Saturday, 3 October 2009

Chapel in the grounds of Pickering Castle

Chapel in the grounds of Pickering Castle
North Yorkshire

The castle at Pickering in North Yorkshire, lays on the junction of the A169 and the A170, about 20 miles West of Scarborough. For further information on the castle itself, check this link out.

The chapel is the only roofed building left within the castle's walls, and probably dates from 1226 to 1227. From 1218 to 1236 (the third period of building at Pickering) the castle was greatly strengthened....the curtain wall was strengthened\repaired, the inner gatehouse was strengthened and the outer shell of the keep was strengthened\repaired. The Old Hall was also added at this point....the footings of which are hidden behind the chapel in the following photo.

The chapel is thought to have had a resident chaplain up until 1547 when it was closed down during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. As a chantry chapel (like the chapel at Keld near Shap) it fell foul of Henry VIII's agents. However, the chapel wasn't demolished, but turned instead into a court house.

The chapel is mentioned in documents dating from 1313-1314, with further mention of repairs to seven windows in 1325. A survey of 1538, no doubt in anticipation of Henry VIII's dissolution of monastic establishments, stated that the chapel was "13 yards long, and 4 yards wide, covered with slate and in reasonable repair."

In 1651, it was described as "in indifferent good repair" and was still being used as a court house as a result of the Old Hall being demolished. The chapel usually houses displays relating to the castle's history, and is freely accessible.

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