Well Chapel (remains of), Bekesbourne
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005154
Date first listed: 18-Mar-1965
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Mar-2019 at 13:27:49.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Canterbury (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: TR 20007 56466
Well Chapel, 295m SSW of Well Court Cottages
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. 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.
Well Chapel, 295m SSW of Well Court Cottages, is a good example of its type, which survives well with a large amount of upstanding stone remains. The site will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the construction, use and history of the chapel.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 19 June 2014. The 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.
The monument includes a medieval chapel surviving as upstanding and below-ground remains. It is situated on low-lying ground close to the head springs of the Little Stour, south-west of Littlebourne. The chapel is built of flint rubble with ragstone dressings. It is a single cell chapel, which is orientated broadly east-west. The building is rectangular in plan, about 18m long and 7m wide externally. The walls survive up to about 5m high and average about 0.7m wide. It has stone quoins and window embrasures. A plinth survives along the south wall, at the west ends and for a short distance along the north wall. In the south wall are the remains of part of a piscina and on the inside of the south and west wall are remains of wall plaster.
Well Chapel was founded prior to 1300 and served the nearby manor house known as Well Court.
It was also a Chapel of Ease for the surrounding community. Repairs were carried out to the building in 1535. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries, it was used for agricultural storage and a weavers’ workshop before falling into ruin.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: KE 144
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Kent HER TR25NW3. NMR TR25NW3. PastScape 466323,
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