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The Gatehouse website record of

Chappel of ye grune (St Johns Chapel)

a location shown on a 1590 map of the West Marches of Scotland (The Aglionby Platt)

In the civil parish of Silloth-on-Solway.
In the historic county of Cumberland, England.
Modern Authority of Cumbria, England.
1974 county of Cumbria, England.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY13655644
Latitude 54.89525° Longitude -3.34783°

The given map reference is suggested as the probable location of Chappel of ye grune shown on the Aglionby Platt.

There are no visible remains.

The likely form(s) of this building in 1590 are;

  • Other.

A section of the 1590 Aglionby Platt. Image reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland
Reproduced by permission of the National Library of Scotland

In 1301 a licence was granted by Bishop Halton of Carlisle to the Abbot of Holme for the building of a chapel at the proposed new borough of Skinburness. The borough failed with the death of Edward I in 1304, and the chapel was replaced as potential parish church by the Church of St John at Kirkby Town (Newton Arlosh). Attempts to locate the chapel in the 19th century foundered on the number of internments encountered, indicating a long period of usage of the churchyard after the chapel had fallen into disuse.
(NY 13665644) St Johns Chapel (NR) (site of) (NAT) (OS).
Nicholson viewing the sea banks at Skinburness in 1704, mentions "the ruins of St John's Chapel yet to be seen in the Grune or Groine, a little to the east from the town (TCWAAS 1950) (Skinburness). Excavations in the SW corner of the field in which the chapel is marked had to be abandoned beause of the large number of interments met with, the burial ground having probably been used long after the chapel had ceased to exist. (Bellhouse 1962, Grainger, 1902
In 1301 a licence was granted by the bishop of Carlisle for the building of a parish church to serve the proposed new borough of Skinburness (NY 15 NW 9). This was cancelled in 1304 when the town was relocated. The dedication may have been to St John Baptist. (Beresford) (PastScape)

The form of this chapel is not known but presumably had a bell tower which may well have been an important sea marker to aid the navigation of shipping. Was this shown on the 1590 map purely because it was a notably landmark or because the chapel served some military function as a watch tower or small garrison? It doesn't ever seem to be described as anything other than a chapel unlike some other church towers in the area, which were noted as fortified or watch towers. By 1590 it seems to be ruinous and was part of a land-holding leased by John Tiffen in 1582.
The resident householder c. 1590.

John Tiffen
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record created on 31/07/2015 07:41:02; This record last updated on 17/09/2015 10:44:24

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