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"This parish includes the townships of Barmston and Washington, and is bounded on the north by Usworth parish, on the north-east by Ford or North Hylton, on the east and south-east by the Wear, on the south by Fatfield, and on the west by Pelton and Birtley. The population of the parish in 1891 was 4700.

"Barmston Township, which lies to the east of Washington, on the bank of the river Wear, has an area of 933 acres, with a ratable value of £4887.

"Pattinson Town, a small village near the Washington Station, is in this township, and derives its name from Hugh Lee Pattinson, Esq., the founder of the large chemical-works close by.

"Washington Township has an area of 1975 acres, and its ratable value £13,464."

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



Barmston Township

"Its inhabitants in 1801 numbered 49; in 1811, 48; in 1821, 79; in 1831, 73; in 1841, 81; in 1851, 210; in 1861, 775; in 1871, 703; in 1881, 650; and in 1891, there were 592 souls."

Washington Township

"The population in 1801 was 1190; in 1811, 1264; in 1821, 1243; in 1831, 1123; in 1841, 941; in 1851, 1224; in 1861, 1829; in 1871, 2203; in 1881, 3022; and in 1891, 3322."

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


Church History

"The Church, which is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is of ancient foundation, but has several times been altered, and was entirely rebuilt about 1831, and again enlarged in 1883, at a cost of £1900. It is a stone edifice, occupying an elevated site near the centre of the village, and consists of nave, with chancel and transepts, in the Early English style, with seating for 425 people. The churchyard is pleasantly shaded by large trees, and from its platform-like situation forms an attractive feature of the village. The parish register dates from 1603, but the date of the first recorded rector is as early as 1278, his name being William de Clifford. The living is a rectory, valued in the Liber Regis at £18, and in 1840 the tithes were commuted, the aggregate amount being £600. Present gross value of the living is £750, and it is in the patronage of the Bishop of Manchester. The Rev. Rennell Francis W. Molesworth, M.A., is the rector."

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

There is a picture (12 kbytes) of the parish church of Holy Trinity, Washington; supplied by George Bell.


Church Records


The Parish Registers for the period 1604-1986 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Wa).

Marriage indexes for 1603-1837 (71 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1603-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.


The Parish Registers for the period 1835-1983 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Us).

The Marriages (1813-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

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

  • Usworth Colliery, St. Michael 1904-1959 (EP/Us.SM).

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Description and Travel

"The mainstay of this district is the coal industry, but there is also a chemical-works and a wire-rope manufactory. The chemical industry, which was established near the Washington station in the year 1837, has of late years greatly declined. It was introduced by the late Hugh Lee Pattinson, and the present works are working his patent for the manufacture of magnesia by R. S. Newall, esq. A short distance from the station a new industry was commenced by R. S. Newall & Son, in 1887, where large quantities of wire-ropes of all sizes are made, and sent to all parts of the world.

"Washington is a pleasant village which has considerably extended during the past thirty years. It is distant about seven miles south by east from Newcastle, and the same west from Sunderland. The Washington station is about one mile east from here.

"New Washington is a straggling village, partly in this and partly in Usworth Township, and has lately been improved by the addition of a terrace of neat stone houses. It is one mile and a quarter north from Washington village. Many of the inhabitants of this village are employed at the Usworth colliery. Usworth station, on the Leamside branch of railway, is just over a mile from here, to the east.

"Washington Staithes, situated on the Wear side, as its name implies, was at one time the place whence a considerable amount of coal was carried down stream to Sunderland. These staithes have not been utilised for many years.

"Washington Row, or Washington Colliery, is the name given to a row of low dwellings, occupied by miners engaged at the colliery close by, and near which there are many more miners' dwellings."

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

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Historical Geography

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