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"This parish, which possesses no dependent townships, is bounded on the north by the Derwent, on the west by Hunstanworth and Edmundbyers, on the south by Wolsingham, on the south-east and east by Castleside, and on the north-east by the Derwent. Its area is 12,468 acres and its ratable value is £3813, 10s."

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



"It contained in 1801, 201 inhabitants; in 1811, 224; in 1821, 278; in 1831, 298; in 1841, 421; in 1851, 688; in 1861, 788; in 1871, 1677; in 1881, 483; and in 1891, 362."

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


Church History

"The Church, a plain stone structure, was rebuilt about 1728, on the site of a very ancient one, the stones of which were chiefly used in its reconstruction. The present edifice was erected about forty years ago, but does not appear to have had any dedication. The living is a peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, which pays no first-fruits or tenths, and is valued at £300 per annum. The parish is almost free from tithes, which were commuted at £34: £3 from Muggleswick, and the rest from Cold Rowley, in the parish of Castleside. The Rev. John Ingham, vicar."

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


Church Records

"The register commences in 1784." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1780-1975 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL.

The Parish Registers are deposited at Northumberland Record Office, Melton Park, North Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 5QX for the periods:-

  • Baptisms 1813-1903
  • Marriages 1813-1975
  • Burials 1813-1902

 Marriage indexes for

from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1755-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

Index to the Burials 1813-1837.

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

  • Castleside 1864-1983 (EP/Cas).

Description and Travel

"Muggleswick Park was enclosed, and the grange, "Manerium de Mugleswic" (Halmote Rolls), built by Hugh, prior of the convent of Durham. Bishop Pudsey gave to the prior and convent the vill of Mucliagwis, in exchange for Hesdwic; he added pasture in "Herseliehope," "Histeshope" (names still existing), and "Baldinghope" (name unknown, unless the present "Burdonhope"). Bishop Kirkham gave them liberty to enclose a park within the bounds, the boundaries of which are set down. Bishop Stichel added woodland, called Deushelm, of 860 acres, and 14 acres of "waste," which gift was confirmed by Bishop Anthony Beck. Bishop Kirkham gave also 216 acres of wood and waste, in the valley of Horsleyhope. From Bishop Kellawe, the prior and convent obtained waste and woodland in the vill of Wolsingham, called Wascrophead. The "Manerium," or grange of Muggleswick, of which considerable remains still exist, was in fact a country house and hunting lodge of the prior and convent of Durham; it is beautifully situated close to the church. It contained a chapel, of which the east window and piscina still remain. At some little distance stood the "Vaccary," or dairy farm, of the prior, and the fish pond may be seen on the road to Edmundbyers; also close to the house, the stew, or small pond, where fish were kept at hand for use. Part of the ancient stone-paved bridle road, which led from Durham, may still be seen near the junction of the Hyeshope and Horsleyhope burns. The "manerium de Muggleswick" is named in the Halmote Court Rolls, where, on the occasion of a court, held by the steward and land-agent at Edmundbyers, certain confiscated cattle are ordered to be taken to the "manerium".

"The park of Muggleswick still retains its enclosing wall, and is apportioned, for stintage of cattle and sheep, to certain owners of farms in the vicinity, including the vicar, and the rector of Edmundbyers. This is under the management of a "steward of the park," at present the rector of Edmundbyers, who pays a herd and regulates the stintage, according to the proportion appropriated to each farm. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners, having taken the place of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, who until lately represented the prior and convent, are lords of the manor, which is let for shooting purposes, as well as the manor of Edmundbyers, and other parts of the manor of Muggleswick.

"The southern portions of this and the neighbouring parishes of Edmundbyers and Hunstanworth, which stretch westwards along the banks of the Derwent, form a continuos region of wild and rugged hills, which, though repulsive in their aspect, are rich in minerals. The village of Muggleswick, which is nine miles north by east of Stanhope, and eighteen miles west-south-west from Newcastle, is pleasantly situated at the foot of a steep hill.

"Waskerley is a hamlet, four miles south from the village, containing about thirty houses, inhabited by the workmen employed on the line, and at the mineral station here. The Waskerley and Smiddy Shaw reservoirs are situated in this parish."

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


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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Muggleswick has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.