Barnard Castle

"This was formed a distinct parish in 1865, and is bounded on the north by the parish of Staindrop, on the north-west by that of Middleton-in-Teesdale, on the south-west and south by the river Tees, and on the east by the chapelry of Whorlton. It comprises the townships of Barnard Castle and Marwood, Streatlam and Stainton, and Westwick. Barnard Castle was formerly a chapelry in the gift of the vicar of Gainford.

"The township of Barnard Castle, with Marwood, has an area of 7682 acres, with a ratable value in 1892, of £22,600. Under the Divided Parishes Act of 1885, Marwood was added to Barnard Castle township; previous to that time it was a distinct township, having an area of 3675 acres.

"Barnard Castle is situated 25 miles south-west from Durham, 16 west-north-west from Darlington, 39 from Gateshead, 38 from Sunderland, and 224 north-north-west from London. Its population in 1851 was 4357, of whom 2088 were males and 2269 females. There was at the same period 644 inhabited houses, 8 uninhabited, and 11 in process of erection. The town, which is about a mile in length, is situated on the southern slope of a hill, descending steeply to the river Tees, and is approached from the north-east by the Bowes and Sunderland turnpike road, which connects it with Staindrop, Bishop Auckland, &c. There is a broad street or suburb running from east to west, called Galgate or Gallowgate, and, according to old maps and some authorities, the ancient town of Marwood stood here previous to the erection of Barnard Castle. The street is supposed to have derived its name from having been in ancient times the place of execution for the barony."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]



"In 1801 Barnard Castle township alone had a population of 2966; in 1811, 2986; in 1821, 3581; in 1831, 4430; in 1841, 4452; in 1851, 4608; in 1861, 4478; in 1871, 4278; in 1881, 4269; and in 1891, with Marwood, 4725.

"For Marwood the population in 1801 was 156; in 1811, 177; in 1821, 212; in 1831, 200; in 1841, 224; in 1851, 205; in 1861, 241; in 1871, 200; in 1881, 197; and in 1891 it was returned with Barnard Castle."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The 1851 Census Index (booklets 52a (A-L) and 52b (M-Z)) published by the Cleveland Family History Society may be of value to researchers interested in this parish.


Church History

"The Church, dedidcated to St. Mary is an interesting stone edifice, which appears to have been erected about the middle of the 12th century."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

There is a picture (22 kbytes) of the parish church of St. Mary, Barnard Castle; supplied by Richard Hird.


Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1609." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1609-1954 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/BC).

Indexes to the Baptisms 1813-1837:-

Indexes to the Burials 1813-1837:-

The Marriages (1754-1800 and 1813-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

The following records are available for non conformist churches in the parish:-

  • Congregational
    • Congregational Church: Baptisms, marriages & burials 1806-1908
    • copies of pre-1837 baptism registers are available (M5/1-5).
  • Methodist
    • Barnard Castle Circuit (Primitive): Baptisms 1831-1934
    • Barnard Castle Circuit (Wesleyan): Baptisms 1803-1957, Marriages 1849-1882
    • Newgate: Baptisms 1953-1974
  • Roman Catholic
    • Catholic Church: Baptisms, marriages & burials 1847-1974

Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Barnard Castle which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Barnard Castle has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NZ051167 (Lat/Lon: 54.545434, -1.92338), Barnard Castle which are provided by: