Parishes: St Giles

Pages 182-190

A History of the County of Durham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1928.

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The ancient parish of St. Giles contained 1,853 acres exclusive of the extra-parochial district of Magdalen's Place that covered 26 acres. The northern and much of the eastern portions of the parish have been formed into the modern parish of Belmont, (fn. 1) containing the settlements at Belmont, Broomside, Carr Ville, Kepier Grange, Old Grange, New Durham, and the greater part of Gilesgate Moor. The parish lies for the most part on the coal measures, though patches of alluvium occur along the banks of the Wear, which for some way forms the southern and western boundary.

The most westerly portion of the parish occupies the ridge connecting the moorland north of Sherburn with the promontory on which stand the castle and cathedral church of Durham. The main road eastwards from the city runs along the ridge, dips, rises again to the church of St. Giles, and then makes its divided way to Sherburn and Sunderland. The older houses in the parish lie along this road of Gilligate, and the whole history of the parish is centred round the hospital of St. Giles founded here by Bishop Ralph Flambard in 1112. (fn. 2) The earliest hospital stood near the church (fn. 3) which served as its chapel, but the site proved unsuitable, and at some time in the latter half of the 12th century the house was removed to Kepier by the river bank, north of the main road. The position of the earlier settlement by the church is still marked by the existence of the back lane that now serves as an approach to the Diocesan training college for women teachers. Just south of the church was the holy well, the well house of which was newly decorated with a cross in 1755. (fn. 4)

Houses gradually grew up between this hamlet and the city and these were afterwards erected into a mesne borough under the master of St. Giles. (fn. 5) The western boundary of the parish was marked by a leaden cross standing in the middle of the street until at least 1754; (fn. 6) from this point the boundary followed Tinkler's Lane southward to the Wear. A certain amount of meadow land still remains here, traces of those fields that in the 17th century were subject to rights of common. (fn. 7) Further east a large close belonged to the Cordwainers' Company and was still unbuilt upon in 1754. (fn. 8) Bede College, for training masters for elementary schools, stands on what was Pelloe Leazes, the modern curved road following the line of the ancient hedge.

Durham City: Plan of St. Mary Magdalene's Chapel

In 1754 there were not many houses on the north side of Gilligate (fn. 9) and the ground in front of the North Eastern Railway goods station was still fields. The modern approach to the station represents the old lane to the hospital of St. Mary Magdalene, founded here in the 13th century. (fn. 10) The hospital stood near the river, the ruins of its chapel being enclosed within a garden. The building was in plan a plain rectangle, measuring internally 43 ft. by 16 ft. 6 in., with walls 3 ft. thick, constructed of yellow sandstone in coursed blocks and with chamfered plinth. It has long been roofless and the upper part of the walling is broken, the height of the side walls being from 5 ft. to 9ft. An earlier chapel which stood a little to the east of the present one was practically rebuilt in 1370, (fn. 11) but in 1448 it was found to be in so ruinous a condition from the weakness of its foundations that the Prior and Convent obtained a licence from Bishop Nevill in February 1449 to pull it down and remove it to another site within the territory of the hospital. (fn. 12) The existing ruins are all there is left of the building then erected, which was consecrated on 16 May 1451. (fn. 13) Portions of the older chapel were reused in the new building, the east window being a pointed 14th-century opening of three trefoiled lights and geometrical tracery, (fn. 14) probably part of the work of 1370. A 13th-century gable cross, discovered on the site of the first chapel, is now in the cathedral library. (fn. 15) The ancient churchyard, then unfenced and overrun with weeds, was converted into a garden in 1822. (fn. 16) Only the jambs and head of the east window are now standing, and there are remains of windows in the north and south walls, but the masonry is very much broken, and examination is rendered difficult by the covering of ivy and the presence of a greenhouse within the walls, which takes up a large portion of the inner space towards the east end. At the extreme west end of the side walls are north and south doorways, the walls themselves being strengthened at the angles by boldly projecting buttresses westward. The south doorway is now built up and the head gone, but that on the north has a round-headed arch in two stones, chamfered joints and hood mould and an inner segmented head. 'Within the ruin there is at least one arch stone with a roll-moulding on each angle and the base of an early English font of Frosterley marble.' (fn. 17)

Immediately to the north of Magdalene Place is the site of Kepier Hospital, of which there remains only the gatehouse, a picturesque structure in a state of partial decay facing west to the river. The gateway has a late pointed arch on either side and one midway between, the passage way being divided into two rectangular vaulted compartments each measuring about 16 ft. by 13 ft., the total length of the passage being 33 ft. 6 in. The building belongs to the first part of the 14th century, having been erected during the episcopate of Richard de Bury (1333–45), whose arms are on one of two shields on either side of the window above the west gateway. The other shield is said to have borne the arms of Edmund Howard, master of the hospital in 1341, but is now obliterated. The west elevation is of some architectural merit, the archway being flanked on either side by a buttress of three stages, between which runs a band of quatrefoil ornament immediately over the crown of the arch. Above is a pointed window with external hood mould, the head and jambs of which now alone remain, with the shields already mentioned on either side, and the wall terminates in a gable rising well above the roof. The walling is of rubble and the roofs are now covered with red pantiles, but the building has been much neglected, no adequate renovation having been carried out. It is now used as a tenement, and approach to the upper rooms is by means of an external stone staircase on the north-east. The original newel stair on the inner, or east, side of the gateway is partly broken away. On each side of the passage way are the porter's rooms, the whole extent of the present west front being about 62 ft. The two outer arches are each of two chamfered orders, that on the west side having an external hood mould, and its inner order springing from moulded caps, below which the chamfer is continued to the ground. The vaulting ribs of the western compartment have a wave moulding, the others being chamfered, but in both cases they meet in a carved boss. The middle arch is chamfered only on the west side and the staples of the door hinges remain in the walls. The eastern, or back, elevation is very plain, but derives a good deal of picturesqueness from its being well broken up, the north part of the building standing back about 15 ft. The gateway on this side has been a good deal mutilated, the upper part of the newel staircase, which probably finished as a turret, having been destroyed and the window over the archway provided with a wooden sash.

About twenty yards to the south-east of the gatehouse are the ruins of the residence of the Heath family, a brick building with an open stone arcade of three round arches on the ground floor facing south. The house was long used as an inn, and was only dismantled in the last decade of the 19th century. Only the ground floor now remains, including the arcade and a portion of the brick walling above, the height at the highest point being only 14 ft. Too little is left to form an adequate idea of the original appearance of the building, but it seems to have been of late 16th or early 17th century date. It formerly contained a broad balustered oak staircase and some carved oak panelling, but this was in a dilapidated condition before the house was dismantled. (fn. 18)

East of Kepier is the High Grange, or Hither or West Grange as it was called in 1629. (fn. 19) A little to the east of this is the modern settlement of Carr Ville that owes its existence to the Grange Iron Works, established here in 1866. This hamlet is almost one with Broomside, and both are served by the church of St. Mary Magdalene, built in 1857. In 1869 a Primitive Methodist chapel was built at Carr Ville, and this was followed by a chapel of the Wesleyans in 1881.

The Low Grange lies north of Carr Ville, and a track leads hence westward through the fields to Woodwell House by the river side. There is a considerable amount of wood in this neighbourhood, and a large park surrounds Belmont Hall, the 17th-century Ramside.

Gilesgate Moor lies between the Sherburn and Sunderland roads. It was inclosed under an Act of 1816, (fn. 20) and the hamlet of New Durham has been built in the angle between the two roads. The Primitive Methodists built a chapel here in 1852, and a chapel has also been established by the Wesleyans.


When Bishop Ralph Flambard founded the Hospital of St. Giles in 1112 he gave as part of its endowment the episcopal vill of CALDECOTES (fn. 21) (Caldcotes, xv cent.), which in 1430 was identified with KEPIER GRANGE. (fn. 22) This 'manor' would seem to have included the site of Kepier, as no further grant of this appears among the muniments of the hospital. (fn. 23)

The hospital was surrendered to the Crown in January 1545–6, (fn. 24) and in the following month it was bought by Sir William Paget. (fn. 25) Sir William quitclaimed it to the King a few months later, (fn. 26) and it was immediately afterwards leased to John Frankeleyne for a term of years. (fn. 27) In 1552 the hospital with the manors of Gilligate and Old Durham was granted to John Cockburn, (fn. 28) lord of Ormiston, who sold them to John Heath merchant and Warden of the Fleet, in 1568. (fn. 29)

John Heath and his family settled at Kepier, and on his death in 1590 he was buried at St. Giles. (fn. 30) By his will he divided the Kepier property among his sons, the hospital, the East Grange, Gilligate and Old Durham being left to John Heath, the eldest son, while Ramside was bequeathed to the younger son Edward. (fn. 31) A settlement of the manors of Kepier and Old Durham was made in 1604, (fn. 32) and in August 1617 John settled the manor of Kepier on himself for life with remainder to his sons John and Thomas in tail male. (fn. 33) John Heath died in January 1617–18, John, his eldest son and successor, being then a man of 49. (fn. 34) Thomas, the only son of the younger John, had died in 1594, and the title to Kepier was vested in John's brother Thomas Heath of Far Grange. (fn. 35)

Heath. Party cheveronwise or and sable with two molets in the chief and a heathcock in the foot all counter-coloured.

In 1629 Thomas Heath and John, his son and heir, sold the reversion of the capital messuage of Kepier with the Hither, or West, Grange and certain other tenements to Ralph Cole, (fn. 36) but John Heath continued to live at Kepier until his death in January 1639–40. (fn. 37)

Ralph Cole, a merchant of Newcastle, also bought Brancepeth Castle (q.v.), but his eldest son Ralph seems to have been living here in 1651 and 1654. (fn. 38) Kepier followed the descent of Brancepeth until 1674, when Sir Ralph Cole, bart., sold it to Sir Christopher Musgrave, of Carlisle, for £4,800. (fn. 39) Sir Christopher succeeded to his brother's baronetcy and Edenhall estates in or about 1687. He died in 1704, when he was succeeded by Christopher his grandson and heir. (fn. 40) Sir Christopher was M.P. for Carlisle in 1713–15, and for Cumberland in 1722–7. He died in January 1735–6. His son and successor, Sir Philip Musgrave, sat as M.P. for Westmorland in 1741–7, and on his death in 1795 was succeeded by Sir John Chardin Musgrave. Sir Philip Musgrave, his son, succeeded him in 1806. He represented Petersfield in Parliament in 1820–5, and Carlisle in the two following years. He died without issue male in 1827, and the baronetcy and estates were inherited by Christopher John Musgrave, his brother. He also died without leaving a son, and Kepier passed to his brother Sir George. On his death in 1872 the estate passed to his son Sir Richard Courtenay Musgrave, on whose death in 1881 it was inherited by his son Sir Richard George Musgrave, bart., the present owner.

Musgrave. Azure six rings or.

In 1112 the vill of CLIFTON (Clyvedone, Clyftone, xi cent., Clifton xvii cent.) was within the Bishop's demesne. (fn. 41) Bishop Hugh Pudsey gave it to the hospital by his second charter, (fn. 42) and in 1301 it was accounted a manor and was said to lie to the east of Kepier. (fn. 43) Clifton was no longer accounted a manor in 1552, but the name still occurs in 1642 as applied to closes attached to the East Grange. (fn. 44)

The EAST, FAR, OR POWDEN, GRANGE (Poulton, Powlton grange, xvii cent.) is first mentioned in the 16th century; it was apparently given by John Heath, the second of that name, to Thomas, his son, who was living here in 1607. (fn. 45) It followed the descent of Old Durham (fn. 46) (q.v.), and is now in the possession of the Marquess of Londonderry.

By his will of August 1589 John Heath the elder left his grange of RAMSIDE to his youngest son Edward (fn. 47) in tail male. Edward Heath died in 1599, (fn. 48) when this land passed to John, his son. (fn. 49) Edward, son of John Heath of Ramside, was christened in 1607, (fn. 50) and John was still living here in the third decade of the 17th century. (fn. 51)

Nothing more is known of the history of this holding until 1679, when, according to Surtees, a settlement of Ramside was made by Anthony Smith on the marriage of Richard his son with Ann Crosier. (fn. 52) Richard, whose son Crosier was born here in 1695, (fn. 53) inherited the estate under his father's will of 1698. (fn. 54) In 1709 Richard Smith conveyed it to Eleanor, his mother, (fn. 55) but the family circumstances became embarrassed and various mortgages were effected, (fn. 56) 'the equity of redemption' at one time belonging to Joseph Martin husband of Eleanor, a daughter of the elder Richard Smith. (fn. 57) According to Surtees the estate was vested in John Hutton of Marske, by a Chancery decree of 1737, (fn. 58) and he in 1746 conveyed Ramside to Ralph Gowland. (fn. 59) Ralph died intestate and the property descended to his nephew Ralph Gowland, who in 1769 conveyed it to John Pemberton. The estate was sold by Stephen Pemberton, M.D., son of the new owner, to Walter Charles Hopper, but again passed to the family of Pemberton in 1820, when Thomas Pemberton pulled down the old grange and built in its place the house he called Belmont. (fn. 60) The present owner is Mr. John Stapylton Grey Pemberton of Hawthorn Tower, Seaham Harbour.

Pemberton. Argent a cheveron ermine between three griffons' heads sable.


The church of ST. GILES stands in a fine situation at the top of Gilesgate, the ground falling rapidly on the south side to the river Wear. It forms a prominent landmark in all views of the city, its tower rising above the trees which clothe the hillside. The building consists of chancel, 34 ft. 6 in. by 20 ft., with organ chamber on the south side, nave 73 ft. 6 in. by 20 ft., south aisle 20 ft. 9 in. wide, north porch and west tower 14 ft. 6 in. by 14 ft., all these measurements being internal. There is also a vestry on the south side of the organ chamber.

The oldest part of the building is the north wall of the nave, which dates from the time of Flambard, c. 1114; the chancel is of Pudsey's period, c. 1190–5, and the lower part of the tower is of early 13th-century date. The upper stages of the tower belong to the first quarter of the 15th century, and the remainder of the building is modern.

Flambard's church consisted of a chancel and nave of equal width, the total length of which was about equal to that of the present nave, which practically represents the early 12th-century building with the chancel arch removed. The arch stood between the first and second windows (from the east) on the north side, the length of the original chancel having been 19 ft. and of the nave 52 ft. This building was lighted by small round-headed windows placed high up in the walls, and had north and south doorways. It remained unaltered till the end of Pudsey's episcopate, when it was lengthened eastward, the old chancel arch being taken down, (fn. 61) and a new one erected just outside the line of the old east wall. The old chancel space was thus thrown into the nave and a new chancel formed. The addition of the tower in the early part of the 13th century caused the destruction of Flambard's west wall. In 1414 Bishop Langley rebuilt the upper stage of the tower and inserted the window in the remaining lower stage. The side walls of the nave were raised at some period, but whether before or during the 15th century is uncertain. 'Two or three clearstory windows' (fn. 62) with square heads in the upper part of the old south wall appear to have been of 15th-century date, but they may have been insertions. In the 18th century, apparently, sash windows were inserted. (fn. 63) In 1828 there was a 'restoration' by Wyatt, who introduced 'three large and pretentious would-be perpendicular windows,' (fn. 64) in the south wall, and another at the east end in place of the then existing sashes. He also erected a west gallery, and other alterations, in the taste of the time, were effected. (fn. 65) Pudsey's chancel arch, having been set at a great height from the ground and not properly abutted, had in course of time pushed the whole of the side wall outwards, which led at this time to its entire removal and the erection of a lath and plaster substitute. (fn. 66) Some alterations were made internally in 1843, but about a quarter of a century later the building seems to have been condemned to demolition. (fn. 67) Efforts, however, having been made in 1873 for its preservation, the church was restored and enlarged. The aisle, north porch, organ chamber, and vestry were then added, which necessitated the destruction of Flambard's south wall and of some portion of the south side of Pudsey's chancel. The old south doorway was transferred to the north side, where a modern doorway in the Norman style had previously been inserted. (fn. 68) The work of restoration and enlargement was completed in 1876.

Durham City: Plan of St. Giles's Church

The chancel is faced with squared ashlar, the stones being placed 'bed-ways, edge-ways, and face ways indiscriminately,' (fn. 69) but the walling of the nave and tower is of roughly coursed rubble. The roofs are of flat pitch and lead-covered behind new embattled parapets to both chancel and nave. The east window is of five lights with perpendicular tracery inserted in 1875 in place of Wyatt's. (fn. 70) Traces were then found of the original east window, consisting of three round-headed lights. A moulded plinth runs round the chancel and at the sill level is a plain double chamfered string-course, which breaks round the buttresses. At the north-west corner is a plain semicircular-headed priest's doorway, now built up, round which the string is taken as a hood mould. A similar string runs round the inside of the chancel below the windows. There are two tall round-headed windows, one on the north and the other on the south side of the chancel towards the east end, both restored, but preserving a good deal of their original detail. (fn. 71) The arches are of two orders, the outer moulded on the edge and carried both internally and externally on angle shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The indented hood mould is continued as a string along the wall inside at the height of the springing and may have been so originally on the exterior, a portion remaining on either side of the south window and on the south-east buttress. There were originally two windows on the south side, but one was maltreated in 1828 and disappeared when the western part of the wall was pulled down. In the north wall, 5 ft. from the east end, is a square-headed aumbry, but no other ancient ritual arrangements are visible. The east and south walls, however, are plastered, the ashlar being exposed only on the north side. On the south the chancel is open to the organ chamber by a modern pointed arch, the opening of which is filled with an oak screen. On the north side the springing of the Transitional chancel arch is still in situ high up in the wall. The arch consisted of two chamfered orders springing from coupled shafts set against the walls, the capitals of which remain. The inner order has entirely gone, but five voussoirs of the outer order remain in position. The modern chancel arch is of two moulded orders springing from shafts with moulded capitals and bases. The roof is of five bays. The floor is raised above that of the nave by two steps below the arch and two others further eastward.

The old north wall of the nave is of bare rubble internally, having been stripped of its plaster during the restoration. Externally the later upper portion sets back about 3 ft. above the windows. The easternmost of the three windows is entirely new, with a cinquefoiled head, and is in that portion of the wall belonging to the original chancel. The two ancient openings had been long blocked up, but were opened out and restored in 1873–5. Externally the heads are in one stone and the glass is about 2 in. from the face of the wall. The sills are new and slope internally. At the north-east end of the nave is a built-up square-headed low side window, the sill of which is 3 ft. above the ground outside, an insertion probably after the chancel had been pushed eastward.

The old north doorway was slightly to the east of the present one, which has a lintel and plain tympanum with inclosing semicircular arch springing from angle shafts with cushion capitals and chamfered imposts. The lintel and tympanum are new. On the south side the nave is open to the aisle by an arcade of five pointed arches.

The tower is of four unequal stages and terminates in an embattled parapet with angle pinnacles. The outer angles have flat double buttresses of three stages. The pointed west window is of three cinquefoiled lights with perpendicular tracery and hood mould, much restored. The tower arch is of 13th-century date and of two orders, the outer square and the inner chamfered springing from moulded corbels with large dog-tooth ornament in the hollows. In one of the members of the north corbel a small nail-headed ornament also occurs. The two lower stages of the tower are now blank on the north and south sides, but on the south side there was formerly a window now blocked. The low third stage has a small square-headed window, and the belfry windows are pointed openings of two cinquefoiled lights except on the east side, where the heads of the lights are plain. There is no vice, access to the upper stages being gained by a ladder.

The baptistery is in the tower, the font consisting of a rough circular sandstone bowl, 2 ft. 9 in. in diameter, of 13th-century date, on a circular shaft and square base.

In the south-east corner of the chancel is a wooden effigy, on a modern wood tomb, representing John Heath of Kepier, who died in 1591 and was buried in the chancel. The figure, which suffered much in 1843, is in armour, with the head uncovered but resting on a tilting helmet, with the crest (a cock's head) attached by a wreath. The hands are in prayer and the feet rest on a scroll enfolding two skulls and inscribed 'Hodie michi. Cras tibi.' (fn. 72)

Below the tower is a fragment of a coped gravestone with tegulated ornament, but another more interesting slab with floriated calvary cross and the symbol of a large pair of shears across the stem has disappeared. (fn. 73)

There is a ring of three bells. The oldest is probably of 14th-century date and is inscribed in Lombardic letters 'Campana Sancti Egidii.' The second dates perhaps from the 16th century and bears the inscription in Gothic characters, ' \?\ Sancta Maria ora pro nobis. IHC.' The third is dated 1640 and is inscribed 'Soli Deo Gloria' and with various initials. (fn. 74)

The plate (fn. 75) consists of a chalice and cover paten of 1638 with the maker's mark W W, the chalice inscribed round the bottom 'Remember John Hethe Esq the third and last of Keepeyre: 1638' and the cover 'Desember the 25th 1638'; a standing paten made by Eli Bilton of Newcastle in 1728, inscribed 'The Gift of Mrs. Jane Lightley to Gilleygate Church'; a flagon made by John Langlands of Newcastle, 1772, inscribed 'Presented to the Ancient Parish Church of St. Giles, Durham, by Frances Anne Vane, Marchioness of Londonderry, heiress of Heath, Sept. 1845'; and a chalice of 1889 'Presented by R. J. P., Easter 1889 St. Giles Church Durham,' a copy, but smaller, of that of 1638. (fn. 76)

The registers begin in 1584, (fn. 77) and the churchwardens' accounts in 1664.


The Church of ST. GILES was founded by Ranulph Flambard in 1114, and appropriated to the Hospital of Kepier. No vicarage was ordained and probably the church was served by one of the priests of the hospital. At the Dissolution the church passed with other property of this foundation to the Crown. In 1553 the church and rectory were sold (fn. 78) to John Cockburn, lord of Ormiston, who conveyed it to John Heath, and thus the advowson passed by the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter and heir of John Heath, in 1642 to the Tempest family, in which it descended to the Marquess of Londonderry. On 6 December 1913 the patronage was conveyed by the Marquess of Londonderry to the Dean and Chapter of Durham.

In connection with the church there existed a Gild of St. Giles, the gross yearly value (fn. 79) at the Dissolution being estimated at £7 7s. 2d. and the clear value, less reprises, at £5 14s. 1½d. There was also an obit of John Smith of the yearly value of 4s. gross and 3s. less reprises.

Some account of the Hospital of St. Mary Magdalene has been given elsewhere. The chapel here was accounted a parochial church, for it was so described in a licence of Bishop Nevill to the Prior and Convent in 1449 to remove and rebuild the church on a safer and more convenient site. The new church was consecrated (fn. 80) in 1451. After the dissolution of the monastery of Durham the Dean and Chapter provided the stipend of the incumbent. Institutions to the rectory are found to the 17th century, (fn. 81) but after the Restoration service was discontinued owing to the ruinous state of the church, the rector's stipend being transferred to the librarian of the Chapter. The old churchyard was turned into a garden in 1822.

In 1448 we hear of a plot near the castle wall and possibly in the parish of St. Mary le Bow, where had been lately built 'a house called "Mawdelyngyldhous." ' (fn. 82)

The ecclesiastical parish of Belmont was formed in 1852 (fn. 83) and the advowson of the vicarage is in the alternate gift of the Crown and of the Dean and Chapter of Durham.


The origin of the Gilligate Church Estate is unknown, except that some portion of the property would appear to be derived from the Hospital of St. Giles or Kepyer. It consists of 15 a. 3 r. 33 p. of land with houses thereon, situate at Gilesgate, and of the annual rental value of about £800, and £5,090 9s. 10d. consols, producing £127 5s. 4d. yearly, and £495 13s. 3d. 5 per cent. War Stock, producing £24 15s. 8d. yearly. The income is applicable under a scheme of the Court of Chancery, 28 February 1866, and later became regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners of 6 October 1922. Out of the income of this estate fund £150 is paid yearly to the official receivers for investment to form the Estate Improvement Fund. The remaining income of this estate fund is applicable as to one part to the trustees of the St. Giles School Fund, one part to the Belmont School Fund, four parts to the parish church of St. Giles and two parts to the parish church of St. Mary Magdalene, Belmont. This charity is also possessed of a fund called the Chantry Fund, consisting of £5,633 8s. 1d. 2½ per cent. consols, representing the proceeds of sale of a property known as the Legge's Tenement, otherwise 'The Woodman' public house, the net income of which is applicable, in equal moieties, in the parish of St. Giles and district of Belmont, towards providing a curate to assist the respective incumbents. The charity further has a fund called St. Giles' Income, which comprises the sums of £400 5 per cent. National War Bonds (1928) and £240 10s. 10d. 5 per cent. War Stock, standing to an account with the official trustees entitled the 'St. Giles Fabric Fund.' The income, which includes the dividends on the stocks standing to the Fabric Fund and the four parts from the Estate Fund, is applicable in the maintenance and repairs of the fabric and internal fittings of the church, upkeep of churchyard and in warming and cleaning the church. Under another fund of this charity the official trustees hold £250 5 per cent. National War Bonds (1928) and £546 8s. 7d. 5 per cent. War Stock to an account entitled 'Belmont Church Repair Fund,' the income from which, with the two parts from the Estate Fund, is applicable in the maintenance and repairs of the fabric and internal fittings of the church and in warming and cleaning the church. In 1572 John Frankelyn by his will gave 8s. 4d. yearly to the poor of Belmont: this sum is received from the Corporation of Newcastle. In 1675 Francis Callaghan by his will gave 19s. yearly in sums of 1s. to the poor of St. Giles, charged upon premises in Sadler Street. The annuities are distributed to the poor at Christmas. The charity of Jane Finney, founded by will dated 14 November 1728, and proved at Durham, gave £830 17s. 11d. consols, producing £20 15s. 4d. yearly. The income is applied in moieties for the benefit of the poor of St. Giles and Belmont, by providing them with clothes, bedding, fuel, medical or other aid in sickness, food, and other articles in kind.

The charity of Jane Smith, founded by will 14 July 1785, and proved at Durham, is regulated by scheme of Charity Commissioners dated 17 March 1903. The original bequest of £60 was invested in £75 consols, which has been increased to £492 7s. 11d. consols by investment of accumulations from time to time. The income amounting to £12 6s. yearly is applicable under the scheme in prizes to children attending Public Elementary Schools, and in exhibitions for pupil teachers in Public Elementary Schools.

In 1882 William Cassidi, by his will, proved at Durham, gave £40, the interest arising therefrom to be applied in tracts for circulation in the parish. The endowment consists of £35 4s. 4d. consols, producing 17s. 4d. yearly. The sums of stock are held by the official trustees.

The Ecclesiastical District of Belmont is entitled to ¼th of the income from the Gilligate Church Estate applicable for church purposes. The official trustees also hold a sum of £594 6s. 9d. consols, producing £14 17s. yearly, in trust for this branch of the trust.

The National School, founded by deed 5 November 1870, is also entitled to 1/8th of the income of the same estate.

One moiety of the income of the property known as the Legge's Tenement (see under St. Giles' Parish) is payable to the curate of this district.

By her will proved 25 April 1919 Margaret Brown gave £600, the income to be applied in augmentation of the stipend of the curate of St. Giles Church. The money was invested in £1,198 6s. 11d. 2½ per cent. consols, with the official trustees, producing £29 19s. yearly.


  • 1. Under the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1894. The ecclesiastical parish of Belmont was formed in 1852 (Lond. Gaz. 10 Feb. 1852, p. 370).
  • 2. V.C.H. Dur. ii, 111.
  • 3. Simeon of Dur. Hist. Cont. (Rolls Ser.), 151–9.
  • 4. Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 111 and n.
  • 5. See above, under Durham City.
  • 6. Forster, Map of Dur. It is marked on the maps of the 17th century.
  • 7. Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 1–2, 40 n.
  • 8. Forster, op. cit. This was also subject to common rights (Mem. of St. Giles [Surt. Soc.], 99 and n.).
  • 9. Forster, op. cit.
  • 10. V.C.H. Dur. ii, 119.
  • 11. Trans. Dur. and North. Arch. Soc. ii, 140–6. The extent of the repairs is shown by quotations from the almoner's accounts.
  • 12. Ibid.
  • 13. Ibid. The almoner's accounts, 1449–51, give many items for the building of the present chapel.
  • 14. It is shown in Billings' Antiq. of Dur. plate 1. It was then apparently intact except for one mullion.
  • 15. Trans. Dur. and North. Arch. Soc. ii, 140.
  • 16. Fordyce, Hist. of Dur. i, 378.
  • 17. Pro. Soc. Ant. (Newc.), 1889, iv, 139.
  • 18. Pro. Soc. Ant. (Newc.), iv, 139.
  • 19. Dur. Rec. cl. 3, no. 106, m. 4 d.
  • 20. Priv. Act, 56 Geo. III, cap. 58.
  • 21. Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 194.
  • 22. Feod. Prior. Dun. (Surt. Soc.), 77.
  • 23. The muniment room was burnt in an attack by the Scots in 1306, but exemplifications of the most important deeds were allowed in 1445, and these are printed in Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 192 et seq. At some time in the episcopate of Hugh Pudsey (1153–95) Gilbert the Chamberlain gave the hospital leave to make a mill pond on his land, but this does not necessarily mean in Kepier (ibid. 202–3). Gilbert was holding 1/5 and 1/10 knight fees of the Bishop in 1166 (Red Bk. of the Exch. [Rolls Ser.], i, 416).
  • 24. V.C.H. Dur. ii, 113.
  • 25. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xxi (1), g. 282 (14). With him was associated Richard Cokkes, S.T.P., chaplain to the King.
  • 26. Feet of F. Dur. Trin. 38 Hen. VIII.
  • 27. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xxi (2), p. 439.
  • 28. Pat. 6 Edw. VI, pt. vii. Printed by Surtees (Dur. iv (2), 65).
  • 29. Dur. Rec. cl. 12 (1–2); Foster, Visit. Ped. 31.
  • 30. Dur. Rec. cl. 3, file 191, no. 150 (1); Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 132. Printed by Surtees, Dur. iv (2), 71.
  • 31. Ibid. See below.
  • 32. Feet of F. Dur. Trin. 2 Jas. I.
  • 33. Dur. Rec. cl. 3, ptfl. 184, no. 94.
  • 34. Ibid.
  • 35. Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 133.
  • 36. Dur. Rec. cl. 3, no. 106, m. 4 d.; cf. m. 12 d.
  • 37. Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 136. He was aged 71.
  • 38. Ibid. 129.
  • 39. Dur. Rec. cl. 3, R. 118, no. 12. Certain portions of the estate were sold to the families of Tempest and Carr (Mackenzie and Ross, Dur. ii, 435). G.E.C. Baronetage, i, 32.
  • 40. Ibid.
  • 41. Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 195.
  • 42. Ibid. 196.
  • 43. Ibid. 216. The hospital granted a rent charge of 60s. from the manors of Caldecotes and Clifton to Durham Priory in exchange for the advowson of Hunstanworth church.
  • 44. Dur. Rec. cl. 3, no. 109, m. 30; cf. m. 2; no. 106, m. 12 d. See also cl. 12, no. 2, m. 1.
  • 45. Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 125.
  • 46. Dur. Rec. cl. 3, no. 129, m. 12. It was leased for 21 years to Henry Smith and George Middleton in 1642 (Ibid. no. 9, m. 38 d.).
  • 47. Surtees, Dur. iv (2), 71. With contingent remainders to John Heath, the eldest son in tail male; to Nicholas, the second son in tail male; and to the right heirs of John the elder.
  • 48. Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 33.
  • 49. Dur. Rec. cl. 3, ptfl. 192, no. 129.
  • 50. Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 125.
  • 51. Surtees, Dur. iv (2), 68 n. In 1625 John Heath gent. and Isabel his wife conveyed by fine about 210 acres of land in Ramside to Isabel Shawdforth and Thomas Shawdforth (Dur. Rec. cl. 12, no. 4, m. 2).
  • 52. Surtees, Dur. iv (2), 68 n.
  • 53. Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc.), 159.
  • 54. Surtees, loc. cit.
  • 55. She was still living in 1719 (Dur. Rec. cl. 5, no. 98).
  • 56. Ibid. cl. 4, no. 4, fol. 442, etc.
  • 57. Surtees, loc. cit.
  • 58. No trace of this has been found among the records of the Palatinate of Durham.
  • 59. George Vane and Anne his wife in 1746 quitclaimed property here to John Hutton, with a warranty against the heirs of Anne (Dur. Rec. cl. 11 [22–3]).
  • 60. Surtees, op. cit. 69.
  • 61. 'When the old north wall was first stripped of plaster the point of junction between it and the transverse wall of the original Norman chancel in which the arch was situate was very clearly defined': Trans. Dur. and North. Arch. Soc. v, 5. See also Pro. Soc. Ant. (Newc.), new ser. iii, 431: 'It pushed out the wall and ensured its demolition down to within a few feet of the ground.'
  • 62. Trans. Dur. and North. Arch. Soc. i, 130. The wall now, of course, no longer exists.
  • 63. Sir Stephen Glynne, who visited the church in 1825, wrote: 'Modern taste has not allowed one of the original windows to remain in its primitive state—some have been stopped up and others altered into sashes … the whole of those on the north side being closed up. The church within is of singular appearance, being very long, narrow and lofty; the pews are of ancient fashion and most of the chancel furniture of a very homely and humble character.' Pro. Soc. Ant. (Newc.), 3rd ser. iii, 284.
  • 64. Trans. Dur. and North. Arch. Soc. i, 130.
  • 65. Fordyce, Hist. of Dur. i, 377.
  • 66. Trans. Dur. and North. Arch. Soc. v, 5, and i, 132.
  • 67. It is so mentioned in April 1868. See ibid. i, 129.
  • 68. When inserting this doorway the arch of a former opening of 'very rude description' was found exactly opposite the doorway on the south side; ibid. i, 130. An old drawing of the south side of the church previous to the insertion of the modern windows shows two windows to the aisle, one squareheaded of three lights and the other, near the east end, a pointed one of two lights. There was also a plain porch with square-headed opening.
  • 69. Ibid. i, 131.
  • 70. The tracery of Wyatt's window was in 1911 in the back garden of a house on the north side of Gilesgate near to the church.
  • 71. The window on the south side was originally further to the west in that portion of the wall destroyed in 1873.
  • 72. The figure is illustrated and described in detail in Fryer, Wooden Monumental Effigies, 32 and 42; also Archæologia, lxi, 518, 528. 'This effigy is truly wooden in every sense of the word.... We are at once reminded of Don Quixote when we behold it.'
  • 73. It is figured in Trans. Dur. and North. Arch. Soc. i, 132. In the same place it is recorded that 'a very interesting vesica, representing in low relief the Saviour sitting in judgment, was in the church but … in 1829 the rector of St. Mary-the-Less carried it off and stuck it over the vestry door of that church. … The stone was found face downwards doing duty as the lowest step of the pulpit of St. Giles.'
  • 74. Proc. Soc. Ant. (Newc.), iii, 196. The initials on the third bell are AE, RT, RO, MD. In 1552 there were 'three bells in the steeple.' Inv. of Ch. Gds. (Surt. Soc.) 142.
  • 75. Proc. Soc. Ant. (Newc.), iii, 432.
  • 76. The donor was Mr. R. J. Pearce.
  • 77. Extracts are printed in Mem. of St. Giles (Surt. Soc. xcv), 123–160.
  • 78. Pat. 6 Edw. VI, pt. 7, no. 24.
  • 79. Injunctions and Eccl. Proc. Bp. Barnes (Surt. Soc.), App. vi, p. lxiij. A slightly earlier survey gives a gross value of £6 15s. 0d. and a clear value of £4 11s. 8¾d. Chantry Certificate, Durham Roll 18, no. 65.
  • 80. Surtees, Dur. iv, 69.
  • 81. Ibid.
  • 82. Surtees, Dur. iv, 37 n.f.
  • 83. Lond. Gaz. 10 Feb. 1852, p. 370.