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Sherburn Hospital

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"Sherburn House or Hospital is an extra-parochial place, which derives its name from the ancient hospital to which it belongs. Its area is 740 acres, and its ratable value in 1893 was £3653." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]


"In 1801 the population was 80; in 1811, 56; in 1821, 67; in 1831, 59; in 1841, 86; in 1851, 34; in 1861, 186; in 1871, 285; in 1881, 196; and in 1891, 217 souls."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

Church Records

The Parish Registers for the period 1678-1905 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/ShH).

Baptism and/or marriage registers for the period 1692-1812 are indexed in the International Genealogical Index, a copy of which is available at the County Record Office.

Marriages for the period 1695-1763 are indexed in Boyd's Marriage Index.

Marriage indexes for 1695-1763 (4 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1695-1763) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.


Description and Travel

"The Earl of Durham works the coal royalties at Sherburn House Colliery, where the Hutton seam is being wrought at a depth of 61 fathoms, its average thickness being 4 feet 9 inches. The output amounts to 500 tons per day, which gives employment to 350 men and boys. This pit was sunk in 1844. In this colliery is to be seen one of the finest pumping installations in the county.
"The Hospital - Sherburn House, "House of Mercy," stands in a secluded and picturesque valley on the road from Durham to Castle Eden, two and a half miles east from the city. This is another monument to the great "builder," Bishop Pudsey, who founded the hospital for the recuperation of lepers of both sexes, about the year 1181-84. He dedicated the institution "to Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lazarus, and his sisters, Martha and Mary."
"The buildings, as viewed through the handsome massive gateway, present a very pleasing quadrangle, of which the infirmary and the church form one side. In the centre are well-laid-out flower beds, lawns, and walks.
"The ancient hospital was of much the same form as the present one, having on two sides a range of low houses for the males, and on the third side a similar row of houses for females. There was a chapel dedicated to God, Mary Magdalene, and St. Nicholas, which was served by three priests, and a "perpetual lamp burned before the High Altar of the Presence in the Greater Chapel." The number for which the hospital was founded was 65, which shows that in those remote days this comparatively thinly populated diocese disease was to a serious degree infected with that terrible disease, which during the twelfth century became so virulent in the country.
"The munificent Pudsey erected Sherburn Hospital, and endowed it with the village of Sherburn, with the mill and appurtenances, as well as lands at Ebchester, Witton, Sheraton, and Garmondsway Moor. The patronage of Kellow, Grindon, Lockburn *, and Bishopton parishes were also part of the possessions of this extensive charity, being the gift of Robert Conyers and his son Robert, to the hospital."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

[* "Lockburn should in actual fact be Sockburn. I am the Administration Manager for Sherburn Hospital today and the charity still has lands at Ebchester and Witton (near Stockton-on-Tees rather than Witton Gilbert or Witton-le-Wear). Payments are still made to the Church of England in respect of livings at Sockburn, Grindon, Kelloe and Bishopton.

"The Hospital has been a care establishment since 1950, specifically for elderly persons in need of care who have have resided in the Ancient Diocese of Durham at some stage of their lives." Stephen P. Black spblack[at]sherburnhouse[dot]org]

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Historical Geography

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