Kilham : The Chapel
There is clear evidence for the existence of a chapel at Kilham during the medieval period. Michael of Kilham is mentioned in the cartulary of Kirkham Priory as having a private chapel with an endowment of its own (Kirkham Cartulary, fo. 86; cf. NCH XI (1922), 160) and in 1379 Sir William de Daltoun is listed as chaplain of ‘Killum’ in one of the Laing Charters (Laing Charters, no. 63; Macdonald 1950, 123 no. 42). The Kilham glebe land, with a yearly value of £10, listed among the property of Lord Grey in 1682, might represent Michael’s original endowment.
The chapel itself had probably fallen out of use by that stage. The antiquary John Warburton noted the existence of a ruined chapel at Kilham in 1715. The chapel is traditionally located in Chapel Field on the hillside south east of the village. Nothing is shown in that area on the 1712 map and neither a ruined monument nor a distinct chapel are marked on Armstrong’s map.
As a derelict ruin the chapel’s remains might not have been considered worth depicting on the estate map, although Warburton’s comments would suggest something was still visible at that time. However identification of the chapel site with Chapel Field was already established by the mid 19th century. While surveying ancient monuments for the Duke of Northumberland in the 1850s, Henry MacLauchlan noted ‘the faint traces of the foundation of a chapel’ in this area, where ‘some bones were lately disinterred’, and records the field was called Chapel Field (MacLauchlan 1867, 35).