UK Genealogy Archives logo

Chester le Street, Durham

Historical Description

Chester-le-Street, a small town, a township, and a parish in Durham. The town stands on a branch of Watling Street, on the river Wear, and has a station on the main line of the N.E.R., 6 miles N of Durham city. It sprang from a Roman station; bore the name of Cunaceastre in the time of the Northumbrian kingdom; was the seat of a bishopric from 883 to 995, removed from Lindisfarne, and at the latter date tranStrred to the see of Durham. It consists now of one street about a mile long, is a seat of petty sessions, and has a head post office, a parish church, three dissenting chapels, a mechanics' institute, a Conservative club, a bank, a savings bank, 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 <£2000; contains fourteen altar-tombs and effigies of the Lords of Lum-ley, and several handsome stained windows, and was formerly collegiate. Lumley Park, a seat of the Earl of Scarbrough, Lambton Castle, the seat of the Earl of Durham, and the Hermitage, the seat of the Wood family, are in the neigh- bourhood. There is a station of the county police here. The township includes the town, and comprises 2510 acres; population, 8623; of the ecclesiastical parish, 8459. There is an extensive brewery, a confectionery manufactory, and a flourishing co-operative and industrial society. Coal-mining, iron-working, and kindred operations are extensively carried 'on. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Durham; net value, £308.

Chester-le-Street Parliamentary Division of Durham was formed under the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885, and returns one member to the House of Commons. Population, 70,202. The division includes the following; —Chester Ward (Chester-le-Street Division) —Birtley, Chester-le-Street, Ed-mondsley, Harraton, Lainesley, Ouston, Pelton, Plawsworth, Urpeth, Waldridge; Chester Ward (Gateshead Division) — Barmston, Chopwell, Crawcrook, Heworth (so much of the parish as is not included in the Jarrow Division), Eyton, Ryton Woodside, Stella, Usworth, Washington, Whickham, Winlaton; Gateshead, municipal borough.

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


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyCounty Durham 
Ecclesiastical parishChester-Le-Street St. Mary and St. Cuthbert 
Poor Law unionLanchester 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Chester le Street from the following:

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: