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HER Number:MDV188
Name:Braunton, St. Michael's Chapel

Summary

Chapel, possibly 15th century, coursed shale rubble and battered plinth. Roofless, single cell ruin, with walls intact almost to full height.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 491 373
Map Sheet:SS43NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBraunton
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBRAUNTON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43NE/9
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHAPEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Dean Milles, 1755, Dean Milles Parochial Returns of 1755 (Record Office Collection). SDV341339.

Referred to as 'now ruinated'.


Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 66 (Monograph). SDV323771.

Lysons refers to the chapel, incorrectly, as St. Sylvester's.


Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'St Brannock's Chapel (Remains of)' shown.


Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

'St. Brannock's Chapel (Remains of)' shown.


Ordnance Survey, 1905, 8SE (Cartographic). SDV17296.

Incorrectly marked as "St. Brannock's Chapel (Remains of)".


Chanter, J. F., 1934, The Church of St. Brannock, Braunton (Pamphlet). SDV341340.

St. Michael's Chapel is still existing; it is situated on a high hill about half a mile to the north east of the village (called Chapel Hill), commanding an extensive sea prospect. It is mentioned in Bishop Lacy's Register, folio 115, and was a votive chapel for sailors and fishermen.


Slee, A. H., 1941, Braunton and its Manors, 198 (Article in Serial). SDV83677.

St. Michaels Chapel on Chapel Hill. One of five Lady Chapels associated with Braunton church.


Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 61 (Monograph). SDV336196.

On a hill, half a mile north east of the church, visible from far away on all sides. In ruins. The building was Late Perpendicular with west porch, west bellcote, single light north and south windows and a larger east window.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953 - 1954, SS43NE10 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV341341.

St Michael's Chapel (15th century) (Remains of).
1. St. Brannock's Chapel (Remains of).
2. Chapel of St Michael, on a hill half a mile north east of church. Visible from far away on all sides. In ruins. The building was late perpendicular with west porch, west bellcote, single light north and south windows and a larger east window. "On a hill called the Chapel Hill, is the shell of a chapel said to have been that of St Sylvester; in a wood above Brampton is the shell of the chapel of St Brannock"
3. St Brannock's:- the ancient remains of a chapel situated on top of Chapel Hill.
4. St Michael's Chapel stands on Chapel Hill, circa half a mile north east of Braunton. Sometimes called St Brannock's and sometimes St. Sylvester's Chapel. Braunton traditions relate that prayers were offered there for sailors, and a lookout kept for the Braunton fishermen, it is a conspicuous mark from the sea. Interior dimensions 24 feet 3 inches by 10 feet 3 inches; it has a west porch, south door, 4 windows, 1 in each gable and 1 on each side; the walls are about 2 feet 6 inches thick. The freestone settings of windows were mostly broken out in 1790, when the roof was taken off. Mentioned in Bishop Lacey's Register (1420-1455).
5. The ruin on Chapel Hill is St. Michael's Chapel.
6. Description in T4 correct. Orientated from east to west. The four walls are still standing, average 3.0 metres high, are of stone and mortar.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 346 (Monograph). SDV17562.

St. Michael's, 95 metres above sea level. A conspicuous ruin built in 15th century as a votive chapel. Elizabethan.


Russell, P., 1955, Fire Beacons in Devon, 292 (Article in Serial). SDV336138.

Other details: Appendix A.


Department of Environment, 1985, Braunton, 16 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV73918.

Chapel, possibly 15th century, coursed shale rubble and battered plinth. Roofless, single cell ruin, with walls intact almost to full height. Part of west gable end with projecting portal with depressed double arch, possibly originally with bellcote in gable above. South doorway with plain pointed arch. North, south and east window openings. Numerous small square holes in walls, like putlog holes. Other details: 11/49.


Horner, B., 1991, St Michael's Chapel Braunton (Personal Comment). SDV341337.

Appears that conservation work has not yet been undertaken.


Haggerty, F. M., 1991, St. Michael's Chapel, Braunton: A Survey of the Standing Remains (Un-published). SDV83681.

A survey was carried out in advance of necessary conservation works to prevent the building from decaying further. One of the main features of construction are the 'put-log' holes on the north and south walls, with further holes on either side of the bellcote. The upper part of this, west, wall was a double wall and the whole was "honeycombed" with shafts, some oblique. These may have had a secondary function to hold scaffolding, but that primarily they were for ventilation, the oblique angles preventing draughts.


Coulter, J., 1993, Untitled Source, 25 (Monograph). SDV341318.

The sole remaining relic of all the ancient chapels of Braunton, St. Michael's is an imposing ruin on the summit of Chapel Hill overlooking the village below. There is no known record of its foundation date or dedication, but there is a documentary refence dated 1435. The ruin measuring 7.5 metres by 3.2 metres, in the traditional east-west orientation, is constructed from local stone, possibly quarried from the pit still visible to the east of the building. In 1909 it was described as being built in random rubble walling, which is also used for the arches, but the inner sides of the windows bear traces of having been formed up with dressed freestone. However, only one block of this remains in the east window - the building having been stripped of all except this piece. Part of the west gable remains, with its parapet and the set-off for the roof timbers can be seen on the inner side of the parapet. Other details: Plates 13 + 14.


Sally-Anne Cockerill, 2013, Site visit by agent undertaking Farm Environment Plan (Personal Comment). SDV351378.

Owner states that under all the scrub on the eastern side is a 300ft well, covered by a piece of tin.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17296Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1905. 8SE. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 6 inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 346.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 66.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336138Article in Serial: Russell, P.. 1955. Fire Beacons in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 87. A5 Hardback. 292.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 61.
SDV341318Monograph: Coulter, J.. 1993. The Ancient Chapels of North Devon. Photocopy + Digital. 25.
SDV341337Personal Comment: Horner, B.. 1991. St Michael's Chapel Braunton.
SDV341339Record Office Collection: Dean Milles. 1755. Dean Milles Parochial Returns of 1755. Dean Milles Parochial Survey. Questionnarie (1747-62). Unknown.
SDV341340Pamphlet: Chanter, J. F.. 1934. The Church of St. Brannock, Braunton. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV341341Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953 - 1954. SS43NE10. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV351378Personal Comment: Sally-Anne Cockerill. 2013. Site visit by agent undertaking Farm Environment Plan. Letter.
SDV73918List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1985. Braunton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 16.
SDV83677Article in Serial: Slee, A. H.. 1941. Braunton and its Manors. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 73. Hardback Volume. 198.
SDV83681Un-published: Haggerty, F. M.. 1991. St. Michael's Chapel, Braunton: A Survey of the Standing Remains. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV41803Related to: Braunton, St Michael's Chapel, Quarry (Monument)
MDV187Related to: Chapel Hill (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV354 - Site Visit to St. Michael's Chapel

Date Last Edited:Jun 10 2013 12:31PM