Monument record MCC2536 - Maudlin Chapel, St Mary Magdalen's Hospital, Colchester


13th century chapel (CAT Building 186) attached to St Mary Magdalen Hospital, Brook Street, Colchester.


Grid reference TM 0057 2487 (point)
Map sheet TM02SW


Type and Period (1)

Full Description

The Maudlin chapel was part of St Mary Magdalen's Hospital. When the original hospital chapel was upgraded to a parish church in the 13th century, the hospital built this new chapel to the north.

The site of the chapel was recovered during excavations in 1995 (CAT Building 186, Site B).<5> It was built largely of reused materials, the c.13th century chapel appears to have had a simple earthen floor in an interior illuminated by the light through glazed windows decorated with a variety of red painted foliage designs. The standing walls were best preserved at the north-west corner (BF110) with a base of reused Roman materials including septaria and a brick quoin, built on 1.2m deep foundations.

One of the most striking features of the chapel was its size. The outer wall enclosed a floor area of almost 150 square metres - significantly larger than the neighbouring parish church and over six times the size of its 12th century predecessor.<1>

The chapel is shown on Speed's 1610 Map (Maudlyn chap, which shows a doorway in the west wall), The 1648 Siege Map, and the undated map by French artist.<2><3><4> Documentary evidence, however, is at odds with this interpretation, with a witness in a 1580 lawsuit stating that the hospital chapel had adjoined the side of the parish church and further describing the chapel's condition at the time as 'clean down'.<5>

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Serial: Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd.. 1996. The Colchester Archaeologist (Issue Number 9) 1995-6. No 9. p.10.
  • <2> Cartographic materials: Speed, J. 1610. Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain.
  • <3> Cartographic materials: Unknown. 1648. 1648 Siege Map.
  • <4> Cartographic materials: Unknown. 1650 (circa). Plan De Colchester.
  • <5> Article in serial: Crossan, Carl. 2004. Excavations at St Mary Magdalen's Hospital, Brook Street, Colchester.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

Record last edited

Oct 18 2016 11:30AM

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