Durham St Giles

"St. Giles, or Gilligate, may be considered a township, which extends over the parish of Belmont, which was formed from this parish and township, and is still included for civil purposes. It has an area of 1729 acres; a population in 1871 of 5864; in 1881, of 5420; in 1891, of 5394; and a ratable value of £15,442. Gilligate is bounded on the north by the River Wear, on the west by St. Nicholas' parish, on the south by the Wear and St. Oswald's parish, on the south-east by Sherburn, and on the north-east by West Rainton and Pittington townships."[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

Church History

"St. Giles Church, situated on the highest ground in the city, at the head of Gilesgate, was erected by Bishop Flambard, and dedicated by him in person on St. Barbara's Day, 1112. Previous to the enlargement and restoration in 1874, it bore a great resemblance to the church of Jarrow, being without aisles, narrow, long, and lofty; and consisted of nave and chancel separated by a pointed arch, a small portion, with shafts or corbels, of which only remains. Three large perpendicular windows were inserted in the south wall, and other alterations of questionable taste were effected in 1828. The north wall of the nave of the existing church is the only part remaining of the church consecrated by Bishop Flambard. The ancient doorway, now placed there, stood originally in the south wall. The font is believed to be that of Bishop Flambard. The living is a vicarage, valued in the Liber Regis at £24, was augmented in 1768 with £400, one-half of which was obtained from Queen Anne's Bounty, and the remainder from a subscription of the parishioners. It is in the deanery of and patronage of the Marquis of Londonderry. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £284, payable to the impropriators, and £42 to the incumbent; the total value of the income is £250. Rev. Ponsonby A. M. Sullivan, M.A., is the vicar."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

There is a picture (19 kbytes) of the parish church of St. Giles, Durham; supplied by Richard Hird.


Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1584." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1584-1975 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Du.SG).

Baptism and/or Marriage registers for the period 1584-1814 are indexed in the International Genealogical Index, a copy of which is available at the County Record Office.

The Marriages for the period 1584-1814 are indexed in Boyd's Marriage Index.

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

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

  • Belmont 1858-1990 (EP/Bel).
  • Durham, St. Mary Magdalene 1636-1665 (EP/Du.SG).

Description & Travel

"The long suburb of St. Giles, or Gilesgate, joins Claypath in the parish of St. Nicholas, near the summit of the first hill; and after crossing a small valley, it ascends the second hill, whence it extends along the height to the eastward, and terminates on Gilesgate Moor. This was formerly termed the borough of St. Giles. The lands and burgages are held, with very few exceptions, by copy of court roll, and courts were regularly held by the masters of Kepier Hospital before the dissolution of the religious houses, and, since that period, they have been continued by the successive lay owners. On the division of Gilesgate Moor in 1817, the Marquis and Marchioness of Londonderry received one-sixteenth of the entire moor in lieu of their manorial rights, but they reserved to themselves the proprietorship of the mines. The collieries in this parish have for some years been "laid in"."

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Historical Geography

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You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NZ284427 (Lat/Lon: 54.778413, -1.559996), Durham St Giles which are provided by: