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Stanhope, Durham

Historical Description

Stanhope, a small town and an extensive parish in Durham. The town stands on the river Wear and on the Wear Valley railway, amid a wildly moorland country, 5½ miles WNW of Wolsingham. It is a seat of petty sessions and a polling place, and has a railway station, a post, money order, and telegraph office under Darlington, a town-hall, a bank, a reading-room and library, good inns, an annual fair and agricultural and horticultural shows, a police station, and a cemetery. The town is governed by an urban district council. Stanhope Castle and the Rectory House are chief residences; the latter was built by Bishop Philpotts when rector. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Durham; gross value, £2000 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of jRipon. The church was restored in 1868 at a cost of about £4000, is in the Norman style, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, and an embattled western tower. The chancel floor was relaid in marble mosaic in 1892. Bishop Butler was .at one time rector of Stanhope. Population of the ecclesiastical parish, 2563. The chapelries of Eastgate, St John's Chapel, Rookhope, Frosterley, Heathery Cleugh, and Westgate are separate benefices. There are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels, and several charities. The civil parish, which embraces Weardale, is divided into the four quarters of Stanhope, Forest, Newlandside, and Park Quarters, comprising the villages of Stotsfield Bum, Daddry Shields, Ireshope Burn, Boltsburn in Rookhope, Frosterley, Westgate, Eastgate, Cowshill, Wearhead, St John's Chapel, and numerous hamlets. Acreage of the parish, 61,195; population, 8031. There is a parish council consisting of fifteen members. Stanhope Park, now unenclosed, was about 12 miles in circuit, and was the hunting-ground of the Bishops of Durham, and the place where Douglas in 1327 retreated from Edward III. There are extensive limestone quarries at Stanhope and Frosterley, and lead ore and ironstone are worked in the upper or western part of the dale.

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 parishStanhope St. Thomas the Apostle 
Poor Law unionWeardale 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Stanhope from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Stanhope 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:

CountyCounty Durham
RegionNorth East
Postal districtDL13
Post TownBishop Auckland