Hospitals: St Stephen, Pelaw

Pages 120-121

A History of the County of Durham: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1907.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section


Scarcely anything is known of St. Stephen's Hospital at Pelaw, near Chester-le-Street. It appears to have been in existence as early as 1260, in which year William Litell, priest, was collated to the mastership. (fn. 1) In 1313, when 'Peter called le Ponte' was appointed, the master's duty was stated to be the celebrating, or providing for the celebration of divine service, and the performance of the other functions of his office, as had been the custom up to that time. (fn. 2)

In 1381 John son of Robert de Pelaw sold his manor of Pelaw, and the advowson of St. Stephen's chapel in the said manor to William, Joan, and Thomas de Elmedon. (fn. 3) It seems, however, that the property subsequently came into the hands of the bishop; for in 1450 Bishop Neville confirmed to William, son (sic) and heir of William Elmedon, his (the bishop's) manor of Pelaw, with the advowson of the hospital or chapel of St. Stephen, at a rent of 13s. 4d. In this charter there is a special clause, 'saving always to William Lambe, Chaplain, Master of the Hospital, and his successors, all lands, rights, and tenements of the hospital,' but what these consisted of is not specified. (fn. 4) Surtees says that the foundation was long ago re-absorbed in the landed estate. (fn. 5)

Masters of Pelaw Hospital

William Litell, priest, coll. 1260 (fn. 6)

Richard Fayre, priest, coll. 1274 (fn. 7)

Hugh de Driffield, coll. 1311 (fn. 8)

Peter called 'le Ponte,' coll. 3 December, 1313 (fn. 9)

William Marckam, chaplain, coll. 1317 (fn. 10)

William Lambe, chaplain, occ. 4 October, 1450 (fn. 11)


  • 1. Ibid. ii, 188.
  • 2. Reg. Palat. Dun. (Rolls Ser.), i, 476.
  • 3. Rot. Hatfield, 7 Apr. anno 26.
  • 4. Surt. Hist. Dur. ii, 187.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Ibid. 188.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Ibid.; see Hist. MSS. Com. Rep. iv, 391.
  • 9. Reg. Palat. Dun. i, 476.
  • 10. Surt. Hist. Dur. ii, 188.
  • 11. Ibid. 187.