Ancient Monuments

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Medieval chapel, 220m south east of White Gables

A Scheduled Monument in Akeld, Northumberland

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Latitude: 55.5494 / 55°32'57"N

Longitude: -2.0369 / 2°2'12"W

OS Eastings: 397770.953604

OS Northings: 628415.028752

OS Grid: NT977284

Mapcode National: GBR G468.TH

Mapcode Global: WH9ZH.PS83

Entry Name: Medieval chapel, 220m south east of White Gables

Scheduled Date: 26 January 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017378

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31736

County: Northumberland

Civil Parish: Akeld

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland

Church of England Parish: Wooler St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of Humbleton Chapel and part of its
associated graveyard, situated on the south side of Humbleton village on a
knoll which has been accentuated by ploughing. The chapel measures about 28m
north east to south west by 6m transversely and survives up to three courses
high at the north east end. A 5.5m length of wall, constructed of clay bonded
rubble masonry, is exposed at the north east end and stands up to 1m high. The
remainder of the building to the west survives as turf covered foundations.
The remains of an associated graveyard survive to the south; human bone and
coffin nails were recovered from the south side of the knoll in 1998 in earth
displaced by rabbit activity. The earliest known documentary reference to the
chapel is in 1704. The site of the chapel and a burial ground in an area known
as `Chapel Hill' is shown on an estate plan of 1827.
Antiquarian accounts from the 19th century record that some 20 headstones were
standing prior to cultivation in the early part of the century.
A water trough situated at the south west end of the chapel is excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath this feature is included.

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, 220m south east of White Gables survives reasonably well and
retains significant archaeological deposits. The survival of burial remains
enhance the importance of the monument and will contribute to our knowledge
and understanding of medieval life and society.

Source: Historic England


NT 92 NE 36,

Source: Historic England

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