Deserted medieval village and chapel at Tughall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014732

Date first listed: 26-Nov-1932

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Jul-1996


Ordnance survey map of Deserted medieval village and chapel at Tughall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Beadnell

National Grid Reference: NU 21212 26368


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Medieval rural settlement in England is marked by considerable diversity in both form and size. Preserving the archaeology of such diversity is a matter of national importance. The broad pattern of diversity in England can be divided into three main provinces, which can in turn be sub-divided into sub- provinces and local regions. The deserted settlement at Tughall lies in the Wear and Tweed sub-province of the central settlement province of England. The Wear and Tweed region includes the coastal plain between the Pennines and Cheviots and the North Sea. The settlement pattern of medieval and later periods is here marked by small nucleated settlements, many of which have remained in occupation to the present day. The chapel and village remains at Tughall survive reasonably well and will contribute to further understanding of settlement patterns in this region.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes part of the deserted medieval village and chapel of Tughall. It is situated on level ground in the arable coastal strip of north Northumberland. The village earthworks comprise a series of rectangular crofts, or house platforms, on the south side of a sunken way or old stream course. To the south of these is a block of medieval ridge and furrow ploughing which measures 7m from furrow to furrow and stands up to 0.3m high, with a headland on the southern edge. Along the southern edge of the field system is a sunken track 7m wide and 0.3m deep. The village of Tughall was a member of the barony of Alnwick and was held in demesne in 1242. It is mentioned in documents of 1292, when Edward I stayed there en route to Scotland. The 12th century chapel and its graveyard are located at the east end of the village and are raised above the level of the surrounding land. The chapel is visible as a rectangular mound and measures 22m north east to south west by 10m north west to south east, stands 0.5m high and contains stone foundations. Drawings made c.1786 by S H Grimm show the architecture of the chapel was early Norman and the building consisted of a nave, square chancel and semicircular apse with vault. At the east end there is a standing section of an apse; this measures 4m by 3m and stands up to 2.1m high internally with traces of the internal floor surface and external foundations clearly visible. An entrance survives above ground in the south wall of the nave, marked by kerb stones and measuring 1m wide. The chapel is surrounded by a bank 2m wide which stands up to 1m high internally and 2.5m externally. This demarcates a chapel graveyard measuring 57m east-west by 40m north-south. On the south side there is no bank but there is a ditch up to 3m wide and 0.6m deep. One grave cover and some fragments are visible in the graveyard south of the chapel. The complete grave cover measures 2m long and 0.2m thick and lies to one side of a slight depression which probably represents a grave. A stone cross is situated 10m to the south of the chapel and consists of a socket stone 0.7m square and 0.1m high set in the ground, and containing part of a cross shaft 0.2m high. Tughall, along with other chapels in the parish of Bamburgh, was in the possession of Nostell Priory, although in 1147 two thirds of the tithes were given to Alnwick Abbey. It constituted a chapel of ease to Bamburgh and was last used in 1630. The chapel is said to have been built on the spot where the body of St Cuthbert rested on 13th December 1069, during its removal from Durham to Lindisfarne. The cemetery was consecrated c.1217. Against the western edge of the graveyard is a pond, now dry, which first appears on a map of 1834. The pond measures 20m north west to south east by 18m north east to south west. Two telegraph poles and the stone wall around the plantation at the north of the site are excluded but the ground beneath them is included.

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.

Legacy System number: 24638

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bateson, E, 'Bamburgh' in A History of Northumberland, , Vol. 1, (1893), 245
Bateson, E, 'Bamburgh' in A History of Northumberland, , Vol. 1, (1893), 342-348
Bateson, E, 'Bamburgh' in A History of Northumberland, , Vol. 1, (1893), 350
Bateson, E, 'Bamburgh' in A History of Northumberland, , Vol. 1, (1893), 346-347
entry (2)(3), NU 22 NW 1,
NRO, Norton, R, The Plann of Tugghall in Northumberland, (1620)
NU 22 NW 1,
Title: A plan of lands situate at Tughal ... in the Parish of Bamburgh Source Date: 1834 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: NRO

End of official listing