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St Mary's Chapel, Jesmond

A Scheduled Monument in North Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne

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Latitude: 54.9927 / 54°59'33"N

Longitude: -1.5961 / 1°35'46"W

OS Eastings: 425938.448295

OS Northings: 566527.016378

OS Grid: NZ259665

Mapcode National: GBR SRS.BM

Mapcode Global: WHC3K.GR5X

Entry Name: St Mary's Chapel, Jesmond

Scheduled Date: 26 November 1932

Last Amended: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018640

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32045

County: Newcastle upon Tyne

Electoral Ward/Division: North Jesmond

Built-Up Area: Newcastle upon Tyne

Traditional County: Northumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Tyne and Wear

Church of England Parish: Newcastle St George

Church of England Diocese: Newcastle


The monument includes the remains of St Mary's Chapel, located above a
tributary dene to Jesmond Dene in the Jesmond Grove area of Jesmond. It was
a medieval place of pilgrimage. The chapel is sited on a level area bounded to
the south by a steep slope, with traces of a stone boundary wall along its
top. The remains, which are Listed Grade II*, include the chancel, chantry
chapel and nave, constructed of coarse grained sandstone blocks.
The chancel and chantry chapel survive to a height of about 6m. A 2m length of
the north wall and a 3m length of the south wall of the nave survive at the
chancel end. The original length of the nave, approximately 20m, is depicted
on the 1859 Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map. The foundations of the nave survive up
to the intersection with a residential road about 10m from the chancel arch.
Three phases of construction are detectable. In the 12th century the chancel
arch was built. The chancel was enlarged twice during 14th century and a
chantry chapel was added in the 15th century. The earliest visible remains of
the chapel are the chancel arch and semi-circular responds. The arch has some
voussoirs with roll and chevron mouldings. The north respond has a cushion
capital with a chamfered abacus and the south respond a scroll work. The 14th
century enlargements to the chancel consist of an enlargement to the chancel
arch and an eastward extension of the chancel. The arch is raised on three
courses of stone blocks. The extension of the chancel is indicated by the
presence of two piscinae in its southern wall. References to the discovery of
human remains indicate that the chapel had a graveyard.
The first reference to the chapel is in 1272. Numerous legal documents in the
14th and 15th centuries mention the chapel due to disputes over the right to
present to the living. These documents involve both the Papacy and the Crown.
The site was an important place of pilgrimage. Gray, in 1649, states that the
Pilgrim Inn in Pilgrim Street was so named because the pilgrims lodged there
on their visits to St Mary's Chapel. It was dissolved in 1548.
The chapel was part of a larger complex which included a hospital. The site of
the hospital is marked on the 2nd edition 1:1000 Ordnance Survey map of 1896
as approximately 50m west of the chapel and is now beneath a housing
development. No known remains of the hospital are known to survive and it is
not included in the scheduling.

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.

St.Mary's Chapel is a well documented medieval chapel and legal documents
involve both the Papacy and the Crown. The chapel was an important place of
pilgrimage in the medieval period and may be associated with St.Mary's Well
100m to the west, which is the subject of a seperate scheduling. The chapel
was also part of a larger complex which included a hospital, positioned by the
first edition 10' Ordnance Survey map as 50m north west of the chapel.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Brewis, P, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in St. Mary's Chapel, and the Site of St.Mary's Well, Jesmond, , Vol. 4, V, (1928), 102-111
Knowles, W H, Dendy, F W, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in An Account of Jesmond, , Vol. 3, I, (1904), 130-143

Source: Historic England

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