Chapel at Chapel House Farm 200m west of Wervin Old Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Chapel at Chapel House Farm 200m west of Wervin Old Hall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 41950 71872

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. 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.

The chapel remains at Wervin survive well and the site retains significant upstanding fabric. The foundations have been surveyed by underground sensing and are intact. The burial ground has not been destroyed by the intrusion of a quarry to the west and a hollow way to the north. The burials will thus be largely undisturbed and will retain important information about the village population during the 350 years that the chapel was in use. The site may have been a Christian site during the early medieval period and therefore will yield evidence of previous building or structures on the mound.


The monument includes the remains of a ruined chapel together with the extent of the surviving burial ground. The chapel (Grade II Listed) is known to have been in use in the 13th century, and to have survived the Reformation, as a minister was in office in 1590. The north east corner of a single celled building survives as a standing ruin, and the north wall is traceable as a line of stone footings in the turf. The south and west walls are buried in the grass but are known from archaeological survey to survive as foundations. The chapel stands on a small mound raised from the promontory above marshy ground. The latter is an ancient watercourse now cut off by the Shropshire Union Canal. The mound represents the extent of the original burial ground and has been raised by the introduction of the burials. The walls of the chapel show that it was originally built of coursed ashlar sandstone with a rubble and mortar core. The exterior dimensions were 5.6m by 6.3m. The present remains stand 3.4m high and only 1.8m in length at their widest point on the east side. The walls average 0.9m thick. The burial ground was oval and 60m long by 35m wide on the west and wider end. The slight traces of a boundary ditch enclose an area of 0.17ha. There are unconfirmed reports of burials found outside the burial ground, possibly when the sand quarry, which takes out a part of the mound on the west side, was in use. These are likely to have been early in date, predating the the formal enclosure of the burial ground. They may indicate an early Christian site as the origin of the present chapel.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

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Books and journals
Burne, R V H, The Monks of Chester The History of St. Werburghs Abbey, (1962), 23
Leycester, P, Historical Antiquities: Volume II, (1673), 196
Matthews, K J, Quinn, C, Wervin Chapel of Ease, (1994), 33
Matthews, K J, Quinn, C, Wervin Chapel of Ease, (1994), 9
Matthews, K J, Quinn, C, Wervin Chapel of Ease, (1994), 7
Matthews, K J, Quinn, C, Wervin Chapel of Ease, (1994), passim
AM Record, (1980)
Collens, J, (1994)
Collens, J., Cheshire SMR, (1995)


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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