Durham St Nicholas

"St. Nicholas Parish, like St. Giles, exercises the rights of a township, which is co-extensive with the parish, and forms the central portion of the city, including the market-place and the streets which branch from it; Silver Street, with part of Framwellgate Bridge; Fleshergate and Sadler Street, to the site of the old gaol gateway; part of Elvet Bridge; Claypath, to the site of the Leaden Cross; the Back Lane, Wanless Lane, the interjacent fields and gardens, and the Sands as far as Kepier Gate. Its ratable value in 1892 was £13,514."[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]


"It contained in 1801, 1754 inhabitants; in 1811, 1958; in 1821, 2215; in 1831, 2265; in 1841, 2757; in 1851, 3031; in 1861, 2606; in 1871, 2482; in 1881, 2134; and in 1891, 2167."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894

Church History

"The former church of St. Nicholas was an ancient structure, situated on the north side of the market-place, and consisted of a nave and aisles, with chancel and square tower. This edifice was very plain, and indifferently built, being constructed of small and perishable stones, and appears to have been erected at different periods; but there are no records to show the date of its foundation, which is by some authors supposed to be coeval with the first settlement of the Saxons in this city. It was replaced by the present handsome structure in 1858, the late Marchioness of Londonderry and the Rev. G. T. Fox contributing £1000 each towards its erection, the remainder being raised by public subscription. It is built of stone, and consists of nave and chancel, with north and south aisles to each. A handsome tower, through which is the principal entrance, stands on the south side of the building, and is terminated by a fine spire 160 feet high. The style of architecture adopted is that of Late Decorated, which is harmoniously maintained throughout.
"This church formerly contained four chantries, viz, St. Mary's, value £4, founded by Hugo de Querringdon; St. James, value £5, 18s. 4d., founded by Thomas Cockside and Alice his wife; the Holy Trinity, of the value of £7, 13s. 10d.; and Saints John the Baptist and Evangelist, value £6, 16s. 4d., founded by Thomas Kirkley, rector of Whitbury. The two chapels on Elvet Bridge were also chantries belonging to this church, in which there was anciently a guild, called Corpus Christi Guild, established by virtue of a licence from Bishop Langley, according to the ancient mode of instituting fraternities of merchants, before any royal charters were granted for that purpose. The benefice was formerly a rectory, appropriated to Kepier Hospital, by Bishop Neville, in 1443; and so continued until the dissolution, when it became the property of the crown. The living was formerly a perpetual curacy of the certified value of £13, 19s. 4d. The living is a vicarage in the patronage of Lord Londonderry, valued at £250, and in the incumbency of the Rev. Henry Elliott Fox, M.A."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1553." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1540-1963 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Du.SN).

Baptism and/or marriage registers 1540-1812 are indexed in the International Genealogical Index, a copy of which is available at the County Record Office.

Marriages for the period 1550-1812 are indexed in Boyd's Marriage Index.

Marriage indexes for 1540-1719 and 1720-1837 from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1540-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.


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