Monk Hesledon

"This parish includes the townships of Hulam, Hutton henry, Monk Hesleden, and Sheraton. It is bounded on the north by Castle Eden, on the north-west by Trimdon parish, on the west by Kelloe, on the south by Hart, and on the east by the German Ocean. In 1883 the ecclesiastical district of St. John's was formed from the parish, and includes the populous village of Castle Eden Colliery, having a total population of 3400."Hulam is a small township, situated about a mile south of Castle Eden; its acreage, annual value, &c., are returned with Sheraton."Hutton Henry Township comprises an area of 1987 acres, and its ratable value is £7027."The village of Hutton Henry occupies an elevated situation, about two miles south of Castle Eden, and contains a chapel-of-ease to Monk Hesleden. There is a Catholic chapel, dedicated to Sts. Peter and Paul. A new chapel is about to be erected, the present one, with a dwelling house adjoining, called Hutton House, which were erected in 1824, being much too small. Rev. Henry Cartmell, priest. There is also a Primitive Methodist chapel."Monk Hesleden (anciently Heselden Monocorum) Township is principally the property of Cotsford Burdon, Esq., Thomas Theakston, Esq., and the trustees of the late Thomas Belk. Its area is 2453 acres, and its annual value is £7670."The village of Monk Hesleden is situated on the verge of a deep wooded dene about a mile and a half from the sea, and two miles south-east of Castle Eden."High Hesleden is a hamlet situated about one mile east of Castle Eden Colliery."Castle Eden Colliery is a large village in this township, and contains several well-built streets, a church, several chapels, schools, and a library and reading-room. It is distant five and a half miles north-west from Hartlepool, and within two miles from the sea coast, and has a station on the Hartlepool, Ferryhill, and Sunderland branch line."[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]


The monumental inscriptions in the churchyard of St. Mary with St. John have been transcribed, indexed and published by the Cleveland Family History Society.




"The number of inhabitants in 1801 was 7; in 1811, 11; in 1821, 16; in 1831, 15; in 1841, 11; in 1851, 19; in 1861, 152; in 1871, 176; in 1881, 176; and in 1891, 173. The population from 1861 is returned Sheraton with Hulam."
"The population in 1801 was 156; in 1811, 155; in 1821, 174; in 1831, 162; in 1841, 287; in 1851, 1067; in 1861, 392; in 1871, 539; in 1881, 1825; and in 1891, 3151 souls. This great increase is attributed to the opening of collieries."

Monk Hesledon

"The population in 1801 was 150; in 1811, 148; in 1821, 164; in 1831, 176; in 1841, 490; in 1851, 1495; in 1861, 1533; in 1871, 1636; in 1881, 2421; and in 1891, 3819 souls. This increase is attributable to the formation of the Hartlepool Railway, which extends into this township, and the opening of new collieries."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The 1851 Census Index (booklet 123) published by the Cleveland Family History Society may be of value to researchers interested in this parish.


Church History

"The Church, dedicated to St. Mary, occupies a most picturesque site, about a mile from the railway station. It is a plain structure, and consists of nave, chancel, and low tower. The church is entered on the south side through an early Norman door-way; one similar in character formerly existed on the north, but this, together with two pointed arches in the north wall of the chancel, and a three-light Early English window in the south wall, have been built up. The tower is of comparatively modern date, being built in 1750, and contains two bells of pre-Reformation times, supposed to have been founded about the close of the fifteenth century. The nave walls are of great thickness, the interior of which are composed of clay, and faced with stone, which formed part of the building when the church was partially destroyed by fire during an incursion of the Scots. The living was valued in the King's books at £4; gross income, £480. Patron, Dean and Chapter of Durham; Rev. Robert Taylor, M.A., vicar. The vicarage is situated near the church, and was built in 1860. During its erection, the foundations of what was believed to have been an old monastery were traced, also a fine Cuthbert cross and several other stone crosses were discovered.
"St. John's Church, situated at Castle Eden Colliery, is a neat building of brick, with dressings of stone in the Early English style, and consists of nave, chancel, vestries, south porch, and bell-turret. The church was erected by voluntary subscription in 1882, at a cost of £2300, and will seat 300 persons. The living is a vicarage, in the gift of the Bishop of Durham, valued at £216; Rev. George Little, vicar. The vicarage, situated to the east of the church, commands a fine view of the sea, and was, with the four acres of land, the gift of Cotsford Burdon, Esq."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

There is a picture (26 kbytes) of the parish church of St. Francis, Hutton Henry; supplied by Bill Henderson.


Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1578." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894] 

The Parish Registers for the period 1578-1948 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/MH).

Marriage indexes for 1592-1837 (30 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1592-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

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

  • Hutton Henry 1926-1954 (EP/HuH).
  • Monk Hesledon, St. John 1882-1972 (EP/MH.SJ).

Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Monk Hesledon which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Monk Hesledon 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 NZ455374 (Lat/Lon: 54.729725, -1.295185), Monk Hesledon which are provided by: