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Chapel in Charney Manor

The Chapel, on the first floor, of Charney Manor is accessed from the solar and is sometimes referred to as ‘The Monks’ Chapel’.

The Chapel (note the chimney shown in this photo)

‘An extra room could be obtained by joining an annexe, separately roofed, onto the solar like the chancel to the nave of a church. Indeed it was a favourite position for the domestic chapel. The chapel at Charney was built with its entrance towards the north end of the solar wall, thus allowing an east window to the solar. The whole bears a distinct resemblance to the chapel ordered by Henry III at Freemantle in 1251.

The chapel is 12ft 6 by 9ft 10. The east window is a late thirteenth century, two light uncupsed lancet.

East Window
Solar and Chapel plan (the shaded triangle in the corner may represent a corner hearth)

The south window is a lancet with trefoiled head and hood moulding. There is a piscina ( a perforated stone basin for carrying away ablutions) on the south wall, the protruding half of the bowl has been crudely broken away approximately flush with the wall, it also has a slot on either side of the recess presumably for the insertion of a wooden shelf. There is an aumbry (a locker or recess for sacramental vessels) on the north wall. The marks of the old door hooks can be seen in the sides of the deep doorway which leads to the solar and on the door moulding there is a roughly carved Jerusalem cross.

The roof is probably an eighteenth century reconstruction of the original; it was largely renewed after a fire. The chapel may have doubled as a study where farm accounts were kept, household money and papers being stored in the aumbry.

A modern trap-door has had to be fitted to conform with fire regulations.

Both the chapel and the solar rest on undercrofts. The one under the chapel is only lit by a slit and was probably always intended for use as a storeroom.’  Harriet Salisbury

The Chapel is recorded in 1907 by Weir as being ‘about 10 feet by 12 feet 6 inches… the east wall contains an original two light window… the south wall a single light window and piscina. The north wall contains an Ambury.’ The appears to have been a fire in this portion of the building as the joists were ‘badly burned’.

Country Life Magazine October 1942
Monks – Harriet Salisbury
Chapel chimney stack, internal and truncated

In the South West corner of the chapel are the remains of a chimney. This appears from the drawings and structure to have served a small, corner fireplace and was probably only around for part of the C20th. It is reported as capped off by the 60s/70s. The chimney stack appears externally on photos from 1931 (Britannia and Eve) through to the 1960s.

Graffiti and Hexafoil Ritual Protection Marks

Both Hexafoils

Very similar hexafoils appear in St Peter’s church adjacent to Charney Manor.

The ‘M’ like mark in the bottom right of the first image may also be a ritual protection mark.