St Bellarmin's Chapel


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.

Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 13015 70803


Medieval chapel called St Bellarmin’s Chapel.

Reasons for Designation

Bodmin Moor, the largest of the Cornish granite uplands, has long been recognised to have exceptional preservation of archaeological remains. The Moor has been the subject of detailed archaeological survey and is one of the best recorded upland landscapes in England. The extensive relict landscapes of prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval date provide direct evidence for human exploitation of the Moor from the earliest prehistoric period onwards. The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites, field systems, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as later industrial remains provides significant insights into successive changes in the pattern of land use through time. 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. Chapels, like parish churches, have always been major features of the landscape. The sites of abandoned chapels were often left largely undisturbed and thus retain important information about the nature and date of their use up to their abandonment. Some of the more elaborate holy wells were contained within walled enclosures and associated with a chapel building. Of approximately 400 holy wells known nationally, over 200 are recorded from Cornwall, providing one of the highest densities of surviving examples and of these only seven are known on Bodmin Moor. Although the well is no longer extant at the medieval chapel called St Bellarmin’s Chapel and despite later surface stone quarrying, the documented relationship and the remaining archaeological and environmental evidence will provide important information on the nature of religious beliefs and practices and on the relationship between religion and the landscape during the medieval period, the abandonment of the chapel, its longevity and the overall landscape context.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 3 December 2015. 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 clitter slope to the south of St Bellarmin’s Tor. The chapel survives as a small drystone walled building within an enclosure. The enclosure measures 27m long by 12m wide and the chapel 6m long by 4m wide and up to 1.2m high. Only three of the enclosure walls are clearly visible. Many Cornish historians have referred to the chapel and holy well close to the summit of the tor, including M and L Quiller-Couch in 1894. The location of the well is unknown.

The area surrounding the building and enclosure has been subject to surface stone quarrying.


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

Legacy System number:
CO 453
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:-433860


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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