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Witton Gilbert

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"This parish, comprising the townships of Kimblesworth and Witton Gilbert, is bounded on the north by the parish of Chester-le-Street, and on the north-west and west by that of Lanchester, on the south-west by the parish of Esh, on the south by St. Oswald's parish, and on the east by the recently formed parish of St. Cuthbert. It contains 3106 acres. "Kimblesworth Township has an area of 571 acres and its ratable value £3609. "Witton Gilbert Township comprises an area of 2535 acres, and its ratable value is £13,026." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]


Kimblesworth Township

"Its population in 1801 was 24; in 1811, 42; in 1821, 32; in 1831, 36; in 1841, 33; in 1851, 36; in 1861, 37; in 1871, 34; in 1881, 1132; and in 1891, 1192."
"The number of inhabitants in 1801 was 369; in 1811, 399; in 1821, 364; in 1831, 417; in 1841, 1243; in 1851, 1758; in 1861, 2098; in 1871, 2708; in 1881, 4050; and in 1891, 4400. This increase of population is attributed to the extension of the collieries in the neighbourhood."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

Church History

"The Church, dedicated to St. Michael, is pleasantly situated on rising ground to the south of the village. It is a small ancient structure, consisting of nave, chancel, north aisle, and west porch. It underwent a thorough restoration in 1859, when the aisle and porch were added and the gallery removed at a cost of about £800. The benefice was constituted a rectory by an Order in Council dated November 7, 1866, and Lord Durham now pays £60 per annum in lieu of the tithes of Kimblesworth. There are 27 acres of glebe. The Dean and Chapter of Durham are the patrons. The value of the living was stated in 1888 at £302. Rev. Arthur Watts is rector."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

There is a picture (12 kbytes) of the parish church of St. Michael and All Angels, Witton Gilbert; supplied by George Bell.


Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1571." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1570-1984 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/WG).

Marriage indexes for 1568-1837 (30 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1568-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

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

  • Kimblesworth 1893-1994 (EP/Ki).

Description and Travel

"The village of Kimblesworth, which adjoins that of Nettlesworth, is situated about 2 1/2 miles north by west of Durham, and about the same distance south-west of Chester-le-Street.
"The village of Witton Gilbert occupies a pleasant situation in a valley on the road from Durham to Lanchester, about 3 1/2 miles north-west from the former, and 4 1/2 miles south-east of the latter, and one mile from Witton Gilbert station, which is situated in Elvet. On the north it is bounded by an amphitheatre of rising ground, and on the south overlooks the valley of the Browney, which flows in an easterly direction, and divides this parish from the lofty eminence upon which Ushaw stands.
"About three miles north-west from the city of Durham stands the moss-clad ruins of the house and chapel of Beaurepaire, corruptly called Bearpark, the favourite retreat of the priors of Durham.
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan, London, 1894]

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Historical Geography

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