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St Catherine's Chapel, field system and quarries at Chapel Hill

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: St Catherine's Chapel, field system and quarries at Chapel Hill

List entry Number: 1015694

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Abbotsbury

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 19-Dec-1958

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Jun-1997

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 29045

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

St Catherine's Chapel, the field system on Chapel Hill and the quarries survive well as components of the wider landscape of St Peter's Abbey. The Chapel, which is particularly well preserved, typifies the cult of St Catherine. The surrounding field system includes a group of well preserved strip lynchets which form part of the original medieval open fields around Abbotsbury, providing an indication of the nature of the agriculture associated with the Abbey and its adjacent medieval settlement. The group of quarries to the south and east represent the most probable source of stone for the Abbey buildings and will contain evidence of the nature of stone extraction and working. Together with St Peter's Abbey, and fishponds in the east, much of the landscape associated with the Abbey survives. This is fairly unusual in a national context. A World War II pillbox situated close to the quarries is well preserved and formed part of a discrete chain of fortifications situated along and behind Chesil Beach.

History

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

Details

The monument includes St Catherine's Chapel, a broadly contemporary field system on Chapel Hill, and a group of quarries south and east of Chapel Hill, all situated on the south Dorset Downs to the south west of the village of Abbotsbury. Chapel Hill is situated to the west of St Peter's Abbey and lay beyond the Abbey precinct. During the late-14th century, St Catherine's Chapel was constructed on the crest of the hill. The Chapel was commissioned by either Abbot Henry de Thorpe or Abbot William Cerne. It is built of local stone with heavily buttressed walls, a stone barrel-vaulted ceiling. A roof of Clipsham stone slabs was fitted in 1983 to replace the original stone slabs. Access to the ground floor was via two porched doorways. An external stair turret situated on the north western corner provided entry to the first floor. The hilltop situation of the chapel typifies the cult of St Catherine, who was widely venerated during the Middle Ages. The chapel was dissolved in 1539 and no longer used for regular ecclesiastical services. However, the structure continued to be maintained and formed a well known local landmark which was also visible from the coast. Roof repairs were conducted during the 18th and 19th centuries and the roof was replaced during the 1980s. The field system on Chapel Hill includes a group of strip lynchets or long parallel terraces. These were produced by levelling strips of the natural slope in order to produce an area suitable for agricultural use. The lynchets include terraces 5.5m to 11m wide, which run parallel with the natural slope. The field system is broadly contemporary with St Catherine's Chapel, St Peter's Abbey and the medieval village at Abbotsbury. The quarries situated to the south of Chapel Hill are visible as a complex of depressions, variable in form, with dimensions of 5m to 10m across and up to c.0.5m to 1m in depth. A larger quarry is located on the east side of the hill. It seems likely that these quarries were worked to produce stone used in the abbey's construction. Situated within the quarry group is a World War II pillbox. This is strategically placed on a south-facing terrace on the lower slope of Chapel Hill, overlooking Chesil Beach. The pillbox forms part of a chain of similar features constructed along Chesil Bank and the ridge to the north. Excluded from the scheduling are all gates and fence posts relating to the modern field boundaries, the Clipsham stone slabs, the railings around St Catherine's Chapel and the dry-stone wall around Chapel Coppice, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 11
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 3
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 11
Hutchins, J, A History of Dorset, (1863), 721-2
Other
Clipsham roof stone tiles, Listing Details: West Dorset District,
Mention class of structure, CBA, Second World War Fortifications,

National Grid Reference: SY 57329 84672

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1015694 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 21-Nov-2017 at 10:41:19.

End of official listing