Local History Notebook



The History


The Parish of





Brigadier-General  H.  Conyers  Surtees

C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., M.V.O., D.L., F.S.A.









This account of Wolsingham is offered with a request than any errors or omissions may be brought to my notice.


My grateful thanks are due to the late Edward Wooler, Esq., F.S.A., for much useful assistance, as also to Aynsley Smith, Esq., and to Colonel G.H. Stobart, C.B.E., D.S.O., of Harperley Park.








JANUARY 1st, 1929


Page 5




HE Parish of Wolsingham is bounded by Lanchester on the north, by Brancepeth on the east, by Witton-le-Wear on the south east  , by Hamsterley on the south  , and by Stanhope on the west.

The parish includes seven constableries, i.e., Wolsingham Town Quarter, Wolsingham South Side Quarter, Wolsingham East Side Quarter, Wolsingham Park Quarter, Bradley, Helm Park and Thornley.*

Wolsingham, deriving its name from the Waelsingas or Sons of Wael, an ancient Saxon family once seated here, is an old market town† of the Bishopric in the North West Division of Darlington
Ward and in the Weardale Union, standing low in the vale of the
Wear and situated on a peninsular formed by the confluence of that River and the Wascroe or Waskerley‡ Stream. Leland mentions “Woulsingham on Were sometime a small market town now none,

* The three latter have been dealt with under the account of “Thornley” by the Author.

† The tenants and other inhabitants of the forest of Weardale have grant of a market town to be held within the vill of Wolsingham on the Monday of every week, and two fairs to be held yearly on the day of S. John before the Latin Gate, and on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.

V.40 and 68, Rot 1 Bainbrigg. memb. 26 (Durham Records).

‡ Wascroe, which latter name is stated to be derived from West and Crau-a, Crag—but is more probably from the Anglo-Saxon Wass—Water, and Crau.

In 1311, Wascrophead was granted by Bishop Richard Kellaw to the Prior and Monks of Durham by Charter.

Omnibus &c. Ricardus—confirmamus Willelmo Priori et Conventui totum vastum cum bosco quod vocatur Wascroppeheved in vill' de Wolsingham, infra divisas subscriptas, videlicet ab angulo australi Parci nostri de Wascroppe usque Katericke Saltere, sicut le Edge se extendit versus occidentem, et de Katericke Saltere usque le Pykydlawe usque ad altam viam quae ducit de Stanoppe versus Corbrigge et sic sequendo illam viam versus boream usque ad locum qui vocatur Bernardiscrosse et sic de Bernardiscrosse versus orientem, sequendo viam superiorem, quae jacet et subtus Hunterlawe usqu' in oppositum anguli borialis Parci nostri praedicti, et sic descendo ad eundem angulum et ab illo angulo boriali in longum parci nostri usque ad angulum australem extra Paliceam ejusd' parci ubi divisae primo incipiebantur.

Habend’ &c. Licebit quoque d’cis Priori et Conventui oia aialia sua moras circumjacentes pascentia, tam tempore hyemali quam estivali, ad p'don' separale quociens voluerint fugare et ibm ad morandum receptare et ad easdem moras prout ipsis placuerit refugare sine contradiccione nostra &c. Hiis testibus, Dnis—Roberto de Clifford, Ranulpho de Nevile, Rado fil Willi, Robto de Hilton, Rico Marmaduke, Waltero de Wessington, Thoma de Qwyteworth militibus et aliis.

Dat. Apud Wolsingham 2 Nov. 1311

                   Pont. Nri Imo.

                            Fo. 22-22da – 2 Pont., 9.

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vii. miles above Akeland,"1 and again "Woulsingham Market in Weardale is clean decayed, for none repayre thither with ware or vitayle on the consuete day. Master Chaunciler Hinmar of Duresme holdith opinion that the Marmorarium that is at Duresme in divers partes of the Churche was taken nother out of Tese nor Were but at a meaner broke by Woulsingham."2

Bishop W. James revived the market at Wolsingham by Charter
12. Jan. (1612) appointing it to be held every Wednesday by the view of  his Master Forester of Weardale and the Bailiff of Wolsing­ham or other the Bishop's officers there.3

The Park and Demesne have been generally leased out, thus—
"20 Aug. Ac. 1 Baynbrigg. 1508.—Letten to Rowland Tempest
"of Holmeset Esq. the Park of Wolsingham with Townsted House
"Quarter, Holyhall Quarter with Baxstanebanckes, Bishopeale
"Quarter and Baylhill Quarter with all tenements to the said Park
"or to Petiskar Pasture belonging, within the Park and without,—
"20 years.―£28 3s. 4d. rent."4

20. Sept. 1508. Lease to Thomas Tempest Esq: of all the demesne lands within the town and territory of Wolsingham with all houses moors and wastes. 21 years, £7 13s. 8d. rent.5

In A° 3 Ruthall—(1512) Roger  Lumley of  Lumley Esq. had a grant of the corn water mill of Wolsingham for the term of 20 years at the rent of ten marks per annum. 6

By Indenture 2nd Oct. A° 24 Eliz. (1582).—Richard, Bishop of Durham demised to the Queen's Highness, Wolsingham Park and Wolsingham Water Corn Mill and the farm or parcel called the Chapel Walls, excepting the view of Vert and Venison of the same Park and excepting all fees belonging to the Keepers and Parkers, and all mines of coal and lead within the same Park for 80 years.

13 March 1644. Lett to Joseph Markendaile and Christopher Follansby all those lands in Wolsingham Parke and Demesnes late belonging to Sir Paul Neile Knt.―£18 per ann.7

Wolsingham was one of the great Manors of the See of  Durham,
the centre of a county court district and petty sessional division ;

1 Itin.         1. fol. 79.

2 Itin.         Vol. 8 fol. 52.

3 v.  Rot. 2. W. James No. 8.

4 v.  Rot. Baynbrigg. B. 27.

5 v.  Rot. Baynbrigg. No. 65.

6 Cal. of Rolls of Bp. Ruthall—membr. 3-d.

7 v.   Sequestration Books.


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manor and county courts* are held here in the stone built Town Hall which was erected in the Market Place in 1824 and enlarged in 1856 and again in 1880.

The following description of the Manor of Wolsingham is extracted from the Survey taken in 1650 by order of Parliament of all the Manors and possessions of the several Episcopal Sees.

We say that the Manor of Wolsingham is a very large Manor, consisting of the several Townships following, viz : Wolsingham, Greenwellside, Wigside, North Bedburne, South Bedburne, Linesack, Stanhope, Bishopley and Forrest of Weardale and there belongeth to the said Manor very large and spacious Commons called the South and Northfield of Wolsingham and Bounderth as followeth, viz : The Bounder betwixt the late Bishop of Durham his Manor of Wolsingham and Sir William Darcye his Manor of Witton on the Southside of Wear, begineth at Dowsyke in the Pack Bank which said Syke runneth down to the East side of the said Parish of Wolsingham and from the said Dowsike to the West of Ballestend and from thence to the Greenthorne and from thence to Hartfowlings and from thence to the Meeting of the Burnes at North, graine foot on the Rapesheeld and from thence up South graine burne and out the hoope of the said South graine to the Westerend of Browne Currock and from thence to Shanebury burne at which said burne endeth the Bounders betwixt the said late Bishop of Durham and Sir William Darcye as aforesaid. And then at the said Sharnebury burne beginneth the bounder betwixt the said late Bishop of Durham and Sir Henry Vane Sen. or Mr. Tobie Ewbanks, Lord of the Manor of Eggleston which ascendeth up the said Burne to the Shaftwellhead at which said Shaftwellhead endeth the Bounder between the said Henry or the said Manor of Eggleston and the said Bishop of Durham. And then at the said Shaftwellhead beginneth the Bounder between the said Parish of Wolsingham and the Parish of Stanhope both of which Parishes belong to the said Bishop of Durham from which said Shaftwellhead the said Bounder goeth to a place called the Longman and from thence to Hanketwoodhead as Water runneth from thence to the Easter Paw Law and from thence to Wester Haropehead and so down the said Burn to the River of Were and from thence straight over the Water and so up the Northside of the Water to the Willow-gate and from thence to the Deane and up the said Deane to the Westend of Ireland and from thence to Bradley Currock and from thence as Heaven Water leadeth to Cloyer Law from thence the Westend of Westrawpark where endeth the Bounders between the aforesaid Parishes and where also beginneth the Bounder between

* Petty Sessions are held on the first Tuesday in every month.


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the Parish of Wolsingham and Muggleswick which goeth down to the said Westrawparkside to Westraw Burne and from Westraw­park burne up Northward to the Top of the edge as Heaven Water leadeth to the Drieshill where endeth the Bounder between the said Parish of Wolsingham and Muggleswick and where beginneth the said Parish of Wolsingham and Lanchester Parish, which goeth from the said Drypyshill to Jordan Crosse and from thence to Lambs Crosse and from thence to the head of Adderly Cleughs from thence to the North Towe Law Currock where endeth the Bounder between the aforesaid Parish of Wolsingham and Lanchester and where also beginneth the Bounder between the Bishop and Chapter of Brancepeth, which goeth from the said Tow Lawe Currock over Dearenshead and from thence to the Currock over the top of the hill on the north side of the Currock and so goeth down to an Old Water Gate and so down Hadderly Clugh burne to House Lopp where endeth the Bounder between the said Bishop and Brancepeth Lordship as to waste grounds Commons Heaths and Moors we can no further say but what is formerly set down And also that there is no division of Bounders even to our knowledge among the Freeholders Copy-holders and Leasers but their beasts go horn by horn and eat by Bite of Mouth without stinting and that Parish hath Day Rake and Wynd Rake of Common One with Another without the aforesaid Bounders without Impounding or doing anything or paying for the same, but has been accustomed for their tenements—only the Tenants of Thornley and Holme Park do pay to the said Bishop of Durham for Enter Common viz : the Tenants of Thornley Two Shillings per annum at the feasts of Mart. and Pent. and the Tenants of Holme Park Thirty Three Shillings four pence per annum at the Feasts of Mart and Pent which said sums are paid to the Coroner and charged upon the Survey.*

This bounder was claimed in May, 1726, and again in 1734 by the then Rector, Dr. William Watts, who, with his parishioners, "rode the bounds." This ceremony was again repeated in August, 1758 by the Rev. William Newell.†

* Holme Park — hodie Helme Park.

The late Alderman Edward Woofer, F.S.A., to whom I am indebted for much friendly guidance, in a paper read by him to the Newcastle Society of Antiquaries on Nov. 29th, 1905, quoted the bill of costs for this riding, thus :
                   Aug. 7th and 9th : To riding the Bounders,
                                      2 gallons and 2 gills   .. .. ..                                           £1       5      6
                                      Bread .. .. .. ..                                                                              5
                                      Cheese, 29 half pounds at 3 id. .. ..                                       7    10  ½
                                      ‡ Carlisle and Salkeld .. .. ..                                                   13
                                      Horse for the provisions .. ..                                                  3
                                      Almonds, Raisins, Sugar, &c. .. .. ..                                        6      9
                                                                                                                                £3       1    11


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Edward III. is traditionally reported to have tarried here on his return from the fruitless expedition against the Scots in April, 1327, and to have rested at the Pack Horse Inn, then situated in the High Street.

Portions of each quarter of the Parish were formed into the separate ecclesiastical Parish of Thornley,* and on February 22nd, 1848, and on April 2nd, 1878, further portions were formed into the ecclesiastical Parish of Tow Law.

The Market Place is leased to the Trustees of the Town Hall, and the revenue thereby derived is applied to the betterment of the town.
The principal thoroughfare of the town is formed by the Durham and Stanhope Road.

The houses are generally stone built and slated, and many of them evince signs of antiquity.

As early as the fifteenth century the bridge of Wolsingham, as being on the most direct line of communication between Hexham and Barnard Castle, was an object of Episcopal solicitude.†

A massive iron bridge—span 120 ft. and width 20 ft.—was in 1893 thrown over the Wear in the place of an older stone bridge which had been built on the site of one of ancient structure which was swept away by the floods of November 16th, A.D. 1771, when the Wear rose to the level of the top of Mally's well at the head of the causeway and swept away the old stone bridges at Stanhope and Witton-le-Wear.

In 1810 the Wascrow or Waskerley stream was bridged and in 1817 another bridge that crossed the same stream in the upper town was taken down and rebuilt.*

About three miles above the town, as also on Muggleswick
Common are large reservoirs belonging to the Durham County

Evidently riding the bounds involved the consumption of much good liquor, the price of the two gallons and two gills indicating something more potent than ale.
‡ Carlisle and Salkeld were the Standard bearers


* V. History of " Thornley " and " Tow Law," by the Author.

† V. Oct. 20, 1479. Indulg' 40 dierum ad constructionem et re-edifica­tionem Wolsingham bridge—Regr. of Archbishop Booth (112).

§ Known now as the Uppertown Bridge.


Page 10

Water Board ; that which is on the Waskerley stream is known as the Tunstall Reservoir.*

In a meadow known as Chapel Garth are to be seen the extensive and moated remains of a residence once used by the Bishop when visiting Weardale, and known as Chapel Walls,† and which was demolished by Sir Arthur Hesilrigge, who, during the Protectorate, managed to possess himself of the Manor of Wolsingham as well as that of Auckland.

At Holy Well, north of the town, are strong Chalybeate springs.
A Market Cross, according to Mr. Nicholson, the late Parish Clerk, " was before its removal to make room for the New Town Hall, formed of four courses of stone steps in an octagonal shape, upon which rose a shaft or pillar with a moulded capital."

Whenever a death occurred in the north side of the town, it was usual for the corpse to be borne past this cross. The origin of this custom is unknown.

The cross has now disappeared.

In former days there were stocks just in front of the cross upon the steps of which the offender sat with his feet held fast and exposed to the insults and missiles of the inhabitants.**

In 1832, the Rev. W. Wilson, who was then Rector, with much public spirit purchased some unsightly tenements which stood on the West of the Town Hall and in the middle of the road, thus
impeding traffic, and had them demolished, thus effecting a real improvement.

The chief industries are those provided by the steel works of Messrs. Rogerson and Co., where shovels and other agricultural implements are manufactured.

* The Tunstall Reservoir was first brought into use in 1880. Its area is 60 acres, and when full is computed to contain 520,000,000 gallons of water ; it is over 700 feet above the sea, and supplies the Shildons, Willington, Spennymoor, Tudhoe, Ferryhill, Mainsforth, Bishop Middleham, and Sedgfield ; thus serving a population of over 130,000. The water, which is thoroughly filtered before being distributed, is excellent.

Flora and Fauna are here various and abundant.

† Some 60 years ago (c. 1860) an old labourer dug up near S. Godric's Chapel, now known as Chapel Walls, a very handsome silver crucifix dated 1434, which he sold to the Rev. G. P. Wilkinson, of Harperley. On one side of the crucifix is a carving representing the Crucifixion, and on the other the Madonna and Child, both being beautifully modelled. It is now in the possession of Colonel G. H. Stobart, of Harperley.

** On August, 1715, Henry James of Ingleton said : " The King is neither protestant nor Churchman and I will prove it, and he never did good since he came into England, and I hope in a short time I will be quit of him," and was sentenced to stand in the pillory at Wolsingham for one hour in open market to be imprisoned for one year, and,to be fined one hundred marcs."


Page 11

During the great European War of 1914-18, naval gun mountings and steel plates were produced by this firm, anchors also.

Ganister, fire stone and barytes are worked in the district.

Under Boldon Book :—In Wolsingham the tenants in villanage hold three hundred acres and pay nine marks rent and reap and carry all the corn of Wolsingham Demesnes with the help of the Bishop's own Oxen and they mow Bradley meadow and make and lead the hay and they work nine score days at the lords will and lead six score loads of wood and prepare one portion of seedland at Bradwood with their whole households except the huswives and four portions of seedland at Wolsingham when they receive a corrody and when they mow and lead the corn and hay each has one loaf.

William the Priest holds forty acres and pays one mark—James his son holds sixty acres at Greenwell and pays one mark. Walter Crok holds six acres and pays 3s. 4d. and serves on the Bishop's embassies and superintends the labourers as above. Roger de Bradley (See Bradley), Thomas de Fery twenty. acres,—11s. Robert de roanges twelve acres,—40d. and does Forest service. Ralph the keeper of the Bishop's bees has six acres for his service of keeping the said bees. Adam the Headborough six acres—42s. Henry Bernarius twelve acres,—10s. Robert Scot forty eight acres and does Forest service like Roger de Bradley. Adam Clericus thirty acres—one mark. William de Gisburn 30 acres—10s. but is quit of rent while he continues in the Bishop's service. Galfird has five acres for his garden service. Humphrey holds two acres of the Bishop's charity and his son six acres and makes ploughs. The three Turners hold seventeen acres and render three thousand and one hundred Scutelli* and prepare four portions of Sudland and assist in mowing the meadows and carrying hay. The Punder has six acres and renders forty hens and four thousand eggs.

The Mills of Wolsingham and Stanhope pay 10 marks.

The Demesne of Rogerley and of Wolsingham with a stock of five ploughs and three harrows and with certain acres of seed land

* Reddunt—MMM et C Scutellos—" Nullus Forestarius vel Bedellus faciat
Scotales vel garbas colligat vel aliquam collectam faciat " Carta Forestiae cap. 7.
Scotales, says Hutchinson, are " Pennyrents ad potandum cum Bedillo
Domini Episcopi," . a due by custom to the Forester which the Coroners
collected. Scotala, Scotalla, Scotallum, Scotal and Scotales—Juxta quosdam
est compotatio emungenda pecuniae gratia vicinis advenisque a quolibet
exhibita—quasi dictum a Scot pecunia et Ale—See Cart' Forestiae—
" Minister tabernam tenens cervisariam " (Angl. doth keep an Alehouse)
—infra metas forestae convolare huc ad pecuniae suae expensus homines
cogit per circuitum, ne alioquior sibi forint in offensionem.—Spelman
in Verbo.

Doctor Greenwell in his translation renders Scutellos by " trenchers."


Page 12

as in the indenture (ut in cirographo) is on lease for sixteen chalders of wheat, as many of barley and seventy chalders of oats. (For the rest of the record see sub Bradwood, Stanhope and Frosterley).

The following instances of early justice taken from an eyre in 1242 A° 27 Henry III. are of interest.

Jacobus faber de Wlsingham submersit Emmam vxorem eius in Walkeropburne et fugit ; primus inuentor, Walterus Betermaulhe : venit et non malecreditur Et quia villata de Wlsingham non habuit predictus Jacobum, ideo in misericordia. Cattalla predictum Jacobi xxv. sol., vnde vicecomes Respondebit. Rogerus Prikemodi captus fuit in villata de Wlsingham et ibidem positus in prisonatu : postea euasit ad simone seruiente ; et villata fuit amerciata pro ilia euasione ; scilicet pro lij marcis, tempore Henrici de Neketone ; et ideo loquendum.

Bishop Robert de Insula in the year 1280 granted permission to his men in Stanhope and its neighbourhood to enclose the head of Wascropp.*

Hatfield's Survey first enumerates several Free Tenants, (See Sub-Wyserley, Smalleys, Fawleys, Bradwood, Milnhouses, New-lands, Thornley, Greenwell, Bradley, Frosterley and Landew)―John Mathewson holds a messuage and certain acres called Spaynes­field 4s., Peter de Greenwell holds twelve acres once Robert Roange's—as appears in Boldon Book and does Forest service and pays 3s. 4d. Thomas son of Adam de Rogerley—one messuage and a parcel called Bellardsyde 3s. 4d. Hugh Westwyk a messuage and forty acres once the holding of Richard Heworth—2s. 6d. and Walter de Merley held the water mill.

In this survey, under Wolsingham the following additional entries appear to be of some importance.

Free Tenants : William Tebbeson—at Wyshill, John Matthewson —at Spaynesfed ;  William Ferrour and William Matthewson
land which was once held by Nicholas Waverley and afterward
by John de Haxby and Ralph Eure Knt. Robert Morgan at

* Omnibus Christi fidelibus praesens scriptum visuris vel audituris Robertus permissione divina Episcopus Dunelm. Salutem in Domino sempeternam. Noveritis me concessisse, pro nobis et successoribus nostris, hominibus nostris de Stanhoppe et omnibus aliis circa caput de Wascroppe communicantibus, quod possint claudere dictum caput de Wascroppe sumptibus suis propriis et clausuram illam ad eorum custum in omnibus sustinebunt in perpetuum. In eujus rei testimonium praesens scriptum sigilli nostri impressione fecimus communiri.

Hiis testibus, Domino Guichardo de Charrone tunc senescallo Dunelm., Magistro Roberto Auenel, Petro de Thoresby, Thoma de Levesham, Waltero de Bermetone et aliis.
Datum apud Middleham xiiij die Maii, Pontificatus nostri anno nono.

v. Durham Records. 4ta 2dæ Pont., 6.


Page 13

Milnehaws, Thomas son of Adam de Rogerley at Ballardsyd. Robert Egleston at Braudwood. William Tebbeson at Papworthele Ralph Eure at Braudley, Sonnyngside, Kittsparke and Wakerland. Thomas Grey at Newland and Fowleys which were formerly held by Thomas Grey Dominus de Nevill held Thornley and Greenwell with the Helmeparke and Redmyre. The Sacrist of Durham held Landa Dei. The Prior de Fynkhalgh held the water Mill. and the Parson of Brancepeth paid for his Glebe land—13s. 4d.

Cottages : John Hudson holds a cottage and croft of one acre and carries the Bishop's Hawks and Merlins and cleans the Manor House against the Bishop's coming and cleanses a portion of the millpond and goes on embassies, attends the great chace and works in hay harvest which last service he commutes for fourpence.—13d. in all.

Five other cottagers hold cottages and crofts on the same terms, one of them, William Walker, holding three cottages, and paying inclusive of commutation for labour in hay harvest 3s. 4d. obol.
Amongst the Bondmen who held lands were Adam Barker, John Bruys, William Trewlor, John Turnour, Robert and William Gibson, John Coniers, Oliver Braban (Barbon) and John Fayre‑
hille. The Pounde, paid for his office—40 hens and 360 eggs.

The holders of Exchequer lands were William Tebbeson in Ball-ardsyde, Ralph Eure in Wynchesfeld, Robert Swaynston at White-­kirtiland* Rober Tod, John Mathewson, Lawrence Clerk at Ballardsyde, Henry Thomesson at Rigemond, Roger del Fay‑
reallers at Snapygest,† Thomas Young at Personleys, Richard Fetherstonhalgh, Sibilla de la Vale in Grenwelsyde, Peter de Greenwell, William Merley at Fawleys and also at Blackburntong and Jofferleys (hodie Jofflas) and many others. The Park is men­tioned as being 8 miles in circuit.

Out of 16 Parishoners of Wolsingham who took part in the Rebellion of the Earls in 1569, 4 were executed.

The following is a list extracted verbatim from that of " Free-holders in 1685."


            (John Carlisle
                John ffetherstonhalgh   gen at Stanhope (0)
                Anthus Wharton   gen
                Thomas Thompson—at Stanhop :

* Now Whitekirtley—locally pronounced " Whitekettle."

† Snipegate.


Page 14

      GRINWELL HILL Willm Grinwell.   1(1-84)


                Ralph Geo. Bows of Bradley Esqr mort—Geo(esthera-­delat)                    (Zpas(82) 1
                Humphrey Wharton of Scotchell Esqr at Gilling wood
                John Vasey of Newlands gen aged
                James Vasey of the same gen   Mid. 1.   (0-84) 1-85
                John Anthony Dixon of ffawlees
                (Robert Marshall of ye same   Mich
                Thomas Dobbinson of Bradley lame & old
                Guy Watson of Scotch ele   Mid
dead x    Evers Markendale of Old parke gen i Xmas 1 (0-84) 1-85

      FFOW LEES   John Marshall Easter (1-84)
                                John Coulson Xmas (1-84)
                                Robt Marshall
                                Anth Dixon
                                Robt ffarrow. mort


                John Hopper of Towty potts gen   i Mid : (0) 1 0-84
                Johes Hopper Junr                                                (1-85
                Robert Hopper of Eshees gen o (0) R Easter(83) 1.0-84
                George Lindsey of Lindew Mich 1, (1.84)

(Frayed) SIDE      Henry Lidel gen at ffarneacres

                The heires of John Gastell of Wiserly at Newcastle
                Mr Jo Vast
mort x    Mr Rob Hutton of Houghton Mid. (84)
                Peter finch of Chatterley at Wolveston
                John Aisley of Cowhouses Clerke at Wolsingham
                Samuel Mowbray of Holehouse gen. Easter

BRADWOOD John Garthorne lame 1-84


                Thomas Todd Mid 1. (0-84)
young     Arthur Wall Xmas — (1-84)
                Geo : Chapman Senr son of John
                Lan Chapman Easter & Geo the Son Mid 86
                George Chapman Mich. (1-84)
dead       his Son : Geo gen 0 Easter (0)



Page 15

MILLHOUSES John Morgan of the same gen Mich (1).
                John Chapman of Wolsingham 1-85 (1-84) 0-85
                Chr : Chapman



dead x    o Mid. (1) Tho Wall of Sowingburn aged his Son
                Thomas Easter (83)
                Thomas Bainbridge of ye same
                John Mowbray of Low Bppley gen Easter (83) 1 (0-84) 1-85
                Chrus Wall
                Thomas Mowbray gen 1(1-84)

It will be seen by a reference to Hatfield's Survey that prior to its compilation many free estates had been carved out of the Manor of Wolsingham by successive Episcopal grants, such as Bradley, Bradwood, Newlands, Fawley, Thornley, Greenwell, Helm Park, Landew and Smalleys, with those exceptions the freeholds in Wolsingham are trifling, and at this day the chief property is held under the See of Durham by lease or copy of Court Roll.

By the Sheriff's account—the following were in A° 14—16 Charles II.—in arrear of payment of Hearth Tax.

Wolsingham—Town Quarters—

George Garthorne
Joseph Markendall
Robert Horsley
John Teasdale
John Sedgwick
Madyson Vid*

Oriental Side de Wolsingham—

Thomas Dobinson
William Lawson
John Greenwell
Matthew Greenwell

South Side of Wolsingham—

Anthony Cragge
Arthur Dobinson
Ralph Sedgwick
Christopher Teasdale
Alexander Bell

* widow


Page 16

The Forest of Wolsingham, which was intersected by the Wascrow Stream, formed a portion of the Bishop's hunting grounds in Weardale. In 1503 Bishop Sever wrote requesting the Chan­cellor to send to him at York " ij Buks of the best out of Hulsyng­ham."

The Bishops have regularly appointed their Foresters and Parkers of Wolsingham,

1367. Andreas de Tyndale† 1378—Nicholas de Hatfield "custos
Parci de Wolsingham et Wascrop cum officio Forestarii de Rushside
Wood in Foresta de Weardale‡ 1380—William Merley junior.
22 July A°. 28 Langley (1434)—Lease to James Oculshagh (Rector
of Wolsingham) Roger Baynbrigg of Teasdale, Thomas Harpur of Stanhope, John Egleston and Thomas Rogerley of Wolsingham."1 Custodiam herbagii Parci de Wolsingham infra clausuram murorum lapidiorum ejusdem, et custodiam herbagii ejusdam pasture in alta
foresta de Weardale vocat' Burnhopshele cum le Storehop ejusdem2
20 years--£33. 6. 3. rent—20 Dec. 14. Peter Berwyk, Keeper
of half the Bishop's Park of Wolsingham 2d. per diem.3 Thomas
Rogerle Keeper of half the Park 1440.4 Sir Thomas Nevill Knt.
Parker and Forester temp Booth5—Thomas Featherstonhalgh Esq.
Parker and Keeper 8 October 19 Booth (1451)6 Richard Wandis­-fo
th " Serviens Episcopi " 24 Dec. 5 Dudley (1481)7 Rowland
Tempest Esq. Keeper and Parker (which office Thomas Fether­stonhalgh
and George Emerson had severally occupied). 10 July A° 7 Fox.8 (1501) again appointed for life 24 September A.° 1 Bainbrigg—9 Leonard Otwaye Parker and Keeper10 Tunstall.10 The same and Lancelot Ayre 20 Tunstall.11 (Lease to the same for 60 years Lancelot of the Messuage called Hollinhall —£3. 6s. 8d. rent. 20 November 1551)12 Anthony Carleton " Serviens Episcopi " Parker for life 28 January. 1558.13 Wm. Crooke one of the Keepers 5 June 37 Eliz.14 The same and Wm. Crooke his son

† Rot. Hatf. A°. 22.

‡ Rot. Hatf. B. in dorse No. 6.

1 ibid No. 8.

2 Rot. Langley—D No. 11—13.

3 Rot. Nevill and Regr. 111 Eccles. Dun. fo. 261.

4 Rot. Nevill.

5 Rot. Booth.

6 ibid A. 30.

7 Rot. Dudley A.58.

8 Rot. Fox. A,90.

9 Rot. Baynbrigg B. 27.

10 Rot. Tunstall F. No. 10.

11 ibid.

12 ibid No. 32.

13 ibid 27.

14 Rot. Tobie Matthew.


Page 17

10 March 5 Jac. (1611)† Henry Ayre and Lancelot Ayre jointly the place of one Keeper 1608.‡ " Mickleton's MSS."

There were probably usually four Keepers, i.e., one for each of the four quarters. Townsted House Quarter, Holynhall Quarter,
Bishopele Quarter, and Bailhill of Bailey Hill Quarter, and each Keeper had his separate Lodge.

The old Mill of Wolsingham is to the East of the Town.

1524. William Laken of Stockton had a grant of lease of the Mill for 20 years at the rent of 10 marks per annum.§

The Mill.—In 1558, Richard Pemberton of Wolsingham had a lease of the Mill at the same rental for 21 years. A°. 28 Tunstall.

A new Mill has been built at the west of the town.

Early in 1528, a gang of Tyndall robbers infested the neighbour-hood of Wolsingham, and finally, as a climax to their exploits, carried off the priest of Muggleswick. The passages of the Tyne were, however, at once closed, and the robbers being pursued by parties from Hexham and Langley Castle, were captured and tried before a Warden Court at Alnwick on January 27th, 1528—by order of which ; Roger Armstrong and Archibald Dodd were executed respectively at Newcastle and Alnwick, their principal confederates, Willie and Sholtyngton (of the Charlton clan) and Harry Noble having been killed in the pursuit and their bodies exposed hanging in chains at Hexham and Haydon Bridge.

The effect of these strong measures was such that some eighteen other freebooters, hoping to save their necks, voluntarily surrendered themselves to the Earl of Northumberland whilst he was returning from Mass on January 26th, kneeling humbly before him in their shirts with halters round their necks. Their deeds, however, met with the recompense due and they were with one exception, that of Humphrey Lisle,* put to death, their heads and quarters being exposed at Newcastle and other important centres. The Earl's report to King Henry VIII. ran as follows :

Jan. 28. 1528. William Lysle and Humfrey his sone with fifteen others of the rebellius personayges, as I was comynge from mas on Sunday laste, they mett me in ther shirtes with haltars aboute ther nekkes and submytted theymselffes withowth ony maner off condicion unto your most gracious marcy.

† Rot. 1 W. James No. 154.

‡ Rot. James 4 No. 10.

§ No. 1 D.R. Cal. of Rolls—A.D. 1524 memb. 25.

* Being only 13 years of age he was considered to have followed his father to escape starvation at home.


Page 18

On the 2nd of April 1528, we find the same Earl writing to Cardi­nal Wolsey :

I have nowe according to the Kynge's lawes justeley proceded againste William Lysle and his other complices and for the more terrible and dredful example of all the inhabitants in theis partes, William Lysle, Humfrey Lysle hys son ……. were according to
theyre demerittes attaynted of treason and by me had judgement to be hanged, drawen and quartered, only reservyng Humfrey Lysle whome according to the pleasure of the Kinges Highness and your grace I have sent by thys beyrer ….. and the other† younge sone
of the said William Lysle I detain here with me to suche tyme as I shall be advertysed of the further mynde and pleasure of the Kynges Highness and your graces concerninge the saide young Lisle.

During the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, and after the rout of the Royal Forces under " Johnny Cope " at Prestonpans, the Northern Counties were nervously apprehensive of a Scottish invasion, and Wolsingham was one night startled from its slumber by news brought by a terror-stricken individual from the head of the Wascrop Stream that the Scots had passed the " Dead Man " on Stanhope Common and were close at hand.

The inhabitants turned out and patrolled the village till daylight, when, summoning up courage, a large number of mounted men were sent out to reconnoitre. The Cavalcade advanced as far South as the Shull Hills, from whence a dark mass was seen, appar­ently a force of some 600 men, on Bollihope Fell moving towards Wolsingham to the West and in a contrary direction to that which had been indicated by the newsbearer, A retreat at once ordered was conducted at first in an orderly fashion, but gradually degen­erated into a rout. A blunderbuss accidentally discharged, and which killed a miller's horse, increased the confusion, and then the enemy appeared in the shape of some 200 little Highland Kyloes, under charge of a few plaided Gillies coming from Doune Latter Fair. This conduct was scarcely worthy of the descendants of the heroes of the Rookhope Raid, and for some years afterwards it was dangerous to discuss Kyloes in Wolsingham !

Whitfield House, in the main street, is a fine old mansion, built by the Whitfields of Whitfield, an ancient Northumbrian family.

Matthew Whitfield married Elizabeth, daughtr of Sir Robert Eden of West Auckland, first Baronet, and was 'succeeded by his elder son Robert, who was married on June 2nd, 1730, to Osytha Wright, of Brancepeth, who was buried 4th April, 1752, at Wol­singham.
Her husband Robert, the last heir male of his ancient

† There would thus seem to have been another son following his Father.


Page 19

house, ruined his family by his extravagances ; their daughter and heiress, Elizabeth, married 29th January, 1750-1 at St. Andrew's, Auckland (she then " of St. Oswald's Parish "), Hendry Hopper of Wolsingham Gent., by whom she had twelve sons and seven daughters, and died at Sunderland, 1807.

This Hendry Hopper, elder brother of the ancestor of the Hopper Williamsons, appears to have been of quite a different family from the Hoppers seated at Todepotts in Wolsingham, temp. Henry VIII., represented by the late Rev. Hendry Hopper (afterwards Shipperdson), J.P., D.L., of the Hermitage, Co. Pal., although the name of Hendry is common to both.

The Hendry Hopper above mentioned (died in 1796 at Wolsing­ham) descended from John Hopper, living at Shincliffe in 1574 as a tenant under the Dean and Chapter, and the Registers of St. Oswald swarms with Hoppers from that date.*

Whitfield House thus passed into the hands of the Hoppers from whom it was bought by Jonathan Wooler, brother to Joseph Wooler.

Richard Wooler sold it about 1904 to Mrs. Watson, the present occupant.

On May 13th, 1911, Mr. Featherstone Fenwick, of Foresters Lodge, presented the parish with nearly four acres as a recreation ground. Bye-laws were then framed and passed by the Local Government Board on December 12th of the same year.

The acreage of the Parish is 21,757, inclusive of Wolsingham Park Moor, 2,082.

Rateable value £29,014.

The population in 1921 of the civil parish, including Thornley, was 3,535, and that of the ecclesiastical parish 2,980.

The principal landowners are the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who are Lords of the Manor and own the entire royalty.


The earliest known record of Wolsingham is to be found in Reginald the Monk's Life of Godric, where it is recorded that before finally settling down at Finchall, the Saint lived for a year and nine months (circa 1125) there with one Ælric, a hermit.

About A.D. 1150, Bishop William de S. Barbara, with the
approval of the Prior and Convent of Durham, granted Wolsingham

* V. Durham Castle—White, p. 73.


Page 20

to the Monastery of Newminster by the two following Charters, the authenticity of the seals to which have been fully discussed and satisfactorily established by Doctor William Greenwell in his
" Feodarium Prioratus Dunelmensis."

No. 1.

Gwillelmus Dei gracia Dunelmensis Episcopus, Priori et Con­ventui Dunelmensis ecclesiae, et omnibus suis in Episcopatu fidelibus, tam clericis quam laicis, salutem. Notum sit vobis me concessisse et dedisse Deo et ecclesiae Sanctae Mariae, et monachi ordinis Cistertii de Novo Monasterio landam de Wolsingham, sicut rivulus de Wlsingam currit in Wer, et Fetherstanesfeld, et Almes­croft, a Wer usque in Tornhopeburna, et quantam continent fines earundem landarum, ad faciendum proficuum suum, quod voluerint infra eosdem fines. Dedi eciam eis ad pecora sua pasturam in meo forest’, et materiam ad necessaria opera sua, et ad sua focalia. Hanc donationem auctoritate Episcopali confirmavi ad grangiam fecien­dam, in liberam et perpetuam elemosinam praedictae ecclesiae ex mandato Domini Papae, pro salute animae mea, et pro animabus Regum Angliae, et Episcoporum omnium Dunelmensis ecclesiae, cunctorumque fidelium defunctorum. Ita ut non faciant ibi Abbatiam. Test. Laurentio Priore et Dunelmensis capitulo. Rannulfo Archidiacono, Nicholao Canonico, Warino presbitero. Roberto de Friboys clerico. Osberto vicecomite. Bertram de Bulemere. Roberto de Mundauilla. Roberto de Vbberuile. Radulfo Willelmi. Rogero de Co’nesrs. Ernaldo filio Hereber­ti Hugone filio Pincun. Fulcone de Capella et Roberto fratre suo. Rogero de Sancta Barba. Hugone Burel. Willelmo de Friboys.

No. 2.

Gwillelmus Dei gracia Dunelmensis Episcopus Priori et Conventu Dunelmensis ecclesiae, et omnibus suis in Episcopatu fidelibus, tam clericis quam laicis, salutem.

Notum sit vobis me dedisse et concecisse Deo et ecclesiae Sanctae Mariae de Novo Monasterio landam de Wlsingham, et de Fether­stanesfeld, et Almescroft, a Wer usque in Thornhopeburna, et quantum continent fines earundem landarum, ad faciendum
proficuum suum infra eosdem fines.
Concedo eciam eis pecora sua pasturam in meo forest’ et materiam ad necessaria opera sua, et ad
sua focalia, et licentiam do eis molendinum faciendi ubi possunt
infra eosdem terminos. Hanc donationem eis confirmo ad grantiam faciendam, in liberam et perpetuam elemosinam, praedictae
ecclesiae, pro animabus Regum Angliae, et Episcoporum omnium Dunelmensis ecclesiae. Ita ut non faciant ibi Abbatiam. Teste

† Surtees Society, Publications. Vol. 58, Pref. p.p. LXIII.-VI.


Page 21

Rogero Priore. Rannulfo Archidiaceno. Nicholao canonico. Warino presbitero. Rodberto de Friboys clerico. Bernado clerico. Osberto Vicecomite. Willelmo de Friboys. Rodberto de Vober­uile. Rogero de Capella. Hugone filio Pincun. Hugone Burel. Roberto de Capella.

The variations which occur in the above two Charters will not have escaped observation. The Charters are addressed to the Prior and Convent, in as much as their confirmation was requisite to validate the grants.

Wolsingham was exchanged for Chopwell during the Episcopate of Hugh de Puteaco.* (Pudsey).

Practically there have been two churches prior to the present one, the first being of the Norman period, of which the only remaining portion is the lower part of the tower reaching to the height of the top of the newly filled-in Belfry windows. The still distinguishable mark of an old roof on the east side of the tower (as in Stanhope Church), indicates the existence of a nave without a clerestory and probably without aisles.

The material of which this early Church was constructed is known as Dun-post, a stratum found at Redgate.

Towards the end of the 12th century, the nave of the second Church replaced that of the earlier one. The square-headed clerestory windows on both the north and south sides probably date from about 1710.

The Church roof was embattled in early Tudor times, from which also dated the leaden roof which was removed in 1848.

Two crosses of a curious pattern then stood at the east end of the nave and chancel roofs, and an aumbry having a trefoil head was uncovered in the north wall of the chancel.

In 1848-9 the Church was practically entirely rebuilt with north and south aisles, which are each divided from the nave by four pointed arches of two chamfered orders resting on cylindrical pillars with circular, caps and nail head ornamentation, and is in the Early
English Style after designs furnished by Mr. W. Nicholson, of Wolsingham, with the exception of the original arcades of the nave and of the tower which was subsequently heightened in 1856 by

* Hugo Dei gracia Dunelmensis episcopus, omnibus salutem. Notum sit nos ded. et cone Roberto Abb. Novo Mon. ejusque successoribus ……… Cheppwell, cum omn. pertin …..… et episcopali auctoritate praesenti carta confirmavimus in escambium pro Wlsingham, quam praedecessor noster bonae memoriae Gulielmus episcopus eisdem monachis dederat et concesserat et carta sua confirmaverat. Hiis testibus, etc.

v: Newminster Chartulary, Surt, Soc. Vol 66, p. 45-46.


Page 22

18 feet. The clerestory now contains four double lancet lights on each side, the aisle windows being also lancet shaped.

The Norman doorway was removed from behind the gallery at the west end to its present position between the tower and the choir vestry, the shafts, however, had to be renewed ; a bay was added to the nave, the galleries at the west end and north side were removed, the tower arch was opened out and the new and enlarged chancel, with its graceful arch and handsome east window and Rector's vestry* were built, being the gift of the then Rector, the Rev. John A. Blacket.

In 1895 carved oak stalls and benches were placed in the choir, and the sanctuary and chancel were floored with Frosterly marble and marble mosaic respectively, and a year later a baptistry was constructed near the south porch, whilst the body of the church was reseated with oak benches.

The font is modern with clustered shafts.

In 1913 a new vestry was added by public subscription to the north side of the chancel.

The Tower clock is the gift of Miss Wilson, of Wolsingham, and of G. D. Wooler, Esq., of Fawnlees, 1856.

The three bells were recast chiefly at the expense of Miss Wilson and G. D. Wooler, Esq., of Fawnlees, who also presented a stained glass window and a clock.

Of these bells, the tenor (Note F), which weighs 12 cwt. 1 qr. 26 lbs., is inscribed :


No. 2 bell weighs 9 cwt. 1 qr., and is inscribed :


J. A. Blackett, Rector ; Thomas Mitchell, Charles Attwood,
Joseph Brown, Thomas Bulman, Churchwardens. MDCCCXLVI.

The third and smallest bell weighs 8 cwt. 1 qr., and is inscribed :

These bells were first rung on New Year's Eve, 1856-7.

Each bell bears the name of Taylor and Sons, Loughborough, who were the founders.

* Now used as an organ chamber.

† This and the inscriptions on the other two bells are probably copied from those on the old bells.


Page 23

In 1896 the Church, which since 1848 had been dedicated to S. Matthew, was reconsecrated by Dr. Westcott, Bishop of Durham, and the ancient Dedication to St. Mary and St. Stephen restored.

There are several memorial windows, the principal being that at the east end of the chancel, to Miss Wilson ; others are to G. D. Wooler, Esq., Mrs. and Miss Bates and Mr. Mitchell, and another to Joseph Nicholson, who for fifty years until 1878, performed the duties of Parish Clerk, he being the third in succession of his family to fill the office.

In the Church safe are preserved three ancient books, all of which were once chained, though now only one—the Icon Basilike―
retains its chain, the other two are Jewell's Apologie and a book of
" Certain Sermons or Homilies."

The Parish Registers date from 1655.

On the 17th September, 1370, a serious affray took place on the occasion of a visit paid by Bishop Hatfield when on a hunting expedition to the rectory house at Wolsingham.*

The Bishop had retired somewhat early when the trouble began. John of Auckland, a lad in the service of William de Beverley, Archdeacon of Northumberland, was accused of ilitreating one of the Bishop's pages whose side was warmly taken by Nicholas, of Skelton, a superior servant of the prelate.

Nicholas threatened to break John's head, whereupon another of William de Beverley's servants, one John of Essex, told Nicholas to be quiet, promising that if wrong had been done John of Auckland should make amends. " What have you to say, you ribald," said Nicholas, " I'll break your head as well."

The Archdeacon now thought it time to interfere, as he the absence of the Bishop was responsible for the maintenance of order, and demanded to know whose heads were going to be broken.
" Theirs that deserve it," replied Nicholas. The Archdeacon expostulated, saying, " Methinks you are speaking to my men.
" I'll talk to your men the same as I do to others," replied Nicholas.
" Nay, my man," said the Archdeacon, " if you break any of my men's heads perchance someone will break yours." Nicholas, who had now thoroughly lost his temper, shouted " The Devil hang you if you dare to do anything of the sort," and made a rush at William de Beverley, menacing him with a stout hunting cudgel.

The Archdeacon, drawing his knife in self defence, retreated towards his chamber, but was thrown down by Nicholas who

* V. ref Bishop Hatfield.



Page 24

trampled upon him on the stone stairway, his knife being broken besides his receiving wounds in a finger and under his left eye.

The onlookers now interfered and secured Nicholas who called on Thomas, one of his men, to " do for that false priest."

Thus appealed to, Thomas, without hesitating, followed William de Beverley towards his chamber yelling " Let me get at you you false priest and you shall die ! "

The Archdeacon in self defence hurled the broken knife which
he still held at his pursuer, but missing Thomas managed to hit
Hugh of the buttery, who had intervened to shield the Archdeacon,
and who a few days afterwards, died of the effects of the wound.

This Hugh was the Archdeacon's nephew by marriage.

On the 9th January next following, the Bishop sat in judgment of these occurrences in the chapel at Auckland, when the Archdeacon was acquitted of manslaughter by process of compurgation.

The following extracts from the ecclesiastical proceedings of the County of Durham as printed in the Vol. for 1845 of the Surtees Soc. publications are of interest as throwing light on Weardale manners in the 16th century:―

The personal answer of ARTHUR CHAPMAN of Wolsingham blacksmith aged 30 years. 3rd Feb. 1570.

He saithe that upon St. Mathewe Day last, he, this examinate, was in the church of Wolsingham, the tyme of the morning praier ; at what tyme this deponent was redinge of an ynglish boke or prymer, while as the preist was saynge of his servic, no myndynge what the preist redd, but tendynge his own boke and praier. Mary, he redd not allowde to the hynderenc of the preist to his knowledg but the preist, after the first lesson, willyd him this examinate, to reid more softly ; to whom this examinate answered that he wold mak amends for that fault, and further thia examinate said nott.

The personal answer of JOHN LABORN of the same, laborer, aged 20 years.

He saith that, upon Christenmas evon last, this examinate came to the church ther, and brought one crowe into the said church byfore service ; and one William Marley toke the said crow of this examinate and threw the same into a porch ther ; and he saith, upon his ooth, that he knoweth not whoe put straw through the said crowe's nose, and dyd not with the said crow perturb the servic, then being unbegun.


Page 25

The personal answer of WILLIAM MARLEY.

He saith that, upon Christenmas evon last, byfor the morning praier, John Laborn brought a crowe into the church, byfor the servic, which this examinate toke into his hands, and put a strawe crosse in her mouth to see how she suld flye ; wherat the minister said ," Yt is a shame for to bringe any suche to the church " ; to whom Laborn answered, " Yt is well—yf ye doo no worse." And this examinate willd the minister to go to servic, and the crowe shuld not troble hym.

The following account of an affray which took place about 1570 in the churchyard of Wolsingham is taken from the same authority.

" The personal answer of Reginald Stowte of Wolsingham, yeoman alias bailman, aged about 30 years, to articles ex officio against him. He believeth that he, this examinate about the day and tyme articulate was in the church-yarde, wher ther was also the said Christopher Lawson. He saith, that the tyme articulate the said Christopher Lawson was betting one William Simpson very unreasonable, being a boy of 14 years of aidge, and nonne of the said Christopher scollers, out servant to Christopher Whitfield, of Wolsingham, and was commyng after this deponent to labour with the examinate at the bail kept at Fawliese. After this deponent seing the said boy under feit, and the said Christopher setting one of his knes in great greif (anger) upon the said boies faic, so that his faise blede, this deponent toke the aforesaid Christopher Lawson of the said boye, and said, “ Fye upon the Lawson, doith thou evon thy wyll with a childe ’ And after this examinate had sondered them 2, and was going to tell the matter to Mr. Karleton, the bailiff, the said Christopher then fell at the said boy again, and said that he, the said boy, shuld fare the worse for this examinates cause. Then thereupon this deponent, being in greiff thereat, that the said boy shuld be the worse used for his cause, he, this deponent, maid agen toward the said Lawson ; which seinge this examinate, arose off the said boy, and then Lance Herrison and John Grawng rane betwixt the said Lawson and this examinate, and toke and held this examinate by the coller ; and so the matter endyd betwixt this examinate and Lawson. — Examined what out ragious wordes he, this examinate spoke or cauld the said Lawson at that tyme he saith he cauld him " Mongreill Scott, wilt thou kill the childe for aught that may be ? " To whome the said Lawson at that tyme gave no wordes to this examinate. Examined whither

Page 26

he, this examinate, dyd drawe his dager and cast or offer to cast the same at the said Lawson, or noo, he saith upon his oath that he drew his dagger for saif gard of hymself and no other intent, nor dyd not strike nor cast the same, as is articu­late.

Signum † Reginaldi Stowte"

The Personal answer of Christopher Lawson, of Wolsingham, yoman, alias scrole mr, aged 26 years, to articles against him:-

" He dyd not braule or chyde, or use unlawful or unseming wordes in the church yarde to the said Stowte, nor to any other person then ther, nor layde any violent hand of the said Stowte ot any other. Mary, the said Stowte dyd misuse this deponent, and held this examinate, unto one William Sympson, an evill young fellow, of thaidge of 18 yere, slonge stones at this deponent and his scolers ; and the said Stowte cauld this deponent “ Scot ” and offered to hurl his dagger at this examinate and his scolers and so had doon had not Lancelot Herrison and John Agraunge taken holde of the said dager.

Christopher Lawson."


Wolsingham is in the Rural Deanery of Stanhope, the Arch-deaconry of Auckland, and the Diocese of Durham.

The living, to which is attached a residence and 16 acres of glebe, is of the annual value of £700 and in the gift of the Bishop of Chester

      King's Books    £31  13s.    4d.   Epis Proc.         £0 17s.    0d.
      Tenths                  £3    3s.    4d.   Archid. Proc.    £0    3s.    8d.

The present spacious Rectory house was rebuilt* in 1884 by the Hon, and Revd. John Grey a little to the north of the old one, which was built by Dr. Watts on the site of a still more ancient building.

* The Executors of the Revd. W. Wilson were obliged to pay nearly £1,001 for delapidations, and this, together with the sum borrowed from Queen Anne' Bounty, was applied to the rebuilding of the Rectory. The latter sum, which amounted to two years' income, is being repaid by 35 annual instalments deducted from the Rector's income.


Page 27

On April 19th, 1841, an agreement was arrived at in respect of the rent charge in lieu of tithes, the Rector agreeing to accept £900 a year in lieu of all tithes.

Wolsingham, according to the old taxation of one mark in 40 was estimated at LX. Marks—XXs and according to the new taxation 40s. XLs—iiijs.*

Patron—The Bishop of Durham.

Dedication : St. Mary and St. Stephen.

Frosterley Chapel, now destroyed, was formerly annexed to this Rectory.

      King's Books    £31 13s.    4d.   Tenths               £3    3s.    4d.
      Bishop's Proc.     £0 17s.    0d.   Archid. Proc.    £0    3s.    8d.

William, occ. 1183.
Adam, c. 1200.
1235.      William de Marisco, occ. 1242.
1317.      Thomas de Applingden.
1317.      William†
1338.      Alan de Ferers.‡
1353.      John Lascy,§ p. res. de Ferers.
1373.      Thomas de Levesham, p.m. Lascy
1379.      William de Brantingham.**

* V. R.P.D. Vol. III., p. 89. Ibid 99, Ecclesia de Wlsingham debet esse de donacione domini et valet xl marcas. Willelmus de Marisco earn tenet.

† In 1333, Bishop Richard Bury relaxed a sentence of excommunication and interdict against the then Rector of Wolsingham, a certainWilliam. V. App., p. 55.

‡ or Ferrerys. He would seem to have been of foreign extraction, as he is specially mentioned in the King's writ enjoining inquisition to be made as to aliens beneficed in the Archdeaconry of Durham, "Cujus auctoritate mandati, per deconos ecclesiarum collegiatarum, rectores et vicarios, totius archidiacon­atus Dunolmenisi, in captulis Dunolmi et apud Derlint' celebratis super articulis omnibus et singulis in dicto, brevi regio, ac mandato vestro, contentis, diligentem feci inquisitionem. Qui dicunt, quod in archidiaconatu Dunolmansi personae alienigenae infrascriptae ecclesias et prebendes possident et tenent videlicet dominus Alanus de Ferers, rector Ecclesia parochilalis de Wulsingham, in eadem;personaliter residens." In the above certificate, which is dated Dec., 1340, of the official of the Archdeacon of Durham the church of Dom. Alan de Ferers, the Rector of Wolsingham, where he personally resided, is mentioned as taxed by the old taxation at xl li, but was then worth 40 marks. Thus " Cujus ecclesia taxatur, secundum antiquam taxationem ad xl li, et secundum novellam taxam, ad xl s., et valet hiis diebus xl marcas." He is here called Alanus de Ferers. v. Reg. Pal. Dun. III., 315, 316, 379.

In 1340 he had permission from Bishop Bury to be absent from his parish for one year. v. App. p. 65.

§ On 20 Feb., 1358, The Pope conferred the office of Notary on him. v. Cal. of Papal Reg. 4. Papal Letters III., 598. Rector of Morpeth 1414-1415.

**Master of Baithel Hospital, Darlington, 1362 ; Vicar of Kelloe 1370 ; Master of S. Edmund the King, Gateshead, 1374 ; Dean of Lanchester, 1381.


Page 28

1395.      John de Gotham,* p. res. Brantingham.
1404.      Nicholas de Hessewell.
1428.      Jacob Oculshaght, L.L.D.
1461.      Thomas Frithby, p. res. Oculshagh.
1467.      Richard Chadkirk.
1495.      Thomas Hall.
1497.      Rodger Leybourne,§ B.D., p. res. Hall.
1499.      Thomas Hall,‡ p. res. Laybourne.
1521.      Thomas Keye, L.L.B., res. for £20 p.a.
1533.      William Layton,** p. res. Keye, ob. 1551.
1544.      Thomas Layton, p. res. W. Layton.
1547.      Thomas Spark,†† p.m. T. Layton.
1572.      Edward Bankes, M.A.,*** p. res. Sparke.
1595.      Emanuel Barnes, D.D.,††† p. res. Bankes.
1614.      Anthony Maxton, M.A., ‡‡ p.m. Barnes.
1641.      John Barwick, A.M.,§§ p.m. Maxton.
1653.      Ralph Ward. An Intruder.

* On 24 March, 1399, he appeared at an array on St. Giles' Moor with a Lancer and two archers.

v. Hist. Dun. Scrip. Tres. Vol. 9, Surtees Society, p. clxxxv.
† Rector of Birkby ; res. 1427 of Houghton-le-Spring 1427—34 when he died.

§ Master of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge. Prebendary and Archdeacon of York. Resigned Wolsingham for the Archdeaconry of Durham. Bishop of Carlisle 1503.

‡ He was present at a Synod in the Galilee at Durham Cathedral 4 Oct., 1507. (Vol. 9, Surtees Society, p. ccccv). Twice Rector of Wolsingham.

** Canon and Prebendary of London and York.

†† He was Prior of Lindisfarne in 1528, when he took his degree as B.D. In 1529 he came to the Abbey of Durham and was Chamberlain at the time of the dissolution. Prebend of the Third Stall at Durham on the foundation. Suffra­gan Bishop of Berwick 1537. Collated Greatham Hospital 1541, buried at Greatham. He died in 1571, holding all those preferments and leaving behind him a " mytre sett withe stonis and perle, silver and gilt " valued at £13 6s. 8d. For his will, v. Surtees History of Durham, Vol. III., p. 137. He is buried at Greatham.

*** Rector of Long Newton in 1562,

††† Eldest son of Richard Barnes, Bishop of Durham. Prebendary of the fifth and afterwards of the fourth stall in Durham Cathedral.

‡‡ Prebendary of the eighth stall in Durham Cathedral. Rector of Middleton­-in-Teesdale, 1619. Buried the Communion Plate of the Cathedral at the time of the Civil Wars in his garden at Harperley.

§§ Dean of Durham 1660, which he resigned for the Deanery of St. Paul's, 1661. Died 1664.

║ Mr. Ward was of Sydney College, Cambridge, and left the University to settle at Bishop Wearmouth. He was appointed as Chaplain to Colonel Fenwick's Regiment. Went to Wolsingham and thence to Hartburn, but after living about 30 years at York in labour and suffering he died there March 13, 1691, aged 62.


Page 29

                William Bickerton, †† another Intruder.
1660.      Guy Carleton, D.D.,11 p. res. Barwick.
1697.      John Aisley, M.A., p. res. Carleton.
1717.      John Wallis, M.A., p.m. Aisley.
1721.      William Watts, D.D.,§§ p, res. Wallis
1737.      Robert Parker, M.A.,*** p.m. Watts.
1741.      James Leslie, M.A.,ttl' p. res. Parker.
1747.      Huntley, p. res. Leslie.
1754.      William Nowell, M.A., p. res. Huntley.
1782.      Charles Egerton,ll p.m. Nowell.
1789.      William Wilson, p. res. Egerton.
1843.      Hon. John Grey,* p.m. Wilson.
1847.      John Alexander Blackett, p. res. Grey.
1856.      Charles Duberly.** p. res. Blackett.
1877.      R. H. Gray, M.A.t p.m. Duberly.
                Thomas Espinell Espin, D.D., D.C.L., J.P.
1913.      Henry Abel Arnold, M.A.§

In Bishop Hatfield's survey under Wolsingham the following seem the most important entries :-- [See p.12]

††    Appointed Lecturer of All Saints, 26 Jan., 1666, was succeeded after his death as such by Leonard Shafto on May 8, 1671.

‡‡    Prebendary of the twelfth stall, Durham Cathedral, Vicar of Bucklersbury, Berks., Dean of Carlisle 1660 ; Bishop of Bristol 1671 ; translated to Chichester 1678 ; Died 1685, Aged 80 ; Buried at Chichester.   v. Memoir,  p.

§§ Prebendary of the sixth stall. He rebuilt the Parsonage house.

***      Rector of Elwick.

††† Rector of Sedgefield, 1747. Bishop of Limerick, 1755.

    Resigned for Washington.

*    Houghton-le-Spring.

** Third son of James Duberly of Staughton, Hants., born 1810, matriculated at Christ Church College, Oxford, 22nd May, 1828, graduated B.A. 1832, Deacon 1836, Priest 1837. P. Cur. of Coundon 1844-56. Died 8th Dec., 1876, aged 66. Buried at Wolsingham 12th Dec., 1876.

   Graduated at Christ Church, Oxford, B.A., 1840, M.A. ; Curate of Knowsley 1846-50 ; Vicar of Kirby, Liverpool, 1850-77 ; Hon. Canon of Chester Cathedral 1867 ; Rural Dean of Prescott 1869-77 ; Surrogate of Diocese of Durham 1878.

   A fellow and tutor of Lincoln College, Oxford. B.A. 1854 ; M.A. 1849 ; B.D. 1853. D.D. of Lincoln College, Oxford, 1880. Hon.D.C.L. of Durham Univ. 1891. Hon. Canon of Chester 1871. Chancellor of the Dioceses of Liverpool 1880, and Chester 1873. Prolocutor for the Convocation of York 1888. 1908, Rural Dean of Stanhope ; Author of " Our want of Clergy." Oxford 1863, J.P. Co. Durham 1886. Died 5th Dec., 1912, aged 88 years.

§    Of Jesus College, Cambridge, B.A. 1885; M.A. 1895. Rector of Barrow, Cheshire, 1896-1907. Vicar of S. Mary Magdalene with the perpetual curacy of Christ Church Alsager, 1907-1913.


Page 30





1655 July           Jane daughter of Godfather Steavenson. Bap.

1667 9 July       John son to Mester Gaines, Bap.




1656                                   Mister Francis Blaxton, in the Parish of Lan­chester, and Miss Anne Bowes, daughter to Sur
George Bowes, in the Parish of Wolsingham,
weere married the Tow and twenty of July.

1668  27 Nov.            Moses Copper and Belay Coulson married
with Mister Miers.




1657  1 March           George Greenwell, the swill Maker Bur.

1672  24 May            Layday Carlton wife to Bishop Carlton Bur.

1765  21 Nov.            Thomas Todd, buried behind the Church,
a suicide.

1768  27 June            A poor old woman and a girl about 10 years of age both belonging to Newcastle, found dead on the South Common, a little West from Tike Stone, supposed to have perished on the 14th of this month, which said day was so stormy and the cold so severe, as to kill a great many horses and sheep. N.B.—No Coroner nor Jury was summoned.


A woman named Jane Suddick, commonly known as " Lish " died on December 10th, 1741, aged 67 years.

She was of extraordinary stature, standing 6 ft. 5 inches in her stockinged feet and being very corpulent.—Local Papers,


Page 31

The office of the Judge against Robert Wilford, Percival Appleby, William Harlbourne and Lancelot Morgan.

" Their Church lacks reparacons in the leads and glass windowse"

1579, 11th December,—Wolsingham. The office of the Judge against Peter Parker " He came behind the Gospell and Epistle and denyed to pay 12d. the Churchwardens requiring yt.

Admonished to pay.

On 9th January, 1875, Joseph Nicholson, the Parish Clerk, died. He was succeeded by his nephew John Nicholson, who thus became the fourth of his family and name which has thus held the office for over a century.





The Township possesses the following charities which are vested in the Charity Commissioners.

George Clark—1676, gave payable out of land then held by John Wren three shillings and four pence yearly to the poor.

Markindale, Ashley and others whose names and dates are uncertain left several parcels of land in the east fields and Dod Hill enclosed in two parcels and at present let at £7 and £1 4s. 0d. per annum respectively. This is now known as the " Poor's Land," the rent of which is distributed on S. Stephen's Day by the Rector and Churchwardens to the most deserving poor.

John Ayre by his will 1685—left payable out of the Havrefield at Low Wiserley 2 pounds yearly to the poor.

The Revd. Robert Gordon, born in the Parish 1703, died at London 1780 leaving the interest of £200 invested in Consuls—to be paid by the Church Wardens to the poor of the Parish.

The Revd. William Nowell, M.A., Rector of this Parish for 20 years died January 2nd, 1782. His annual and liberal charity was extensive. He gave to the Grammar School £30.—to the Work-house £70.—to new paving the Church £50.—and the interest of £200 to the poor for ever under the same trust as that of Mr. Gordon; " He being dead yet speaketh." Heb. 11. 4.


Page 32

Jonathan Wooler* the younger son of Jonathan and Anne Wooler of Wolsingham left the interest of £100 to the Grammar School of Wolsingham and also the said Jonathan Wooler left the interest of £100 to poor widows who have no relief from the parish.

George Wooler, Esq., elder brother of the above who died 12th May, 1826, left £200 in like manner.

The Rev. W. Wilson in 1843 left the interest on £400 for poor widows of the Parish.

In 1846 William Newcombe, Esq., left the interest on £300 for poor widows of the Parish irrespective of their religion, at the discretion of the Incumbent of Wolsingham for the time being.

He also bequeathed £200, the interest being payable to the Master of the Grammar School for the education of poor children.

In 1866, Ann Wilson left £900 in Consols. Interest on £500 for spinsters over fifty years of age, on £200 to poor persons and on the remaining £200 to the National School Mistress.

In 1873, Mrs. Kersop of Redgate Hall bequeathed £500 less £50 legacy duty to poor widows of Weardale.

Charles Attwood by will dated 12th February, 1875, left amongst other bequests to various other parishes £29 7s. 4d. annually to Wolsingham.

' In 1886 Cuthbert Bainbridge, of Leazes House, left £200 in trust to the Minister and Trustees of the Wesleyan Chapel, the interest to be divided annually among the poor of the parish. Also £1,000 for the employment of lay evangelical agents.



The old Grammar School (Westend) is near the church and was founded in 1614, when the Bishop and Freeholders granted land south of the Wear on which to build the school as well as a 16
acre field called Batts for the maintenance of the Master. v.
Appendix, page 66.

* He died August 3rd, 1789.

This date has been memorised by the original bell which has been retained in the new premises which under the Durham County Council were recon­structed in 1914, when the foundation stone was laid on 7th June, 1910 by Dr. Espin, D.D., D.C.L. (now dead), who had been chairman of the Governors since 1885.


Page 33

A portion of this land was sold for £1,000 to the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company, which sum has been invested in land and in consols. The remaining portion has been leased to some manufacturers. Some seven acres, which on the division of Wolsingham Common were added to the trust, have since been sold.

On a slight elevation in the north part of the town is a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury, built in 1854, at a cost of £2,000. (Architect J. Hansom). There are 800 sittings.

The Convent of St. Ann, with schools for day scholars attached, is for Sisters of Mercy, and was built and presented by Canon Taylor Smith in 1892 at a cost of £6,000. There are also Chapels of various Nonconformist Denominations in the parish.

In 1786 a schoolroom and a dwelling house were added, and ten years later another schoolroom and a dormitory. This school is administered by the County Council.

In 1911 a new school for 126 scholars was erected at a cost of £11,337, and is well up-to-date as regards equipment. A propor­tion of the scholars are educated free of charge.

The old school has been purchased for Masonic purposes by the Hudson Lodge of Freemasons.

In the Upper Town there is a Council School for infants, built in 1911 at a cost of £7,000.

There is a parish school attached to the Mission of St. Thomas, also schools for day scholars erected in 1890 in connection with the Convent of St. Ann.


Page 34


On a mural tablet against the North wall of the Chancel.

Beati mortui qui moriuntur in Domino.

Juxta h . . c deposita est Francisca filia Gilberti A. M. Cler. et Franciscae Wildbore de School Aycliffe uxor Johannis Aisley A.M. Cler. de Wolsingham ex qua Robertus, Gilbertus, Thomas et Johannes Aisley. Quae quum haec dixisset " Domine Jesu me recipe " placide obdormivit.


Anno Aetatis suae XXVI.

On a handsome mural tablet of marble in the South Aisle.

" Virtus post funera vivit."

Sacred to the memory of

the Revd. Peter Ionn


late Curate of this Parish and Master of the Grammar School for 38 years. He was born at Great Strickland in the County of Westmoreland, and died at Wolsingham on the 10th day of May, A.D. 1821 in the 59th year of his age. This Monument was erected by his Scholars in grateful remembrance of his care in teaching them the principles of useful knowledge and in training them up in the paths of religion and virtue.

On an Altar tomb in the Church-yard.

Beati Pacifici.

Hic jacet Robertus Aisley pius, prudens, pacificus. Uxores ejus, Francesca Follensby ex qua Thomas Aisley et Jana Moorcroft ex qua Margareta, Francesca, Robertus, Johannes, Ferdinando, Gulielmus, Jacobus, Christopherus, Jana, Anna, Edwardus et Elizabeth Aisley.—Obiit XII die Martii Anno Dom. MDCLXIII aetatis suae LVI.

Johannes Aisley posuit.

Jana Moorcroft alias Aisley predict vid. ob May 8, 1697 aet 76.


Page 35

On a table Monument on the West of the footpath.


Here lies the body of Mrs. Anne Craggs, wife of Mr. Anthony Craggs of Holbeck in the Parish of Wolsingham in the County Palatine of Durham Gent. daughter of the Revd. Ferdinando Moorcroft of Goswick in the County of Lancaster D.D. Rector of Stanhope in Weardall in the Bishoprick of Durham and Prebend of Durham died the 3rd of Sept. 1672. To whose memory her daughter Anne Robinson erected this Monument.


Here lies the body of Mr. Ferdinando Craggs Gent. aged 79 years who departed this life in the year of our Lord 1749.




Quicquid mortale fuit


Francisci Foster Ludi Magistri hic jacet adjacentis, Joannis Foster minor natu filius erat, in hac villa natus erat et ex parte docto educatus. Obiit decimo quarto die mensis Augusti, Anno Domini 1776 aetatis suae 82.

On an Altar tomb near the South-west entrance of the Church-yard.


Elizabeth Hopper daughter of John Hopper of Totepott and Elizabeth his wife fied Jan. the 22nd 1731 aged 32. Isabel widow of

Mr. Richard Hopper of Totepotts buried Sept. 13th 1769 aged 67 years.

Isabel wife of Mr. Robert Bates of Forleases and daughter of the above Mr. Richard and

Isabel Hopper of Totepotts buried Aug. 11th 1769 aged 44 years.

Page 36

θ′ανατος περεια τιρός Ζωην.

To the Memory of Thomas Greenwell of Greenwell Gent. who died the 5th day of March 1796 aged 86 years.

This stone was erected by his affectionate nephew
John Greenwell of Willington Esq.

Eleanor wife of John Greenwell of Willington Esq. died April 27th 1814 aged 68 years. The avove John. Greenwell died Sept. 2nd 1814 aged 69 years.

John son of Thomas and Isabella Alicia Greenwell of the city of Durham died 20th May 1819 aged 7.

John son of William and Mary Greenwell of the Upper town May 22nd 1776 aged 41.

Mary wife of William—March 16th 1781 aged 67.

The said William Greenwell—Oct. 11th 1791 aged 80.

On a table Monument near the South Chancel wall (top).

Elizabeth wife of John Greenwell, of Beamish—March 11th 1803 Aged 42.

On the South side—Thomas son of John and Anne Greenwell of Thornley—3rd March 1788. Jane daughter of John and Elizabeth Greenwell of Beamish July 1788 aged 2.

and lower down—Elizabeth daughter of John Greenwell of Beamish —March 11th 1803.

John Greenwell of Thornley—25th March 1792 aged 86. Anne wife of John Greenwell—Jan. 7th 1796 aged 86. Franciscus Wilson sepult. April ye 26th 1700.

Jane wife of Christopher Rymer Solicitor—12th Aug. 1819. aged 51.

On a table Monument.

Robert Curry of Bishop Oak interred June 15th 1763 aged 70 years. Frances Curry his wife March 30th 1787 aged 77 years.


Table Monument.

Frances daughter of John and Elizabeth Darnell of Thornley Nov. 13th 1798 aged 25. Elizabeth wife of John Darnell May 4th 1813 aged 76. John Darnell Aug. 27 1817 aged 85.


Page 37

Mary wife of Joshua Moses—Nov. 21st 1728 aged 42. Joshua Moses Jan. 11th 1769 aged 89.

Thomas their son June 12th 1791 aged 71. Ann his wife April 8th 1795 aet 74.

Geo. Moses son of Thomas and Ann Dec. 17 1800 aged 57•

Here lyeth the body of George Mowbray Esq. who died April 15th 1750 aged 88.

Mary widow of Tristram Collins 1 Feb. 1804 aged 71. Mary daughter of Tristram and Mary 9th Oct. aged 40.

In Memory of George and Elizabeth Greenwell of Thornley who departed this life May 13th 1785 aged 79. George Greenwell died Dec. 16th 1785 aged 80.

In Memory of Mr. Tristram Collins Surgeon who died Sept. 30th 1782 aged 68 years.

also of Mrs. Agnes Collins his wife who died Dec. 19th 1751 age 40 years.

also their son Mr. Jeremiah Collins who died May 18th 1778 aged 38

also of William Lister of Bellardside who died July 13th 1814 aged 78 and Eliza his wife who died July 21st 1814 aged 69.


On a flat stone.

Anne daughter of Thomas Coulson of Park Wall who died the 14th day of June 1739 aged 19. Frances Coulson was born May 26th 1702 and died Nov. 19th 1770.

William Deighton of Doctor Pasture died 22 July 1772 aged 86.

Isabella daughter of Seymour and Joyce Deighton died Dec. 13th 1795 aged 22.

George Dixon Solicitor died Sept. 30th 1813 aged 40.

Margaret wife of William Deighton of Doctor Pasture died 28th March 1761 aged 75. Seymour Deighton Dec. 2nd 1793 aged 75.

Joyce wife of Seymour Deighton Aug. 20 1815 aged 79.

  Pedigree of WOOLER OF WOLSINGHAM (1) (pdf)
Pedigree of WOOLER OF WOLSINGHAM (2) (pdf)

Page 38

Mathew Ionn Jany. 1st 1807 aged 85.

Jane wife of the Revd. P. Ionn daughter of Seymour Deighton Dec. 2nd 1793 aged 75. Joyce wife of Seymour Deighton Aug. 20th 1815 aged 79. The Revd. P. Ionn 10th May 1821 aged 59.

Rebekah Lloyd widow of the late John Lloyd Esq. of Ipswich Suffolk 17th April 1823 aged 73.


On other stones.

George Coward, Barber Surgeon died Oct. 11th A.D. 1718. George Machell, Surgeon son of John and Grace Machell died June 3rd 1804 aged 25.


Mr. Francis Beckett son of Thomas Beckett of Thornton le Moor, Yorkshire departed this life May 23rd 1795 aged 32.


William Hunter, Preacher of the Gospel Aug. 14th 1797 aged 72.


John Peart of Wester Black Dean Gentleman in the Parish of Stanhope 11th Feb. 1798 aged 71. Mary Peart wife of the above 9th Aug. aged 87.


Thomas Chapman junior March 15th 1769 aged 37. Thomas Chapman senior Aug. 2nd 1782 aged 70.

Robert son of Thomas Chapman junior Oct. 18th 1782 aged 13.


Mary daughter of John Wooler March 31st 1736.

Jonathan son of John Wooler Jan 29th 1722 :—Jane his daughter Feb. 11th 1771.

George Wooler of Sunnyside Dec. 3rd 1767 aged 86.

Jonathan son of Jonathan Wooler of Wolsingham Aug. 3rd 1789 aged 22.

Jonathan Wooler, senior, West End, Sept. 24th 1793 aged 68. Margaret daughter of Jonathan Wooler senior and Anne his wife Dec. 19th 1793 aged 20.

George Wooler—April 12th 1797, aged 75.

Anne his wife, 1st Jan. 1810 aged 71.


Page 39

Elizabeth wife of John Chapman Aug. 23rd 1749, aged 51. John Chapman, Nov. 6th 1757 aged 70.

Elizabeth wife of Thomas Chapman—April 7th 1762 aged 29. Ann wife of Thomas Chapman Feb. 2nd 1796 aged 66.

Thomas Chapman, July 10th , 1810 aged 87.

Mary wife of Robert Kirkley 23rd Nov. 1774. aged 27 ; Jane his second wife, 9th March 1787 aged 35.

Robert Kirkley 31st July 1804 aged 55.

Catherine third wife of Robert—22nd Dec. 1811 aged 49.

Isabel wife of John Hopper junior of Totepotts died Aug. the 23 1689. John Hopper senior of Totepotts died Nov. the 10 1700 aged 73. John Hopper junior of Totepotts died Oct. the 12th 1712 aged 57. Elizabeth wife of John Hopper junior of Totepotts died Nov. 14th 1726. John son of Richard Hopper of Totepotts died Aug. the 23rd 1728 aged 5 months. Richard Hopper of Totepotts son of John and Isabel Hopper died June the 23rd aged 17.


In Memory of Robert Bates Esq. of Fawlees who died Feb. 2nd 1790 aged 72 years. Also Thomas Bates son of the above who died June 30th 1817 aged 40 years.



On a table Monument.

In Memory of Hendry Hopper of Wolsingham Esq. who died the 4th of September 1796 aged 66 years.



On a table Monument.


George Lindsley of Linnen, Gent. June 22nd 1684.

John son of Geo. and Dinah Linsley Feb. 5th 1696 aged 23. Dinah wife of Geo. Linsley Nov. 19th 1709.

Thomas son of Geo. and Dinah Linsley May 2nd 1761 aged 88. Margaret wife of Thomas Lindsley Jan. 19th 1778 aged 80. Thomas son of Geo. and Anne Lindsley Oct. 12th 1781 aged 23.


Page 40

Here lies

Robert son of John Trotter of Park Wall buried May 21st A.D. 1726. Ellen wife of John Trotter of Park Wall Nov. 1, 1745 aged 55 years.

On a stone.

In memory of Charles Duberly for thirty years Rector of this Parish who died 8th Dec. 1876 aged 66 years, also of

Frances Duberly, his widow who died 15th July 1878 aged 57 years

Also of their sons

Edward Duberly who died 4th Jan. 1877 aged 20 years.
Henry Duberly who died 7th Jan. 1877 aged 24 years.
Cecil Duberly who died 2nd Feb. 1877 aged
8 years.

Also of their son

George Duberley who died 3rd Dec. 1920 aged 71 years.

Thomas Espinell Espin, D.D., D.C.L., Chancellor of Chester and Liverpool, entered into rest Dec. 5th 1912 aged 88 years.

A War Memorial was placed in the Parish Church on the North Wall on September 12th, 1926, to commemorate the names of fifty parishioners who fell in the Great War. The ceremony of unveiling was performed by the Rev. H. G. H. Shaddick, O.B.E., then Vicar of New Shildon, and was attended by a detachment of the 6th Battalion D.L.I., and by the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts of the locality.




About a mile to the north of Wolsingham, standing on Baale Hill,
 is an ancient tower or " strength " with a vaulted basement which


Baale Hill—probably equivalent to " beacon hill." " Bale " means " Blaze," and is derived from O.E. Bael "—flame, fire. Cp. O.N. " Baela," —to burn. Specif. A funeral pyre—a signal fire.

Archaic : " The bale for the dead is builded."—Wm. Morris.

" The glaring bale fires blaze no more."

—Scott's " Lay of the Last Minstrel." (Iv.-I).

Another explanation that the word is derived from the bolling or boiling of mineral ore merits consideration.


Page 41

doubtless served as a shelter for man and beast during Moss Trooper raids. It is 'clearly referred to in the accounts of the Bishop's Chancellor for 1558, wherein is a charge of £18 16s. for the repair of the " Lodge within the par of Wolsingham otherwise called Baylehilhouse." It would appear to have been the residence of the Bailiff of Wolsingham Park. Together with Chapel Walls, which forms a portion of the property, it contains 395 acres.

Access from the basement, which is divided into two chambers, is by means of stone steps. At the west end of the building is an original pointed arch. The windows on the north side are also original, those at the east side have been blocked.

The following is a summary of title deeds showing the devolution of Baale Hill from 1696 to 1751.

On the 9th October, 1696, Nathaniel, Lord Bishop, granted a Lease to Ralph Ward, Gent., of a parcell of half Quarter of Wolsing­ham Park called Baillhill House and ye old Spring and also ye Chappell Walls and ye Hurstgarth parcel of ye Chappell Walls for 21 years.

6th March, 1702. Will of Ralph Ward Esq.—to Jane Ffuler and Anne Ffuler subject to the 6th agreement—to his sister Mar­garet Ward for life. Ralph Chapman to have £5 for two years if demanded and Wm. Harrison £5 for two years.

12 Jan., 1714. Probate Anne Ffuler—devises to her mother June 11th.

May, 1728. Mortgage : Jane Ffuler to John Hopper Gent.
£200 and int.

1st Oct.; 1729. William Lord Bishop grants a Lease to Jane Ffuler for 21 years and assigns to Hopper £230.

5th Nov., 1729. Jane Ffuler widow and Thomasine Busby her Goddaughter of the one part—to John Hopper on the other mortgage £400 in all subject thereby to Jane Ffuler for life, remainder to Thomasine Busby and her issue, remainder to Jane and Right heirs.

11 Oct. 1735. Thomas Bainbridge and his wife Thomasine late Busby. Ex.

Jane Ffuler first part, John Hopper 2nd part, Jas. Thompson 3rd part advanced £340 on Mortgage   £60 in all   £400.

13 Oct., 1736. Jas. Thompson 1st part, Richard Sparrow 2nd part, Bainbridge £50 to Thompson assn. to Wilkinson £700.

April, 1736. Assd. to Jim Mauleverer £750. 1743. £968.

Indre 4 Sept. A°. 25 Geo. II. 1751.


Page 42

James Thompson of Baillhill house, Par, of Wolsingham Yeoman of the one part.


James Smith of Newcastle on Tyne admor. of Isabella Bird of Newcastle widow deceased of the 2nd part.


Whereas, Edward Lord Bishop of Durham on 7 Aug. 1743 leased to Mr. Jas. Thompson all his p'cell or half quarter of Wolsingham Park called or known as Bailehill house and Old Spring, bounded on ye High Town bridge South, Baxton banks North and also that his p'cell of ground called Chapple Walls upon town bridge South and the said Bailehill house North, a p'cell called Hirstgarth, p'cell of said Chapplewalls, all formerly in the occupation of Ralph Ward of Bishop Middleham Gent. and late in the occupation of Jane Fowler or her assigns to hold for 21 years. James Thompson by Indre dated 24th May 1749 for £200 assigned to Isabella Bird subject to a mortgage for £965 to Jimmy Mauleverer by way of mortgage : Isabella is now dead.


£240 is owing to Jane Smith who had agreed for the absolute purchase and Thompson releases to her for £240 .5s. Witnesses : W. Hutchinson, Bryan Roper and R. Shortridge.


The Ecclesiastical Commissioners* on 1st June 1865 conveyed Bailhill to Charles Attwood Esq.


On 21 January 1893, the heir of Charles Attwood conveyed to John Rogerson who converted it into a farmhouse and in July 1903, his son the late Captain W. E. Rogerson sold it to the Durham County Council.†


Bale Hill formed part of the Bishoprick Leaseholds but the Court Rolls afford no information.


In the Bishop's Roll we find " 1558 Repair of the Lodge within the Park of Wolsingham otherwise called Baylehillhouse £18 16s.
This was evidently a Lodge connected with the Park and the resi‑

* They had succeeded the Bishop in title as owners.

 † Ex informatione the late Capt. John Rogerson of Mount Oswald, Durham, O.B.E., M.P.


Page 43

dence of the Bailiff. Bishop Sever, 1502-1505, wrote to his Chan­cellor that he had to send out of Auckland Park 2 buks of the best out of Wolsingham Park 2 likewise and from Stanhope 3 all to be at York upon Monday next. One of the best was for Ralph Nevyll one for the Chancellor and one for John Recket to make them merry. The early method of smelting lead ore in the dale consisted of boles of stones placed favourable for the west wind, hence bole or bale hill means an old smelting place. In 1542 Edward Dent was bailiff at Wolsingham, and Leonard Otway and Rolland Emerson were Park Keepers of Wolsingham Park at 4d. per day. The house has underneath it barrel arches the same as Bradley Hall and other houses, known as pele towers. The occupants housed their cattle in the arches in the days of mosstrooper raids.




About two miles to the north west of Wolsingham and a little to the east of the Thornhope Beck, lie Fawnlees Hall and the adjacent homesteads of High and Middle Fawnlees and Smalleys. Fawnlees with the adjoining land is nearly all of freehold tenure.


The name of Fawnlees may be derived from Fawn and leas, or perhaps from faw, meaning a division of land, and lea—meadow.


The earliest evidence procurable is that contained in an undated* charter of Gilbert the Spaniard. " Notum sit omnibus quod ego Gilbertus et uxor rhea Matilda dedimus et hac karta nostra confir­mavimus Ade homini Roberti Scotici duas acras terre cum tofto super Smalleieis juxta fontem pro homagio et servicio suo et pro una marca argenti quam nobis in nostra magna necessitate dedit.—Habendi' et reddendo inde nobis et heredibus nostris annuatim unum denarium ad Natale pro omni    hiis T. Ada Capellano Roberto Scotico, Ranal Aublin, Walti de Norton, Ricar de Grendun, Alexandro filio Persone Jacobe de Grensuellis, Toma Bardolf, Rogero de Bradlei et multis aliis."

Next, Adam the Clerk of Wolsingham grants to God and to S. Mary of Hessewell all his lands of Smallessais, which he held by charter of Bishop Hugh. (Pudsey, 1154-1195).

* From the names of the witnesses and other internal evidence, the date may be fixed at circa 1180.


Page 44

In 1350 Katherine o' th' Ele died seized of a messuage and sixty acres in Wolsingham held by 13s. Nicholas de Haxby, Agnes daughter of Thomas Bernard and Catherine daughter of Thomas Todd were her heirs. John de Haxby died the same year seized of 50 acres in Wolsingham held of the Bishop by homage, fealty and 4s. and three suits of Court. Val 40d. Nicholas aged 23 years was his son and heir,*

In 1359, Thomas de Ebor died seized of the manor of Newlands, with Fawlees held by 31s. and three suits at the County Court val. 5 marcs. leaving Margaret and Dionysia his daughters and co-heirs.t


In 1368, John de Bradley was holding Smalleies.

In 1381 Margaret, relict of Nicholas de Haxby, died seized of two messuages and five score acres in Wolsingham, Smalleys and Faw­lees held by homage, fealty and 20s. and six bushels of oats and three suits at the County Court : — Nicholas and Margaret died without issue and Emma wife of William Ferrour of Wolsingham and Juliana wife of John Mathewson shared the inheritance.$

Under the Survey " William Ferrour and William Mathewson hold a messuage and two thirds of the land which was some time Michael de Waverley's and since John de Haxby's and Ralph Eure Knight holds the remaining third and pays 4s. and one Quarter and five bushels of averipe ; — The same two Williams hold a messuage and certain lands once Laurence of Smalleis'-46s. and a messuage and lands called Fawlees 4s. and John Mathewson holds Spaynesfield 4s." William Ferrour left a son Richard aged 14.§

John Mathewson, who held the old inheritance of Gilbert the Spaniard left William the son of his sister Alice Newelond his heir in 1420.11 The Eures of Witton held a small property (named in the Survey) and some other small estates occur of which it would be difficult to trace the devolution.

Under the Survey " Thomas Grey holds the vill of Newland with Ladle Park and Fawleys, once Gilbert Fowderby's by foreign service and 31s." and William Merley junior holds one acre at Fawleys paying for it 8d. per ann.

* Inq. A°. 5 Hatfield. t Inq. A°. 6 Hatfield.

$ Inq. A°. 36 Hatfield (1391). Reg. Vol. II. fo. 113d.

§ Inq. A°. 11 Langley.

II Inq. p.m. 24 June 1420 at Durham. Reg. Vol. II. fo. 191d.
  Pedigree of FARROR or FARROW OF FAWNLEES  (pdf)
Pedigree of VASEY OF NEWLANDS  (pdf)

Page 45

Sir Thomas Grey Dominus de Tyndale died seized of the same estates in 1370, leaving a son under age. He had alienated his lands to Ralph Eure.*

Thomas Atkinson also was holding a varraria or cowbyre called Farnyley paying annually 20s.

The Prior of Finkhalgh held 50 acres called Smalleys near Frosterley once belonging to Thomas Scot and paid 13s. 4d.

The above mentioned Sir Thomas Grey had married Margaret one of the two coheiresses of Thomas de Ebor, who had died in 1359, and it was she who brought Newlands and Fawleys to her husband who enfeoffed her of the former. — After his death Mar­garet remarried with Sir Robert son of Sir Ralph Neville which Robert held the same estates jointly with his wife who held for her life by charter of her former husband Sir Thomas Grey.

The estates now reverted to the younger Sir Thomas Grey Knight of Northumberland who was executed at Southampton in 1415, and to Alicia his wife. The heir of the family, Sir Ralph Grey, was restored to his forfeited lands within the Palatinate by Bishop Neville,§ but the manor of Newlands with Ladle Park and Fawlees in Wolsingham had been alienated, as above stated, before the forfeiture, to Sir Ralph Eure of Witton Castle Knt; who died circa 1422.††

By charter dated 14 July A°. 15 Hen. VI. (1437), Sir Ralph Grey granted all his meadow of Ladley to Henry Vasey on trust for himself for life with remainder to Ralph Grey his on and heir,** the alienations to Eure and Vasey*** were on trust but the latter family by some subsequent transaction acquired the fee simple of

* Inq. ex off. A°. 25 Hatfield (1415-6). Reg. Vol. II. fo. 180d.

† Inq. A°. 30 Hatfield.

‡ Inq. 27 Jan. A°. 10 Langley.

§ See Surtees History of Durham, Vol. I., p. lviii and II. p. 294.

Ladle Park is on the west bank of the Thornhope Beck:

†† Inq. A°. 10 Langley.

** Inq. 16 Sept. A°. 6 Neville—Ralph, son and heir of Sir Ralph Gray, Knight, aet. 14. This younger Ralph Gray, grandson of Sir Thomas who suffered at Southampton in 1415, was beheaded at Doncaster in 1461. He was the direct ancestor of the Lords Gray of Wark and Chillingham, but the connection of the family with the Southern Bishopric ceases with the sale of Newlands and Consett. (v. Surtees History of Durham, Vol. II., p. 294).

*** Pardon Henre Vasey de adqr. Parci de Ladley et terr' in Consett de Rado Gray mil 10 Dec. A . 6 Neville (1443).

Wardship of Ralph Gray, son of our nephew Ralph Gray, granted to Elizabeth his mother. 3 Jan. A°. 6 Neville.


Page 46

Newlands (then separated from Fawleys) and held it for several descents.

It was shortly after this, but by what conveyances I know not that it became the property of Nicholas Ferrour*** who died in 1479 seized of a messuage and 20 acres in Smalleys, as much in Fawleys, three acres upon the Smethe feild held of the heirs of Nicholas de Haxby and a close of 40 acres called Bellardsyde.†† It remained in his family until the 17th century. †††

William Ferrour, as we have seen, held lands in Smalleys and Fawlees in right of his wife Emma, his son and next heir being Richard : — but Emma it seems had been married previously to one Walker by whom she had had a son John Walker of Wolsingham aged 4 in 1416, who was thus the heir to the estates formerly belong­ing to his uncle Nicholas de Haxby. As this John Walker failed to claim the same during his life time those lands passed into the hands of the Bishop.

At the close of the 15th century some of the Killinghalls were holding tenements at Fawlees, but on            1511, Hugh Killinghall alienated to Thomas Wolton.

By Indenture 28 April A°. 13 Hen. VIII. (1522) Robert How of Great Busby, Co. York and Joane his wife, heiress of Richard
Moderly of Durham, Glover, (viz, daughter of John son of Richard)
in pursuance of the last will of the said Richard grant the messuage called Smalleys to John Hall of Durham Draper, William Eden Mercer, Thomas Blakeden Goldsmyth, William Greeveson Mercer, John Allanson Draper and Alexander Wilson Mercer for the use
and behoof of the church work and Ornaments of S. Nicholas
Church in Durham ; The Churchwardens John Grainge Draper


*** Inq. p.m. 30 Aug. 1479 at Durham, Nicholas Ferror of Faweleys. Durham Cursitor's Records, Portfo. 167, No. 19, Reg. Vol. IV. fo. 86.

†† Inq. A°. 3 Dudley. John, son and heir, who died 22 Hen. Vii. leaving another John father of Nicholas whose son was Cuthbert the Lunatic, with whose son the line ended (V. Ped. of Farrow).

††† Inq. p.m. 5 June 1507, John Ferrour, Durham Cursitor's Records, Portfo. 171, No. 7.

12 Oct. 1517. John Ferrour of Falleys (enfeoffement of Margery wife of Ralph Bowes of lands in Fallees).

10 Dec. 1558. John Farror of Fawleys Portfo. 97, No. 107. (He conveyed his lands to his son Thomas in 1552).

5 Oct. 1611.   Cuthbert Ferror of Fawlees,—a Lunatic—Robert aged 40 is his son.

* D.R. Portfo. 168, No. 2.—Pardon 1 July 1511, A . 2 Ruthall.

  Pedigree of BATES OF WOLSINGHAM  (pdf)

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and William Carr Yeoman and their successors to take and dispose of the issues.

On May 17th A°. 6 Eliz. (1562) Laurence ………     of Nether Hall, Co. Northampton  Gent. granted to John Vasey of Newlands for
£146 13s. 4d. all his lands in Newlands, North Ladley, and Ladley Parks on the marriage of his grandson with Joane Bellasyse.

John Craggs Gen. ob seisitus de un' tenamentum in Smalleys voc' Howlehouse val 40s. Thos fil et her aet 15. A° 7 Jac. (Ep) libac 1615, 4 Mart. —Rot. 3 James No. 34.

On April 21, 1621, John Atkinson held lands and tenements in High Lees and Fawlees and elsewhere in the parish of Wolsingham —John aged 34 being his son and heir.

In 1636 we find Anthony Dixon of Wolsingham to have been in possession of Fawlees House and to be succeeded by his son Anthony.§

On Aug. 3rd, 1683, John Vasey obtained a licence to give the Manor of Newlands then consisting of some 1,400 acres to Robert Faucon clerk and Clement Farrowe.

In 1707, a licence was obtained by Ralph Maddison Gent. to give a mansion in High Fawlees to John Atcheson.

In 1761, died William Bates of  Fawlees, jure uxoris Jane, daughter of Robert Carr, who bought the Fawnlees estate to her husband's family, but by what conveyances it came to the Carrs I know not.

On April 15th, 1779, Robert Bates the younger surrendered the estate to Thomas Riddell of Swinburne Castle Northumberland Esq. and in 1786 the latter surrendered it to Thomas Bulman of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gent. and Thomas Grieve of Burtonstone Clifton near York Esq. — They however in the following year surrendered Fawnlees to Robert Curry of Bishop Oak and to John Darnell of Thornley upon trust for George Wooler of Wolsingham, Gent. who had purchased the same.

William Emmerson Wooler, the last Wooler owner of Fawnlees, left it to the Honble. Frederick Augustus Hamilton, second son of the eighth Viscount Boyne, in the event (which happened) that his own son and daughter did not have issue.


Rudd's Records temp. Ruthall, Ep. Records.

v. Inq. p.m. Durham, Portfo. 189, No. 44.

§ Inq. p.m. Durham,—Portfo. 188, No. 83.


Page 48

The estate of Fawnlees House or Low Fawnlees is mostly freehold, consisting of some 202 acres of which 28 are copyhold of inheritance held of the Manor of Wolsingham, and 43 acres formerly part of Wolsingham Common.

Fawnlees is farmed by Mr. Johnson Hall, and Fawnlee Hall is occupied by Mr. Charles Sanders.



Bishop Oak is a picturesque old house standing about a mile to the north of Wolsingham, on the south bank of the Wascroe stream.

The property consists of 82 acres, to which also appertain Low Jofflas (81 acres) and Park Wall (105 acres,) as well as 100 acres of allotments held under lease from the Bishop.

It was held in Elizabeth's time by the Curry family, in whose possession it remained until the death of Robert Curry in 1890.

The family has been distinguished in John Curry, a King's Messenger, and also in an officer in the Royal College of Arms.

Boundary House Farm, 191 acres, 0 roods, 10 poles, of which 14 acres 2 roods 2 poles are freehold and 42 acres 3 roods 34. poles copyhold, remainder leasehold, belongs to the owner of Bishop Oak.

On the death of George Curry, the estate passed to J. E. Milburne, grandson of a sister of the Curry's, but whether by devise or entail I am unable to state.

Mr. J. E. Milburne sold the estate in 1925 to Mr. Featherstone Fenwick, who has since made several alterations to the house and grounds. Within a stone's throw of the house there is a very old picturesque pigeon cote.         

It is now occupied (1927) by George Wells Jennings, Esq., solicitor, of Bishop Auckland.

In A°. 4 Ann (1706) Nathaniel Crewe Bishop of Durham demised to Christopher Wyvill, Stephen Coulson and others all that parcel of Wolsingham Park called Bishop Oak Quarter and one parcel of the said Park called Crookesford and Crookesbank alias Doctor's Pasture in Wolsingham for 21 years, and on 31st Jan. 1715 he granted a new lease of the same premises to Thomas Coulson the elder, Margaret Wyvill, Anthony Hopper Elizabeth Trotter, Alice Coulson, Thomas Coulson and William Mowbray.


Page 49

In 1723 That said lease was taken in trust " as to a 4th of Bishop Oak Quarter and 4 dales in a close called Newclose all these closes called the Intack, ye Middlefield and Hemphill being parcell of lands called Jefferleys (hodie Joflass) and two closes called Doggs­barn close, Heighington close and closes called ye Meadowfield, ye high Baugh, the Wheat close, Rushyfield and pasture closes."



On the 1st December, 1724, this property belonged to Anthony Hopper, having apparently been held previously by William Wren. In 1727 it was surrendered to George Richardson by way of mort­gage and subject thereto upon trust for Anthony Hopper, Frances his wife and Elizabeth their daughter. On the 4th May, 1731, it was surrendered by the Hoppers and George Richardson to George Mowbray. It still belongs to the Mowbray family, who are also the owners of White Kirkley, which they purchased in 1862. The present Hall stands a little to the north of Wolsingham, and Was built on a new site some 60 years ago by Charles Attwood, Esq. His divisee sold to John Rogerson, Esq., who left it to his daughter. From her it passed by purchase to the Durham County Council with 400 acres for L8,000, and is now used as a Sanatorium for men. It is provided with 100 beds, and stands in grounds of about 5 acres and overlooks the Waskerley stream which rises on the moor-lands around Waskerley Park Reservoir at about 1,300 feet above sea level. The stream passes through a beautifully wooded valley on the banks of which are Backstone Bank, Bishop Oak, Baal Hill and other home settlements. Turning to the left from the Tow Law road at the north end of Uppertown we find along Holywell road an old farmhouse, and near to it Holy or Hally well, showing iron deposit, and enclosed by masonry and covered in.* Probably this with Chapel Walls well supplied water to the ancient Manor house, the site of which is called Chapel Walls, and which is mentioned in 1380 as having a garden orchard and three acres of land, and formerly belonged to Joseph Wooler.

On 8 January, 1757, William Reed, in consideration of a marriage between himself and Hannah, daughter of Joseph Reay of Newcastle,
Esq., conveyed to Joseph Reay and Thos. Rudd, Hallowell and Nafferton,
then occupied respectively by George Wilkinson and

* The property of the Mowbray family.

A farm standing about half a mile to the north of Holywell and probably so called after one of the Nevill possessions in Yorkshire.


Page 50

Anthony Dodghon, and on 15th May, 1824, Hannah Reed con­veyed these properties to Mr. William Russell for 4,870.

Redgate Cross. This, which is 6 feet high, stands by the road side about 1 mile to the north of Wolsingham. It was erected in 1899, and bears the inscription " near this spot Venerable John Duckett was arrested. He was afterwards tried at Sunderland and taken to Tyeburn, where he was executed for being a priest 7 Sept. 1644."



Holebeck House, now a farm of some 125 acres, nearly all free-hold,* is on the south side of the river Wear, occupying a gloomy site. It belonged formerly to the family of Craggs, which gave in James Craggs a famous Secretary of State to Charles II. From them it passed to John Bowes of the Island of Jersey Esq.

Holbeck Hall : This is freehold. A piece of land (called Shepherds field) appears to have been held by the owner of Holbeck Hall. In 1706 it was surrendered to Matthew Wilson. On the 9th January, 1773, the following appeared in the Newcastle Courant :
To be sold. Hole House or Holbeck Farm in the Parish of Wolsingham. Good Mansion House and 127 acres of land, warer
corn mill, etc. On the 4th July, 1785, John Bowes of
Holbeck Hall nephew and heir of Thomas Wilson, was admitted tenant. On the 21st November, 1770, John Bowes surrendered to Seymour Deighton upon such Trusts as Thos. Freak of Wapping, London, should appoint, and on the 30th November, 1773, Seymour Deighton and Thos. Freak surrendered to Wm. Hopper in Trust for John Wilson the younger, of Holbeck House.
Courant, 9 Jan.,
1773. To be sold, Hole-house or Holbeck farm in the
parish of Wolsingham, good mansion house and 127 acres
of land, water, corn mill, &c.             On the 22nd May, 1782,
Thomas Bulman of Newcastle upon Tyne became the
owner. In 1816 John Armstrong was owner, followed by ……….. Andrews in 1818. On the 24th October, 1846, George
Wilkinson became the owner, and on the 30th August, 1921, Shepherds field, which till recently had been the property of S.


Mr. John Duckett was born at Underwinder in the parish of Sedburgh, Co. Yorks., in 1613.

§ of these, 7 acres belong to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and 8 acres with an allotment on Wolsingham Common are held by lease from the Church-wardens of S. Nicholas Church, Durham.

  Pedigree of CRAGGS OF WOLSINGHAM  (pdf)

Page 51

Nicholas' Church, Durham, was sold by the Wilkinson family to Messrs. John Coates and Mrs. Henry Coates of Wolsingham, who are now in possession.

The family of Craggs seem to have been the owners of Shepherds field in 1636 and onwards until acquired by S. Nicholas' Church.

Of this James Craggs, Postmaster-General, it is written :

" A man raised every way beyond his original fortunes naturally
" excites envy ; and envy various calumnies.


" James Craggs was the son of Anthony Craggs of Holebeck in
" the parish of Washington and Bishoprick of Durham. It is said
" he was originally a country barber, and was without doubt a
" menial servant to the Duke of Marlborough as he had been to the
" cofferer of the Duke of York, afterwards King, the Earl of Peter-
" borough and the Duke of Norfolk, and that his capacity and
" activity in business especially in pecuniary concerns gained him
" the patronage of the Duchess of Marlborough, who entrusted
" her prodigious wealth to his conduct, in the management of which
" it is not to be supposed that he neglected his own interest etc."
 He died about March, 1720.*

The following is an extract from " The Life and Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu," pages 94-96, being an account by her of the Court of George I.

Young Craggs came about this time to Hanover, where his Father sent him to take a view of that Court in his tour of travelling. He was in his first bloom of youth and vigour and had so strong an appearance of that perfection, that it was called beauty by the generality of women,—though in my opinion there was a courseness in his face and shape that had more the air of a porter than a gentle-man ; and if fortune had not interposed her almighty power, he might by his birth have appeared in that figure ; his father being nothing more considerable at his first appearance in the world than footman to Lady Mary Mordaunt, the gallant Duchess of Norfolk, who had always half a dozen intrigues to manage. Some servant must always be trusted in affairs of that kind, and James Craggs had the good fortune to be chosen for that purpose. She found him both faithful and discreet, and he was soon advanced to the dignity of valet de chambre.


* v. Noble's Contin. of Granger's Biog. Hist. of England, Vol. III., page 178


Page 52

King James had an amour with her after he was upon the throne, and respected the Queen enough to endeavour to keep it entirely from her knowledge. James Craggs was the messenger between the King and the Duchess, and did not fail to make the best use of so important a trust. He scraped a good deal of money from the bounty of this royal lover and was too inconsiderable to be hurt by his ruin, and did not concern much for that of his masters, which by lower intrigues happened soon after.

This fellow, from the report of all parties, even from that of his professed enemies, had a very uncommon genius ; a head well turned for calculating great industry, and was so just an observer of the world, that the meanness of his education never appeared in his conversation.

The Duke of Marlborough, who was sensible how well he was qualified for affairs that required secrecy, employed him as his procurer both for women and money, and he acquitted himself so well of these trusts as to please his master, and yet raise a consider-able fortune, by turning his money in the public funds, the secret of which came often to his knowledge by the Dukes employing him.

He had this only son, whom he looked on with the partiality of a parent, and resolved to spare nothing in his education that could add to his figure.

Young Craggs had great vivacity, a happy memory, and flowing elecution, he was brave and generous, and had an appearance of open-heartedness in his manner that gained him a universal good will, if not a universal esteem. It is true there appeared a heat and want of judgement in all his words and activities, which did not make him valuable in the eye of cool judges.

He was introduced by Madame Platen to the Elector (afterwards George I.), who, taking it on her word that he was a young man of extraordinary merits, named him for Cofferer on his first accession to the Crown of England.

About 1716, Court of St. James, (Pages 102, 103).

At the foot of the staircase she met Mr. Secretary Craggs who, seeing her leave so early, enquired if the King had retired, but she reassured him on that point, and dwelt complacently on the King's reluctance to let her go. Craggs made no remark but took her in his arms, ran upstairs and deposited her in the ante-chamber, whereupon the pages at once threw open the door leading to the King's apartment.

  Pedigree of JOPLING OF LANDIEU  (pdf)

Page 53

"Ah ! la re-voila." cried His Majesty and the Duchess of Kendal, and expressed their pleasure that she had changed her mind, but Lady Mary was so flustered that instead of maintaining a discreet silence she burst out, " Oh Lord Sir, I have been so frightened !” and related her adventures.

She had scarcely finished relating her adventure, when the door was thrown open and Mr. Secretary Craggs was announced.

He entered calmly, and made his bow as if nothing had happened, but the King strode up to him and said angrily, " Mais, comment donc, Monsieur Craggs, est ce que c'est l'usage de le paps (sic) de porter des belles dames comme un sac de froment ? "

The culprit was dumbfounded by the unexpected attack and glanced reproachfully at Lady Mary for having betrayed him, but soon finding his wits, parried with, " There is nothing I would not do for Your Majesty's satisfaction."

About 1871, John Bart purchased Holebeck old corn mill, which is also on the south bank of the Wear.

Holebeck House is now locally known as Hole House, and is occupied by Mr. John Newton, whose brother is of Coves Houses. It was held by Colonel H. J. Wilkinson in 1916, but sold by him to Messrs. J. and W. Coates, of Darlington.

The field adjoining the house, and formerly belonging to S. Nicholas' Church, Durham, was sold to Colonel Wilkinson just before the sale to Coates.



Landew (Landieu),* or as it formerly was known—Landa Dei­lies to the west of Holebeck, and consisted in the thirteenth century of merely a toft and a croft ; and in very early times was an appanage of the office of the Sacrist of Durham Cathedral.

Bishop Hugh Pudsey (1154-1195) granted the " Landa," which " had been called Ebberlaia " but in his time Landa Dei, to Brother

* Landa—per Barbarismum idem forsan, quod Godscroft

" In the evil days thou shalt safe be

" In Godscroft betwixt the Mersey and Dee."--NIXON'S


Page 54

Ranulph the Sacrist of the House of St. Cuthbert and to his brethren …………. and this was agreed to by the Rector and Brethren of
S. Gile
s's Hospital at Kepyer, who were presumably in occupation of the holding, and in exchange for which they were to receive messuage in the Bailey of Durham. v. App., p. 59.

Bishop Philip de Pictavia (1197-1208) granted Landa Dei to Laurence the Chamberlain (Camerarius), at the rent of a bezant payable at the feast of St. Cuthbert in September. v. App., p. 59.

Laurence de Camera for the salvation of his soul and that of his wife Cecilia as well as for those of the Bishops of Durham gave Landa Dei to God and St. Cuthbert and the Monks which latter were to pay the bezant in September, and this was confirmed by his widow, who it was agreed was to receive 14s. annually from the Sacrist and who accordingly renounced all claim to the holding. v. App., pp. 5961.

In 1228, evidence was given by Thomas Bardolf who was supported by other witnesses that Landa Dei was Episcopal property and that Bishop Hugh Pudsey had given it to a certain Ranulph at whose death the Bishop gave it to Laurence Camerarius by Charter for himself and for his heirs and that Laurence had passed it before his death to the Sacrist of Durham upon which the Monks had taken possession of it—only, to be ejected therefrom by Philip de Ulecotes the Prior, though they afterwards recovered seisin.

The following year Bishop Richard Poore, by a document known as the " Convenit " which was a settlement of outstanding disputes between the See and the Prior and Convent, confirmed Landa Dei to the Sacrist on the same conditions as Brother Ranulphus had held under Bishop Hugh.*

Under Hatfield's Survey, we have, " The Sacrist of Durham
a place called Landa Dei paying at the term of St. Cuthbert in September 2s.

In 1459, The Prior of the Convent of Durham granted Biggyns and Landa Dei for 20 years to John Egeliston, William Merley and William Aldyngschall." v. App., page 61.

In 1552, John Cragge, Ancestor of James Craggs who was Post­master-General under Charles II., was holding Landew : and in the middle of the 17th century the Joblin familly were in possession.

* Locus autem qui vocatur Landa Dei cum omnibus pertinenciis suis, concedimus et confirmamus in perpetuum Sacristariae Dunelmensi sicut ilium locum habuit et tenuit frater Ranulphus, de dono Hugonis quondam Dunelm­ensis Episcopi. v. Surt. Soc., vol. 58, pp. 216-217, and see also Ibid, pages 241, 242, 245, 248 and 280.


Page 55

About 1840, it was held under a 21 years lease from the Dean and Chapter of Durham, its extent then being 149 acres 1 r. 16 p. as well as 59 acres, 1 p. 1 r. copyhold of inheritance, and 1 acre 3 r. 15 p. freehold.


Wolsingham Park Estate.

         Leasehold : See above.


Landieu : On the 1st February, 1706-7, Arthur Jopling, Gentle-man, surrendered the copyhold portion of Landieu to James Trotter by way of mortgage. On the 3rd January, 1798, James Sheppard of Mackwell, Poplar, Middlesex, mast maker, eldest son and heir of John Sheppard late of Wapping Wall Shadwell, and of Elizabeth his wife, which said Elizabeth was granddaughter and heir at law of Arthur Jopling, to wit ,only daughter and heir of Mary Wharham widow deceased who was niece and heir at law of the said William Jopling also deceased who was the eldest son and heir at law of the said Arthur Jopling surrendered the same property to Joseph Watson in Trust for John Watson of London. (v. pedigree of Jopling).

On the 13th July, 1828, this property was surrendered to Thomas Emerson and Geo. Emerson in trust for Thos. Watson of Stanhope and Anthony of Bradley Hall.

In 1914 Joseph Ridley was in occupation of Landieu.

This property still appears to belong to the Walton family as
Joseph Walton of—————pays the quit rent and has control of the deeds.




A farm house about a mile south from Wolsingham, and on the south side of the Wear.

The estate is freehold, and there are no records as to past owners in the Halmote Court Office.

The earliest is to be found in an Inq. p.m. taken 13th June, 1449, at Durham on the death of Adam Tirwhit—Jointly with Richard Crake and John Normanby, chaplains—he had held of the enfeoff­ment of Thomas de Westwyke the kinsman and heir of Hugh de Westwik, clerk, the manor of Chatterley.

Page 56

In right of Margaret his wife he had held .the remaining lands which she held in dower of John Spryng, her former husband.

Chatterley Manor of.

William Tirwhit, aged 24, is his son and next heir.*

In 1445, Bishop Neville granted a pardon to Margaret, the widow of Adam Tirwhit, for acquiring the Manor from Richard Croke and John Normanby (Capellanus), and for alienating the same to William Wilbefosse and his wife.

From the Wilberfosses the manor would seem to have passed through the Walgraves to John Watson, a yeoman.

19 Jan. A°. James (88) P'don Thos Howe adquirendo de Chris­topher Trotter parcel voc Parroches Medows apud Chaterley.

In 1767 it belonged to William Blackett, and afterwards to the Revd. W. G. Wooler, in whose family it remained until Mr. W. Emerson Wooler, solicitor, of Durham, left the estate to his son, the Revd. W. G. Wooler, then to his widow and failing issue to the Honble. Frederick Gustavus Hamilton-Russell, second son of the 8th Viscount Boyne, who in 1911 sold it to Messrs. G. S. & H. A. Coates, the present owners.

* v.            D. R.Reg. Vol. II., fo. 238d.

8 May A°. 8 Neville 1445. P'don Margarete uxori Adae Tyrwhitt domicelli defuncti Willielmo Hilton, Generosi, Johanni Kydde laico, et, Margarete filiae Willielmi filii Adae praedicti de adquirendo manerii de Chaterley de Ricardo Croke et Johanni Normanby capellanis. Habendum sibi et haeredibus de corpore Margaretae—rem Margaretae quae fuit uxor Adae—rem—Willielmus Hilton et Johanni Kydde et quiae Margareta filia obiit etc. P'don quod Margareta uxor Adae, Willielmo Helton et Johannis Kydde dedisse eundem manerium Willielmo Wilbefosse de Egleston—Armigero et Elizae uxori.

8 Maii. A°. 8 Neville. (1468).

Alanus Wilbefosse et Katina uxor ejus adquirend sibi maneriam de Nesbet et Chaterley de Elizabeth nuper ux' Willi Wilbefosse de Egleston Armigeri. A°. 11 Boothe.

Willielmus Wilbefosse feoffatus fuit conjunctim cum Elizabetha uxor ejus ex dono et feoffamento Willialmi Hilton Gentilman et John Kydd laici de manerio seu placea de Chaterley in Parochio de Wolsyngham — Sunt in eodem, unum messuagium cum falda val 4 li. p. annum, 90 acras terrae val 5s.

Willielmus est filius haeres.

1594. P'don Johann Watson Yeoman pqr de Edwardo Walgrove Armigero
 unum messuagium,
15 acras terrae, 40 prati, 40 pasturae, 20 Jamp et Bruerae et ……………..p…………….omnibus avenis in Chaterley.

A°. 11 May 36 Elizabeth.


Page 57

In 1914 Joseph Allinson was in occupation of Chatterley, and in 1928 John Allen.

There are few mentions of Chatterley in the Episcopal Records

A°. 8 Walter 125. Hugo de Westwyke ten ma de Epe p. red 4.6d
A°. Langley Adam Turwhite ten ma utsupra—wills fil et her.
A°. 4 Nevill Ma tenr de Epe ut supra Laur fo. 19.
Wills Wilberfoose    Ar. ten ma p. 4.6d.     Wills fil et her.


16 Jan. A°. 10. Jac. Jo. Watson ten 2 mess, 1 gard, 1 pomar, 40 acr. terre, 40 pti', 40 past, (except parcel pti' voc le Parrocks and
1 acr voc Broadmeadows in tenur Henr.
Watson) de Epe in
capite p. horn. et fid. 4. 6d. ob 30 Dec. ult.Joh. fil et h. libac
A°. 10 James.


A°. 1. James—88. P'don Tho. Howe p. terr pqist de Xrop Trotter tempore—W. James.




This old corn mill is associated with Holbeck House, close by the ancient home of the Craggs family. It is situated on the south bank of the River Wear, west of Wolsingham. The old home of the Craggs is now the property of Colonel N. J. Wilkinson. In the old house may be seen a portrait of the Right Hon. James Craggs, His Majesty's Principal Secretary of State, one of the Lords Trustees. The engraving is dated 1720. Also that of James Craggs, Sen., Postmaster General of Great Britain, engraved in 1728. When Anthony Craggs lived at Holbeck, the Rev. Ferdinando Moorcroft was Rector of Stanhope ; collated 1608, died 1641. A daughter of Moorcroft named Ann, baptised at Stanhope 1628, married Anthony Craggs of Wolsingham in 1654. Anthony and Ann Craggs had issue James, who became Postmaster-General, and who was born at Wolsingham 1657, and died of a broken heart in 1720 or 1721. He had issue one son, the Right Hon. James Craggs, one of the Principal Secretaries of State as above mentioned. Unfortunately Craggs was associated with the South Sea Bubble. He died February 16, 1720, aged 35 years.


Page 58



This is a farmstead situated opposite to Wolsingham on the south side of the railway.

Under Hatfield's Survey " William Tebbeson holds the Manor of Wyshill and forty eight acres once Robert Scot's by forest service viz forty days in fawn season and forty days in rutting time and by suit of court and 13s. 4d. —he holds also two acres in Papworthele 12d."

In 1432 Thomas Tebbeson died seized of three fourths of the Manor of Withesel which are described as containing thirty six acres, two halls, two granges, two oxhouses, a vachery, three gardens and waste toft held by forest service viz by providing one man to watch the Bishop's wild deer in Wolsingham Park forty days in le Ruth and 40 days in ffowyson, suit of court and 13s. 4d. —He held also two acres called Papworthele—12d., three acres in Bellardsyde—12d., nine acres in Scotefeld of Robert Eure esq., a messuage and six acres in Grenwell called Smalleys of the Earl of Westmoreland and a toft and acre in Wolsingham of Richard Ferrour Thomas Tebbeson held the same lands and left a son of his own name under age in 1510.*

Christabel daughter and co-heir of the last Thomas carried half the estate of Wyserley into the family of Craggs (See Holebeck).

Christabel in 1601 gave her moiety of Wyserley to her third son

George Craggs, mercer in Durham who conveyed it to his elder brother John Craggs.

By will dated 1 May 1598, Thomas Trotter of Shipley, Parish of Hamsterley, desired burial at Hamsterley " near the Pulpitt." He left to his son Christopher his lease at East Wissel (Wiserley).

Thomas Trotter of Shipley Parish of Hamsterley—to be bur : at Hamsterley near the Pulpitt—to son Christopher my lease at Est Wissel—cosen Robert Trotter 6s. 8d. wife Elizabeth daur. Eliz : Exors. Cousin Rob. Trotter Supervisor. 1 May 1598.


9 August, 1615. Thomas Craggs, son and heir of John Craggs late of T (?) Wisell in Co. Durham, deceased, v. Thomas Morgan and Robert Emerson. — Dispute as to moiety of the Manor of Wiserley.

* Inq. A°. 2 Ruthall.

† Ind. 19 June A°. 43 Elizabeth.

‡ Pardon of Alienation 17 May A°. 4 James.

  Pedigree of TEBBESON  (pdf)

Page 59

A.D. 1684. 24 January.

JOHN AYRE of Low Wiserley, Wolsingham Yeoman by his will of this date gave the yearly sum of 40s. to the Poor of Wolsingham charged on a certain field called Haverfield at Low Wiserley it became payable at the death of testators wife Mary and he devised his freehold estate at Low Wiserley unto his wife for life and then to John Hutchinson of Billingside in fee subject to certain legacies and on failure of his heirs to Joseph Laybourne in fee.

Wiserley Hall and Low Wiserley are now freeholds, and the Halmote Court Rolls contain no information as to past Manors. Certain Copyhold lands here appear to have belonged in 1617 to a family named Wright. In 1623 they had passed into the possession of the Ayre family, who held them until 1708, when they were sold to George Bowes. On the 6th May, 1741, they were surrendered to Ralph Gibson, and on the 8th February, 1752, they passed into the hands of Tristram Collins. In 1813, these properties were surrendered to William Wales Robert Moses as to the fields marked A2 upon trust for Thomas Chapman of Wolsingham, and as to the fields marked Al upon trust for William Lister of Hollerside and Elizabeth his wife (daughter of Tristram Collins), and after the death of the survivor of these upon trust for Mary Ann Hodgson, Hannah Hodgson, Margaret and Agnes Hodgson, children of Thomas Hodgson, Wolsingham, Farmer, as tenants in common. The land marked A2 afterwards became the property of John Brown of Newton House, Carlisle, and is now the property of William Gibson. The lands marked Al afterwards became the property of Chapman, Morson & Co., Ltd., and are now the property of John Carter Parnaby, who purchased them in 1920.

On the 11th November, 1734, the land marked B was surrendered by William Watson to John Stobbs, and the land marked C was surrendered by William Watson to John Henderson. In 1790 the land of Stobbs was surrendered to Thomas Beckett of London, and in 1804 it was further surrendered to J. J. Wilkinson and another as Trustees for John Watson of London, who in 1810 surrendered it to the Trustees of William Backhouse, who in turn surrendered it to William Henderson. Henderson sold his own property and that acquired from Stobbs to Joseph Wooler in 1831. The owners in 1885 were Jonathan Westgarth Wooler, George Wooler and Octavius Borradaile Wooler.

In 1928 the Wiserley Hall Farm was held by Messrs. J. and L. Harrison, James Nicholson being at Wiserley.


Page 60


1st October 1734.         William Walton of Bradley and Isabel his wife sold Low Wiserley to John Henderson of Spring House Yeoman.

12th March 1750.        John Henderson by his Will gave Low Wiseley to his son John Henderson.

9th July 1772.               Will proved at Durham.

1st August 1814.           William Henderson only son and heir of John Henderson mortgaged the estate to Mary Kirsop to secure £400,

17th September 1814. Further Mortgage to Mary Kirsop by William Henderson.

12th May 1825.            William Henderson and his mortgages mortgaged property to John Griffith at Durham for £1,650.

20th May 1831.            William Henderson and his Mortgagee John Griffith sold estate to Joseph Wooler of Wolsingham Gentleman.

26th November 1859. Joseph Wooler executed a settlement in favour of his sons for their respective lives with the remainder to . their children and Wiseley is now vested in William Rymer Wooler of Darlington.




This property, which stands high some one mile south-west from Wolsingham, was held in Elizabethan days by Lional Nevill.*

24 June 1608. Lancelot Salkield of Whitehall Co. Cumberland Esq., Thomas Salkield of Conniscliffe 3rd son of Lancelot and Frances Salkield son and heir of Lancelot, conveyed the messuage called the Eshes to Thomas Trotter.


* Fordyce, Vol, 1, p. 640.

  Pedigree of HOPPER OF TOTTIPOTS  (pdf)
Pedigree of HOPPER OF WOLSINGHAM  (pdf)
Page 61

27 Feb. 1671. Christopher Trotter of Stapleton, Co. York, and Eliz., his mother granted the Eshes and all their interest therein to Robert Hopper of Coves.

7 June, 23 Car. 2. Thomas Trotter of the Eshes alias Smallees, Gent, and Belye his wife, Elizabeth Trotter of Stapleton Co. York widow of .... Trotter and Thomas Trotter of Helmedon Hall† and Elinor his wife, to Robert Hopper of Coves Houses.

6 June 23 Car. 2. Thomas Trotter of the Eshes and Francis Sutton of Greencroft Gent. to John Hopper of Tottipotts for £428 the Eshes commonly called Smally Lees.

8 July 1639. 15 Car. 1  Christopher Trotter of Stapleton Gent. to Emmanuel Trotter of E. Newton, Clerk, to Thos. Trotter of East Newton, sale of the Eshes als Smallees.

" Wee Emanuel Trotter Clerk and Thomas Trotter of Kyrk Newton within the countye of Northumberland Gent. do acknow­ledge that we received a deed or conveyance of a capital messuage called the Eshes alias Smallees in the parish of Wolsingham from Christopher Trotter of Stapleton in the County of York Gent. for the use of Thomas Trotter eldest son and heir of the said Christo­pher and as is further in the said deeds together with diverse pieces of evidence concerning the said messuage which said writings are now in a certain loade (sic) or chist amongst other things of our owne standing in the house of Christopher Strangewaies of Newcastle Gent. and we do further acknowledge that we are to allowe the full cleare yearlee value of all the said messuages towards the mainten­ance of the said Thomas Trotter, first allowing the charge disburred by us concerning the same conveyance &c. &c."

1717. Eliz. Hopper widow granted to John Hopper of Billy Raw, the Eshes to hold for 800 years in trust for Anthony Hopper.

William Hopper of Durham Gent. was eldest son and heir at law of Anthony Hopper of Wolsingham deceased. Richard Hopper of Durham, Surgeon was brother and heir at law of Wm. Hopper.

Richard Hopper Gent. of Wolsingham mentions father in law Wm. Coulson of Cleadon ; Thos. Coulson of Wolsingham, Eldest son, William, wife Isabella and daughter Isabella.

Dame Isabella, 3 children if all die then to Anthony Hopper son of John of Billy Raw, Thos. Hopper son of Thos. of Durham M.P. Richard, son of George Hopper of Wolsingham, son Richard.

v. Pedigree of Trotter of Helmington. History of Hunwick, by the Author


Page 62

27 Dec. 1708. Indre between Robert Hopper of Wolsingham Gent. and Robert Hopper of the Eshes Gent, son and heir of Robt. Hopper the elder and John Hopper the elder of Wolsingham Gent. mortgage £1,000.

John Hopper his elder appointed his wife Elizabeth sole Ex. who proved the will, Robert Hopper the elder afterward died and Robert thereon-became entitled to the equity of redemption he dying made a will and appointed Anthony Hopper the elder sole exor , and also devised to Anthony Hopper all his estate. Mary the wife of Thomas Coulson and Jane Hopper spinster are sisters and heirs of Robert the younger.


The Ashes estate now comprises Summersides, Towtypotts and Harthope farm purchased in 1840 by Messrs. Jonathan, George and William Wooler.

The Harehope gill vein of lead runs through the freehold portion.

         Ashes 120 ac.  1 r.       10 p.          freehold

                        43         3          23              copyhold

                          3         3            1              leasehold

and the Rivington School Allotment.


The land at Harehope gill is, with the exception of some 17 acres freehold, the property of the Earl of Coventry, who is probably the owner of the mines and minerals in the freehold area. The minerals in the copyholds would belong to the Bishop and his successors in title, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.





This is now a farm on the Ashes Estate. The site of this house and the lands adjoining in the north, east and south are freehold. In 1800 Tristram Collins appears to have been the owner. He was also the owner of the copyhold on the east side.

That portion of Bellaside known as the Greeve's land consisting
of 4 acres, 2 acres of which (being the nethermost portion) now


Page 63

belong to the N.E. Railway and form the site of Wolsingham Station, was the property of Christopher Emerson in 1792. 6 acres of copyhold immediately in the south of the Greeve's land was also the property of the Emersons, who had acquired them from John William Bacon Forster. The Bellaside copyholds became the property of Joseph Wooler in 1829, and are now the property of William Rymer Wooler, Darlington.

Under Hatfield's Survey, William Tebbeson held 3 acr' in Campo de Bellardside in Wolsingham de Epo 12d, and Thomas son of Laurence Clerk viij acr'-4s.

By an Inq. p.m. taken March 1435 at Durham. Adam Rogerly held lands and tenements in Bellersyde and was succeeded by his sister Alice wife of Richard Ferour and by Richard aged 21, son of Agnes Emeryson another sister.*

 Rogerley Pedigree

Under Hatfield's Survey, Thomas de Rogerley is seen to have been holding Bellarsyde.

In 1479, Nicholas Ferror of Faweleys died seized of Bellardsyde, v. Durham Cursitors Records. Portfo. 167, No. 19.

In 1627, Christopher Emerson of Breereton died seized of lands at Wolsingham called Bellerside. v. Durham Cursitors Records. Portfo. 189. No. 160.

It subsequently passed to J. W. Jackson, whose successor after-wards sold to Messrs. Chapman & Morson, who conveyed to R. J. Thomson. It is now owned by Mr. Frederick Harrison.

* D.R. Reg. Vol. II. fo. 274d.

Page 64


This farm now forms a portion of the Eshes estate.


.... May 19 Hen. VII., Sir William Bulmer Knt. sells Totipots to Wm. Wren.


16 May 15 Eliz. Wm. Wren son and heir of one Geoffrey Wren Gent. sells Totepots to John Hopper.


31 July 15 Eliz. Wm. Wren of Beaumont Hill Gent. to John alias Jenkin Hopper.


Wm. Wren of Beaumont Hill Gent. to John als Jenkin Hopper de Towtipoots his mess' of Towtipoots and 24 Closes viz Spanish field, Cowclose, Meadow Close, Calfclose, ult Jul. 15 Eliz.


24 May 1624. Anthony Hopper to his son John—to advance him in marriage.


.... April 35 Car. John Hopper senr. assigns to John Hopper junr. Totipotts for his preferment in marriage.


26 Mar. 1697. John Hopper of Totepotts the younger to Richard Reed of Morden, ……….          Hodgson and Robert Hopper conveys Totipotts on trust for self for life, remr. Richard Hopper his only son — 2nd and every other son, remr. right heirs.


This John Hopper of Tottipotts died 28 May,—Elizabeth his widow is living — Anthony son and heir æt 2 July 1 Jac. 15 — 16 May 10 Geo. I. Marr. Settlt. Richard Hopper son and heir of John of Tottipotts, Wm. Coulson of Cleadon, and Isabel Coulson his daughter.


On a date stone are the initials W. H. : I.M. 1738.

Page 65




Ricardus,* permissione divina, etc., dilecto in Christo filio, rectori ecclesiae de Wolsingham, salutem, gratiam et benedictionem. Ne parochiani vestri, hoc sacratissimo tempore, divinis fraudentur officiis, seu vos minus libere ministrare possitis eisdem ecclesias­tica sacramenta quascunque (su)spensionis excommunicationis et interdicti sententias in personam vestram, vel ecclesiam praedictam, auctoritate nostra latas seu comminatas, pro medietate .............. regi jamdiu est concessa, adusque proximum diem lunae post Dominicam qua canatur " Quasi modo geniti," relaxamus ; sequestrum tamen in bonis, fructibus et obventionibus ipsius ecclesiae, ex causa praedicta interporitum, in sua volumus virtute et robore permanere, Valete, Datum apud Stoketon ; XXiiij°. die Martii, pontificatus nostri anno primo.


A. D. 1340.


Ricardus, permissione divina, Dunelmensis episcopus, dilecto filio, domino Alexandro de Ferry, rectori ecclesiae de Wulsingham nostrae dioecesis, salutem, gratiam et benedictionem. Ut in aliquo loco congruo et honesto, quem ad hoc elegeris, a festo Paschae proxime jam futuro per unum annum, a data praesentium continue numerandum, te ab ecclesia tua praedicta absentando libere valeas Immorari ; ita quod interim ad residentiam personalem in eadem ecclesia tua nimime tenearis ; proviso quod, durante termino praedicto, ecclesia tua memorata divinis officiis nullatenus defraude­tur, procuratoremque in eadem, dimittas, qui nobis, officiaris et ministris nostris, debite respondeat loco tui, congruaque eleemosyna pauperibus parochianis, et aliis subsidium petentibus, erogetur, licentiam concedimus specialem.

Datum apud Lincolniam, x° die Februarii, anno Domini rnillesimo cccmo. quadragesimo, et consecrationis nostrae octavo.

* Richard Bury, A.D. 1333. In this year a certain William       was
Rector of Wolsingham.

Richard Bury.

Page 66

Extract from Indenture dated 31 January, 1756.

Thos. Bowes was seized on 20 Nov. 1752 of certain Copyhold p'cel of ye Manor of Wolsingham wh. he surrendered to the use of sd. Robt. Blakiston Bowes, viz a parcel in ye East fields adjoining on Hallywell meadows, anor. parcell called ye 3 Nooked Piece.

A Rood in a place called ye Lands.

Another Piece—another etc. one other rood etc.

4 Parcels called the Sweaths etc. All in one surrender.

By 2nd surrender—a rood of land lying E. of ye little Barn upon Careslew Hill—a Parcel called half a rood lying upon ye Long Lands—half an acre on ye Lands—half a rood in ye Sweaths with a Sweath or Nook, a Rood on Sands Hill, Pasturage for 2 Sheep on Eilefield Stones.

22 foggates in ye E. fields.

By the 3rd surrender, a P'cel called Kelloe—Holme etc.

By the 4th a P'cel formerly waste consisting of an acre—vel circiter—called Snape Gate with a house thereon.

By ye 5th a Rood of long land betwn. land of Jno. Bacon Esq. and Widow Wilson. To ye same trusts as ye ffrehold.



The following extract from the Wolsingham Halmote Court Book is of interest. It is dated 14th Oct., 10 Jac., 1st March 1614.


To this Court came William Greenwell of the City of London, Merchant Tailor, Anthony Vasey of Newlands Gent., Christopher Athie Gent., Thomas Morgan Gent., Thomas Trotter Gent., Tobias Barnes Gent., William Crooke Bailiff of the Lord Bishop there, John Grainge Greeve of the same town and John Markindale, Junior, and by special mandate of the Lord Bishop took of the Lord one parcel of Land of the waste of the Lord being at the East End of the Town of Wolsingham aforesaid, whereon to Build a Common free school and other necessary Buildings for teaching Boys in the Rudiments of learning and the Christian Religion and for making and inclosing a garden to adjoin the same containing in length fifty yards of land and in breadth sixteen yards of Land and also another parcel of Land extending itself from the same along on the west of the cornfields of the said Town to and over the Water


Page 67

of the Wear towards the south extending ……...…… Bellerside
and lying on the west and north of the Water of Wear …………
itself to the Bridge called Wear Bridge
on the west containing by estimation sixteen Acres of Land called the Batts. To have to the said William Greenwell, Anthony Vasey, Christopher Athie, Thomas Morgan, Thomas Trotter, Tobias Barnes, William Crooke, John Grainge and John Markindale and their sequels in Right as a new Improvement to the Use and Intent that a new Grammar School in Wolsingham aforesaid and in the County of Durham may be built and a Master in the same to teach Boys in the Rudiments of the Christian Religion and Grammar in future—rendering therefore by the year to the sd. Lord Bishop and his successors five shillings and four pence of lawful money of England at the Feasts of Pentecost and St. Martin the Bishop in winter by equal portions as a new Rent —and doing to the Lord and the Neighbours those things which are accustomed by Pledges &c. — Provided always that whenever five of them, the aforesaid, William, Anthony, Christopher, Thomas, Thomas, Tobias, William, John and John Markindale shall happen to die or Depart from the Parish aforesaid then the remainder of those who shall happen to survive and dwell in the said Parish at the next Halmot Court to be held at Wolsingham aforesd. shall surrender the aforesd. Premises with the apurts and all their Right Estate Title Claim Interest and Demand which they have or which they or any of them then living and dwelling shall have to nine other honest and lawful Persons then residing in the Parish aforesd. by Copy of Court Roll to the use above mentioned provided also that the before mentioned nine honest and legal Persons of the Parish of Wolsingham aforesaid shall from Time to Time choose such Person to be Master of the Free School aforesaid as the Lord Bishop of Durham for the time being shall by Writing approve and confirm to be most fit for the same.




Hugo dei gratia Dunelm Episcopus Priori et Conventu Dunelm' Ecclesiae Archidiaconis et universo Clero Dunelmensis Episcopatus Salutem. Notificamus vobis nos dedisse &c fratri Ranulfo et fratribus ejus Landam quae dicebatur Ebberleia, nunc autem Landa Dei


Page 68

nominatam per divisas quas assignavimus in liberam quietam et puram elemosinam pro remission peccatorum tam nostrorum quam 1 successorum nostrorum.. Et volumus quod haec nostra donatio caritatis intuitis facta firma et illibata maneat ne quis temerario ausu paginam hanc attemptat infringere.

His Testibus T. Priore Dunelm. T. Archidiacono, Johe Cumin Waltero Monacho, Rodberto filio Udardi Monacho, Magistro Rogero Infardato, Rodberto de Tribois, Magro Johi de Rana, Magro Thoma de sexdecim Vallibus, Helici clerico, Guillo Elemosinario,  Jedbaldo de Monasteriis Vallari ; Ricardo de Wassand, Gilleberto Halsard, Jurdano Hairun, Gilleberto de Laia, Johe Pincerna, Ricardo de Parco, Thoma de Insula et aliis multis. (2a -3æ Sacrist).





Omnibus &c Radulfus Rector et fratres Hospitalis Domus S.
Egidii de Kepeyer Salutem. Noverit universitas vestra nos con‑
cessisse et quietas clamasse fratri Ranulfo Sacriste domus S. Cuth‑
berti et successoribus suis toftum et croftum quod habuimus
in Landa Dei—in excambium unius messuagii quod emit ad opus
nostrum in Ballivo de Dunelmo, scilicet illius quod Actinus Brachur
et Annais filia  Ede tenuerunt de  Willo  Cuete ad deodalem firmam.

(2a 3æ Sacrist).




Philippus Dei gratia Dunelm Episcopus omnibus Baronibus, Militibus et hominibus totius Episcopatus sui tam Francis et Anglis. Sciatis nos concessisse &c Laurentio Camerario vel cui idem Laurentius assignari voluerit totam terram de Landa Dei sicut Hugo Predecessor noster ei dederat et carta sua confirmaverat.  reddendo inde nobis et successoribus nostris unum bizantium ad Festum
S. Cuthberti in Septembri pro omni &c.

His T. Dom. Hemerico Archidiacono, Philippo de Baill. Gaufrido filio ejus Jordano Escoul. Willo filio Thome, Leonio de Claxtona, Henrico de Ferligton, et Waltero fretre ejus, Philippo de
Colevill, Thoma de Hamundevill, Willo de Latona, Rogero de

Page 69

Kibblesworth. Simone de Hautorn, Rogero de Heppligden et Willo filio ejus, Ricardo de Parco et Gaufrido filio ejus, Waltero de Kaam Roberto cognato ejus, Odone de Bruntoft, Radulfo de Dispensa, Roberto de Rockingham et multis aliis.




Carta Laur de Camera de Landa Dei S. Cuthberti et monachis. (Lib. Sacrist' 672 seq.)


Oibus ad quos psens Scr. punt Laurentius &c. de Camera Sal.—
Nov. Univtas vestra me Karitatis intuitu pro sal Ani Dni.Hug Bonae Mem quond' Dunelm Epi et alior Dunelm Epor et per Sal aiae me
et ux'is me
æ Cecilice et antecess'et succr nros cone, dedisse et hac carta mea conf. Deo et S. Cuthb. et monachis in Dunelm Deo servientibus et in perpetuum servituris totam Terram meam de Landa Dei cultam et incultam cum oibus meis ibm manentibus et oibus
ptin' suis Habend et tenend' de Dno Epo Dunelm in ppet lib.
Elem. honorif quiete et libe cu oibs libtatbs et lib. consuet. et
Aisiam et alijs ad eam in Bosc' et plan in pratis et pascuis in villa
et extra vill et utrq ptin. redd inde annuatim Dno Epo Dunelm
unum Bisancium ad Fest' S. Cuthb. in Sept px oi al svit
et cons' sicut Ego consuevi p. pd'ca tra reddere. Dicti
vero Monachi et hoies sui quieti erunt de Pannag'
Porcor' suor'. His Test. Pho de Ulecotes—Robti fil. Medred
Roger de Audr', Johi de Braferton, Walter de Ferie, Wills de Ketton
Johi fil’ ejus Johi de Ketton.




Cyrograf intr eccliam et Cecilm q'dam ux Laur. de Camera de Landa Dei. —Lib. Sacrist' p. 67.

In Fo S. Martini in Nov. 1, post relax genal inter Clerum in
Anglia facta est haec Conventio intr Prior et Convent et Sacrist' Dunelm et Ceciliam quond' ux. Laura de Camera scilt qd. d'ca
Cecilia in viduatate sua dimisit ad firmam dcis P et Conv. et Sacr et ad opus Sacristae tot t'ram in
Landa Dei cu bosco et cu oibus suis
ptin sine aliq retinend qd. eam contingebat r'oni Dotis
a dco Fo S. Mart in X annos prox pro xiiij s. annuatim
dcae Cecilice a dco Sacristo ad 2 term reddend' scilt vijs.
Page 70

ad Festo S. Cuthb. in Quadrag et vijs ad Fest. S. Cuthb. in Sept.,
d’'cs Sacris’'te nihil capiet interim de Bosco ptin ad p’'dcm terr et si ipse aliquid inde ceperit dca Cecil' tantumdem capietdca vero
Cec’ warr usq' in fin Decennis dcis P. et Conv et Sacrist' D. quisq
ille fuit tot p'dc terr' cum omnibus ptin suis oes hoes et de oibs dem ad eam ptin p. p'dcam firmam. Et ut haec conv firmiter observetur
signata est ex una parte sigillo Capit Dunelm et ex al' pte sig. dc
æ Cec.—His Test Rog Dandorum Gaufr fil Gaufri, Walt de
Monasteries, Gaufr de Pasco, Rob de Parco, Ric de Holmeside, Simundo Diacon’ de Stanhope, Walts de Norton et mult alijs.



Æ—Ibid p. 68.

Sciant tam pstes quam futuri quod ego Cecilia q' dam ux' Laur.
de Camera in libera Potestat' mea et viduitate remisi 'et quit clam
in ppm de me Deo et S. Cuthb. et Sacr’' Dunelm tot jus et clam qd. habui vel herr potisae in totu 3a pti (tra) qu
æ voc. Landa Dei nori Dotis quam dicebam ad me ptinere 'roni d'ci Laur Viri mei qui eam tenuit. Ne autem fut tempbus aliq' voluntat' mea contr’ pd’cm
Juris et Clam remisi venire possim nec aliquid in pd'ca t'ra
occone qd d'cs Laur' quondam vir meus eam tenuit exigere possim
hoc Scr. s. meo confirmavi his Testibus Dns. Joh. de Rumuz
tune Senllo Dni (Ep.) Dunelm, Magr. Johi Forti, Hugon de
Capella, Waltro de Seiby, Gilbti de Turribus (Towers) Petro de Kyham, Rob fil Bernardi, Rogero de Ponce et multis alijs.




Dimisio Manij de Landa Dei per Prior et Convt p 20 annis.

Hæc Indra facta inter Joh. Prior Ecclesiæ Cath, Dunelm.
ex pte una William Merley, Joh Egeliston et William Aldyngschall
ex altera, testatr qd pdcs Prior conc'et ad firm. dimisit pdcis Willo
Johi et Willo tot ma suum voc' Landa Dei exc’'bosco suo ibm ac
etiam Vill’' suam de Biggynge juxta Landa Dei cum tentis ibm
ædificatis et suis ptin' ruinosis hend et tenend tot man p’dcum et etiam vill p’dcam de Biggyng (exc bosco p'dco) p’fati Willo Merley
et hedbs suis a Festo S. Mart in hyeme px futur’ post dat’ p’stium


Page 71

usqu' ad term' xx annor' ex tune px seq et plenarie completor—Reddend rode annuat' p'fat' Priori et succ. suis ad Scacc 'Sacristie
apud Dunelm 5 mcas arg ad duos usual' term.' viz ad F. Pentic et
S. Mart in hyeme per aequales porciones primo term' solut'incipiend'
ad F.S. Pentic px post dat pstium et etiam pdcs Wil Merley debit
p'dco Sacristie Dunelm' unum equum bene trottantem ad F. Pentic
px futur pretium xxvj's viijd--et si contingat p'dcm annuum reddit'
Et pdcs Wills, Johes et Wills de novo aedificabunt infra d'cum
ma infra duos annos ab ingressu term' sui p'dci sumptibus suis ppiis unam Aulam cum tectum mixta cum medonthak et Lyngthak et cum muris lapideis qui oes muri infra dom et extra oi pte erunt bene
fidelr. et sufficienter cum fre morter rakyd. Quae Aula
continebit in Longetud' infra mures xxx Pedes et in Latit
infra mures xx vel xviij Pedes in uno rufo supraposito ei
concordantes desiles. Ad cujus Aulie ardificat' p'dcs Prior et succ'
sui invenient pdcis Willo, Johi et Willo grossum meremium et lapides pro muris, congrua et sufficientia per ead, infr' id domum ad costag' ipsor &c. lucranda (to be won) et carianda …... et pr
Sacrist’ ……..
ejus Pace Gerentes. - libanda cum subboscis et
Ramallys pro clausuris manij antid'co quoties opus fuerit necessar’et opportunis. Insuper pd'ei Wills, Johis and Wills invenient et
defendent et sullic' stuffo totem Fundum super Ripam aquae de
Were infra tenuram suam a Devastat, aliqual’, in eventu frenda per Inundation' d'cw aquic dur' term' suo p'dco nisi fuerit Inundatio aquae supra mod 'excedens pro cujus Fundi devastat' p'dci W. J. et W. non onerabuntur etc., pdci Willus, Johannes et Willus p'dcam aulam ma
et Villam cum suis ptin' sepibus, Fossis et clausuris sustentabunt, manutenebunt et quoties necesse fuerit sufficienter reparabunt et
sic ea oia ac etiam tot' t'ram arabilem Tenur
æ suai ptinentia in fine
term’ sui anted'ci in bono et suff' statu per vis' et considerat' 4or virorum fide dignor' ex utraq pte' eligend' dimittent et ad istas Conventiones oies et sing' p'dcar' ex pti' pdcor W. J. & W. tenend et bene ac fideliter p'implendas pdci W. T. & W. obligant &c. et quemlibet eor' p. se in solidum h
ær et exec' suor p. pstes Priori
Dunelm in x libr sterling solvend p'dco Priori et succ. suis si et
quando contingent p'dcos W. J. & W. aut aliquam eorund’ deficere m p'missio suo in aliquid pmissor’'. Et p’'dci P. et succ’ sui tot man
et vill
antid'cam cum suis ptntiis, dcis W. J. & W. dur’ tot term’ suo p'dco in forma p’dca cotra oes gentes warr et defend’'. In cuj’' rei testim ptes p’'dcoe ptibus hujus indre Sigill sua alternat' apposuer'.

Dat. Dunelm in Fo. Transl S. Cuth. A.D. 1437.

Postea Dimifs A. Dni. 1459, 1477 p. 20 annis