Records > Kelly's 1902 Directory : Byers Green
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Byers Green - 1902

BYERS GREEN a considerable village and township, which, together with the township and village of Newfield, the hamlet of Todd Hills and part of the township of Binchester, constitutes the ecclesiastical parish of Byers green; it is 3 miles north-by-east from Bishop Auckland, in the Bishop Auckland division of the county, ward of Darlington, petty sessional division, union and county court district of Bishop Auckland, rural deanery and archdeaconry of Auckland and diocese of Durham. Byers Green was formerley much isolated from the surrounding neighbourhood in consequence of the absence of any bridge over the Wear, which forms the boundary of the township for a considerable distance : this has now been remedied by the erection of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Bridge, opened for traffic by the Lord Bishop of Durham, 3 December, 1887. In June, 1878, a branch of the North Eastern Railway to Spennymoor and Ferry Hill was opened for passenger traffic, which in 1885, was extended to Bishop Auckland, passing half a mile from the southern end of the village, with a station at Old Park.

The church of St. Peter, consecrated July, 10, 1845, is a plain building od stone, in Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, vestry, porch and a western bell cote containing one bell: all the principle windows are stained, and there is some good painting and carving : the church was restored during the period 1873-90, at a cost of 500 pound, and affords 300 sittings. The register dates from the year 1845. The living is a rectory, net yearly value 316 pounds, including 82 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Durham, and held since 1898 by the Reverend Percival Young Knight M. A. Of Clare College, Cambridge. There are Wesleyan Methodist and Primitive Methodist chapels and a General Institute with a reading room. Near the centre of the village is the house in which Thomas Wright, a famous mathematician of the last century, resided; In various places near Byers Green the remains of old paved roads have from time to time been discovered, at a certain depth below the present surface of the ground. The population of the village is about 1,500, mostly employed in mining and agriculture. The minerals are the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who are also considerable landowners in the township. The mines are leased to Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co. Ltd. The area of Byers Green township is 1,082 acres; rateable value, 9,662 pounds. The population in 1901 was 2,333. Post M. O. & T. O., T. M. O., S . B., Express Delivery & Annuity & Insurance Office.- Miss Caroline E. Lumley, sub-postmistress. Letters arrive from Spennymoor at 7. 30 a. m. & 6 p. m.

NEWFIELD, a village and township, in the parish of Byers Green, 3 miles north-by-west of Bishop Auckland, is inhabited almost entirely by miners. St. Andrew’s church here is an iron structure, erected in 1901, with sittings for 200 people, and is served by the clergy of Byers Green. In 1901 a new churchyard was formed on land given by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The Primitive Methodist chapel here was erected in 1868. There is also a Methodist New Connexion chapel. Here are a large number of coke ovens, also a manufactory of fire bricks. The principal landowners are the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co. Ltd.; the latter are also lesees of the mines. Near the centre of the village is the old manor house, now divided into two residences. Two railway bridges connect the village with the opposite bank of the Wear, and give access to the railway stations at Willington and Hunwick; the eastern bridge is in a dilapidated condition, and has been closed to the public, but there is now a footbridge here. The area is 1,206 acres; rateable value 3,002 pounds; the population in 1901 was 1,043.

Parish Clerk, James Wilson. Sexton, John Craddock

Post, M. O. O., S. B. & Annuity & Insurance Office, Newfield.- James William Soulsby, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive from Willington R. S. O. at 8 a. m. & 4. 20 p. m.; dispatched at 9. 20 a. m. & 5. 30 p. m. The nearest telegraph office is at Byers Green, 2 miles distant.
Wall Letter Boxes.- Byers Green, cleared at 4. 30 & 8 p. m.; Todd Hills, cleared at 9 a. m. & 5. 15 p. m.; no collections on Sunday.


National (mixed & infants), built in 1843, rebuilt in 1854 & enlarged in 1891, 1892 & 1897, will now hold 468 children; average attendance, 405; Thomas Orton, master; Mrs. M.M. Chisholm, mistress.

National, Newfield (mixed), built in 1842 & enlarged in 1879 & 1889, for 289 children; average attendance 230; Mathew H. Watkin, master.

Railway Station, Byers Green, Thomas Robson, station master. BINCHESTER, a township containing a few scattered farmhouses, mostly in the parish of Byers green, but partly also in St. Andrew’s Auckland, and situated one mile north of Bishop Auckland, is chiefly remarkable for the remains of the famous Roman city, or station, Vinovium, situated on a lofty eminence overlooking the Wear, and extensively explored in 1878-79 through the public spirit and munificence of John proud esq. Of Bishop Auckland. Portions of the ramparts, about 8 feet 6 inches in thickness, were laid bare, and exhibited perfect courses of massive chamfered stones built upon substratum of loose water-worn stones collected from the bed of the Wear; at one point a finely built culvert was met with piercing the rampart and the main street of the city, traversing it from north to south, together with the fronts of the buildings lining the western side, were also uncovered. Among the antiquities brought to light in the course of the excavation was a very curious vase, found at the bottom of a well, another containing coins and an engraved gem; altogether about 127 coins were dig out, ranging from Claudius, A. D. 41-54, to Gratian a. d. 375-383. On the eastern side of the main street were discovered remains of the public baths, some of the fittings which were remarkably perfect. In a more central part of the station is a very perfect hypocaust, the tiles of which, and a brick, bear the stamped lettering “N CON”; some pottery, bearing the workmen’s names, querns, morataria, human and other bones, fibulae and iron instruments were also exhumed. The whole collection of antiquities has been presented to the University of Durham. The site of the Roman station and surrounding land is the property of the Bishop of Durham, and the Ecclesiastical Commission are large landowners in the township. The latest discovery was made in 1891, when workmen employed by Bolckow, Vaughan & co. To lay water pipes from the main of the Weardale and Shildon Water Company to Binchester hall, through the meadow to the south of the Roman station, came upon a very large and perfect Roman altar with a singular inscription. This altar was for about two years after its discovery in the garden of John Edward Newby esq. At Binchester Hall. It is now temorarily in the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, at the Black Gate in that city. The township also contains also the romantic wood of Bellburn, abounding in spots of lovely scenery. The area of Binchester township is 583 acres; rateable value, 1,176 pounds; the population in 1901 was 54.

Post Office, Binchester Blocks,- F. Chapman, sub-postmaster. Letters through Bishop Auckland, arrive at 8. 40 a. m.; dispatched 4. 55 p. m. Postal orders are issued here, but not paid. Byers Green 2 miles distant, is the nearest money order & telegraph office.


PAGE BANK, is a hamlet in the parish of Willington. There are a Primitive Methodist and Wesleyan chapels at Page Bank.

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