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Jarrow, Historical Description, 1890

Extract from: Kelly's Directory of Durham, 1890

JARROW, situated on the south bank of the Tyne, is a municipal borough and parish, with a station on the Newcastle and South Shields branch of the North Eastern railway, which joins the main line at Pelaw Main junction, 279 miles from London, 3 south-west-by-west from South Shields, 6 east from Gateshead and 7 east-north-east from Newcastle, in the Jarrow division of the county, east division of Chester ward, petty sessional division, union and county court district of South Shields, rural deanery of Jarrow and archdeaconry and diocese of Durham. The parish of Jarrow includes the townships of Harton, Hedworth, Monkton and Jarrow, Heworth, South Shields and Westoe; the municipal borough, incorporated May 13th, 1875, includes only a portion of the combined townships of Hedworth, Monkton and Jarrow, and is divided into six wards, viz. Central, East, North, South, West and Grange wards: the corporation consists of a mayor, six aldermen and eighteen councillors, who also act as the urban sanitary authority. The borough has a commission of the peace. The enlargement of the river at Jarrow, called Jarrow Slake, north-east of the town, covers an area of 470 acres, now reclaimed; but is recorded to have anciently held the whole navy of King Ecgfrid.

Early in the Christian era the Romans had a station at Jarrow, near the mouth of the river Don. The church and ruins of the monastery of St. Paul stand on part of its site, evidence of which remains in two inscribed stones found imbedded in the walls of the ancient Saxon nave when it was pulled down and rebuilt in 1783. The monastery was first founded in 644 by Benedict Biscop and his friend Ceolfrid; but in the year 681, Ecgfrid, King of Northumbria, gave 40 hides of land on the south side of the Tyne, and the erection of the monastery of St. Paul was then begun at a spot near the junction of the rivers Don and Tyne, and on its completion Ceolfrid was appointed the first abbot. For many centuries after their foundation the religious houses of the north were subject to the piratical incursions of the Danes, who, in 794 and again in 866, pillaged and destroyed, amongst others, the monastery of Jarrow; being afterwards rebuilt, it was burnt in 1069 by the followers of William the Conqueror, and again rebuilt by three monks, named Aldwyn, of Winchelcombe or Winchcombe (Glos.), and Elfwins and Reinfridus, of Evesham, to whom Bishop Walcher gave the vill of Jarrow, with Preston, Monkton, Hedworth, Hebburne, Westoe and Harton, for its support; in 1080, Walcher was murdered at Gateshead and in 1083, the 23 monks of Jarrow were removed by William de Carileph, Bishop of Durham, to the monastery of St. Cuthbert in that city, and Jarrow then became a cell to Durham, and was sometimes used as a retreat by the priors of St. Cuthbert’s. At the Dissolution Jarrow was valued, according to Dugdale, at £38 14s. 4d. The ruins, though scanty, retain some features of interest, especially a good round-headed doorway, the shafts of which, with their bases, capitals and imposts, are well preserved: there are also remains of a fireplace and several windows. Of its monks the most distinguished was the Venerable Bede, born at or near Wearmouth about 673, and received into the convent there when only 7 years of age: here he was educated, under the care of Benedict Biscop, then abbot, and having taken deacon’s orders when 19, was, at the age of 30, ordained priest, and to him we are indebted for the only authentic history of the settlement of Christianity in Britain, contained in his “Ecclesiastical History of the Nations of the Angles,” written about 734, when he was in his 59th year: he also wrote the lives of various saints, including St. Cuthbert, and a treatise on the Art of Poetry, but his last work, a translation into Anglo-Saxon of the Gospel of St. John, the accomplishment of which is touchingly related by one of his pupils, was finished only during the closing moments of his life, almost immediately after which he died in his cell, while uttering the ascription to the Trinity, 26th May, 735. The fame of Bede extended even to Rome, and pilgrimages continued to be made to his tomb in the south porch of Jarrow church, until, in the time of Edward the Confessor, his relics Were removed to Durham and placed with those of St. Cuthbert. Bishop Pudsey, in 1154, enshrined his remains and placed them in the chapel of the Galilee: the shrine itself perished at the Reformation, but the remains were interred on the site and the altar-tomb, now standing, erected over them.

The church of St. Paul, formerly belonging to the Benedictine monastery founded here by Biscop and Ceolfrid, is a building of stone, of Saxon, Early Norman and later work, with considerable modern additions in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle with vestry at the east end, north porch, and a central tower containing 2 bells, one of which bears two fleurs-de-lis and the words “Sancte Paule ora pro nobis :” the nave was rebuilt in 1783 at a cost of £624, and again in 1866: portions of the chancel appear to be undoubtedly of pre-Norman date, and in the east wall are signs of an apse having once existed: the tower, built by Aldwin between 1075 and 1083, is Early Norman and rises from two low round arches, with intersecting groined ribs; it is much, narrower on the north and south than on the other sides, and consequently in plan forms an oblong; but the north and south sides have each a set-off on reaching the upper stage, which is therefore smaller than the rest of the tower and is pierced with Norman shafted openings and finished with a moulded parapet:. built into the west wall of the tower, over the arch between it and the nave is a venerable stone with an inscription in Latin of undoubted authenticity, of which the following is a translation :-" The dedication of the church of St. Paul on the 9th of the kalends of May, in the 15th year of King Ecgfrid, and the 4th of Ceolfrid, abbot, and under God the founder: " this fixes the dedication of the church as on April 23rd A.D.684, Ceolfrid being abbot during the years 680 and 716: the porch was erected as a memorial to Thomas Drewett Drewett of Jarrow Hall, by his widow in 1887, and built into its walls are a number of most interesting sculptured fragments of both Roman and Saxon work, consisting of fragments of crosses, with rich interlaced carving, baluster shafts, inscribed stones and other relics, discovered during the restoration in 1866: the chancel retains four rude single-light windows with round heads, and on the north side is a now walled-up doorway; but it is chiefly lighted by Decorated windows, inserted at the beginning or towards the middle of the 14th century; in the chancel are two bench ends with intricate carved tracery of the late 15th century, and in the vestry is an ancient chair, reputed to have belonged to Bede, and now a good deal mutilated: there are 530 sittings. The register dates from the year 1572. The living is a rectory, tithe rent-charge £75, net yearly value £238, including glebe, with residence, in the gift of Lady Northbourne and Mrs. Drewett alternately, and held since 1882 by the Rev. Charles Richard Jubilee Loxley B.A. of St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

Christ Church, Jarrow Grange, is an ecclesiastical parish, formed June 23rd, 1868: the church, situated in Grange road west, is a fine building of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, south porch and a western tower 170 feet high, erected at a cost of £3,000 and containing 6 bells; the church and tower together cost £7,400: an organ has been placed in the church by public subscription: there are 500 sittings. The register dates from the year 1869. The living is a rectory, tithe rent-charge £150, net yearly value £300, with residence, in the gift of Lady Northbourne, and held since 1868 by the Rev. John Bee. The chapel of the Good Shepherd, Park road, a chapel of ease to Christ church, is a structure of brick, erected by Lord and Lady Northbourne, at a cost of £1,400, and has 300 sittings. The area of the parish is 180 acres; the population in 1871 was 4,622, and in 1881 9,778.

St. Peter’s was created an ecclesiastical parish August 26th, and the church, consecrated on St. Peter’s Day, 1881, and built at the sole expense of D. O. Drewett esq. at a cost of £6,000, is a structure of brick with stone dressings, in the Gothic style, and consists of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles, north porch and a tower on the south-east side with spire and containing 6 bells; there are 500 sittings. The register dates from the year 1881. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £300 (derived from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners), in the gift of the rector of Jarrow, and held since 1887 by the Rev. Septimus Pater B.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge.

The Catholic church, dedicated to St. Bede, situated in the Monkton road, is a fine building, erected in 1861, at a cost of £6,000, and will seat 1,100 persons.

The Presbyterian church, situated in Ellison street, is a building of stone in the Gothic style, with a tower and spire 130 feet high: the stained east window was presented by John McIntyre, in memory of Miss McIntyre: the church will seat 900 persons. There is another Presbyterian church in Wear street.

There is a Baptist chapel with 750 sittings; Wesleyan, 900; Wesleyan Reform, 400; New Connexion Methodist, 500; and Congregational, 500.

A cemetery situated at Fulwell, and comprising an area of 12 acres, was formed in 1866 at a cost of 2,700, for the township of Jarrow, Hedworth and Monckton, and is under the control of a Burial Board of 9 members.

The Corporation chambers, Grange road, contain the various borough offices, including those of the town clerk, surveyor, medical officer of health &c. and a council chamber for the meetings of the Corporation. The municipal insignia include a mayor’s chain and badge, and a borough seal: the chain, of massive gold, is of a cable pattern, and the badge, pendent from it, consists of an anchor, on which is a medallion with an inscription recording the presentation of the chain to the town by Charles Mark Palmer esq. M.P. first mayor of Jarrow: the seal is simply an embossing stamp, with the borough arms and motto, and a surrounding legend. The mayor’s robe is of scarlet cloth trimmed with black velvet.

The Mechanics’ Institution, situated in Ellison street, and erected in 1864, at a cost of about £2,000, was extended in 1877 at an additional cost of about £1,500: it is a plain structure of brick, comprising a lecture hall capable of holding about 1,000 persons, reading and recreation rooms, and a library of 3,000 volumes. The Christchurch Institute, also in Ellison street, was established in 1875, and has 500 volumes.

The Liddle Provident Dispensary, situated in Clayton street, was built in 1884, by subscription, as a memorial to the Rev. Edward Liddle, some time rector of Jarrow; it is self-supporting, and in 1888 had 2,226 members.

The poor of the parish receive small sums yearly from Ellison’s, Fowell’s, Nicholson's, Pattison’s, Brunton’s and Walker’s bequests.

The principal manufacturers and shipbuilders are Messrs. Palmer, at whose works upwards of 7,000 hands are employed; there are also chemical manufactories and a large paper manufactory.

Jarrow is the head quarters of the 1st Durham Engineer Volunteers.

Jarrow Memorial Hospital, in Clayton street, was erected in 1870 by Sir Charles Mark Palmer bart. M.P. as a memorial of his first wife, and is available for 20 in-patients: during the year 1888 there were 1,700 out and 145 in patients: it is supported by subscription, all the men in Messrs. Palmer’s yards and factories subscribing one penny and the boys one halfpenny weekly.

The Park, situated in Park road, contains about 8 acres of land, the gift of Lord and Lady Northbourne to the town, and was laid out and opened in 1876.

Mrs. Drewett, who is lady of the manor of Jarrow, and Lady Northbourne, of that of Jarrow Grange, are the principal landowners. The Dean and Chapter of Durham are the impropriators for Monkton, Hebburn and Hedworth. The soil is clay; the subsoil is clay. The area of the municipal borough is 940 acres; the population in 1881 was 25,469; the rateable value (borough), £95,966, and of the whole township (Hedworth, Monkton and Jarrow), £171,466.

Places of Worship, with times of Services

  • St. Paul’s Church, Old church, Rev. C. R. J. Loxley B.A. rector; Rev. T. M. Burnett B.A. Rev. H. A. Holmes M.A. & Rev. W. W. Stromberg M.A. curates; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; twice daily.
  • St. Peter’s Church, Chaytor street, Rev. S. Pater, vicar; Rev. D. S. Johnson & Rev. W. D. Boycott B.A. curates; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; twice daily.
  • Christ Church Parish Church, Grange road west, Rev. John Bee, rector; Revs, P. J. B. Ffoulkes M.A. A. R. Wilson & W. C. Carr B.A. curates; 8 & 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; daily at 7 & 7.30 a.m. & 7 p.m.
  • "Good Shepherd," chapel of ease to Christ Church, Park road, clergy of Christ Church, 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m. St. Andrew’s, chapel of ease to St. Paul’s, Croft terrace, clergy of St. Paul’s; 8 a.m. & 5.30 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Monkton Bede chapel, connected with St. Paul’s, Monkton, clergy of St. Paul’s; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.
  • St. Paul’s Mission Hall, High street; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Thur. 7 p.m.
  • St. Bede (Catholic), St. John’s terrace, Rev. Martin Hayes, minister; 8. 9, 10 & 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.
  • Christian Lay Church, Station street, minister various; 2.30 & 6 p.m.
  • Baptist, Clayton street, Rev. W. M. Hudson, minister; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Baptist (Salem), Princess street, minister various; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Congregational, Sheldon street, minister various; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Thur. 7.30 p.m.
  • Gospel Hall, Union st. minister various; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.
  • Methodist New Connexion, Bede Burn road, Rev, S. Wight, minister; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Presbyterian, Wear street, Rev. A. Matheson, minister; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Presbyterian, Ellison street, Rev. John Craig Weir, minister; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Primitive Methodist, Ellison street, Rev. Joseph Reavley, minister; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Tues. 7 p.m.
  • United Methodist Free Church, Grange road west, Rev. Wm. J. Hopper, minister; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • United Methodist, Monkton, minister various; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Wesleyan Methodist, St. John’s terrace, Rev. E. H. Simpson, minister; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Tues. 7 p.m.
  • Wesleyan Mission, Stead street, minister various; 10 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.
  • Salvation Army Barracks, Chaytor street, Capt. John Pigot, minister; 7 & 11 a.m. & 3 & 6 p.m.; every night.


  • A School Board of 9 members was formed March 24, 1871, for the united district of Hedworth, Monkton & Jarrow; offices, Royal Albert buildings, Ellison street; George Mason, clerk; John Mason, 42 Monkton terrace; William Anderson, 53 Wear street; Thomas Dalzell, 228 Albert road; James L. Treleiving, 23 Potter street & James Young, 17 Chapel road, attendance officers.
  • Board, Dunn street, for 1,377; average attendance, 380 boys, 375 girls & 382 infants.
  • East Jarrow Board, Swinburne street, for 214; average attendance, 198.
  • Grange (board), Birch street, for 1,231; average attendance, 368 boys, 355 girls & 396.
  • Grange Higher Grade (board), Birch street, for 684; average attendance, 480.
  • Monkton (board), for 193; average attendance, 150.
  • Ellison, Church of England, Wylam street (mixed), for 810; average attendance, 385 boys & girls & 276 infants.
  • National, Hedworth, for 120; average attendance, 35.
  • St. Peter’s National, Chaytor street, for 460; average attendance, 420.
  • St. Bede’s (Catholic), Monkton road, for 670; average Attendance, 289 girls & 303 infants.
  • St. Bede’s (Catholic) (senior girls), Grant street, for 290; average attendance, 200.
  • St. Bede’s (Catholic), East Jarrow, for 470; average attendance, 430.
  • Wesleyan, North street, for 325; average attendance, 300.
Jarrow Jarrow (St. Paul) Parish, 1848


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