Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of WHITWORTH PARISH CHURCH
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 23560 34712


NZ 23 SW SPENNYMOOR STANNER'S LANE (East side, off) Whitworth

5/72 Whitworth 30/3/51 Parish Church


Parish church; dedication unknown. 1808 rebuilding of nave of church of unknown date; 1850 improvement and addition of chancel and vestry; vestry extended 1930. Roughly-coursed squared sandstone; east elevation rubble; ashlar plinth and dressings. Roof graduated Lakeland slate with stone gable copings. Nave with south porch; chancel with north vestry. Porch has high gable over diagonally-boarded door,with elaborate hinges, in chamfered surround with shafts and head-stopped dripmould: sundial in gable peak. 3-bay nave and 2-bay chancel have lancet windows with dripmoulds; flat sills in nave; bays defined by buttresses, angle at corners, with offsets; chancel sill string continuing round buttresses, and stepped up to 3 stepped east lancets. 2-light west window under dripmould; gabled bellcote, with bell and wheel in 2-centred arch, on west gable coping. North vestry door dated 1930. At west, 2 pent extensions dated 1935 have open roofs on pilasters, sheltering 2 effigies transferred from churchyard. At north a much-eroded female figure with long drapery; at south a late-C13 knight in chain mail, holding shield and wearing flat-topped cylindrical helm with eye-slits; feet on twisted figure in tunic; dog lies by his crossed legs. Said to represent Humez of Brancepeth.

Interior: painted plaster with ashlar dressings over embattled panelled dado, with blind tracery, in chancel. Roof arch-braced collared trusses on frieze, wall-posts and deeply-moulded corbels. Chancel roof 1888 by Ralph Hedley of Newcastle: panelled, with Tudor-flower bosses and rich stencilled decoration, on enriched frieze. Double-chamfered 2-centred-chancel arch, the outer chamfer pyramid-stopped and resting on stop-chamfered jambs, the inner on shafts with moulded capitals, under head-stopped dripmould. Shafted moulded rerearch to east window, with ball-flower-stopped dripmould. Perpendicular- style reredos 1895 by R. Hedley, with much gilding and richly-painted Crucifixion.Painted Gothic-style stone pulpit and octagonal font. Panelled pews with roll-moulded square ends; choir pews have poppyheads and Tudor-flower decoration. Terrazzo chancel floor. Painted heraldic shields high on chancel walls. Glass includes 1901 east windows to Rev. E.A. Wilkinson: The Ascension. 1920 west window World War I memorial to men of Binchester and Page Bank. Northnave windows: c.1897 high-quality Christ the Good Shepherd; others dated 1889, 1898; and 1909 St. Aidan by Horton, Butler and Bayne. South nave windows, including medallion glass with Presentation in the Temple, to Catherine Duncombe Shafto, died 1872 aged 102. Vestry has medallion glass. Organ one of the first by Harrison of Durham. Monuments include dark grey ledger stone in north-east corner of nave, with deeply-cut arms and crest, and inscription to Margaret, wife of Mark Shafto of Whitworth Hall, naming her children Robert, John and Catherine. Alabaster wall monument above in Art Nouveau style, to E.A. Wilkinson, died 1900, by Lowes and Sons; at west end, circa 1723 alabaster wall monument to Mark Shafto, with coat of arms in broken segmental pediment on aedicule containing long, well-cut Latin inscription saying he died of dropsy, and the monument was put up by his son and heir Robert. Classical wall monument to R.E.D Shafto, died 1848, by Denman, London.

Gothic monument at south-west to Robert McFarlane, surgeon, died 1854 after a fall from a gig, by W.T. Hale,London. Brass plaques below most windows.

Historical note: 'Bonny Bobby Shafto' of the popular C19 children's song was the grandson of Margaret and is said to be buried here in the family vault.

Sources: Whitworth Church, A Brief Guide, n.d.; typescript in church.

Archaeologia Aeliana, 2, XX, Newcastle (for 1898) 220 and 228.

Listing NGR: NZ2356034712


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Whitworth Church A Brief Guide
'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Archaeologia Aeliana, , Vol. 20, (1898), 220 228


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 04 Aug 1999
Reference: IOE01/00778/21
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brian Wilcockson. Source Historic England Archive
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