Ancient Monuments

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High Haswell Chapel 300m south east of Low Haswell

A Scheduled Monument in Haswell, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.7876 / 54°47'15"N

Longitude: -1.434 / 1°26'2"W

OS Eastings: 436493.195472

OS Northings: 543782.109886

OS Grid: NZ364437

Mapcode National: GBR LFF2.BK

Mapcode Global: WHD5Q.YX9M

Entry Name: High Haswell Chapel 300m south east of Low Haswell

Scheduled Date: 7 February 1979

Last Amended: 9 April 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019917

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34584

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Haswell

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Haswell and Thornley

Church of England Diocese: Durham


The monument includes the site of a medieval chapel, occupying a platform on
the western area of the field known as Chapel Garth, immediately to the
north west of High Haswell village. The building was of stone, measuring
approximately 10m by 20m, without aisles. The manor of High Haswell first
appears in charters of the early 13th century. The Treasury of the Church of
Durham contains a vast collection of title deeds relating to the several
estates of the family of Claxton. A proportion of these refer to the manor and
lands of Great Haswell. The earliest of these deeds, dating to c.1300, is a
grant of Eustace Fitz-Walter stating that, "Wm de Hessewell granted to Hugh
Modi of Hessewelle, one acre in Falufield, lying in two places, viz upon
Holilawe, and near Tuffewell; and as much of Tuffewell Meer as belonged to the
grantor, on condition that Hugh should maintain one lamp perpetually burning
within the Chapel of Hessewell, on every Sunday and festival." The chapel at
Haswell appears later, in the Chantry Survey of 1547-8.

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.

Although there are no visible remains of High Haswell Chapel above ground,
important archaeological deposits relating to the chapel's construction and
use will be preserved below the ground surface.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Surtees, R, The Victoria History of the County of Durham: Volume I, (1979), 17
Turnbull, , Jones, , Archaeology of the Coal Measures, (1979), 167

Source: Historic England

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