Ancient Monuments

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Remains of St Andrew's Chapel, 80m north west of Chapel Cross

A Scheduled Monument in Luccombe, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.1925 / 51°11'33"N

Longitude: -3.5673 / 3°34'2"W

OS Eastings: 290576.963811

OS Northings: 144865.727937

OS Grid: SS905448

Mapcode National: GBR LD.5442

Mapcode Global: VH5K3.39Z5

Entry Name: Remains of St Andrew's Chapel, 80m north west of Chapel Cross

Scheduled Date: 20 October 1977

Last Amended: 11 August 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021120

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35708

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: Luccombe

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes the remains of St Andrew's Chapel, which is of
medieval date, located on the lower northern slope of Luccombe Hill to the
north west of Chapel Cross.
The chapel survives as the footings of a rectangular building with random
stone-built walls up to 0.45m in height and an average of 0.65m in width.
The external dimensions of the chapel are 10m in length by 6.1m in width.
A single doorway is located on the south side and is visible as a 1.6m
wide gap. A limited excavation in the late 19th century by the Reverend
Hancock revealed the ground plan of the chapel. The wall footings were
found to be reasonably intact and a raised platform at the eastern end was
identified as the possible site of the altar. Various pieces of window
jambs were recovered from the excavation together with an unidentified
silver instrument.
There is some uncertainty surrounding the original dedication of the
chapel. Reverend Hancock suggested it may have been a chapel dedicated to
St Saviour which is known to have existed in Luccombe parish during the
14th century, it having been licensed by Geoffrey de Luccombe in 1316.
However, an historian, F Chadwyck-Healey, writing at around the same time
as Reverend Hancock, notes that it was referred to as St Andrew's Chapel
in a document which dates from 1776.
The timber bollards along the south side of the site between the chapel
remains and the road, together with all fence posts and fencing are
excluded from the scheduling, 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.

The surviving remains of St Andrew's Chapel are well-preserved and form an
important visual element in the north Exmoor landscape. The chapel is
accessible to the public in its location adjacent to a popular route which
links the villages of Luccombe and Horner. It is known from limited
excavation to contain environmental evidence and archaeological remains
which have the potential to provide significant information relating to
the monument, the medieval landscape in which it was constructed, and the
religious practices of the time.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Chadwyck-Healey, F, History of Part of West Somerset, (1901), 24,104
Chadwyck-Healey, F, History of Part of West Somerset, (1901)
Hancock, Reverend F , The Parish of Selworthy, (1897), 32-35

Source: Historic England

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