Chester le Street is an Ancient Parish in the county of Durham.

Other places in the parish include: Holmside (part), Stanley, Plawsworth, Little Lumley, Waldridge, Hedley Lambton, Great Lumley, Edmonsley, and Edmondsley.

Status: Ancient Parish

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1582
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1765

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Methodist New Connexion, Primitive Methodist, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Chester le Street

  • Tanfield
  • Birtley
  • Witton Gilbert with Kimblesworth
  • Houghton le Spring
  • Lanchester
  • Ebchester
  • Rainton
  • Collierley
  • Pelton
  • Durham St Margaret
  • Wolsingham
  • Medomsley

Historical Descriptions

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

CHESTER-LE-STREET, a small town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district in Durham. The town stands on a branch of Watling-street and the river Wear, adjacent to the Shields and Stanhope railway, 3 ¼ miles WNW of Fence-Houses station of the Northeastern railway, and 6 N of Durham city. It sprang from a Roman station; bore the name of Cunceastre in the time of the Northumbrian kingdom; was the seat of a bishopric from 883 to 955, intermediate between Lindisfarne-and Durham; consists now of one street about a mile long; is a seat of petty sessions and a polling-place; and has a post-office under Fence-Houses, a chief inn, a parish church, three dissenting chapels, an hospital, and a workhouse. The church is early and later English; has a fine tower and spire, 156 feet high; was restored in 1862, at a cost of £2,000; contains fourteen altar-tombs and effigies of the lords of Lumley; and was formerly collegiate. Lumley Park, a seat of the Earl of Scarborough, and Lambton Castle, the seat of the Earl of Durham, are in the neighbourhood.

The township includes the town, and comprises 2,666 acres. Real property, £17,801; of which £8,300 are in mines, and £195 in railways. Pop., 3,013. Houses, 610.

The parish contains also the townships of Great Lumley, Little Lumley, Lambton, Waldridge, Plawsworth, Edmonsley, Pelton, Urpeth, Ouston, Harraton, Birtley, Lamesley, Kibblesworth, Ravensworth, and Hedley, all in the district of Chester-le-Street, and the chapelry of Tanfield, in the district of Durham. Acres, 31,001. Real property, £127,637; of which £63,268 are in mines, £6,530 in iron-works, and £1,569 in railways. Pop., 23,076. Houses, 4,349. The property is subdivided. The manor belongs to the Bishop of Durham. Coal-mining, iron-working, and kindred operations are extensively carried on. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Durham. Value, £377. Patrons, alternately H. Joliffe, Esq., and Trustees. The p. curacies of Lumley, Birtley, Pelton, Lamesley, Tanfield, and Eighton-Banks, are separate benefices. Charities, £124.

The sub-district contains nine townships of Chester-le-Street parish, three of Houghton-le-Spring parish, and Witton-Gilbert parochial chapelry. Acres, 16,306. Pop., 14,237. Houses, 2,810. The district includes also the sub-district of Harraton, containing seven townships of Chester-le-Street parish, and all Washington parish. Acres, 33,079. Poor-rates in 1862, £7,370. Pop. in 1841, 18,357; in 1861, 27,660. Houses, 5,251. Marriages in 1860, 117; births, 1,137,—of which 55 were illegitimate; deaths, 486,—of which 211 were at ages under 5 years, and 8 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,221; births, 9,493; deaths, 5,034. The places of worship in 1851 were 9 of the Church of England, with 3,154 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 350 s.; 14 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 2,517 s.; 2 of New Connexion Methodists, with 346 s.; 4 of Primitive Methodists, with 450 s.; 1 of the Wesleyan Association, with 80 s.; and 1 undefined, with 100 s. The schools were 15 public day schools, with 1,290 scholars; 20 private day schools, with- 699 s.; 27 Sunday schools, with 2,152 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 12 s.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


  • County: Durham
  • Civil Registration District: Chester le Street
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Durham (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Durham
  • Rural Deanery: Chester le Street
  • Poor Law Union: Chester le Street
  • Hundred: Chester Ward; Easington Ward
  • Province: York

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