There were three parochial chapels in the parish of Bubwith during the medieval period, in Foggathorpe, Spaldington and Willitoft.
Little is known of this chapel. Its foundation, dedication, and the names of any of its chaplains are all currently unknown. The only evidence so far of its existance lies in the Register of Archbishop Welton, 1317-1340, when in 1328 he was embarking on a visitation of the deanery of Harthill, and required all rectors, vicars, parochial chaplains etc to assemble in various chapels in Harthill on various dates, including, on the 15 Oct 1328, in Foggathorpe chapel. A similar requirement to assemble in Foggathorpe chapel was issued on the 17 June 1332 prior to another visitation of the deanery of Harthill.
In the Tithe Apportionment Files of the 1830s for Foggathorpe there are two fields in the schedule, named Chapel Garth and Chapel Yard, which may be the location of the ancient chapel.
St. James Chapel, Spaldington
Again, information cencerning this chapel is scant. We do know it was in existance from at least 1486, as in that year Richard Blanshard of Spaldington, Farmer, left a will, in which he left several bequests to the chapels of Spaldington and Willitoft.
In 1510 the dedication of this chapel was revealed when Peter Vavasour obtained a licence “to found a chantry for one chaplain in the chapel of St. James, in the hamlet of Spaldington, in the parish of Bubwith, Yorks.; to pray for the King and Queen Katharine, and for the said Peter and Elizabeth his wife, and for the soul of Sir John Vavasour; according to the ordinance of the said Peter and Henry Mathewe, prior of Ellerton”. Henry Matthew, prior of Ellerton, was to be its chaplain. The chapel was located within the grounds of the moated mansion of the Vavasours.
In the clerical tax list of Feb 1525/6, Robert Flete was listed as the chaplain of Spaldington
[State Papers 17 Hen VIII, vol iv, Part i, no. 2001, and printed in the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, Vol XXIV, (part 93), pages 62-80]
The chapel was still in existance at the Dissolution of the Chantries in 1548, and was valued then at £4. 13s. 4d, per annum.
In the Parliamentary Survey of 1650, vol. xvii. page 367. and vol. xviii. pages 111- 126, it is stated : " Vicarage worth
£13. 6s.8d. Spaldington and Willitoft to be united and made a parish, and Willitoft to be the parish Church." There were
then two Chapels.
The chapel seems to fallen into disuse at some point during the next 100 years, as in Archbishop Drummond's Visitation of 1764 he asked the question:
Have you any chapels within your parish? What are the names of them? How far are they distant from the parish-church? How are they endowed? By whom, and at what times, are they served. Is the curate duly qualified? By whom, and when, was he nominated? Have you any chapel in ruins in which no divine service is performed?
to which the reply was:
“There is now no chapel. 2 lie in ruins, one at Spaldington, and one at Willitoft.”
In the Tithe Apportionment Files of the 1830s for Spaldington there is a field in the schedule, named Chappelyard, which may be the location of the ancient chapel.
Currently nothing is known of the foundation or dedication of the Chapel of Willitoft. The earliest reference to it to date is in 1355, when Pope Innocent VI referred to it following an endowment made to Byland Abbey of a moiety of Bubwith Rectory.
The chapel was referred to again in the will of Richard Blanshard in 1486; during the Parliamentary Survey in 1650; and the ruins of it during Archbishop Drummond's Visitation of 1764, all referred to above under Spaldington Chapel.