MSO7877 - Remains of chapel in Chapel Cottage, Porlock Weir (Building)


Chapel Cottage incorporates fragments from of an old chapel, possibly St Olave's Guild Chapel. Tradition says the chapel was formerly a cell to Barlynch Priory. The house itself is late 19th Century.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 8664 4759] Chapelknap Cottage on site of (NAT) Chapel (NR) [1] The cottage known as Chapel Cottage, Porlock Weir, incorporates traces of an old chapel, notably in the walls, windows and roof. Two piscinas have been built into the walls. Before demolition in 1887 or 1888 [2] a plan [3] was sketched by C H Samson, F.R.I.B.A. in September 1887, and photographs were taken by Chadwyck Healey [4]. The plan is in the County Museum [3] and two of the photos are shown in Hook's 'History' [4]. [2-4] The only visible evidence of the chapel is in the entrance hall of the modern house which now occupies the site. Two piscinas are built into the walls, and the ceiling appears to be a replica of the chapel wagon roof. Chadwyck Healey suggests that this was probably a guild chapel and that it is the St Olave's Chapel mentioned in the 16th century. [5-8] At Porlock Weir is a small cottage called the Oratory, which tradition says was formerly a cell to Barlinch priory. [9] "Chapelknapp Cottage (on site of Chapel)" printed on Ordnance Survey 6 inch map. [10] Of particular interest is the site of a former chapel at Chapel Knap. This was probably a Chapel of Ease, similar to those at Lynch and Tivington, and appears to have been demolished in the latter half of the 19th century, although portions are said to remain incorporated in the house that now occupies the site. It was probably dedicated to St. Olave, and is that mentioned in the rent roll of Cecily Bonville, Marchioness of Dorset, prepared c. 1525 where an item refers to the “wardens of St. Olave for the Chapel.” The site is occupied by a large late 19th century house and outbuildings, mainly stone-built with brick dressings, double-Roman tiled roof and casement windows, some with narrow glazing bars. As in the style of many villas of the period, the main frontage faces away from the highway, with former service wing grouped around a courtyard with stable-block paving. [13] Two buildings are depicted within Plot 917 on the Porlock Tithe Map, recorded as 'Chapples, House and Garden' within the accompanying Tithe Apportionment. [14] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [15]

Sources/Archives (15)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1888.
  • <2> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Letter (C E H C Healey).
  • <3> Article in serial: Unknown. 1889. The Local Museum. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society. 35. Part I, pp 47-49. 48 and Insert.
  • <4> Monograph: Hook, W.. 1893. A history of the ancient church of Porlock and of the Patron St. Dubricius and his times. p80.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Object Name Book reference . Rev ONB 1902 3.
  • <6> Monograph: Chadwyck-Healy, CEH. 1901. History of West Somerset. p24, 266.
  • <7> Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. i. Porlock Rental of Marchioness of Dorset (Temp. Henry VIII).
  • <8> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, 9 July 1965.
  • <9> Monograph: Collinson, J.. 1791 (2006). The History and Antiquities of Somerset. Archive CD Books Ltd. p37.
  • <10> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1931. 6" sheet 34NW.
  • <11> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. D Seward, Somerset County Council, 4 April 1985.
  • <12> Unassigned: SMR file 33926.
  • <13> Report: Fisher, J.. 2004. Porlock Weir: Conservation Area Character Appraisal. p7, 14.
  • <14> Map: Cox, J. W.C.. 1841. Porlock Tithe Map and Apportionment. 13.3 inches : 1 mile. Plot 917.
  • <15> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 35846, Extant 3 February 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 8663 4759 (20m by 15m) MasterMap
Map sheet SS84NE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11531
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NE6
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 35846
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33926

Record last edited

Feb 3 2022 1:28PM


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