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St Mary Magdalene's medieval chapel and associated earthworks, 90m north of Mauldin

A Scheduled Monument in Warkworth, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.3407 / 55°20'26"N

Longitude: -1.6111 / 1°36'39"W

OS Eastings: 424765.022184

OS Northings: 605249.162753

OS Grid: NU247052

Mapcode National: GBR K66P.0B

Mapcode Global: WHC20.7123

Entry Name: St Mary Magdalene's medieval chapel and associated earthworks, 90m north of Mauldin

Scheduled Date: 31 December 1987

Last Amended: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014744

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24611

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Warkworth

Built-Up Area: Warkworth

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Warkworth St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes a post-Conquest medieval chapel situated on the highest
point in the field north of Maudlin Farm. Around the chapel are several low
earthwork features. An area to the north of the chapel was part excavated
in 1977, prior to development for housing, but archaeological remains were
destroyed before recording was completed. Domestic buildings associated with
the chapel were uncovered and identified as a garderobe or latrine, solar or
private chamber, and a hall; only the northern half of the hall was revealed
and the southern part will lie in the unexcavated area north of the chapel. In
1980 the field containing the chapel was investigated by resistivity survey,
which measures the passage of electric currents passed through the ground.
This work revealed a dense area of masonry.
The chapel, believed to date from the early 13th century, survives as a low
sub-rectangular earthwork and measures 28m east-west by 14m north-south and
stands to a maximum height of 0.5m. The western part of the interior is sunken
and enclosed by banks 6m wide. Some stone is visible through the turf. To the
north east of the chapel is a slight rectangular mound which measures 4m east-
west by 5m north-south. Abutting the east side of this feature is a very
slight earthwork bank 3m wide enclosing an area to the east of the chapel
which measures 8m east-west by 11m north-south; the bank stands to a maximum
height of 0.15m. The area immediately to the south of the chapel is slightly
uneven indicating further buried remains survive there. On the south west side
of the chapel, at a distance of 5m, is a sub-circular mound which measures
10.5m east-west by 12m north-south and stands 0.5m high. On the north west
side of the chapel are very slight earthworks interpreted as remains of a
rectangular building. The exact relationship of the chapel to the surrounding
building is not yet fully understood.
The Chapel of St Mary Magdalene was established by Robert fitz Roger, who died
in 1214, and given by him to the prior and convent of Durham. The chapel is
well documented through the medieval period and was still in existence in
The post and wire fence to the north is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 site of the Chapel of St Mary Magdalene remains identifiable and will
retain significant archaeological deposits. Excavation has confirmed that
domestic buildings were originally associated with the chapel and further
information on the wider complex will be preserved.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hodgson, J C, 'Warkworth, Shilbottle, Brainshaugh' in A History of Northumberland, , Vol. 5, (1899), 121-123
Pattinson, T, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Excavation of the Magdalene Chapel, Warkworth, Northum, 1977, , Vol. 5 ser 9, (1981), 251-265

Source: Historic England

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