Medieval chapel and graveyard, 170m east of Brandon


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Northumberland (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NU 04345 17163

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. 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 medieval chapel east of Brandon survives reasonably well and retains significant archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. The presence of an earlier chapel on the same site enhances the importance of the monument. The associated graveyard provides a rare opportunity for study of the topography of a medieval graveyard: the burials themselves will provide important information on burial practice and study of the skeletal remains will provide a major insight into the medieval population of this rural area over time.


The monument includes the remains of a medieval chapel and an associated graveyard situated on level ground to the east of Brandon. The chapel survives as the lower walls and foundations of the building including the nave, choir and a sanctuary with a vestry on its south side. The walls of the chapel are constructed from rubble and roughly dressed stone and are 0.7m thick and vary in height from 0.1m up to 1m. Surrounding the chapel there is a stone-walled graveyard containing at least five grave stones with the earliest decipherable date being 1743. The earliest written record of the chapel dates to 1432 stating that the Vicar of Eglingham had failed to maintain a priest in Brandon chapel and by 1663 the chapel was described as being 'ruined and destitute'. The graveyard was used for burial until at least 1811 but by the end of the 19th century the chapel had fallen into disrepair. In 1903 the chapel walls were excavated and consolidated. The character of the standing remains of the chapel indicate it to be of 13th century date, however, it is understood to overlie the foundations of an earlier chapel. A 12th century font found within the chapel was removed to Eglingham Church.

SOURCES PastScape Monument No:- 5163 NMR:- NU01NW44 Northumberland HER:- 3094


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

Legacy System number:
ND 580
Legacy System:


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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