WHERE IS HOWDEN - LE - WEAR ?????
Church and Chapels
Railway at Howden-le-Wear
Streets and Shops
HOWDEN CHURCH CLOSED
ST MARY'S CHURCH PROJECT ENDS
HOWDEN VILLAGE HISTORY PHOTOGRAPHS BOOK
TRADITIONAL CRAFTS GROUP
Contact Information for Howden-le-Wear Local History Society
Links for Howden-le-Wear Local History Society
Trinity Methodists / New Victoria Organ Centre
| HIGH STREET TRINITY METHODIST CHAPEL AND SCHOOL ROOM
now THE NEW VICTORIA ORGAN CENTRE
The Wesleyan Methodists was the first religious group to come to Howden-le-Wear in the late 1840's.The original chapel was erected on the North side of High Street in 1854 at the cost of £132/7/6. It was enlarged in 1861 and the building retained as both the first Day School and Sunday School.
The larger Chapel built in 1868, on the opposite side of the street, cost £533 to build. Dwindling numbers and rising costs led to the eventual closure and sale of the chapel in 1975 - the congregation amalgamating with Bridge Street Methodist Chapel.
The School Rooms are now privately owned and are converted to a dwelling house.
The main chapel building has been re-named The New Victoria Centre and houses a wonderful, restored Wurlitzer Organ. Recitals and concerts are regularly performed to different congregations and are sometimes broadcast on radio.
Vicars of St Mary's Church
|Until the 1970's the parish Vicars and their families lived in the 'old' Vicarage at Hargill. The original building was a large, stone built house set in its own extensive, wooded grounds, with orchards and tennis court. A new Vicarage was built within these grounds in the 1970's and members of the clergy have resided there ever since. Much of the original land has been sold for private housing development although the original vicarage building is still privately owned and occupied.
Fth. Stewart Irwin, the present incumbent resides in the Hunwick Vicarage.
St Mary's Church
| ST. MARY'S CHURCH
The Memorial Foundation Stone for the church was set in 1869 by Mrs Spencer of Helmington Hall, Hunwick. This stone contained a bottle in which was a parchment scroll inscribed with details of the ceremony and a statement that the church had been built by subscription as the Parish Church of The District of Fir Tree. Copies of the local Auckland Chronicle, Newcastle Journal and a few coins were included.
The church was dedicated to St Mary The Virgin and consecrated by the Bishop of Durham. The church cost £1400 to build and in 1884, adjacent to the churchyard gates, a Church Hall was erected - this Hall fell into dis-use and was demolished in 1994. In July 1995, St Mary's joined with Hunwick to form the new Parish of Howden-le-Wear and Hunwick. The Churchyard is no longer used for burials, however, memorial stones marking the last resting places of many former village residents can still be found there.
December 2006 - It appears St. Mary's may soon be closing - see 'News Page'.
Bridge Street Methodist Chapel
EARLY IMAGES OF THE PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHAPEL, HOWDEN-LE-WEAR
Information gleaned from the Church Diamond Jubilee Handbook informs that the chapel opened on September 6th 1870.
Initially the young society met in the house of Mr. Issac Heads, near the bottom of Church Street
Shortly after, Mr. Heads moved to a house in Bridge Street, opposite the present chapel and the society followed, holding their meetings there. It is also known that when the Sunday School Anniversary came round, a large tent was erected on land at the top of Church Street, to accommodate the annual event.
The church prospered and became too small, so, in 1903 the present building was erected. In one year £700 was raised towards the total cost of £1100. An organ costing £160 was afforded almost immediately. Then a scheme of lighting was considered and eventually a system of 'Automatic Gas' made from petrol, was secured.
In the 1920's Depression, local collieries closed for two years and many large families moved away in search of work. Then The Great War played havoc with the young men, five of the Sunday School Teachers were slain.
Nevertheless, the Church has survived and is still a place of worship to this day.