A brief history of the church

The Parish Church Website : link

[Views of Lanchester Parish Church.]

The Church dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient stone structure, consisting of nave, with north and south aisles, a south porch, a chancel, vestry and west tower. The oldest parts of the building are from the middle of the twelfth century.
They are:-

Aisles were constructed at the latter half of the twelfth century. The arcades separating them from the nave are each of four arches: the pillars on the North side are monoliths and they were probably brought from the neighbouring Roman fort.
The south door is also of the twelfth century. Some of the ironwork may be original but much was made by a local blacksmith at the end of the nineteeth century.
Early in the thirteenth century the chancel was rebuilt. The only window from this period which remain are three lancets in the east wall and three blocked lancets in the north wall.

In 1284 alterations to the church were made as the result of the creation by Bishop Bek of a deanery and college of canons in the church which had previously been a rectory. The western end of the chancel was widened to make room for stalls for the canons. The vestry and the piscina in the south wall are from this period.
The door way from the vestry to the chancel has a cinquefoil arch. On the tympanum is a carving (below) showing a seated figure, now headless and mutilated, but said to represent Christ, with two angels kneeling at the sides.

[Detail over vestry doorway. ]
Early in the fourteenth century a window was inserted in the east end of the south wall of the chancel and the south aisle and porch rebuilt.
The three south windows of the south aisle, the battlemented paraphets all date from the sixteenth century.
The present tower was built shortly before 1430, though the topmost stage may be later.
The present clock, dial and chimes were installed in 1902, replacing an earlier one, which had a black face.

The most recent addition to the church is the new Chapter house on the north side which was completed in 1993







BELLS

There were six bells in the tower some of which bear the crest of the founders, with the initials of the head of the firm at the time.
  1. F Shp. 4 cwt. M and S LONDON CAST 1810.
    RECAST 1936 VOX (sic) MEA AD DOMINIUM CLAMAVI
  2. E 4.50 cwt. M AND S LONDON CAST 1810.
    THIS LANCHESTER BELL WAS RECAST IN 1936. LEWIS HEATHERINGTON, VICAR.
  3. D 5 cwt. THOMAS MEARS AND SONS OF LONDON FECIT 1810
    RECAST 1959 LONDON SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS.
  4. C Shp. 5.50 CWT. THOMAS MEARS AND SON OF LONDON FECIT 1810
  5. B 7 cwt. MEARS AND STAINBANK, FOUNDERS LONDON CAST 1810
    I WAS RECAST IN 1936, WHEN KING GEORGE V. DIED.
  6. A 9 cwt. THOMAS MEARS AND SON OF LONDON FECIT 1810.
References to the bells go back to 1650. They were rung for the Coronation of King Charles II at a cost of '2s. 6d'.


Back to home page

Visit the Roman Fort

Parish Church Website

For a Virtual tour of Durham Cathedral click here

Photographs Copyright 1999, Lynn Hedley

Please do not use any information or Photographs from this site without permission of the author.