"This extensive parish, which was formerly included in the north-western division of Darlington ward, was bounded on the north by Lanchester and the chapelry of Esh; on the west by Witton-le-Wear; on the south-west by the chapelry of Crook; on the south and south-east by Croxdale, Merrington, Whitworth, and St. Andrew's Auckland, and on the east by St. oswald's in the suburbs of Durham. It comprised the townships of Brancepeth, Brandon and Byshottles, Helmington Row, Stockley, Tudhoe, and Willington. Each of these townships has, at various dates, become separated, and are now distinct parishes, with the exception of Stockley, which is in the parish of Willington. The parish is now simply co-extensive with the township. Great improvements have been effected under the auspices of the Russell family. Extensive tracts of thriving plantations have been planted by them, and much of the former waste land brought into cultivation.

"Brancepeth is a township giving name to the parish, and containing many features of interest. It is generally hilly, well cultivated, and possesses scenery which is very attractive. Its area is 3749 acres, entirely the property of Lord Boyne, and the ratable value is £16,640.

"Coal is not actually brought to the surface in this parish, though the royalties extend from the neighbouring collieries beneath the entire township, producing the finest coking coal in the North

"The village of Brancepeth is remarkable for its picturesque appearance and pleasant situation. It is beautifully arranged, and kept in park-like order. A station on the Bishop Auckland and Durham line is within a quarter of a mile, and the village is situated about five miles south-west by west of Durham City."

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



"The population in 1801 was 364; in 1811, 455; in 1821, 539; in 1831, 329; in 1841, 352; in 1851, 370; in 1861, 1496; in 1871, 2003; in 1881, 344; and in 1891, 407."

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



There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

Church History

"The Church, which is beautifully situated within the castle grounds, is an ancient and interesting structure dedicated to St. Brandon, Abbot of Confert, in Ireland"

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


Church Records

"The register dates from 1559." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1599-1977 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Br).

The Marriages (1599-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Database.

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

  • Brandon 1877-1985 (EP/Brd).
  • Crook 1843-1986 (EP/Cro).
    • Sunnybrow 1889-1980 (EP/Sun).
  • New Brancepeth 1894-1982 (EP/NB).
  • Stanley 1877-1971 (EP/Sta).
  • Tudhoe, Holy Innocents 1866-1980 (EP/Tu).
  • Waterhouses 1879-1962 (EP/Wat).
  • Willington 1857-1995 (EP/Wil).

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

  • Methodist
    • Brancepeth: Baptisms 1884-1914
    • Brancepeth Colliery MNC: Baptisms 1870-1885
    • Brandon and Deerness Valley Circuit: Baptisms 1942-1950
    • Brandon Colliery Wesleyan: Baptisms 1927-1956, Marriages 1945-1975
    • Brandon Colliery, Mount Calvary: Marriages 1910-1982
    • Brandon Primitive Circuit: Baptisms 1898-1943


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Brancepeth which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



There is a very full website for the village of Tudhoe courtesy of Prof. Jeremy Hutson. It is primarily local history rather than genealogy, but it contains a lot of information on individual people, mostly for 1570-1770.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NZ222380 (Lat/Lon: 54.736713, -1.656532), Brancepeth which are provided by: