South Charlton Chapel Tower

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Ecclesiastical site, and also as a Possible Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameSouth Charlton Chapel Tower
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishEglingham

A chapel existed at South Charlton in the middle of the 13th Cent. It had probably been built by the Lucker family. Land attached to it is mentioned in 1273. Not long after 1343 divine service was entirely suspended, possibly as a result of war, and it was probably allowed to fall into ruin. In 1450 the Earl of Northumberland built a tower at the end of the chapel for the protection of the villagers.

In the 16th and 17th centuries the chapel again lapsed into a semi-ruinous condition being destitute of any regular incumbent. There is evidence that it was still in use up to the middle of the 18th century.

It stood at the east end of the village, where a parcel of land is still called 'Kirk Croft'. In 1823 the steps leading up to the chapel yard gate still remained, but in 1829 the wall round the yard was taken down and the yard itself was included in the 'Half Acres' (Hadcock 1939; Bateson 1895).

Remains of the Chapel were extant in 1865, but nothing of it now survives (F1 EG 22-MAR-55). (PastScape)

In 1450 these depredations had become so frequent and serious that the earl of Northumberland built a tower at the end of South Charlton chapel, especiallv designed for the protection of the villagers in time of war. Ad edificationem unius nove turris defensabilis ad finem capelle ibidem, pro salva custodia dicte ville tempore guerre, Ixvi s. viij d.' Account of William Cokke, receiver of the earl of Northumberland, Mich. 28 Hen. VI.-Mich. 29 Hen. VI. Duke of Northumberland's MSS.; cf. Bates, Border Holds, p. 21 (Bateson 1895)

Gatehouse Comments

Quite how a small tower provided a refuge for several dozen villagers may be open to some question and the account actually states for the protection of the township which may possibly mean the documents and revenues of the township (medieval churches not uncommonly functioned as 'banks' in the sense of places to store money and important documents).

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNU164203
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  • Brooke, C.J., 2000, Safe Sanctuaries (Edinburgh; John Donald) p. 84
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 122
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 346
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 319
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 81, 159
  • Bateson, Edward (ed), 1895, Northumberland County History (Newcastle upon Tyne) Vol. 2 p. 309-10 online copy
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, Border Holds of Northumberland (London and Newcastle: Andrew Reid) p. 21 (Also published as the whole of volume 14 (series 2) of Archaeologia Aeliana view online)


  • Hadcock, R.N., 1939, 'A map of mediaeval Northumberland and Durham' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser4) Vol. 16 p. 148-218 esp 167
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 21 online copy