Record Details

NHER Number:5478
Type of record:Building
Name:Red Mount Chapel, The Walks


An unusual 15th century wayside chapel that was part of the Walsingham pilgrimage route. The chapel is built of brick and ashlar in the form of two concentric drums. A barrel-vaulted cellar leads up to the chapel itself, which is entirely built of ashlar and which has an elaborate fan-vaulted ceiling. An archaeological evaluation carried out by APS in 2002 revealed the remains of the original entrance into the basement and established the foundation level of the chapel structure. The chapel was used by soldiers during the Civil War, who left interesting graffiti in the interior.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 6249 1983
Map Sheet:TF61NW

Full description

1828. Excavation by Rev. Edwards.
Revealed a polygonal curtain wall around the base of the mound as well as the original entrance passageway into the basement of the chapel. The revealed curtain wall was depicted on an engraving. The walls and passageway were re-covered the following year.

The earthwork Red Mount existed before the chapel was built on it in the late 15th century, and may have been part of the medieval town defences. (S1) noted that the town records for King's Lynn contain an entry for January 25th, 1485, that ' it is agreed by alle that Robert Curraunce shall have licence to bilde a chapell upon the mount called Ladye Hylle.' This mount is part of an old embankment of the Ouse. The chapel is of two storeys, the upper entered by the existing western doorway and a staircase-passage which runs round the south side, passes below the altar and enters the chapel itself from the west. The chapel is of cruciform plan with a panelled stone vault comparable in style with that of King's College Chapel, Cambridge. The lower chapel is vaulted in brick and was formerly approached by a passage on the west. The chapel was a wayside shrine for Walsingham and subsequently served as a water cistern, a powder-magazine, and a stable.
A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 4 February 2010.

1951. Listed Grade I.
Updated list description (S2) states that this was a wayside Chapel on Walsingham pilgrimage route. 1483-85 by Robert Curraunt, the chapel 1505-06, attributed to Simon Clerk and John Wastell.
Brick with ashlar dressings and ashlar core. Octagonal, constructed in the form of two concentric drums, the outer of brick. Roof not visible. Basement and two storeys to outer drum, a third to inner drum. Random bond brick. Two set-offs. Corners supported by stepped buttresses with ashlar dressings with an arched opening punched through each. Main entrance to west via timber studded door set under a depressed arch. One trefoil niche right and left. At intervals round the chapel are quatrefoil lights and 2-light mullioned windows, but the top floor of the outer drum is lit through a 4-light stone mullioned window with depressed heads beneath a straight hood mould, one such to each facet. Subsidiary door to north-east facet at ground floor, with, in the next facet clockwise, a 4-light stone mullioned window with hollow, roll and fillet mouldings. Inner drum emerges over roof-line as a stone cruciform illuminated through one encircled quatrefoil oculus to each of the four main facets.
INTERIOR: Arrangement is of a barrel-vaulted cellar below the twin drums, which are both octagonal below the ashlar chapel. Between the skins are two brick staircases with a roll-moulded handrail cut into inner wall. One starts at each external doorway and run counter-wise to each other, arriving at the antechamber to the chapel from opposing directions. Facing main door is a six-light stone mullioned window with hollow and ovolo mouldings looking down into basement. Two diamond pane leaded casements remain. Central core is largely brick with ashlar dressings but gives way to ashlar with brick dressings in upper storeys, emerging as all ashlar at chapel. Ample evidence of breaks in the work at top floor of outer drum, and of a change in design. At intervals are good examples of 17th and early 18th century grafitti. As staircases emerge at the chapel an ambulatory is formed, 20th century timber steps leading into the cruciform sanctuary itself, which is attributed to Clerk and Wastell. Elaborate fan-vaulted roof with recurring motifs of encircled quatrefoils, the four limbs having panel tracery.
This is also a Scheduled Monument.
Information from (S2).
A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 4 February 2020.

Suggested by R.R. Clarke as probably the motte of the Bishop's motte and bailey castle. According to Clarke traces of ramparts of bailey visible. A section drawing dated 1811 (S3) shows an earlier entrance to the lower storey as a tunnel.
Information from (S4).
A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 4 February 2020.

August 2000. Field observation.
The list description appears to be accurate.
Erected 1483 to 1485 on site already known as Lady's Hill. The upper storey was completed in 1506. It is concered unlikely that the attribution of this upper storey to Simon Clerk and John Wastell is correct since Clerk died in 1489.
Possibly intended as copy of Holy Sepulchre with 'basement' chapel (inside mound) approached by tunnel, and sanctuary on roof approached by two stair cases; priests house between. The fact that the chapel is recorded as a place of pilgrimage sows that it had some special feature in addition to being a wayside chapel.
Later used as a cistern, stable, observatory, and as magazine in Civil War from which many graffiti survive. Several later periods of restoration. The replacement of the brick stairs date from 1828. There were two separate SPAB restoration programmes, one in the 1920s and another in the 1930s.
R.R. Clarke's observation that this may have been a motte seems improbable. A. Rogerson (NLA) suggests that the name Lady's Hill may indicate that an earlier chapel may have stood here, and that the mound itself may be the remains of a saltern.
See (S5) in file. See also (S6).
(S7) reports that The Guild of Our Lady had a chapel here in 1329, hence the name Lady's Hill.
E. Rose (NLA), 25 August 2000, amended A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 4 February 2020.

2002. Trial Trenching. Contexts 1 - 55.
The evaluation revealed the remains of both the northern and southern wall of the original passage entrance into the Basement Chapel, along with a section of the retaining wall that encircled the mound into which the chapel is built. A brick and limestone floor surface was identified in the Basement Chapel and the foundation level of the internal chapel structure was firmly established at 4.83m OD. It was noted that the chapel was built into a previously existing mound as suggested by documentary evidence. There was no archaeological evidence for a floor surface in the Priest's Room Annexe.
See report (S8) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S9).
The associated archive has been deposited with the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2006.297).
A. Cattermole (NLA), 1 October 2007. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 5 May 2019.

May 2007.
Scheduled monument consent granted concerning extensions to the investigations to expose the wing walls to the lower chapel entrance.
See (S10)
H. White (NLA), 6 April 2009

October 2007.
Scheduled monument consent granted concerning the supply and fixing of a pre-manufactured bat hibernation box to the internal wall of the lower chapel.
See (S10) for further details
H. White (NLA), 27 January 2009.

April 2006-November 2007. Excavation.
The excavation of one major trench was designed to re-expose the remains uncovered in the evaluation (2002) and extend the investigation further west, to better understand the relationship of the structural elements of the chapel and its construction. Two further soakaways provided an opportunity to examine the less disturbed parts of the mound.
The excavation revealed no evidence for an earlier building. The evidence supports the suggestion that the chapel was built on an existing platform which was part of the medieval town defences.
uggests that the chapel was built in the late 15th century on the existing bank of the medieval fortifications. Evidence was found for its later use as a cistern and as a stable. The entrance passage excavated by the Reverend Edward Edwards in 1828 was re-excavated.
See published article (S11) for further details. See also assessment reports (S12) and (S13) and publication draft (S14).
S. Howard (NLA), 7 December 2009.

See also (S15) which provides further detail.
A. Cattermole (King's Lynn UAD), 4 February 2020.

Monument Types

  • (Former Type) MOTTE AND BAILEY? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GUILD CHAPEL (Medieval - 1329 AD to 1329 AD)
  • BOUNDARY WALL (Medieval to 16th Century - 1485 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WAYSIDE CHAPEL (Medieval to 16th Century - 1485 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CISTERN (16th Century to 18th Century - 1575 AD to 1799 AD?)
  • MAGAZINE (17th Century - 1638 AD to 1638 AD)
  • GRAFFITI (17th Century to 21st Century - 1700 AD to 2050 AD)
  • OBSERVATORY (18th Century - 1738 AD to 1738 AD)
  • STABLE (18th Century to 19th Century - 1738 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • STEPS (19th Century to 21st Century - 1828 AD to 2100 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BRICK (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIPE (SMOKING) (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • TILE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Scheduled Monument
  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF69.
---Monograph: Beloe, E.M.. 1897. The Red Mount, King's Lynn, with the chapels thereon..
---Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 61 NW 10 [2]; TF 62 SW 17.8.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1997. Chapel restoration plans. 5 February.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1998. Preserving the past for the future. 27 February.
---Monograph: Marks, R.. 2004. Image and Devotion in Late Medieval England.. p 203.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1978. Chapel allegations are refuted. 13 April.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1978. Vandals 'destroy heritage'. 8 July.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. [Photograph of Red Mount Chapel]. 16 February.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1996. [Photograph of Red Mount Chapel]. 24 September.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1998. Secrets of Lynn's ladye. 8 May.
---Newspaper Article: Lynn News. 1992. Shame of The Walks - Morons defile Lynn's peaceful parkland. 9 April.
---Article in Serial: Edwards, E.. The Chapel of Our Lady on the Mount, or Red Mount at Lynn, Norfolk.. Architectural Antiquities. pp 61-66.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. Town's historic gem opens ancient doors to visitors. 21 May.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2009. [Photograph of Red Mount Chapel]. 17 October.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. pp 472-474; Pl 33, Pl 34.
---Monograph: Pevsner, N. 1962. North-West and South Norfolk. The Buildings of England. 1st Edition. p 229; Pl 13a.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2012. [Photograph of Red Mount Chapel]. 30 June.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Unpublished Document: Calvert Brain & Fraulo. Preliminary Report and Outline Schedule of Remedial Works for The Redmount Chapel, The Walks, King's Lynn, Norfolk.
<S1>Article in Serial: 1932. Proceedings at Meetings of the Royal Archaeological Institute. The summer meeting at King's Lynn. The Archaeological Journal. Vol LXXXIX pp 327-384. p 337.
<S2>Designation: Historic England. National Heritage List for England. List Entry 1195403.
<S3>Monograph: Britton, J.. 1811. Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain.
<S4>Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. King's Lynn.
<S5>Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S6>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2001. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 2000. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt IV pp 707-728. p 715.
<S7>Publication: Higgins, D.. 2000. The Antiquities of King's Lynn from the Sketchbooks of Rev. Edward Edwards.
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Hall, R. V. 2002. Archaeological Investigations at Red Mount Chapel, King's Lynn, Norfolk. Archaeological Project Services. 140/02.
<S9>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2003. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk, 2002. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLIV Pt II pp 368-384. p 375.
<S10>Designation: DCMS. [?]-2016. Scheduled Monument Consent. SAM Consent. DNF69.
<S11>Article in Serial: Hardy, A., Santana, J. N. and Wilkinson, D. R. P. 2010. Archaeological Investigations of the Red Mount Chapel and The Walks, King's Lynn, 2006-7. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLVI pp 29-47.
<S12>Unpublished Contractor Report: Santana, J. N. 2006. The Walks, King's Lynn, Norfolk. Post-Excavation Assessment and Research Design. Oxford Archaeology.
<S13>Unpublished Contractor Report: Hardy, A. 2009. The Walks, King's Lynn, Norfolk. Post-Excavation Assessment and Research Design. Oxford Archaeology.
<S14>Unpublished Report: Santana, J.N.. Archaeological Investigations of the Red Mount Chapel and the Walks, King's Lynn, 2006-7. Publication draft.
<S15>Article in Monograph: Pitcher, D.. 2008. The Red Mount Chapel, King's Lynn. King's Lynn and the Fens: medieval art, architecture and archaeology. 17-27.

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44112Parent of: Excavation and test pitting at The Walks (Monument)

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