Benwell St James is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Northumberland, created in 1843 from chapelry in Newcastle upon Tyne St Nicholas Ancient Parish.

Alternative names: Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne St James

Parish church: St. James

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1843
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1838

Nonconformists include: Jewish, Roman Catholic, Wesleyan Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist Reform.

Adjacent Parishes

  • Whickham
  • Winlaton
  • Gosforth
  • Newburn
  • Newcastle upon Tyne St Andrew
  • High Elswick St Paul

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BENWELL, a township and a chapelry in St. John parish, Northumberland. The township lies on the river Tyne, the Roman wall, and the Newcastle and Carlisle railway, 2 miles W of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Acres, 1,346. Pop., 1,771. Houses, 350. Here are collieries, the oldest in England; one of which, in the beginning of last century, took fire from a candle, and burned for nearly thirty years. Benwell is believed to have been the Condercum of the Romans; and urns, coins, inscriptions, and other Roman remains have been found. Benwell tower belonged at one time to Tynemouth priory, and afterwards to the Shaftoes. Benwell High Cross, to the E, was named from a cross that formerly stood at it. The chapelry is more extensive than the township; and was constituted in 1842. Pop., 4,323. Houses, 749. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Durham. Value, £150. Patron, the Vicar of Newcastle. The church is a Gothic structure with a tower, built at a cost of £1,607.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

BENWELL, a district chapelry comprising the township of Benwell and part of that of Elswick, in the parish of St. John, Newcastle, union of Newcastle, W. division of Castle ward, S. division of Northumberland; containing 2415 inhabitants, of whom 1433 are in the township of Benwell, 2½ miles (W.) from Newcastle. This place, anciently Benwall, or Bythe-Wall, the Roman wall having passed this way, is supposed to occupy the site of the Condercum of the Notitia. The township comprises by measurement 1074 acres, chiefly elevated land, rising gradually and beautifully from the Tyne; the soil is generally good, and being well cultivated produces abundant crops of corn and grass. The district abounds in coal and freestone. In the 17th century a seam of coal in the vicinity caught fire at a candle, and continued to burn for upwards of thirty years, bursting out in different places like a volcano. Various manufactories are situated on the low grounds near the Tyne. The road from Newcastle to Carlisle, and the Newcastle and Carlisle railway, pass through the township in nearly a parallel direction. The chapel, dedicated to St. James, stands conspicuously on an eminence near the centre of the district, and was erected in 1832, at an expense of £1665; it is a neat edifice in the Norman-English style, with a square tower. The patronage is vested in the Vicar of Newcastle; the net income is £150. The tithes of the township have been commuted for £89. 8. payable to the Bishop, a similar sum to the Dean and Chapter, of Carlisle, and £66. 1. 5. to the vicar, who has also a glebe of above 12 acres. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848


Old maps of Britain and Europe from A Vision of Britain Through Time


  • County: Northumberland
  • Civil Registration District: Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Durham (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Durham
  • Rural Deanery: Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Poor Law Union: Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Hundred: Castle Ward
  • Province: York

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