Lanchester, County Durham

Lanchester is a village and civil parish in County Durham, England, and was in the former district of Derwentside (1975–2009). It is 8 miles (13 km) to the west of the city of Durham and 5 miles (8 km) from the former steel town of Consett, and has a population of slightly more than 4,000[1] measured at the 2011 Census as 4,054.[2]

Although there was a small drift mine on the edge of the village which closed in the 1970s, Lanchester's economy was mainly based on agriculture. It is now a residential village in which a number of housing estates have been developed since the late 1960s. The village centre now has three pubs and a small shopping centre. Thanks to the Lanchester Partnership, a cycle track was opened on 25 April 2009.

Lanchester is located in County Durham
Location within County Durham
Population4,054 (2011)
OS grid referenceNZ165475
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townDURHAM
Postcode districtDH7
Dialling code01207
FireCounty Durham and Darlington
AmbulanceNorth East
EU ParliamentNorth East England
UK Parliament


The earliest occupation on the site is the Roman auxiliary fort located just southwest of Lanchester (grid reference NZ159469. Longovicium lay on the Roman road leading north from Eboracum (York), known as Dere Street. It is situated between the forts of Vindomora (Ebchester) and Vinovia (Binchester). The fort dates to AD 140,[3] covers almost 6 acres (2.4 ha),[3] and housed around 1,000-foot soldiers and cavalry. The fort foundations are well preserved, but there has only been minor excavation work carried out in 1937.

Stone from the fort was used in the construction of All Saints' Church, which has a Roman altar (one of many found in or near the fort) which was found near the fort in 1893 in its porch.[4]

Andrew Breeze has argued that the Battle of Brunanburh took place at the Roman fort of Longovicium. He interprets Brunanburh as meaning 'stronghold of the Browney.'[5]


An electoral ward in the same name exists. The population of this ward taken at the 2011 Census was 7,446.[6]


The schools at Lanchester include St Bede's Catholic School and Sixth Form College and Derwentside College's Sixth Form Centre. There are also two primary schools: Lanchester All Saints' RC Primary School and Lanchester Endowed Parochial (E.P) This latter has since moved about 50 yards (46 m) to new premises and the old school is now the village hall. The school has a nursery, an infants department and a juniors department.

Religious sites

All Saints Parish church

All Saints Church, Lanchester - - 614127
All Saints Church, Lanchester

The main Parish church is now known as All Saints but was once called St. Mary the Virgin.[7] The original building dates from the mid 12th Century but was extended in 1284 by Antony Bek, the bishop of Durham. The tower dates from c.1430.[7] Features of interest include the Norman chancel arch, the monolithic columns of the nave (presumably from the Lanchester Roman station) and a Roman altar in the porch.[8]

College of Lanchester

The parish of Lanchester was originally very large, covering sixty-eight miles².[7] To profit from this Anthony Bek created a Deanery and College of Canons at the church in 1284 and extended it to accommodate the increased numbers of clergy.[7] The college consisted of a Dean and seven Prebendarys who each held a share in the church's revenues.[7] Bek created a set of statutes and ordinances for the College which were confirmed by Edward I in 1293.[9] The church supplemented its income by monopolising the sale of religious items such as holy water to the surrounding villages.[9]

By the 15th century, the college was falling out of use and the church fell into a poor state of repair with "gaping ruins" in the church, Deanery and the canons' houses.[7] By the time Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries the College and Deanery were abolished and the church returned to perpetual curacy.[7]

Other churches

Methodist Church, Lanchester - - 1419425
Methodist Church, Lanchester

The other churches within Lanchester are the All Saints' Catholic church and the Methodist Church which is centred in the heart of the village.

Notable residents


  1. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics – Area: Lanchester CP (Parish) 2001 Census
  2. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Graham, Frank (1979). Roman Durham. Newcastle upon Tyne: Frank Graham. p. 17. ISBN 0-85983-155-8.
  4. ^ Roman Inscriptions of Britain – the Northern Borders (Lanchester) Archived 16 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Breeze, Andrew (4 December 2014). "Brunanburh in 937: Bromborough or Lanchester?". Society of Antiquaries of London: Ordinary Meeting of Fellows. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  6. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Gibby, Clifford (1965), Lanchester Parish Church, Gloucester: British Publishing Company
  8. ^ Betjeman, John, ed. (1968) Collins Pocket Guide to English Parish Churches; the North. London: Collins; p. 131
  9. ^ a b The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, II, London: Nichols and Son, 1820
  10. ^ Sir Bernard Burke (1871). A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the landed gentry of Great Britain & Ireland. Volume 1 (5th ed.). Harrison. p. 543.

External links

Albert Quinn

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Andy Graver

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Angus Seed

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Anne McElvoy

Anne McElvoy (born 25 June 1965) is a right-wing British journalist, contributing to The Economist and the London Evening Standard, and the BBC.

Crook Hall

Crook Hall, sited near Lanchester, County Durham some 8 miles north west of the city of Durham, was one of two Roman Catholic seminaries which temporarily replaced the Douai seminary in Douai, France when that college was suppressed soon after the French Revolution. Crook Hall was itself superseded after a few years by Ushaw College.

Dora Greenwell

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Fred Graver (footballer)

Frederick Graver (8 September 1897 – 1950) was an English footballer who played as an inside right or centre forward. He appeared in the Football League for Grimsby Town, although he played more for their reserve team in the Midland League, Leeds United and Southend United. Graver also played for Burnhope Institute and for North-Eastern League clubs Darlington, for whom he scored 14 league goals and 2 in the FA Cup, Shildon Athletic, West Stanley, for whom he scored 41 league goals, and Wallsend.His son Andy remains, as of March 2016, Lincoln City's all-time top scorer.

Jack McIntosh (English footballer)

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John Clavering (British Army officer)

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John Lee (Australian politician)

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John Wilson (footballer, born 1914)

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Lanchester railway station

Lanchester railway station was a railway station located in Lanchester, County Durham, England from 1862 to 1965 on the Lanchester Valley Line.

Ralph Calland

Ralph Calland (5 July 1916 – August 2005) was an English professional footballer, who played as a full-back for Torquay United. He was born in Lanchester, County Durham.

Ralph Shields

Ralph Shields (1892 – 21 November 1944) was an English professional football forward who played in the Football League for Huddersfield Town, Exeter City and Brentford.

Ron Batty

Ronald Robson Batty (born 5 October 1925 in Lanchester, County Durham - died 1971) was an English football full-back. He began his career with non-league Stanley United before signing for Newcastle United during the Second World War. He appeared for the club in 161 league games, scoring one goal. He left the club in 1958 to move to Gateshead where he added a further 40 league appearances before retiring.

St Bede's Catholic School and Sixth Form College

St Bede's Catholic School and Sixth Form College is a coeducational secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located in Lanchester, County Durham, England. It has a main block, a language block, a technology/music block, the sixth form block, two fields, tennis/basketball court and an astroturf. On 1 June 2012, the school converted from secondary to academy, giving it independence from the local authority.

The school opened its new sixth-form centre in November 2007 following a £5 million refurbishment, which included construction work on the new building and rebuilding science laboratories. Sir Tom Cowie, who lived in Lanchester, donated £500,000 to the project, which was named in his honour. Notable alumni include Anne McElvoy, a journalist, and Imran Sarwar, Game Designer and Producer on the Grand Theft Auto videogame series. St. Bede's is frequently cited as the top-performing school in County Durham.

Stephen Hughes (politician)

Stephen Skipsey Hughes (born 19 August 1952, Sunderland, County Durham) is a British Labour Party politician who served in the European Parliament.

Hughes attended St Bede's School in Lanchester, County Durham, and then Newcastle Polytechnic. He became a local government officer. Representing the Durham constituency between 1984 and 1999, Hughes was elected to its successor constituency, North East England in 1999 and re-elected in 2004 and 2009. He stood down at the 2014 election. In 1994 he appeared in the Guinness Book of World Records for the biggest majority in an English election.

Hughes was deputy leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party from 1989 until 1991, and was also the Social Group spokesperson on health and safety and on the working environment.In 2009 he took 25% of the vote, the highest of the three elected MEPs in the region, and the highest share of the vote for Labour in the UK.

Ted Calland

Edward Calland (15 June 1932 – 25 May 1995) was an English professional footballer who played as a centre-forward. He scored 76 goals in 171 league games in a ten-year career in the Football League with Fulham, Torquay United, Exeter City, Port Vale, and Lincoln City. His brothers Ralph and Albert also played professional football.

Terry Garbett

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County Durham

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