St Gabriel's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1002821

Date first listed: 01-Jan-1900


Ordnance survey map of St Gabriel's Church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Stanton St. Gabriel

National Grid Reference: SY 40209 92408


Medieval chapel called St Gabriel’s Church 120m east of St Gabriel’s House.

Reasons for Designation

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. 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. Chapels, like parish churches, have always been major features of the landscape. 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. Following consolidation the medieval chapel called St Gabriel’s Church 120m east of St Gabriel’s House survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, repair, religious and social significance, abandonment and overall landscape context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 13 January 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a medieval chapel situated on a prominent coastal hill overlooking the sea near St Gabriel’s Mouth and Kitwells Cliff. The chapel survives as a small rectangular roofless single celled building measuring approximately 13m by 4.5m with a 1.5m square projecting southern porch, an intact doorway and part of a window. The walls stand to a height of approximately 3m and the whole has been recently consolidated. The chapel dates back to the 13th century, the porch was added in the 14th century and was mentioned as requiring repairs in 1650, the nave was rebuilt but the exact date is unknown. First mentioned in an Ordinance of Robert, Bishop of Salisbury and dated Christmas Day 1240, it was originally a parish church and later became a chapel-of–ease to Whitchurch Canonicorum and dedicated to St Gabriel. Clearance of the ruined chapel took place in 1960. In the north wall was a roughly rectangular aumbry was found along with two corbel heads, one male and one female and two piscinae. Ralegh-Radford believed one of the piscina dated from 1220–1350 whilst the other was 14th century. Consolidation work was carried out in the 1980s and occasionally church services are still held within the chapel. The chapel is listed Grade II*.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: DO 372

Legacy System: RSM - OCN


PastScape Monument No:-450212

End of official listing