Remains of Creswell Chapel, 350m south east of Creswell 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. 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.
As the site of an abandoned chapel Creswell chapel will contain important archaeological and environmental information about the nature of the site and by association of the medieval village of Creswell which it served.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 June 2015. 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 the remains of Creswell chapel, including upstanding fabric of the north and east walls of the chancel. The standing sections are of ashlar sandstone blocks with two original lancet windows on the north wall of 13th century date and the eastern wall retains the lower part of the jambs of a large east window and dates to the 15th century. The walls stand to a height of 4m, the east wall measures up to 8m long and the north wall up to 7m long and diagonal stopped buttresses survive at the north east and south east corners. These standing dimensions are likely to mark the extent of the chancel but the location of robber trenches indicates the nave to have extended a further 11m to the west.
Medieval documents refer to it as the Chapel of Ease, a prebendary chapel of the Royal Free Chapel of St Mary in Stafford since 1346. An assessment of taxes in 1428 for the Collegiate Church of St. Mary mentions Creswell as a free chapel, which the dean had jurisdiction over and instituted its chaplains, but had no control over the advowsons, which belonged to different individuals. It also stated that, by ancient custom, the parishioners of Creswell buried their dead in the graveyard of the Church of Saint Bertelin in Stafford, which may indicate an absence of any associated cemetery next to the chapel.
The standing portions are also a Grade II listed building NHLE 1242636.