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Help and advice for Stanhope

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"Stanhope Parish, the most extensive in the county of Durham, formerly comprised, with its dependent chapelries, an area of 54,780 acres, and extended from the parish of Wolsingham on the south-east to the boundaries of the county of Cumberland on the west. It was bounded on the north-east and north by the parishes of Muggleswick, Edmund Byers, and Hunstanworth, and part of the county of Northumberland, and on the south and south-west by Middleton in Teesdale. During the past thirty years no less than six distinct parishes have been formed, several of which were, however, chapelries previous to that time. The following are the parishes referred to, as having formerly been comprised in the original parish of Stanhope - Eastgate, Frosterley, Heathery Cleugh, Rookhope, St. John's Weardale, and Westgate. Frosterley parish also comprises a portion of Wolsingham. [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]


Forest Quarter

"The number of its inhabitants in 1801 was 2143; in 1811, 2987; in 1821, 3735; in 1831, 4741; in 1841, 3531; in 1851, 4358. Since 1861 the census has been given with Stanhope (see the Union)."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

Newlandside Quarter

[The returns for this quarter are listed under Frosterley Parish]

Park Quarter

"The population in 1801 was 1169; in 1811, 1321; in 1821, 1259; in 1831, 1873; in 1841, 851; and in 1851, 991. The returns for the later censuses have been given in districts under the union and not in townships."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

Stanhope Quarter

"Its population in 1801 was 1239; in 1811, 1375; in 1821, 1584; in 1831, 2080; in 1841, 1827; in 1851, 2545. For the last few censuses the townships in this union have been grouped into districts, and will be found under the union returns."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

Church History

"The Church, which is dedicated to St. Thomas the Apostle, is an ancient structure, standing upon an elevated site on the north side of the town. It is principally of the Norman period, and simple in detail, its oldest portion being the lower stages of the tower. The restorations or additions, which have been effected from time to time, are of the Early English and Later Decorated styles. It consists of nave, aisles, chancel, south porch, and western tower. The chantry chapel at the east end of the south aisle, and dedicated to St. Mary, was probably added about 1225. This chantry was valued at the dissolution at £10, 10s. The living is a rectory valued at £1600, in the gift of the bishop of Ripon, and held by the Right Rev. Dr. J.J. Pulleine, Bishop-suffragen of Richmond."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

There is a picture (10 kbytes) of the parish church of St. Thomas, Stanhope; supplied by George Bell


There is a picture (10 kbytes) of the parish church of All Saints, Eastgate; supplied by George Bell.


There is a description of the church history of the parish church of St. John the Evangelist, Rookhope; together with an attached picture of the church.


There is a picture (10 kbytes) of the parish church of St. Andrew, Westgate; supplied by George Bell.


Church Records

"The register dates from 1595." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1609-1974 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/St).

Indexes to the Burials 1854-1904:-

Marriage indexes for

from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1613-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

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

  • Frosterley 1866-1976 (EP/Fr).

There is a small file of 22 baptisms. Wolsingham and Weardale Baptisms. The source was Durham Record Office document DRO D/Ph35/1-2 which is described as Wolsingham and Weardale Baptisms - denomination unknown


Description and Travel

"The parish is intersected from east to west by the valley of the Wear, and is enclosed on both sides by lofty eminences and moorlands. It is divided into four quarters, or townships, called respectively Forest, Newlandside, Park, and Stanhope quarters. The ratable value, including the whole of the old parish, was, in 1892, £42,099. Newlandside Quarter comprises the townships of Frosterley and Newlandside with Bishopley, the other quarters being co-extensive with the township.
"Forest Quarter is an extensive township, comprising an area of 20,000 acres.
"Park Quarter or township contains 12,190 acres, and extends from about three miles west of the town of Stanhope to one mile east of St. John's Chapel, Weardale.
"Stanhope Quarter contains 13,000 acres. The ancient market town of Stanhope is situated on the road between the City of Durham and Alston, in Cumberland, 20 miles west from the former, and 21 east-south-east from the latter place. It is distant 27 miles by road from Gateshead, 40 from South Shields, 33 from Sunderland, 26 from Darlington, and 265 from London, and occupies a sheltered situation on the north side of the Wear, at the confluence of the river and the Stanhope burn. There is a bridge of one arch over the river. The town consists chiefly of one long street, and comprises a few inns and public-houses, one corn mill, a post office, rural police station, and the usual tradesmen's shops. Three annual fairs are held here, namely on the Wednesday before Easter, on the second Friday in September, and on the 21st of December. The September fair is also the date for the flourishing Agricultural Society's show, which has been established since 1833."

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Historical Geography

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