Haughton Chapel


Counterpitched rubble
walling in the south
wall (2016)

Earliest core fabric is probably C12th, though earlier may exist at base courses; some counterpitched rubble

West gable (1959) Remains of the west
gable from the south-
west (2016)

West gable C12-C14th (has been reduced to 6-12 courses of walling)

Chancel probably same period as core (C12th-C13th and later) though with possible earlier material at base

Ruined C16th mortuary chapel on north side of chancel

South doorway
Remains of the south
doorway (2016)

Former C12th south doorway to nave with chevron and cable moulding; now lost

Blocked arcade looking
north (2006)

C14th three-bay north aisle demolished in C16th and arcade blocked to form north wall of nave, north door and window (reused from north aisle) added at the same time

Medieval Cross Slabs

Haughton Chapel was visited on 12 July 2016; conservation works were underway, although no-one was on site. Large pits have been dug north-east and west of the chapel ruin, and in these a large number of worked and dressed stones are stacked, prior, it appears, to them being buried. Slab 1 was in the floor of the former south porch, directly in front of the exposed jambs of the 12th century south door (and had been covered again by c 5 cm of soil; it was carefully cleaned, recorded, and then re-covered); slabs 2 and 3 were amongst the worked stones in the north-eastern pit.

Cross slab 1 Cross slab 1 (2016)

(1) A semi-effigial slab, complete but cracked into three pieces, of Magnesian Limestone, 1.84 m long, by 0.675 m wide at the head and 0.54 m at the foot. At the top the head and hands of a robed civilian are carved within a sunken quatrefoil, at the foot his feet rest on a dog, within an trefoiled ogee arch. Incised on the slab is a cross (much more worn and only apparent after carefully cleaning of the stone) with the trefoiled arch beneath its base and its head, of the conventional round-leaf bracelet type, immediately below the quatrefoil containing the head and hands of the effigy.

Whilst monuments of this type are not uncommon in the county (North Collingham, East Markham, Gamston, Gedling, Headon, Mansfield Woodhouse, Staunton and Tuxford) this is an excellent example that demonstrates the semi-effigial slab as a true hybrid between the cross slab and the effigy, in that it has a full-length cross as well as the sunken panels displaying sections of the effigy. The cross is of a common Nottinghamshire form that stylistically would have been dated, in Lawrence Butler’s typology, to the late 12th or early 13th century, but here it is used in combination with other design elements – the quatrefoil sinking and the ogee-arched base, which are of typical 14th century form (indeed, this monument type seems to belong almost exclusively to the 14th century.

Antiquarian sources refer to a second semi-effigial slab, to a lady, at Haughton, but its present whereabouts are unknown. A conventional effigy from Haughton is now displayed in Walesby parish church.

Cross slabs 2-3 Cross slab 2
Cross slab 3

(2) The base of a floor-stone cross slab, 0.73 m wide and 0.50 m long, of medium-grained sandstone, 0.125 m thick, cracked into two pieces. There is an incised border line, double at the bottom, and the multi-stepped base of a cross, beneath which ae two lines of black letter Gothic inscription, beginning ‘Orate p’aia….’ but otherwise very worn. Probably 15th century.

(3) The lower part of a cross slab, later re-used to form part of the chamfered and splayed jamb of a window, complete with glass groove. L0.79 m long, 0.27 m wide at the foot, originally c 0.32 m at the top but cut down during re-use. Magnesian limestone, with a fine diagonal tooling, little wear. Incised cross shaft and simple stepped base. Probably 12th or 13th century.

These three monuments (and most notably the semi-effigial slab) are all of a quality such that, had they come to light during the 19th-century restoration of a parish church, they would have been preserved and displayed. Given that a precedent has already been set by removing an effigy from Haughton Chapel to the nearby St Edmund’s church at Walesby, surely the possibility of taking these monuments there as well, where they could be exhibited alongside it, with appropriate interpretative material.

Descriptions and drawings of the cross slabs courtesy of Peter Ryder.

Technical Summary

Timbers and roofs

  Nave Chancel Tower
Main None remain None remain n/a
S.Aisle n/a n/a  
N.Aisle Aisle demolished None remain  
Other principal      
Other timbers No timbers whatsoever remain    


Former stone double bellcote on west gable, Elphick type A; Pickford type 9A, demolished c1947.


  Nave Chancel Tower
Plaster covering & date No plaster; traces visible 1947 Traces; mostly vanished n/a
Potential for wall paintings C14th murals on N.arcade Possible n/a

Excavations and potential for survival of below-ground archaeology

No archaeological excavations have taken place. The building is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and excavation will require SM Consent.

The overall potential for the survival of below-ground archaeology in the churchyard is considered to be very high and below the present interior floors is considered to be very high.

Exterior: Burials expected, multiperiod, but all before C17th. As there are are no modern burials, all inhumation evidence is expected to be early-late medieval and much of this as intact and uncut graves as the population was always small. It is possible that evidence of a predecessor chapel may also survive.

Interior: Archaeological deposits are expected to survive comparatively intact and undisturbed, though damaged through long exposure to water ingress. Floor levels, burials, and evidence of internal use and alteration ought to be present. The whole is anticipated to be a highly complex sequence of fragile stratigraphy from the C12th or earlier through to the C17th/C18th. Some damage during 1947 and later: unquantified.

Walls: Much damaged through ruination, and with considerable loss through deliberate demolition c1947. The remaining upstanding walls, and their footings, are expected to be of the C12th or earlier to the C16th. Evidence of counterpitched rubble construction may be indicative of an early date. Mural paintings survive on the north aisle arcade.