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Belford Chapel of St Mary

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Chapel Crag

In the civil parish of Belford.
In the historic county of Northumberland.
Modern Authority of Northumberland.
1974 county of Northumberland.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NU10463449
Latitude 55.60415° Longitude -1.83604°

Belford Chapel of St Mary has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


An account of 1725 refers to the ruins of a chapel called St. Mary's. It was probably domestic to the Muschamp family, Robert de Muschamp's chaplain being mentioned in 1220. The foundations about 60ft by 21ft are visible at the edge of Chapel Crag, placed on a natural elevation of rock about 60 yds square, and 8ft high (Bateson 1893).
The rectangular plan is still visible in the form of turf-covered foundations 0.4m high (F1 RDL 23-JAN-64). (PastScape)

These are the earthwork remains of a medieval chapel called St Mary's. It was probably built by the Muschamp family. The foundations are about 20m by 7m and can be seen on the edge of Chapel Crag on a natural elevation of rock. It appears to be surrounded by an earth bank. (Keys to the Past)

According to Tomlinson this chapel had been fortified, or enclosed, 'by some high mounds', although it has apparently been built within existing prehistoric earthworks. Certainly the position is defensible and it commands an excellent view of the coast, although its history is obscure. In the survey of 1415, there is named a 'Castrum de Belfurth' belonging to one Dom de Dacre, which by 1509 was recommended for a garrison by 40 horsemen; this may have been this site or, more probably, Westhall Tower.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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