St Helen's Chapel and medieval settlement earthworks either side of Chapel Butt Lane.
Reasons for Designation
The village, comprising a small group of houses, gardens, yards, streets, paddocks, often with a green, a manor and a church, and with a community devoted primarily to agriculture, was a significant component of the rural landscape in most areas of medieval England, much as it is today. Villages provided some services to the local community and acted as the main focal point of ecclesiastical, and often of manorial, administration within each parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. The reasons for desertion or the diminishing size of villages were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits. Because they are a common and long-lived monument type in most parts of England, they provide important information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy between the regions and through time.
St Helen's Chapel and medieval settlement earthworks either side of Chapel Butt Lane are well-preserved as earthworks and the monument will contain archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and eventual abandonment. The monument provides insight into the importance of the church and character of village life in the medieval period.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 24 February 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.
The monument includes the remains of a medieval chapel and a separate settlement enclosure, both surviving as upstanding earthworks and buried deposits just to the north east of Newbiggin-on-Lune. The chapel lies within an oval enclosure surrounded by an earthen bank standing 1m to 1.5m high with an entrance to the south west on the western side of Chapel Butt Lane, just north of the junction with the A685 main road. The remains of the chapel include a sub-rectangular mound with a height of approximately 0.7m located in the south half of the enclosure. Centred about 160m to the north east on the east side of Chapel Butt Lane is a medieval settlement enclosure defined by a bank standing 0.6m to 0.7m high. Within the enclosure are the remains of a sub-rectangular building preserved as an earthwork. The settlement enclosure is considered to represent the remains of a manor house or homestead site and together with the chapel, is considered to be the nucleus of an early settlement that was subsequently replaced by the later medieval village of Newbiggin-on-Lune.