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Help and advice for Penshaw

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"This district-parish, formed by an Order in Council, dated May 15, 1838, comprises the townships of Offerton, and Painshaw or Penshaw, which formerly constituted a chapelry in the parish of Houghton-le-Spring.

"Offerton Township comprises an area of 809 acres, and its ratable value is £6062.

"Painshaw or Penshaw Township contains 1066 acres, and its ratable value is £11,870."

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



Bournmoor (Burnmoor)

There are indexes to the following Census returns:-

Offerton Township

"Its population in 1801 was 77; in 1811, 175; in 1821, 198; in 1831, 190; in 1841, 200; in 1851, 218; in 1861, 172; in 1871, 136; in 1881, 283; and in 1891, 287 souls."

Penshaw Township

"The number of its inhabitants in 1801 was 1399; in 1811, 2275; in 1821, 2090; in 1831, 2539; in 1841, 1912; in 1851, 2120; in 1861, 2075; in 1871, 2495; in 1881, 2605; and in 1891, 2918 souls."

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


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Penshaw area or see them printed on a map.


Church History

"The Church of All Saints is a plain stone edifice, erected 1746, and consists of nave and chancel; the windows in the latter are of stained glass bearing representations of the Baptism, Resurrection, and Ascension, and were presented by Sir George Elliot in 1889, in memory of his brothers and son. The church contains sittings for about 450 persons. The living is a rectory in the gift of the Bishop of Manchester, gross value £430; Rev. James Moore, B.A. rector."

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


There is a picture (21 kbytes) of the parish church of All Saints, Penshaw; supplied by George Bell.


There is a picture (14 kbytes) of the parish church of St. Barnabas, Burnmoor; supplied by George Bell.


Church Records

The Parish Registers for the period 1754-1994 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Pen).

Marriage indexes for 1754-1837 (68 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1754-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

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

  • Burnmoor 1868-1987 (EP/Bu).
  • Shiney Row 1910-1987 (EP/SR).

Description and Travel

"The village of Offerton is situated about four miles west-south-west of Sunderland. Two persons from Offerton joined the rebellion of the North, one of whom was executed.

"The village of Penshaw is about three miles north-by-east of Houghton-le-Spring, and "derives its name from the British Pen and the Saxon Shaw, a wood or thicket; thus Penshaw is the wooded hill." On the top of a lofty eminence, called Painshaw Hill, is a Grecian monument, erected to the memory of the late Right Hon. John Lambton, Earl of Durham, the foundation stone of which was laid on the 28th August 1844 by the Earl of Zetland. The estimated cost of the erection was about £6000.

"Shiney Row is a colliery village in this township, two miles west-by-north of Houghton-le-Spring. Here is a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, a handsome structure in the Early English style, erected in 1852 at a cost of £320, which sum was bequeathed by the Allen family, who resided at the village.

"Cox Green is a hamlet, partly in this township, and partly in that of Offerton, on the river-side, about five miles west of Sunderland.

"New Penshaw is another hamlet, about a quarter of a mile east of the village of Penshaw."

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

There are descriptions of the following new parish within the ancient parish of Penshaw:-

You can see pictures of Penshaw which are provided by:



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Penshaw to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.

Historical Geography

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