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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.


Online maps of Chester le Street are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

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