Durham St Mary-le-Bow

"This is one of two districts exercising the rights of townships. It includes the parish of St. Mary's in the North Bailey, commonly called St. Mary-le-Bow. The area of North Bailey is 14 acres, its ratable value £2023, and the population in 1871 was 324; in 1881, 334; and in 1891, 302. The houses were anciently occupied by military tenants, bound to contribute to the defence of the castle; for this reason many of the tenements acquired distinct names, some from their owner and others from circumstances connected with them."[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

Church History

"The previous edifice, which was of great antiquity, having fallen into decay, was replaced by the present church, situated on the east side of the North Bailey, built of hewn stone, and opened for service in 1685. It consists of nave and chancel, of equal width and height, with eight regular pointed lights, and a large east window; and is supposed to occupy the site of the White Church, or Tabernacle of Boughs, in which St. Cuthbert's body rested till the completion of the cathedral. The west tower was erected in 1702 by the parishioners, and repaired after its original plan in 1827. Since 1874 this church has been greatly improved. The visitations of the bishop and archdeacons are generally held in this church. The living is a rectory in the deanery of Easington, valued in the Liber Regis at £5, is in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter. The income is about £300 per annum. Rev. Canon W. H. Walter, rector."

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

There is a picture (24 kbytes) of the parish church of St. Mary-le-Bow, Durham; supplied by Richard Hird.


Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1576." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894] 

The Parish Registers for the period 1571-1979 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Du.MB).

Baptism and/or marriage registers 1572-1814 are indexed in the International Genealogical Index, a copy of which is available at the County Record Office.

Marriages for the period 1573-1814 are indexed in Boyd's Marriage Index.

Marriage indexes for 1571-1837 (33 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

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


Description & Travel

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Durham St Mary-le-Bow 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 NZ275421 (Lat/Lon: 54.773071, -1.574045), Durham St Mary-le-Bow which are provided by: