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Help and advice for Boldon

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"This ancient parish is bounded on the north-west by Hedworth, on the north by Simonside in South Shields, on the east by Whitburn, on the south by Castle Town, Southwick, and Washington, and on the south-west by Washington parish. The parish contains the townships of East and West Boldon,with villages of the same name, and has an area of 4031 acres. In 1882 a part of this parish was taken to form part of the new parish of Hedworth.

"The townships of East Boldon and West Boldon are returned together for civil purposes, having a united area of 4805 acres and ratable value of £29,499.

"The village of East Boldon is very pleasantly situated on the Sunderland and Newcastle road, about four miles north-west from the former. Here are many villa residences and attractive terraces, and the district has of late years become very popular as a place of residence for the merchants and tradesmen of Sunderland and Shields.

"West Boldon Village - This is the ancient village, and maintains much of its rural aspect, being overlooked by the venerable and picturesque old church. The older portion of the village occupies a rocky eminence, commanding a fine prospect on all sides, and is remarkable for its salubrity."

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



"In 1801 the number of inhabitants was 619; in 1811, 662; in 1821, 733; in 1831, 855; in 1841, 915; in 1851, 1008; in 1861, 1024; in 8171, 1745; in 1881, 3109; and in 1891 there were 4890 souls."

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


Church History

"The Church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, is a venerable and interesting edifice, picturesquely situated on an eminence overlooking the village; but of the original structure, which was built at the beginning of the thirteenth century, little now remains. The present spire and tower has been ascribed to the same date; it seems probable, however, that these were added at a subsequent date, as the base of the tower appears to be much older than the superstructure. The original building consisted of chancel, nave and tower, the aisles being added towards the close of the thirteenth century; these were heightened later, and extended to the west side of the tower, and the south porch erected. Presumably there was an earlier church here, as the first rector mentioned is William, who was succeeded by Alverd, in the time of Bishop Galfrid Rufus, 1133-40. ...

"The church was restored in 1876, at a cost of £1700, and a new organ was put in at a further cost of £300. "

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


Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1571." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1571-1970 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Bo).

A marriage index for 1573-1837 (39 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The marriages (1573-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

West Boldon Society of Friends Burials 1657-1682 (2 kbytes).

The following records for churches in the ancient parish of Boldon are also available at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL:-

  • East Boldon 1924-1967 (EP/Bo).
  • Hedworth 1882-1992 (EP/Hed).

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

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