Chapel on the south side of Kingsley Avenue


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016488

Date first listed: 26-Jul-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Dec-1998


Ordnance survey map of Chapel on the south side of Kingsley Avenue
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Newcastle upon Tyne (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: North Gosforth

National Grid Reference: NZ 24638 70116

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.

North Gosforth Chapel is an example of a medieval chapel which also contains earlier Roman material. In addition the monument contains a number of well- preserved medieval gravestones.


The monument includes the remains of North Gosforth Chapel situated in an open space on the south side of Kingsley Avenue. The open space is surrounded by a modern road and residential properties. The chapel is Listed Grade II*. Little survives of the chapel above ground but the visible remains include the nave and chancel foundations and a number of gravestones. The remains of the nave and chancel stand to a height of one course above a plinth course. The nave and chancel have a total length of 20.5m. The nave is 7m wide and has two west walls, one representing a shortening of the nave by 3m. Only the plinth course of the nave wall is visible to the west of the inner west wall. The nave has a doorway in its south wall. Part of the north wall of the nave has been rebuilt, as evidenced by the lack of the plinth course. The north nave wall tapers inwards at the chancel end. Within the nave are a four column pedestal, a stone trough and a stone slab. The chapel contains reused Roman material and at one time contained a Roman altar stone. The chancel is 6m wide and has slightly narrower walls than the nave. There is a doorway in the north wall. Externally there are a number of graves. Two gravestones, one plain and one with a sword motif, are situated by the south doorway of the nave. Another group of graves is found to the east of the chancel, which include dated graves from the 17th century and two medieval gravestones, one marked with a cross and the other with the lower portion of a sword and spade. The earliest reference to the chapel is in 1256 when it was used as a place of sanctuary. The Surtees family were patrons of the church in the 14th century. The last minister of North Gosforth Chapel is recorded in 1604. It was used for burial in the 18th century. The first edition Ordnance Survey 1:2500 map depicts the chapel in an oval enclosure 60m by 40m. Two notice boards and a telegraph pole are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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


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

Legacy System number: 32056

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Welford, R, A History of the Parish of Gosforth, (1879), 19-22
Holmes, S, 'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Recent Investigations At The Ruined Chapel of North Gosforth, , Vol. 2, IX, (1883), 205-210
Tomlinson, W W, 'Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries Newcastle on Tyne' in North Gosforth Chapel, , Vol. 2, VIII, (1899), 227

End of official listing