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Medomsley

"This ancient parish formerly comprised the whole of Benfieldside and Medomsley townships, with a portion of Conside-cum-Knitsley. Since the formation of Consett and leadgate parishes, at which times portions were taken from this parish, medomsley was left with not quite the whole of the township which gives its name. The portion formerly in this parish, and still in the township of Medomsley, is a portion of Leadgate lying on the north side of the road. The area of this parish is 3500 acres and its population is 5100.

"The township of Medomsley is principally the property of Miss Surtees of Hamsterley Hall, Hon. Gage P. Vereker, Rev. James Allgood, Miss Allgood, James Hunter Esq., and the Consett iron Company. Its area is 4823 acres, and the ratable value is 23,245.

"Medomsley Village occupies a commanding site, situated on the high ground overlooking the Derwent valley from the south, about twelve miles west by south from Newcastle, and 2 1/2 north from Consett. The site of the old manor-house, the seat of the Hunters, is now occupied by a fine new residence, occupied by W. H. Hedley, Esq. Medomsley Hall, also the residence of an older branch of the Hunters, stands at the east end of the village, and is now the vicarage."

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

Census

"In 1801 the population numbered (including Conside-cum-Knitsley) 754; in 1811 (Medomsley alone), 391; in 1821, 461; in 1831, 466; in 1841, 796; in 1851, 840; in 1861, 1296; in 1871, 1959; in 1881, 4429; in 1891, 5306.

"The rapid rise in the population of this township between 1871 and 1881 was due to the openingout of the coal royalties by the Consett Iron Company."

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

Church History

"The Church, dedicated to St. mary Magdalene, is an interesting old edifice, which originally consisted of narrow nave and chancel, dating probably from the middle of the twelfth century. To that period belongs the doorway, now protected by a neat porch and some single-light windows, with semi-circular heads, and a piscina and aunbry, in the south wall of the chapel. Late in the thirteenth century the building appears to have been lengthened, when the chancel arch and the present east end, with its elegant lancet windows, were built. In the years 1877-78, the church having fallen into a state of great dilapidation, underwent a thorough restoration and enlargement. A north aisle was added, a new roof put on, and the chancel was fitted with handsome oak stalls and seats throughout, the cost being nearly 3000, which was defrayed by public subscription. A few years later an organ, built by an eminent firm, was also added, at a further cost of 250. "

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

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Church Records

"The parish register begins in the year 1608." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1608-1987 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Me).

Marriage indexes for 1608-1837 (27 kbytes) from the George Bell Collection of Durham and Northumberland Indexes.

The Marriages (1608-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

The following records for churches in the ancient parish of Medomsley are also available at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL:-

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