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


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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 22574 33724


NZ 23 SW SPENNYMOOR CHURCH STREET (East side) Byers Green 5/36 (inset)

Church of St Peter



Parish church. 1844-1845 by G Y Wall, land agent, Durham (not Mr. Watts as stated in C19 histories). Paid for by the Bishop of Durham, with a grant from the Incorporated Society for Building and Repairing Churches. Coursed squared sandstone with ashlar dressings and plinth; Welsh slate roof with stone gable copings and stone ridge. Nave with west porch; chancel with north vestry. Gabled porch contains double boarded doors with elaborate hinges in 2-centred- arched surround with pyramid-stopped chamfer; blind trefoil in gable peak; fleur-de-lys finial. Beak head-stopped dripmoulds over flanking lancet windows; quatrefoil light in central projection which rises from porch and supports gabled bellcote with chamfered round arch under fleur-de-lys finial. Lancets paired in 3-bay nave, and paired in west bay of 2-bay chancel; 3 stepped east lancets; sill string; dripmoulds; high, coped buttresses, clasping at corners. Gable copings rest on double-roll-moulded kneelers; stone cross finials.

INTERIOR: Painted plaster above boarded dado, with ashlar dressings; queen- post roof and scissor-trussed chancel roof on chamfered stone corbels. Widely-chamfered chancel arch. One step to chancel, one to sacristy and one to altar. Chancel floor tiled in medieval style. Gothic-style organ, the gift of James Watson Hick, rector 1845-1875. Gothic-lettered 'Our Father' frieze, and motto over chancel arch. Gothic arcaded communion rail. C20 panelled reredos partly obscures windows. Original pews, with fleur-de-lys finials at both ends of rails; 4 front pews panelled with moulding. East window memorial, probably late C19/early C20, with groups of saints in flowing composition; flanking lancets, in north and south walls, are Byzantine-style figures of Saints Peter and Andrew, probably by J. W. Hick, resited from original position in east; paired south chancel lights contain Renaissance-style figures, one Christ or God, with 3-rayed nimbus, the other with small scrolled label 'St. John' in shield; both set in geometric glass and in strong colours. Nave windows of varied style, several with medallion patterns, some with figures, most mid-C19; one to John Robson of Durham, died 1857; another to his son William Henry, (by Lawson of Newcastle), who died in an explosion in 1852, aged 18, while investigating a problem in the colliery, where he was resident manager. A remarkable set of mid C19 glass. Panelled wood pulpit has names of rectors inscribed. Wood eagle lectern on Gothic pedestal, with brass plaque saying it was carved by J.W. Hick; as were the poppyheads in the choir in the style of Bishop Cosin. Square pedestal font, with waterleaf decoration, transferred from Kirk Merrington Church of St. John the Evangelist (q.v.). Monuments include classical-style black and white pedimented panel behind pulpit, commemorating Rev. R. E. Hoopel, 1833-1895, Rector 1875-1895, whose recognition of the importance of the Saxon church at Escomb brought it to the attention of scholars for the first time.

Sources: W. Fordyce, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatinate of Durham, Vol. I p.590.

H.C. Surtees, The History of the Parishes of Byers Green, (Mainsforth) 1922.

Durham County Record Office EP/BG,26 (plan and elevations).

Geo. Walker, Durham Directory and Almanack for 1846.

Listing NGR: NZ2257433724


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Fordyce, W, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatinate of Durham, (1857), 590
Surtees, H C , The History of the Parish of Byers Green, (1922)
Walker, G, Durham Directory and Almanack, (1846)


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: 11 Aug 1999
Reference: IOE01/01208/02
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brian Wilcockson. Source Historic England Archive
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