St Mary's Church, West Milton


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Dorset (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SY 50315 96367


Medieval chapel called St Mary Magdalene’s Chapel 40m south-west of Church Farm.

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. 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 called St Mary Magdalene’s Chapel 40m south west of Church Farm has a documented history which extends to the 14th century and formed a focal part of the surrounding community together with its associated graveyard it will contain archaeological and environmental evidence related to its construction, development, abandonment and overall landscape, social and religious context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 19 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 and part of its associated graveyard situated on the eastern side of the settlement of West Milton overlooking the confluence of two tributaries to the Mangerton River. The chapel survives as the upstanding roofed tower and western end of the nave with further parts of the nave and surrounding graveyard preserved as largely buried features within a garden. There are two table tombs within the graveyard. The tower stands to full height and is rectangular in plan measuring approximately 6m long by 3.4m wide internally. Dating to approximately 1500 it retains many original features including an embattled parapet, belfry, rounded arched doorway, a two-light mullioned window, three single rectangular windows one of which is blocked and a blocked tower arch. The springing for the nave walls is also visible. On the east face of the tower is monument to John Donne, 1658. Within the graveyard are two table tombs one for Richard Knight who died 19th Feb 1727 aged 64 and the second for Roger Syms of West Milton who died 4th June 1637. The original chapel was a chapel of ease and documented to 1318 although the standing tower is later. The chapel was partially demolished in 1859 and the stone used to construct the school in Powerstock. The tower is listed Grade II* and the table tombs are both listed Grade II.


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

Legacy System number:
DO 433
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:-526907 and 450864


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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