Medieval chapel, 220m south east of White Gables


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017378

Date first listed: 26-Jan-2000


Ordnance survey map of Medieval chapel, 220m south east of White Gables
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Jan-2019 at 09:25:47.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Northumberland (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Akeld

National Grid Reference: NT 97771 28415


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.

The chapel, 220m south east of White Gables survives reasonably well and retains significant archaeological deposits. The survival of burial remains enhance the importance of the monument and will contribute to our knowledge and understanding of medieval life and society.


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


The monument includes the remains of Humbleton Chapel and part of its associated graveyard, situated on the south side of Humbleton village on a knoll which has been accentuated by ploughing. The chapel measures about 28m north east to south west by 6m transversely and survives up to three courses high at the north east end. A 5.5m length of wall, constructed of clay bonded rubble masonry, is exposed at the north east end and stands up to 1m high. The remainder of the building to the west survives as turf covered foundations. The remains of an associated graveyard survive to the south; human bone and coffin nails were recovered from the south side of the knoll in 1998 in earth displaced by rabbit activity. The earliest known documentary reference to the chapel is in 1704. The site of the chapel and a burial ground in an area known as `Chapel Hill' is shown on an estate plan of 1827. Antiquarian accounts from the 19th century record that some 20 headstones were standing prior to cultivation in the early part of the century. A water trough situated at the south west end of the chapel is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath this feature 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: 31736

Legacy System: RSM


NT 92 NE 36,

End of official listing