"This ancient parish was formerly very extensive, comprising no less than fifteen townships, and four chapelries; all the latter are now entirely independent parishes, whilst of the townships there remain only Lanchester, Langley, parts of Greencroft, and Burnhope and Hamsteels. The other townships now form new parishes, or portions of new parishes. The old parish of Lanchester was bounded on the north by Ryton and the chapelry of Tanfield, on the north-west and west by Stanhope and Muggleswick, on the south-west and south by Brancepeth and Wolsingham, on the south by Wilton Gilbert and St. Oswalds, and on the east by Chester-le-Street.

"Burnhope and Hamsteels at one time formed a joint township, containing 2027 acres. Since 1851 the census returns have been taken with Lanchester, and with the exception of highway maintenance this has ceased to be a separate township.

"Greencroft Township, which adjoins Lanchester on the north-west, comprises an area of 3050 acres, and its ratable value is £10,935.

"Lanchester Township contains an area of 4266 acres, and its ratable value is £32,191. The village of Lanchester is eight miles north-west by west from Durham, and is situated amidst beautiful scenery. It is a pleasant village, having improved considerably during the past twenty years, and is now one of the most attractive as well as perhaps one of the most interesting villages in the county.

"Langley Township has an area of 2378 acres, its ratable value being £7998. The hamlet of Langley is about five miles north by west of Durham."

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





"Burnhope and Hamsteels Township had in 1801 a population of 68; in 1811, 115; in 1821, 127; in 1831, 133; in 1841, 154; in 1851, 139.

"Greencroft Township contained in 1801, 184 inhabitants; in 1811, 205; in 1821, 229; in 1831, 235; in 1841, 392; in 1851, 720; in 1861, 717; in 1871, 1602; in 1881, 1708; and in 1891, 1887.

"Lanchester Township In 1801 it comprised a population of 708; in 1811, 834; in 1821, 659; in 1831, 574; in 1841, 579; in 1851, 752; in 1861, 2398 - from this year the Butsfields and Burnhope and Hamsteels was included; in 1871, 3115; in 1881, 3862; and in 1891, 5358 souls.

"Langley Township In 1801 the inhabitants numbered 83; on 1811, 102; in 1821, 97; in 1831, 75; in 1841, 81; in 1851, 80; in 1861, 129; in 1871, 116; in 1881, 185; and in 1891, 216 souls."

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



There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

Church History


"The Church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient stone structure, consisting of nave, aisles, tower and south porch. The original portions of the building, in which may be included the tower and south porch, belong to the Norman and Transitional periods. The additions are in a much later style, the clerestory, aisle windows, and the embattled roof lines being sixteenth century work."

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

There is a picture (23 kbytes) of the parish church of All Saints, Lanchester; supplied by Richard Hird.


There is a picture (7 kbytes) of the parish church of the Roman Catholic Church, Blackhill; supplied by George Bell.


Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1560." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1560-1894 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/La).

Marriage indexes for 1560-1837 (8 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

(N.B. We have received information that these marriages which are labelled as for Satley should really be for Lanchester Parish.  As with all indexes we would recommend checking with the record holder for a true copy of the register entry!)

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

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

  • Annfield Plain 1914-1919 (EP/An).
  • Benfieldside 1848-1970 (EP/Be).
  • Blackhill 1885-1964 (EP/Bl).
  • Castleside 1864-1983 (EP/Cas).
  • Collierly 1841-1953 (EP/Col).
    • Dipton 1884-1979 (EP/Dip).
  • Consett 1863-1989 (EP/Con).
  • Craghead 1907-1964 (EP/Cra).
  • Hamsteels 1874-1983 (EP/Hals)
  • Hamsterley Colliery 1895-1979 (EP/Me & EP/HC).
  • Holmside 1870-1971 (EP/Hol).
  • Leadgate 1867-1970 (EP/Le).
  • South Moor 1898-1972 (EP/SM).

The following records are available for non conformist churches in the parish:-

  • Methodist
    • Blackhill UMF: Baptisms 1900-1927
    • Blackhill Unitarian Circuit: Baptisms 1931
    • Blackhill, Park Road: Baptisms 1941-1964, Marriages 1904-1974

Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Lanchester which are provided by:





There is a page setting out the Description of Consett Iron Works in 1893 created by Ken Postle.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NZ165475 (Lat/Lon: 54.822448, -1.74468), Lanchester which are provided by:


Military Records

There is a photograph of a WW1 War Memorial at Catchgate Methodist Church taken by Jeff Piper.

There is also a photograph of the Roll of Honour from the same church.