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St Johns Chapel

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"This parish was formed from the Forest Quarter of Stanhope parish in February 1866, and comprises an area of 10,920 acres. It is bounded on the north, north-east and east by the chapelry of Rookhope, on the south by Middleton-in-Teesdale, and on the west by Heathery Cleugh. "The town of St. John's, or Weardale St. John's, is situated in the lead-mining district, seven miles west from Stanhope, and anciently possessed a chapel dependent upon Stanhope parish. A weekly market is held on the Saturday, and a fair on the third Wednesday in April and the second Wednesday in September. A coach has for many years been established to run from Stanhope station, and has proved a great convenience to the district. "Daddry Shields, a village half-a-mile east of St. John's Chapel, is principally occupied by workmen. The Wear is here crossed by a bridge of one arch. "Ireshope is a hamlet, situated one mile west from St. John's Chapel, and derives its name from the Ireshope Burn, which flows into the Wear from the south-west. "Newhouse is a little to the west of St. John's Chapel, in one of the most beautiful parts of the dale. The house is old-fashioned, with large windows, and the walls are clad with evergreens. A substantial stone bridge, bearing the name of Coronation Bridge, was erected across the Wear in front of Newhouse in 1839. At the south end of Coronation Bridge is the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in this circuit. It was erected in 1760. An extensive school-house has recently been erected in a neighbouring field, for the education of the miner's children. "Middle and East Black Dean are contiguous, and consist of a few respectable houses." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

Church History

"The Church or Chapel of St. John, from which the town derives its name, was rebuilt by Sir Walter Blackett, Bart., aided by a legacy of £50, bequeathed by Dr. Hartwell. It is an extremely plain edifice, consisting of nave, chancel, aisles, divided from the nave by two pillars, which support the roof, which is ceiled, and western tower; it is fitted up with pitch pine pews, which furnish accommodation for upwards of 400 persons. The burial ground is is of considerable extent, having been recently much enlarged. The living is a perpetual curacy in the deanery of Darlington, and its annual value is stated to be £400. Patron, the Bishop of Durham; incumbent, the Rev. Robert Shepherd, M.A."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

There is a picture (11 kbytes) of the parish church of St. John the Baptist; supplied by George Bell.


Church Records

"The registers commence in 1788." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1788-1994 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/SJ).

Marriage indexes for 1828-1837 (11 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1828-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

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