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Durham St Mary South Bailey (St Mary the Less)

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"This is one of two districts exercising the rights of townships. It includes the parish of St. Mary's in the South Bailey, commonly called St. Mary-the-Less. The South Bailey is remarkably small, having only 4 acres, with a population in 1871 of 118, in 1881 of 115, in 1891 of 103, and a ratable value of £835 in 1892. Portions of the old city wall are met with in some of the gardens of the houses at the southern end of this Bailey." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

Church History

"This edifice closely adjoins the buildings of the college, and is half hidden from the streets by the boughs of the trees which shade its little cemetery. Although of small dimensions, it is a beautiful building, especially as regards its interior decorations. It was founded at a very early period, and is generally ascribed to a lord of Brancepeth, by the name of Bulmer, from whose family the patronage passed, by marriage to the Nevilles of Raby, and was subsequently transferred to the Crown, with whom it still remains. The church, which is in the Norman style, consists of a nave and chancel, separated by a circular arch, and has been almost entirely rebuilt during the incumbency of the present rector. The parish is very small, and there are no schools. The rector is the Rev. Canon Greenwell, M.A., D.C.L., and the crown holds the patronage. The living is a rectory in the deanery of Easington. There was anciently a chantry in this church, dedicated to St. Catherine, and of the annual value of £5, 7s. 9d."

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

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


Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1559." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894] 

The Parish Registers for the period 1558-1993 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Du.ML).

Baptism and/or marriage registers 1559-1812 are indexed in the International Genealogical Index, a copy of which is available at the County Record Office.

Marriages for the period 1559-1812 are indexed in Boyd's Marriage Index.

Marriage indexes for 1559-1837 (25 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1559-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

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