"This ancient parish is almost co-extensive with the present municipal borough of Gateshead, and now comprises, in addition to the mother-parish of St. Mary's and that of Gateshead Fell, eight ecclesiastical districts, which have been formed since 1864. The first district parish to be formed in the town was Holy Trinity, in 1864; in the same year St. James' was separated, and they were followed in order by St. Edmond's, in 1865; St. Cuthbert's, Bensham, 1865; St. Paul's, 1871; Christ Church, 1875; St. Helen's, Low Fell, 1876; Ven. Bede, 1885; and St. Aidan's, 1889. The extensive and elevated tract of land called Gateshead Fell was formerly part of the parish of Gateshead, under which all the returns are included; but, although it was made a distinct parish and rectory in 1808, it was provided by the Act of Parliament which made the division, "that nothing in this Act contained shall alter or affect the manor of Gateshead, or the division of the said parish into townships, or separate districts for the maintenance of the poor, or for any civil purpose whatever, but that the said manor and parish of Gateshead shall, as to those purposes, remain I all respects the same as if this Act had not passed."

"The township or civil parish of Gateshead contains 2971 acres; its ratable value (December 1893) is £76,509."

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



Saltwell Crematorium has an online book of remembrance indexed by Day and Month only.

Now a researcher who goes by the name of Tickettyboo has provided a name index to use in conjunction with the council pages.

Please note that books of remembrance do not record everyone cremated in the crematorium - just those whose relatives have paid to have the name listed.



"In 1801 its inhabitants numbered 8597; in 1811, 8782; in 1821, 11,767; in 1831, 15,177; in 1841, 19,505; in 1851, 25,568; in 1861, 32,749; in 1871, 47,808; in 1881, 65,041; and in 1891, 84,728 souls."

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


Church History

"The Parish Church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an old and interesting edifice, situated in an elevated site overlooking the river. It is cruciform in shape, consisting of nave, with aisles, north and south transepts, chancel, and square tower. The architecture is of a mixed character, the oldest parts of the structure being the north wall of the chancel, which is supposed to date from the beginning of the twelfth century, and part of the south doorway, which belongs to the Transitional period. The tower, which is in a different style of architecture to the rest of the structure, replaced the old tower in 1740. The building to the north of the chancel is said to have been erected as the habitation for an anchoress, space in the churchyard being granted by licence from Bishop Bury, to the then rector of Brancepeth for that purpose. The church suffered great damage through the terrible explosion which took place in Gateshead in 1854, which necessitated the rebuilding of a great part of the chancel. The seating accommodation is for 1500. The living is a rectory, valued, with the mastership of King James' Hospital, at £1100, out of which the curates are to be paid, making the net income about £530. Rector, the Rev. William Moore Ede, M.A., hon. Canon."

[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 1559-1979 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Ga.SM).

Baptism and/or marriage registers for the period 1559-1877 are indexed in the International Genealogical Index, a copy of which is available at the County Record Office.

Marriages for the period 1559-1662 are indexed in Boyd's Marriage Index.

Marriage indexes for

from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1558-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

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

  • Eighton Banks 1857-1979 (EP/EB).
  • Gateshead, Christ Church 1872-1972 (EP/Ga.CC).
  • Gateshead, Holy Trinity 1864-1970 (EP/Ga.HT).
  • Gateshead, St. Aidan 1892-1964 (EP/Ga.SA).
  • Gateshead, St. Andrew 1905-1933 (EP/Ga.CC)
  • Gateshead, St. Chad 1898-1986 (EP/Ga.SCh).
  • Gateshead, St. Columba 1898-1968 (EP/Ga.SCo).
  • Gateshead, St. Cuthbert, Bensham 1864-1991 (EP/Ga.SC).
  • Gateshead, St. Edmund 1865-1974 (EP/Ga.SE).
  • Gateshead, St. George 1897-1970 (EP/Ga.SG).
  • Gateshead, St. Helen 1876-1983 (EP/Ga.SH).
  • Gateshead, St. Hilda 1904-1922 (EP/Ga.SHi).
  • Gateshead, St. James 1865-1981 (EP/Ga/SJ).
  • Gateshead, Venerable Bede 1876-1979 (EP/Ga.VB).
  • Low Team, St. Paul 1872-1981 (EP/LT).

Description & Travel

"The borough of Gateshead is situated on the south bank of the Tyne, about 14 miles north from the city of Durham, and is connected with Newcastle by several fine bridges, the most notable being the magnificent High Level, and the Swing Bridge, which has replaced the old Tyne bridge, just below the former. The borough is exceptionally extensive, and comprises an area of 3134 acres, and includes, in addition to the town of Gateshead, the populous districts of Low Fell, Sheriff Hill or Gateshead Fell, Carr's Hill (partly in the township of Heworth), and part of Wreckenton, the last-named being two and a half miles distant from the town hall. On the south and west are also large tracts of green fields within the borough boundary.

"Gateshead is more formidable with respect to steepness than its opposite neighbour, Newcastle, the ascent from the river's bank being no less than 500 feet in two miles, and some of the streets leading up from the Swing Bridge are such as horses and drivers regard with an anxious eye. From any contiguous elevated station the view over two towns is very striking; the river, the shipping, the factories, the glass-works, the pottery-works, the steeples, and those prominent features of the town, the High Level and Redheugh Bridges. The appearance of the town has been greatly improved in recent years by the erection of several fine public buildings, numerous handsome religious edifices, and by the addition on the south and west of handsome new streets and squares, the residential portions being spacious and well laid out, and the borders of many of the thoroughfares planted with trees; tram lines have been laid in various directions, on which the cars are propelled by steam. In the low-lying district, near the river, which is the oldest part of the town, there is still much room for improvement, although many of the close alleys and narrow dilapidated streets, for which this part of the town was remarkable, have been cleared away, and their sites occupied by busy thoroughfares and improved dwellings.

"Low Fell is a pleasant suburban village, picturesquely situated on the slope between Sheriff Hill and the Team Valley, about two miles south from Tyne Bridge. Here are places of worship belonging to the Church of England, Methodist New Connexion, and Wesleyan Methodists, and in the place and neighbourhood are several genteel residences. The new road to Durham passes through the village.

"Carr's Hill is a scattered village, about two mile south by east of Gateshead, which, like Windmill House, was dotted with windmills, now fallen into ruins, as are many of the houses. The view from Carr's Hill is particularly fine and extensive."

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

Terraces, houses etc. listed under street names in the trade directories of 1897-8, 1918 and 1939, for the town of Gateshead and the villages of Low Fell and Wrekenton. (Compiled by Eileen Carnaffin (Gateshead Local Studies Librarian)).

You can see pictures of Gateshead which are provided by:





  • Gateshead Libraries local history project with lots of local-history information and photographs from Gateshead and the villages in the Gateshead MBC area. These include pages for Birtley, Dunston and Low Fell.


  • There is a scanned copy of "A Short History of Gateshead" by I. C. Carlton.


  • There is a page prepared by Brian Pears describing the Gateshead Theatre Royal tragedy and listing the victims.


  • An account of the Great Fire of 1854 which followed an explosion in a chemical warehouse in Gateshead and caused widespread death and destruction in that town and also destroyed large areas of Newcastle, particularly around the narrow lanes (or "chares") leading down to the Quayside. See also: Victims of the 1854 Fire and Explosion in Gateshead - a list of the 225 persons killed or injured in the disaster. Many entries include age, occupation, abode and details of the injury suffered.


  • Brian Pears has uploaded two LNER Wartime Evacuation Documents (N.EVAC 2 and N.EVAC 3) describing the arrangements for evacuating children from Newcastle and Gateshead to rural parts of Northumberland, Co Durham, Yorkshire, Cumberland and Westmorland. The second document includes lists of schools with details of their places and times of departure and their destinations.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NZ255631 (Lat/Lon: 54.961749, -1.602716), Gateshead which are provided by:


Medical Records

  • Cholera Inquiry Commission Report 1854. On 31st December 1853 a commission was established to inquire "into the causes which have led to, or have aggravated, the late outbreak of Cholera in the towns of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead and Tynemouth.

    [Although more of the text is devoted to Newcastle than to Gateshead, the Gateshead section has something that the Newcastle bit lacks, a map of the town showing the location of every death - and this map is reproduced in full. It's in sections and is slightly reduced to give small file sizes - but also included is a scan of the central section (the area around High and West Streets) at full size because it is a unique map in its own right as it names many of the little alleys, yards, courts and lanes which are not named even on later large scale maps - and at a time just two years after the 1851 census.]


Military Records


Names, Personal