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"Ebchester is a small parish, separated from Northumberland by the river Derwent, and is bounded on the east and south by Medomsley and on the west by Benfieldside. The area is 478 acres, and the ratable value is £3023. The township of Ebchester is almost entirely the property of Sherburn Hospital.

"Ebchester Village is situated twelve miles west-south-west from Newcastle, and "though it stands at the foot of a long descent, sloping towards the north, yet it is scattered along the edge of a still deeper declivity, which overhangs the green haughs of the Derwent." Ebchester is built right upon the site of a Roman station.In this it differs from many other successors of Roman towns, which are generally situated at a little distance from the ancient sites; Lanchester, for example, which is to the south of Ebchester, and Corbridge to the north, on the same great Roman highway, or Watling Street. They are situated a few hundred yards from what were the centres of Roman civilisation sixteen hundred years ago. Ebchester, however, stands right upon the old site, and Roman ramparts, Roman altars, and Roman remains of all kinds are mingles in singular confusion with the gardens, cottages, roads, and church of to-day."

"The ancient name of Ebchester was Vindomoro, which signifies in the British language, "The edge of the Black Moor." When the Romans had departed from the land, it received the name it now bears which is identical with "Upchester," and signifies "The Camp on the Height."

"After the Roman town fell into ruins, the whole neighbourhood of Ebchester appears to have become one dense forest. The beauty of the situation, however, rising rapidly from the banks of the Derwent - "the Smiling Water" - and its retired character, seem to have attracted hermits, so that in Bishop Pudsey's time it was known as "the place of Anchorites."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]


"The population in 17801 was 215; in 1811, 313; in 1821, 358; in 1831, 484; in 1841, 458; in 1851, 485; in 1861, 455; in 1871, 343; in 1881, 352; and in 1891, 252 souls."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

Church History

"The Church - The foundation of this ancient edifice, which is dedicated to St. Ebba, seems to be enveloped in mystery, and the various authorities on archaeology do not agree upon the point of its origin. From the crude and primitive appearance of many of its features, previous to its restoration, the foundation of this church might almost be described as pre-Conquest. The earliest date, however, is more generally taken as being that of the Early Norman period. The rude and massive chancel arch is very similar to that of Jarrow church, being plain and square in section. Undoubtedly the walls, which are of great thickness, have been constructed so from stones obtained from the Roman ramparts, the church being situated in the south-western angle of the camp. The edifice underwent thorough restoration in 1876, and now consists of narrow nave with deep chancel of the same width. The east window is modern, of Norman design, with circular head, with nook shafts inside and out; the remainder of the windows are very narrow lancets, with the exception of the west window. This window was inserted at the restoration, and is of the Late Decorated order. The old doorway, beneath a strong porch, is narrow and slightly pointed. In the porch walls are built many of the Roman stones discovered at various periods. On each side the west window, and low in the wall, are two very narrow and short lancet windows, which rom their position have been considered as possibly having been Leper windows. In 1893 a vestry was added at the north-west end. The church will only seat 130."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

There is a picture (56 kbytes) of the parish church of Christ Church, Low Westwood; supplied by Richard Hird.

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Church Records

"The register begins in the year 1619." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1619-1973 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Ebc).

Marriage indexes for 1619-1837 (8 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1619-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

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