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HER Number:MDV8250
Name:Rushford Chapel, Chagford


Site of a Chapel of Ease at Rushford. Chapel was licenced 1329, a ruin by 1630, demolished 17th/18th century. The only visible trace of the chapel today is an arch forming part of an orchard wall.


Grid Reference:SX 706 890
Map Sheet:SX78NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishChagford
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCHAGFORD

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • National Monuments Record: SX78NW15
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 445493
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78NW/21
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX78NW15

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHAPEL (Constructed, XIV to XVII - 1329 AD (Between) to 1630 AD (Between))

Full description

Polwhele, R., 1793-1806, The History of Devonshire, 73 (Monograph). SDV21030.

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica, 97 (Monograph). SDV323771.

The chapel at Rushford was pulled down by Major Hoare (died 1726) and its stones used to repair his house and garden walls.

Westcote, T., 1845, A View of Devonshire in 1630, 433 (Monograph). SDV227839.

Ormerod, G. W., 1876, A historical sketch of the parish of Chagford, 79 (Article in Serial). SDV259032.

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

Chapel (Site of) marked on 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map, at Rushford Bardon, on east side of field between two orchards.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1953/1982, SX78NW15 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV350414.

There was a Chapel of Ease at Rushford, long since decayed.
(11/03/1953) All that remains of the chapel is a walled up granite archway in the orchard wall SX 70648908. Granite posts 1.7m high are placed on a stone step and surmounted by a single rounded arch. The posts are chamfered and 1.0m apart, the total height of the archway being 2.3m. There are no other indications of a building, but the archway is of better construction than the adjoining walling, and may be connected with the, presumably, Medieval chapel (N. V. Quinnell).
(24/10/1953) It was noted, however, that in the field centred at SX 7059 8909 are obvious indications of the sites of former buildings, in the shape of a series of terraces set into the hillside.
The field is therefore probably the site of the deserted village of Rushford.
(24/03/1982) No building platform can be seen at the published site, but immediately to the east a blocked granite doorway is set in an ivy covered orchard wall. The jambs are 1.7m. high and 1.0m. apart, resting upon a stone step; the lintel is formed of a single round headed arch stone giving a total height of 2.3m. No other re-used architectural fragments can be seen in the garden walling or farm buildings.
If this doorway came from the chapel it may have given rise to the "Chapel Meadow" field name and by association determined the O.S. siting, which is probably erroneous on two counts. Firstly, ruins in this position could not obstruct the view from the house which has a windowless west end with a massive chimney breast facing the supposed site. Secondly, the public road that now passes the house is a 19th century re-routing of the earlier road which passed along the west side of the orchard, virtually over the siting symbol. (Map of Devon 1765 (B Donn) & OS historic mapping, 1806).
The owner states the house was burnt out in 1913 but the 16th century shell survived and was used in the reconstruction, i.e. the house faces south as in the 18th century. In her opinion the chapel was in the present front garden (SX 70728908) although no evidence to support this has been encountered.

Hayter-Hames, J., 1981, A History of Chagford, 19, 35, 90 (Monograph). SDV363357.

William Le Moyne was granted a licence for a chapel at Rushford in 1329. By 1630 the building was in decay with an oak tree growing in the ruins. The site was later cleared as the ruins obstructed the view from the house.

Swete, J. (ed. Gray T. + Rowe, M.), 2000, Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Swete. Vol. 4, 35 (Monograph). SDV339713.

Swete states that the chapel was demolished by the previous owner of Rushford, Major Hoare.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

Chapel (site of) marked on modern mapping.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV21030Monograph: Polwhele, R.. 1793-1806. The History of Devonshire. The History of Devonshire. Unknown. 73.
SDV227839Monograph: Westcote, T.. 1845. A View of Devonshire in 1630. A View of Devonshire in 1630. Unknown. 433.
SDV259032Article in Serial: Ormerod, G. W.. 1876. A historical sketch of the parish of Chagford. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 8. Unknown. 79.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown. 97.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV339713Monograph: Swete, J. (ed. Gray T. + Rowe, M.). 2000. Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Swete. Vol. 4. Travels in Georgian Devon. The Illustrated Journals of the Reverend John Sw. 4. Hardback Volume. 35.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #49707 ]
SDV350414Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1953/1982. SX78NW15. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.

Associated Monuments

MDV8266Related to: Rushford Barton, Chagford (Building)
MDV8251Related to: Rushford Medieval Settlement, Chagford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:May 31 2022 9:35AM