Matthews, K J, Quinn, C, Wervin Chapel of Ease, (1994), 9
Matthews, K J, Quinn, C, Wervin Chapel of Ease, (1994), 7
Matthews, K J, Quinn, C, Wervin Chapel of Ease, (1994), passim
Other
AM Record, (1980)
Collens, J, (1994)
Collens, J., Cheshire SMR, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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