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Site of medieval chapel and section of Fountains Park park pale, 170m south west of How Hill Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Markington with Wallerthwaite, North Yorkshire

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Latitude: 54.0986 / 54°5'54"N

Longitude: -1.5804 / 1°34'49"W

OS Eastings: 427534.205827

OS Northings: 467047.138961

OS Grid: SE275670

Mapcode National: GBR KPD1.MJ

Mapcode Global: WHC80.P7LS

Entry Name: Site of medieval chapel and section of Fountains Park park pale, 170m south west of How Hill Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 August 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020119

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31368

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Markington with Wallerthwaite

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire


The monument includes the site of a medieval chapel of Fountains Abbey and a
section of the monastic deer park boundary known as a park pale. The
monument occupies the prominent natural hill known as How Hill. The whole of
the western flank and part of the northern and eastern flanks are included in
the protected area. The top of the hill is dominated by an 18th century
tower, which was constructed as part of the designed landscape of Studley
Royal, 1.7km to the north west.
How Hill was part of a larger tract of land granted to Fountains Abbey by
Robert de Sartis in 1134. This was the first endowment given to the Abbey
after its foundation and enabled the Abbey to become a viable concern. The
first documentary reference to a chapel on How Hill is in 1346 when a chapel
dedicated to St Michael de Mont is recorded. The chapel is known to have
been repaired during the time of Abbot Huby between 1494 and 1526. It is
thought to have been for the use of workers on the nearby monastic granges
of Haddockstanes, Morker and possibly from the adjacent deer park. There is
also a reference, supported by the dedication, that the chapel may have
been a pilgrimage centre. The chapel fell into disuse at the dissolution of
Fountains Abbey in 1539 when the chapel and surrounding lands passed into the
Weeks family of Sawley. In 1716 How Hill and the chapel were bequeathed to
John Aislabie of Studley Royal. The chapel was partly robbed of stone in 1719
when a tower was built on the hill and it appears to have been an extant ruin
in the 19th century. Although there are now no surface remains of the chapel,
there is a 19th century reference to ruins standing next to the tower. The
tower is built on the eastern edge of the hill, on partly made up ground, and
it is suggested that this location was chosen to avoid the standing ruins of
the chapel lying to the west. The level top of the hill where the chapel site
is thought to be measures approximately 30m square. Excavations in the 19th
century uncovered a number of human burials on How Hill assumed to be
associated with the chapel. Further possible burials were identified by
geophysical survey to the south of the tower.
The tower is a square two storey building with a stone pyramid shaped roof.
The four faces each have a round-headed window with simple `Y'-shaped stone
tracery. The building reused stone from the former chapel to the west, in
particular there is a decorative frieze with the Latin inscription `Sol Deo
Honor MH et Gloria' around the south side of the tower, the `MH' standing for
Marmaduke Huby, Abbot of Fountains Abbey. The tower was part of the wider
designed landscape of the Studley Royal estate located 1.7km to the north
east. It was built primarily as the focal point at the end of a grand axial
vista extending along the canal through the water gardens and was designed to
be seen in conjunction with the remains of the adjacent chapel. As such the
whole building was constructed with a church like appearance. Soon after its
completion an external stair turret was added in order to increase the usable
space inside as the tower became more of a functional building and there is
evidence of its occasional use for gaming. In the 19th century a series of
domestic buildings were added to the east side of the tower. These were partly
cut into the hillside so that the tower and chapel ruins were still a visible
landmark and was thus still an important detached element of the wider
designed landscape. The tower was occupied until the mid-20th century. Both it
and the adjacent buildings are Listed Grade II*. On the western and northern
flanks of the hill there are a series of earthwork features associated with
the monastic and post-monastic use of the site. On the western flank there is
a substantial earth and stone bank extending north to south for 150m. This
measures up to 7m wide and 1.75m high. It forms a boundary between the area
surrounding the chapel and the arable agriculture to the west and may have
originally defined the curtilage of the chapel. Between the bank and the top
of the hill there are a series of terraces and platforms, interpreted as the
site of buildings and trackways giving access to the top of the hill. Some of
these are thought to be modified natural features. On the northern flank of
the hill there are further trackways, a large platform and quarry scoops.
Immediately to the west of the boundary bank there is an area of ridge and
furrow extending east to west. A further area of ridge and furrow lies to the
north west, extending parallel to the deer park boundary. Both these areas
are currently undated but are included in the monument as they represent
agricultural exploitation of the area by the monastic community or in the
immediate post-medieval period and will preserve information about the
relationship between other features in the monument.
The section of monastic deer park boundary lies along the western side of the
monument. It is part of the eastern boundary of Fountains Park. The park was
established as a hunting park by the Abbots of Fountains Abbey. The northern
part of the park was part of the original de Sartis grant of 1134 and the
park was completed by 1458. It extended over some 212 acres and is known
from documentary sources to have included 91 acres of woodland, the 16 acre
great pond, areas of mixed agriculture as well as areas of the chase. Whilst
functioning primarily as a deer park the area would also have served to supply
the abbey with a constant and sustainable supply of food and wood throughout
the year. After the dissolution of Fountains Abbey the park was bought
by the Gresham family, who maintained it as a hunting estate. The surviving
section of the boundary within the monument extends for a distance of 120m and
includes an earth and stone bank up to 4m wide and 1m high. There are stone
footings for the original medieval wall surviving along the length and in
places the wall stands two courses high. The park pale originally continued
to the north and south but has been reduced by agricultural activity and no
longer survives as an earthwork. Further sections of the pale survive
elsewhere and are the subject of separate schedulings.
A number of features are excluded from the scheduling: these are How Hill
tower and the adjacent buildings, all tree guards, fence posts and the
metalled surface of the farm track, although the ground beneath these features
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.

Deer parks were areas of land, usually enclosed, set aside and equipped for
the management and hunting of deer and other animals. They were generally
located in open countryside on marginal land or adjacent to a manor house,
castle or palace. They varied in size between 3ha and 1600ha and usually
comprised a combination of woodland and grassland which provided a mixture of
cover and grazing for deer. Parks were usually surrounded by a park pale, a
massive fenced or hedged bank often with an internal ditch.
Although a small number of parks may have been established in the Anglo-Saxon
period, it was the Norman aristocracy's taste for hunting that led to the
majority being constructed. The peak period for the laying-out of parks,
between AD 1200 and 1350, coincided with a time of considerable prosperity
amongst the nobility. Although primarily the preserve of the nobility deer
parks were also laid out by the wealthier of the monastic houses. The original
number of deer parks nationally is unknown but probably exceeded 3000. Many
of these survive today, although often altered to a greater or lesser degree.
They were established in virtually every county in England, but are most
numerous in the West Midlands and Home Counties. Deer parks were a long-lived
and widespread monument type. Today they serve to illustrate an important
aspect of the activities of medieval nobility and still exert a powerful
influence on the pattern of the modern landscape. Where a deer park survives
well and is well-documented or associated with other significant remains, its
principal features are normally identified as nationally important.
Ridge and furrow is the remains of pre-modern agricultural methods. Most of
the surviving ridge and furrow in England dates from the medieval period and
is associated with the medieval open field system. However, agricultural
methods resulting in ridge and furrow lasted through to the 19th century.
The remains of ridge and furrow can illustrate the farming practices of the
time and offer scope for understanding the use of the wider landscape.
Although no longer standing, the chapel remains offer important scope for
understanding the function and development of the building and its role in
the wider monastic landscape. The section of park pale survives well and
significant evidence of its construction will be preserved. The tower built on
the hill is part of the important post-medieval Studley Royal landscape and
makes a significant contribution to its understanding. The monument preserves
important remains of a variety of periods which, taken together, assist in the
understanding of the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Bettey, JH, Estates and the English Countryside, (1993)
Menuge, A, How Hill Tower Historic Building Report, (1994)
Menuge, A, How Hill Tower Historic Building Report, (1994)
Moorhouse, S, (1998)
National Trust Archaeologist, Newman, M,
National Trust Archaeologist, Newman, M, (2000)
National Trust Archaeologist, Newmans, M, (2000)
Tagel and Williamson , Parks and Gardens, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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