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Finchale, Durham

Historical Description

Finchale, a place on the river Wear in Durham, 3½ miles NE of Durham. Synods were held here in 788, 792, 798, and 810; Godric fixed his hermitage here in 1100, and Henry de Puiset, afterwards Bishop of Durham, founded a priory here in 1196. The priory, commonly called " Finkel," was Benedictine, and considerable ruins of it still exist. The church was Early English, and measured 244 feet by 62. The nave has four piers on each side, alternately round and hexagonal. The choir is longer than the nave, has lost its east wall, but retains a circular turret, two circular columns, and remains of canopied sedilia. The two transepts are co—equal in dimensions, and The north one has two fine lancet windows. The central tower is 21 feet square, and had a low heavy spire till 1655. The chapter-house is on the east side of the cloister, the refectory is on the south side, and the latter measures 86 feet hy 28, has six Early English windows, and surmounts a crypt with a row of four octagonal pillars. The monastery was surrendered at the dissolution by William Benett, the last prior; there were then eight monks, and revenues valued at £120.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for County Durham is available to browse.


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering county Durham online: