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Houghton-le-Spring's old Hillside Cemetery, Church Burial Ground, Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring, Co Durham

 

History of Houghton-le-Spring's Hillside Cemetery

1853 & 1854: Cemetery Question
An introduction and overview of the Hillside Cemetery's controversial history.

Hillside Cemetery Guide Book & Map
Print a copy out and take it with you when you visit the Old Cem.

Hillside Cemetery Time Line
A year by year look at the main events in the history of Hillside and the people interred there.

 

Burial Records, Grave Registers, Burial Registers & Memorial Inscriptions for Houghton Hillside Cemetery

Hillside Cemetery Burial Records 1854 - 1971
Name lists of those buried at Hillside Cemetery from the Registers of Graves and Burials.

Hillside Cemetery Memorial Inscriptions
List of names found on the remaining headstones at Hillside Cemetery 1854 - 1971.

 

Noteworthy burials at Houghton Hillside Cemetery

Rev & Hon John Grey, M.D., D.D.
Rector of Houghton and founder of Hillside Cemetery.

Thomas William Usherwood Robinson
Churchwarden and opposer of the Cemetery plans.

Sir George Elliot, Bart., M.P.
A self-made man and champion of miners' rights; he lived at Houghton Hall.

George Wheatley
A Crimean War veteran of founder of the Wheatley's confectionery business in Houghton.

William Standish Standish Esq
Formerly known as William Standish Carr, a noble man of Duxbury Park and Cocken Hall.

The Beckwiths of Silksworth
The shadowy Victorian figures of General William Beckwith and his wife, Priscilla Maria Beckwith.

Joseph Bland Pearson
An auctioneer, decapitated by a train on his way to Fencehouses Station.

William Shanks
A famous amateur mathematician from Houghton-le-Spring.

Remembered With Honour
Forgotten War Graves of four Houghton lads.

Unusual Burials
Other interees, including noteworthy denizens, murder victims, a murderer and more!

Houghton-le-Spring Workhouse
10% of Hillside Cemetery burials came from the local Workhouse!

Hillside Cemetery Fact Sheets
Information about the noteworthy burials, inc. Standish, Beckwith, Elliot and Wheatley.

The Other Wheatleys
Not connected to the confectioners but significant in their own right.

 

Restoration projects at Houghton Hillside Cemetery

Lych Gate Restoration
The lych gate on Sunderland Street, built 1862, was restored in 2006 & 2007.

Large Memorial Replacement
A replacement of the large fallen cruciform memorial.

 

Other information about Houghton Hillside Cemetery, the Old Cem in Houghton le Spring

Hillside Cemetery Photographs
Then & now views of the historic cemetery.

Hillside Cemetery Videos
Scenes from around the Cemetery and glimpse at its history.

Time Capsules
Interred in the lych gate in 1862 & 2006.

Houghton's Last Air Raid Shelter
In the grounds of Hillside Cemetery.

Cemetery Keeper's Lodge
Occupied by the Sexton and latterly the Caretaker.

Cemetery Documents
Old receipts, leaflets and funeral cards for Hillside Cemetery.

Passion of the Christ
A Passion Play held at the Cemetery Good Friday 2012.

Memories of Hillside Cemetery
Cliff Brown's childhood memories of Hillside in the 1950s.

Ghosts of Hillside Cemetery?
Ghostly photos or light and water vapour anomalies?

Cemeteries in the News
Unusual, shocking and thought-provoking stories for other cemeteries!

 

 

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The Gilpin Crest
www.houghtonlespring.org.uk

PAGE UPDATED: 07/04/2012

Locality 2 Houghton Hillside Cemetery. This is an abandoned but historic burial ground, currently being restored by the site's Friends. From a geological point of view, it is unique in that the cemetery was established in a quarry! Drive back east towards the A 690, but just before the big roundabout turn right up Elizabeth Str., left almost at the end, and right up onto Sunderland Str. Park (carefully) near the top, NGR 345505. You are right alongside, but separate from the A 690. Walk up the slope and through the restored lych-gate into the cemetery. We can see good exposure of the Raisby Formation and have a close look at bedding and texture. It was deposited as a shelf carbonate, converted to a dolomite probably soon after deposition. Partial replacement back to calcium carbonate can be seen giving the rock its distinctive appearance. We can also see the dramatic effects of faulting and post mining subsidence, and see how local stone was once used in building.

11/08/10 In 1853 considerable excitement occurred in the town of Houghton-le-Spring, Co Durham, relative to the formation of a new cemetery, an influential portion of the rate-payers having opposed a plan brought forward by Rector John Grey, for converting a quarry into a place of sepulture. Public meetings were held on the subject, and several angry publications issued from the press. A service of plate was presented to Mr E D Welford, as a testimony of approval of his conduct during the struggle. The new churchyard was, however, formed and consecrated on (Monday) the 4th of September, 1854. An order from Lord Palmerston, then Home Secretary, had been received, authorising interments in the new cemetery, and thus terminating the disputes on the subject which had agitated the parish. Copyright © Books of the North 2000 - 2009. Burials decreased from the 1940s, with the last taking place in the 1970s. The site became the final resting place of many well-known and note-worthy people.
What are the start times of the outdoor Passion Play at the old cemetery in Houghton-le-Spring?
Passion of the Christ, re-enactment at Houghton Hillside Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring.
Who played Jesus in the Passion play at Houghton Church set outside in the old cemetery? The condition of the detached burial grounds have deteriorated over the years and they are now in a dilapidated state.

t ?ee buried at Houghton-le-Spring Cemetery, Alexander ?andles buried at Houghton-le-Spring Cemetery,

AN OPEN DAY IS TAKING PLACE ON Saturday August 4 2011 10:30am - 4:30pm AT HOUGHTON-LE-SPRING'S HILLSIDE CEMETERY Commemorating 151 years of the Hillside Cemetery (near Houghton Cut), the Open Day will feature: - Extended site tour, covering hidden headstones and noteworthy vaults, - Hillside Cemetery: Then & Now Photo Display, - Search the burial registers for your ancestors, - The Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery Group in 1850s style clothing!, - The newly restored Houghton Colliery banner on display., Parts of Hillside Cemetery are recognised as a Regionally Important Geomorphological/Geological Site.

Grey Woods, Houghton-le-Spring
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, Rev Gilpin, Hutton, Wallis, Gwilliam, Ashdown, Rector

St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, Rev Gilpin, Hutton, Wallis, Gwilliam, Ashdown, Rector

Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery
st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church.
St Michael's Church Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring burial registers, burial records, grave registers, list of interments, grave plan, grave map, interees, vaults, oridinary plot, burial regulations.
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, Rev Gilpin, Hutton, Wallis, Gwilliam, Ashdown, Rector

st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church. 1581 - The earliest inscription on a headstone (now all buried) at St Michael's Churchyard dates from circa 1581. Over 8572 burials took place in the churchyard between 1793 and October 1853. It was officially closed for burials at the Court at Buckingham Palace by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council on August 11 1854.
If you would like to contact the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, please visit Copyright © Books of the North 2000 - 2009. 1815 - Construction work was carried out at the Houghton Cut opening during the Napoleonic Wars (this is disputable).

This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETERY.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT DETACHED BURIAL GROUND.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETERY AT HOUGHTON CUT.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETRY.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETRY AT HOUGHTON CUT.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETARY.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETARY AT HOUGHTON CUT.

1847 - Rev John Grey, nephew of Earl Grey, became rector of Houghton-le-Spring. 1852 - In response to the health risk that overcrowded churchyards posed, the Burial Acts of 1852 and 1853 enabled local authorities to administer their own cemeteries. Parish vestries elected Burial Boards to manage them. 1853 - Outbreak of cholera in Sunderland and surrounding districts and announcement of the cemetery proposals. This was the cause of much controversy between Rector Grey and his parishioners. They didn't like the idea of being buried at the "quarry hole" and were outraged at his suggestion of a local tax to pay for the walling of the ground; however many of the residents ended up being buried there, including many well-known Houghtonians. 1854 - September 4th - Consecration of the burial ground, near Houghton Cut, by the Bishop of Exeter after an order from the Home Secretary, Lord Palmerston. The first burials took place on September 19th 1854. 1856 - July 10th - It was believed for many years that while riding on the moors above the cemetery, William Standish Standish of Cocken Hall fell over the cliff with his horse; he was buried in a vault in the rock face, in the same spot where he allegedly fell. His ghost is said to haunt the graveyard and re-enact the fatal fall. Sadly Mr Standish Standish's vault has been vandalised many times over the years. Recent research suggests that it is more likely that Mr Standish Standish died at Cocken Hall from an illness as does the inscription on the vault. 1862 - October - The Elliot family applied for a vault at the Hillside Cemetery. 1871 - February 23rd - General William Beckwith of Silksworth and Trimdon, Colonel of the 14th Hussars, died and was interred at the Hillside Cemetery.
If you would like to contact the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, please visit 1873 - A new entrance to the burial ground was constructed (the original passed through the neighbouring Houghton Hill Farm). A lych gate was built and a garden area installed. 1877 - June 3rd - Priscilla Maria Beckwith, a founder of the Catholic community in Silksworth, died and was interred in the family tomb. 1881 - The 1881 census records William Reid (60 years old), the Parish Sexton, his wife Mary (59) and daughter Mary Jane (24, schoolteacher), as living in the Cemetery Lodge. The sixty year old Sexton and his wife originated in Ireland. Mary was buried at Hillside on June 20th 1886. 1888 - August 28th- Thomas William Usherwood Robinson was the son of a well-known Houghton brewer and was connected with the excavation of the 'Seven Sisters' Neolithic barrow at Copt Hill in 1877. In 1853 he was a Churchwarden at St Michael’s Church and he was against the Cemetery proposals, however he was laid to rest at the Hillside Cemetery on August 28 1888. 1891 - Plans for a new municipal Cemetery on Durham Road were revealed by Houghton le Spring Local Board of Health. Petitions for a section to be consecrated were submitted however these were declined despite the municipal Cemetery at neighbouring Hetton-le-Hole having a consecrated section. 1892 - March 1st - The 'new cemetery' opened on Durham Road at a cost of £4000,and this municipal cemetery is still currently in use. In 1892, Houghton le Spring Local Board of Health applied to the Secretary of State for an Order to close the Hillside Cemetery.
Date: 14 February 2005 Issue Number: 57558 Page number: 1789 Publication Date: Monday, 14 February 2005 Notice Code: 1106 Privy Council Office BURIAL ACT 1853 Notice is hereby given that representations have been made to Her Majesty in Council by the Secretary of State for the Home Department that burials should be discontinued in the following places of burial and that Her Majesty in Council was pleased on 9 February 2005, to order that such representations be taken into account by a Committee of the Privy Council on 11 March 2005. 1. Houghton Cut Detached Burial Ground, Houghton-Le-Spring, Tyne and Wear; 2. Shortwood Churchyard, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire.
1893 - A letter was issued from the Secretary of State informing the Churchwardens of St Michael's that the Regulations laid down by Lord Palmerston in 1854 for the Hillside Cemetery had not been observed with regard to the laying out of the ground and the size of the grave spaces. December 23rd - Sir George Elliot, Bart., M.P. died and was interred in a vault at the Hillside Cemetery.
If you would like to contact the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, please visit 1895 - November 14th - The funeral of Rector John Grey took place at the Hillside Cemetery. It is said locally that whilst on his deathbed at the Rectory, he could hear the men blasting rock in preparation for his vault. A trade directory from this time records George Brown, Sexton, as living at the Church Cemetery, Sunderland Street. The burial registers suggest that George had a 5 year old son called William, who died in August 1894 and was buried in the Cemetery. Copyright © Books of the North 2000 - 2009.1903 - The burial registers record Margaret Place (27 years old), residence: Cemetery Lodge, as being buried on November 9th 1903. Edwin Place was Sexton until the 1920s and resided in the Lodge. At this time, nanny goats were used to keep the grass down.

This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETERY.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT DETACHED BURIAL GROUND.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETERY AT HOUGHTON CUT.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETRY.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETRY AT HOUGHTON CUT.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETARY.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETARY AT HOUGHTON CUT.

1906 - Crimean War veteran, George Wheatley, died on December 11th. 1907 - A section in the Durham Road municipal Cemetery was finally consecrated.
You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now! 1926 - August 26th - The last of the Hillside Cemetery trustees, Avery Norman Robinson, died and was interred at the Hillside Cemetery. Mr GH Stevens, Solicitor and Church Street resident, became manager. His present day granddaughter, Virginia Gatherer, was one of the founding members of Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery in 2003. 1936 - 1938 - Reconstruction of the Houghton Cut opening. 1930s - 1940s - Bill Scott, caretaker and gravedigger, lived in the Lodge with his wife. He was a drinker – but never in pubs – and his wife made homebrew in the Lodge cellar. One day a shelf collapsed and she cut her hands and knees on the Glass. It is said that she got poisoned blood poisoning and died! 1940 - July - During World War II, high explosive bombs were dropped on the Houghton Cut/Hillside area of Houghton-le-Spring.
If you would like to contact the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, please visit 1950 - Following years of 'discussions' between the Urban District Council and St Michael's Church over the official responsibility of the Hillside Cemetery, the caretaker (a Council employee) vacated the Lodge and the 1942 agreement was terminated. 1961 - February 11 - The only set of ashes to be interred at the burial ground were those of John Morgan Forster on February 11 1961. 1962 - circa - Owing to the bad state that the Hillside Cemetery was in, three Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstones were removed from the site. Four new ones were erected at Durham Road Cemetery as alternative commemorations. 1970 - Reconstruction of the Houghton Cut opening for the A690 dual carriageway. 1971 - July 13th - The most recent date on a headstone currently held on record is that of Mary Jane Wanless. Another funeral did take place several years afterwards although it was not registered in the set of burial records. 1973 - September 4 - On the 119th anniversary since the burial ground was consecrated, the Diocese of Durham Advisory Committee gave approval to the removal of kerbs, headstones and memorials from the Hillside Cemetery. The plateau area was completely cleared; local man Alan Hilman and a colleague were hired by the Urban District Council, and the headstones were buried in a large crater. Copyright © Books of the North 2000 - 2009.2002 - October - The Standish vault was vandalised, revealing gruesome acts of desecration inside. 2003 - March 29th - Paul Lanagan started Work on recording the remaining headstone inscriptions at the cemetery. 2003 - April 5th - The Standish vault was vandalised and desecrated by children no older than 10 years old. The tomb was resealed with reinforced metal sheets shortly afterwards. 2003 - May 11th - The 100th name was added to the database after the 86th inscription was recorded. 2003 - July 22nd - Plans were put in motion for the formation of 'The Friends of the Hillside Cemetery' group, with an aim of having a positive affect on the condition and use of the Hillside Cemetery. 2003 - September 4th - The 149th anniversary since the burial ground was consecrated was marked by the official announcement that proposals were afoot to restore and preserve the Hillside Cemetery through the creation of a 'Friends of...' group. 2003 - October - A photograph display and historical talk by Paul Lanagan preceded a public consultation on the future of the burial ground. 2003 - December 3 - The inaugural annual general meeting of the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery took place. A committee was formed and a constitution was adopted. 2004 - Wednesday July 28 2004 - Official notice of the application for the discontinuance of burials at the Hillside Cemetery appeared in the local press. 2004 - Saturday August 7 2011 - An Open Day was held to commemorate the burial ground's 150th anniversary and over 150 people were in attendance. 2004 - October - The renowned writer, photographer and broadcaster Lucinda Lambton became patron of the Friends group. 2005 - February 23 - A man who vanished from his home was found lying dead in the snow-covered Hillside Cemetery on Wednesday February 23 2005. The man was reported missing from his home in Penshaw a few days before. His body was discovered by a lady walking her dog. At the time of the discovery a member of the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery was in the burial ground with an architect, discussing the lych gate restoration.
If you would like to contact the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, please visit 2006 - The Friends restored the lych gate archway. Work started on August 8 2006 and was completed on August 22 2007. 2007 - In the last week of December, the vault of William Standish Standish was desecrated again, the last time being in April 2003. Thanks to help from Churchwarden David Turnbull and Associate Priest Rev Derek Newton, the vault was cleansed, William's bones were reinterred and the vault was sealed securely in early 2008. Shown above is the repaired coffin. Copyright © Books of the North 2000 - 2008. 2008 - March - A proposal came about to demolish the brick built WWII air raid shelter in the Cemetery's entrance passage.
st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church. Parts of Hillside Cemetery are recognised as a Regionally Important Geomorphological/Geological Site.
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, Rev Gilpin, Hutton, Wallis, Gwilliam, Ashdown, Rector

st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church.
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, Rev Gilpin, Hutton, Wallis, Gwilliam, Ashdown, Rector

st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church.
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, Rev Gilpin, Hutton, Wallis, Gwilliam, Ashdown, Rector

St Michael's Church Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring burial registers, burial records, grave registers, list of interments, grave plan, grave map, interees, vaults, oridinary plot, burial regulations.
st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church. Parts of Hillside Cemetery are recognised as a Regionally Important Geomorphological/Geological Site.
Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, Rev Gilpin, Hutton, Wallis, Gwilliam, Ashdown, Rector

St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, the Church of England in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, Sunderland

st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church.
buried in Houghton Cemetery, Durham Road

St Michael's Church Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring burial registers, burial records, grave registers, list of interments, grave plan, grave map, interees, vaults, oridinary plot, burial regulations.
buried in Houghton Cemetery, Durham Road
- Durham Wildlife Trust Flora & Fauna Talk………….AND MUCH MORE!
ENJOY A TRADITIONAL CREAM TEA OR BRING A PICNIC ALONG , GUIDE MAPS & REFRESHMENTS AVAILABLE
St Michael's Church Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring burial registers, burial records, grave registers, list of interments, grave plan, grave map, interees, vaults, oridinary plot, burial regulations.
You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now!
st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church. Parts of Hillside Cemetery are recognised as a Regionally Important Geomorphological/Geological Site.
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, the Church of England in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, Sunderland

buried in Houghton Cemetery, Durham Road

Grey Woods, Houghton-le-Spring
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, the Church of England in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, Sunderland

St Michael's Church Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring burial registers, burial records, grave registers, list of interments, grave plan, grave map, interees, vaults, oridinary plot, burial regulations.
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, the Church of England in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, Sunderland

St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, the Church of England in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, Sunderland

Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery
buried in Houghton Cemetery, Durham Road

Houghton-le-Spring geocaching site, secret clue: wife of Elvis, not
January 7th 2008 - The Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery are sad to announce that the vault of William Standish Standish Esq, 18th in a direct descent from King Edward III, has been vandalised and desecrated again.
We need your support and help in tackling this. Please visit Hillside Cemetery as often as you can. If you see anybody who is acting inconsistently with the nature of the site, please telephone the local Police on 0191 454 7555, or dial 999 if acts of criminal damage are being carried out.

This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETERY.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT DETACHED BURIAL GROUND.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETERY AT HOUGHTON CUT.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETRY.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETRY AT HOUGHTON CUT.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETARY.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETARY AT HOUGHTON CUT.
If you would like to contact the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, please visit
People from Houghton are called Houghtonians.


You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now! Parts of Hillside Cemetery are recognised as a Regionally Important Geomorphological/Geological Site.
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, the Church of England in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, Sunderland

St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, the Church of England in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, Sunderland

buried in Houghton Cemetery, Durham Road

Grey Woods, Houghton-le-Spring
St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, the Church of England in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, Sunderland

St Michael & All Angels Church, Houghton-le-Spring, Broadway, the Church of England in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, Sunderland

Not affiliated to www.houghton-hillside-cemetery.org.uk nor www.theoldcem.co.uk

 

HOUGHTON CUT DETACHED BURIAL GROUND, HOUGHTON-LE-SPRING, TYNE & WEAR. St Michael's Churchyard. Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring.

Grey Woods, Houghton-le-Spring
Houghton-le-Spring geocaching site, secret clue: wife of Elvis, not
Not affiliated to www.houghton-hillside-cemetery.org.uk nor www.theoldcem.co.uk

ANNUAL OPEN DAY AND FAMILY FUN DAY ON SATURDAY AUGUST 4TH 2009 - FREE ENTRY

Notice is hereby given that it is the intention of the Secretary of State for the Home Office acting on an application by the incumbent, the Rev'd Dr IG Wallis, to apply to the Privy Council for an Order requiring the discontinuance of burials in Houghton Cut detached burial ground, Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne and Wear.


Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery

Provision would be made for the following exception:-


St Michael's Church Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring burial registers, burial records, grave registers, list of interments, grave plan, grave map, interees, vaults, oridinary plot, burial regulations.
Houghton-le-Spring geocaching site, secret clue: wife of Elvis, not

in any earthen grave existing in the said Churchyard, the burial may be allowed of the body of any member of the family of the person or persons theretofore buried in such grave, subject to the condition that no part of the coffin containing the body shall be at a depth less than one metre below the level of the surface of the ground adjoining the grave.


buried in Houghton Cemetery, Durham Road
Parts of Hillside Cemetery are recognised as a Regionally Important Geomorphological/Geological Site.
Not affiliated to www.houghton-hillside-cemetery.org.uk nor www.theoldcem.co.uk
our Great great grandparents are buried in the old cemetery, their headstones being found by the Friends of the Old Cemetery. Their names are WILLIAM HUNTER WATSON , formery of NEW HOUSE who married ALICE (NEE STEPHENSON) WATSON in 1857. They had 4 children, Isabella, James, William and Bartholomew and lived at Copt Hill.

This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETERY.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT DETACHED BURIAL GROUND.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETERY AT HOUGHTON CUT.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETRY.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETRY AT HOUGHTON CUT.
This cemetery is also known as HOUGHTON CUT CEMETARY.
This cemetery is also known as THE OLD CEMETARY AT HOUGHTON CUT.


You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now!

ANNUAL OPEN DAY AND FAMILY FUN DAY ON SATURDAY AUGUST 4TH 2011 - FREE ENTRY
St Michael's Church Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring burial registers, burial records, grave registers, list of interments, grave plan, grave map, interees, vaults, oridinary plot, burial regulations.

Any representations about the proposed closure should be sent to the Home Office, Coroners Section, 5th Floor, Allington Towers, 19 Allington Street, London SW1E 5EB (quoting reference BCR/00 13/2/25) within 21 days of this publication. Sheila Quigley, run for Home, Bad Moon Rising, Houghton-le-Spring, books. Commonwealth War Graves . Otto Hellstrom. Houghton Cut detached Churchyard. The Cut Burial Ground. A690. Houghton RATS. Burial records. Local history. Ken Richardson. Geoffrey Berriman.


buried in Houghton Cemetery, Durham Road

Houghton-le-Spring geocaching site, secret clue: wife of Elvis, not
St Michael's Church Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring burial registers, burial records, grave registers, list of interments, grave plan, grave map, interees, vaults, oridinary plot, burial regulations.
buried in Houghton Cemetery, Durham Road

buried in Houghton Cemetery, Durham Road
THE GROUP HAVE BEEN ASKED TO HOST THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CEMETERY FRIENDS AGM ON 13TH JUNE 2009. THIS WILL BE THE BIGGEST EVENT THAT THE FRIENDS HAVE HOSTED AND WILL HOPEFULLY BRING ALOT MORE AWARENESS TO THE SITE.
Thomas William Usherwood Robinson lived in what is now known as Hardwick Hall, which hosts many events and is a great venue for a reception of any kind. THE FRIENDS ANNUAL OPEN DAY HAS PROVISIONALLY BEEN SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY 18TH JULY 2011 12NOON TIL 4PM
You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now! Welcome to the website for The Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery. The group are a non religious non profit earning group. Any funds which are raised are for the benefit of the cemetery and are used to assist in its restoration or events hosted by the group. Hillside is a cemetery located on the outskirts of Houghton Le Spring and the recently restored Lych Gate can be seen when driving along Houghton Cut on the A690 towards Sunderland. It is in actual fact not a cemetery but a detached burial ground for St Michaels and All Angels Church however it is more often than not referred to as ’the old cemetery’ It was consecrated in 1854 by Rector John Grey after a lot of controversy as the site was initially a quarry. A bid to bring Houghton Hillside Cemetery "back to life" has been completed. Volunteers have been aiming to save the historic site from the ravages of drug-users and drunks. Masses of litter, believed to be drug and alcohol-related, and the local troublemakers who congregate in one of the vaults are a constant concern to the custodians of the cemetery. David Turnbull, chairman of the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, said the work on the lychgate and the dwarf wall and railings marked the completion of the Back to Life project. The progress of the scheme is outlined in the current Houghtonian Newsletter, the new name of the group's journal. The Friends formed in 2003 because of concerns that the local landmark was falling into disrepair. The group started doing regular clearing exercises, such as organised litter picks, to keep the cemetery free from rubbish and dog mess. Mr Turnbull said the determined group was not afraid of undertaking the large projects required to preserve this piece of local history for future generations. Their most recent undertaking was the restoration of the lychgate. In 2004, grandfather and grandson team George Davison and Paul Lanagan started to remove the ivy that was smothering the gate. The National Lottery local heritage initiative stepped in to provide funding for phase one of the restoration, which began in the summer of 2006. During restoration work to the lych-gate entrance, a glass jar containing a full set of Victorian coins and a clergyman's handbook was found. The Victorian jar was replaced with a 21st-century capsule made from a length of drainpipe filled with letters, photographs and CDs. Phase two, which started in May this year, was hampered when stonemasons employed by the group were forced to down tools after complaints that a bridlepath was being obstructed.

Write to us at:
Houghton Hillside Cemetery (Church Burial Ground)
Cemetery Lodge
147 Sunderland Street
Houghton-le-Spring
Co Durham
DH5 8BG
Or email via www.houghtonlespring.org.uk The first pillar was completed in May and, in June, rubbish found in the soil made it apparent that the old Sunderland Street was buried underneath. Finally, restoration of the railings and gates was completed. Mr Turnbull said the group was not just concerned with the vital work of preservation but also with educating local children to appreciate the history of their community. To do this, they have a dedicated education officer responsible for Victorian-based activity days at the Hillside cemetery and the production of a colouring book entitled A Colourful Past. The lychgate project was funded by Heritage Lottery fund, Aspire, All Churches Trust Ltd., SB coalfields and Sunderland City Council parks department. There had been an outbreak of Cholera in Houghton Le Spring and as the churchyard surrounding St Michael & All Angels Church was full another site had to be found. Eventually after a lot of debating the Hillside site was consecrated. Initially the main entrance to the site was through Hillside Farm next door but in 1873 the Lych Gate was built and this became the entrance. The Lych Gate was damaged due to a road traffic accident in the 1960's, however the Lych Gate and surrounding railings were restored in 2006/7. Although the site was a split level site, Hillside soon started to fill up and it was found necessary to have an extension which was opened in 1894. This also coincided with the opening of the Municipal Cemetery on Durham Road in Houghton Le Spring but as the municipal did not at the time have a consecrated area the authorities were forced to extend Hillside. There were about 7000 burials took place at Hillside. The last burial took place at Hillside in the 1970’s. Also when the A690 was built through Houghton Cut in the 1960’s the cemetery was forgotten about. Sunderland Street where the cemetery is located became a dead end due to the recently built dual carriageway. Hillside quickly became overgrown and a haven for wildlife. During the building of the A690 the headstones on the plateau area of the site were bulldozed and plateau levelled. The stones are supposedly buried in the top left hand corner of the site. There are over 7000 people buried at Hillside including Rector Grey and Thomas Usherwood Robinson. Thomas Usherwood Robinson being the main objector in the controversy! Ironic to think that as he was one of the main objectors he ended up at Hillside. In December 2003 following a public meeting the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery were formed and since the formation of the group the site is starting to return to its former glory. So far the group have carried out substantial conservation works within the site and also secured funds which saw the restoration of the Lych Gate and Railings at the entrance. They have also held their own fund raising events such as their annual open days, a sponsored graveyard gallop and more recently in 2008 a sponsored 10 mile walk. The walk was undertaken in atrocious weather conditions as it rained from beginning to end but this did not deter the Friends who took part. Tours of the site are undertaken several times each year and each time are attended by new visitors to the site together with many visitors who support the group year after year. Pictured above is the pathway leading to the site at the top of Sunderland Street. This was once the main throughfare to Sunderland however once the A690 opened Sunderland Street became a dead end. Sadly, the site has been plagued with vandalism. At the beginning of 2009 the Standish Vault was once again broken into and more recently the steel plate securing the front of the Elliott Vault has been pulled off. Numerous times the group have visited the site and discovered lots of rubbish strewn around including beer cans and wine bottles and also the remenents of fires. One one occassion a tent had been erected on the bottom level!!!! However, this has not detered the members and they continue with their endeavors to restore the site. Within this site we do hope you will enjoy reading about the history of Hillside and also the works carried out by the Friends and also the intended work to be carried out.
You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now!

I’m currently researching a gentlman called William Standish Standish who died in 1856 whilst living at a place called Cocken Hall, County Durham. Intriguingly, there are two completely different accounts of how William met his death, before being laid to rest in a vault in a cemetery in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham. A local newspaper of the period, the Durham County Advertiser, Friday 11th July 1856, carried the following report:
You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now! Death - We deeply regret to announce the death of William Standish Standish Esq of Coken Hall and Duxbury Park, Lancashire, which took place at an early hour yesterday morning after a short illness at Cocken Hall. The deceased, who was in his 50th year, was universally respected by men of all classes in the north of England; and his amiable, benevolent and hospitable character had endeared him to a large circle of friends, by whom his loss will be truly and deeply regretted. Strange that another story is also in circulation, the earliest source of which seems to be from a book published sometime around the early 1950’s, titled: Houghton-le-Spring: A History by Frank H Rusford
You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now! W. STANDISH STANDISH In the old cemetery are the vaults of several famous men of Houghton and district, and one of them contains the remains of Mr. W. Standish Standish, of Cocken Hall, who was buried at the foot of the cliff over which he fell with his horse in July, 1856. Mr Standish was an author and artist whose eminence was appreciated over a wide area. His extensive and valuable gallery of pictures, together with his unique and costly library of the rarest books, were bequeathed by him, in April, 1840, to Louis Phiippe, King of France. His Majesty deposited them in a suite of cabinets in the Louvre which he named the ‘Musee Standish’. Mr. Standish valued his paintings at £32,000 and his books at £11,000. After the revolution of 1848, The Standish Collection was removed to England and the gallery of pictures, with that by Spanish artists, was sold by public auction at Christie’s, London, in May, 1853. There were paintings by Watteau, Morale, Murilla, Velasquez and others which brought such prices as 700 guineas, 205 guineas, 380 guineas and so on. In 1848, Mr. Standish Standish offered the use of his residence at Duxbury Park to the ex-royal family of France, but the offer was declined. The inscription on the vault’s memorial stone at Houghton-le-Spring reads: Within this tomb lies the remains of the deservedly lammented William Standish Standish Esq of Duxbury Park, County of Lancashire and Cocken Hall in the County of Durham, who died at Cocken Hall July 10th 1856 aged 48 years. The following report was printed in the Durham County Advertiser on Friday 18th July 1856: Funeral of the late William Standish Standish Esq - Yesterday morning the mortal remains of the late Wm. Standish Standish Esq, were consigned to their final resting place, in a vault in the new cemetery at Houghton-le-Spring. It was intended that the interment should have been in the family vault in the parish church of Chorley, but as there was some difficulty in carrying this intention into effect, owing to the recent Act of Parliament, the funeral, as already stated, was at Houghton-le-Spring. The funeral procession left Cocken Hall about 11 o’clock; it consisted of several mourning coaches and a large number of carriages, the whole of Cocken and Ludworth tenantry on horseback, besides a great number of the gentry and inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who attended to pay this last mournful tribute of respect to the memory of one, whom whilst living, they so highly esteemed. Mrs Standish, Mrs Sinclair, Miss Standish, Captain Standish and Mr Sinclair were present at the mournful ceremony. H Fenwick Esq MP, HJ Spearman Esq, EC Jepson Esq, Geo Wilkinson Esq, C Branwell Esq, Rev RGL Blenkisop, Rev T Crossman, Rev G Lord and etc, and etc, besides a large number of tradesmen and other inhabitants of this city were likewise present. The funeral service was read in an impressive manner by one of the curates of Houghton-le-Spring parish church, after which, the funeral procession returned to the Hall.
You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now! Anyone think they might connect with this William Standish Standish gentleman?Kind regards... David Allan.
st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church.
Not affiliated to www.houghton-hillside-cemetery.org.uk nor www.theoldcem.co.uk
St Michael's Church Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring burial registers, burial records, grave registers, list of interments, grave plan, grave map, interees, vaults, oridinary plot, burial regulations. Parts of Hillside Cemetery are recognised as a Regionally Important Geomorphological/Geological Site.
st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church. Parts of Hillside Cemetery are recognised as a Regionally Important Geomorphological/Geological Site.
st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church.
COnservation work, CEED, Sunderland Youth Offending Services, Youth Offending Team, YOS, YOT, Sunderland
st michael's Church, st michaels Church, houghton, houghton Church, houghton parish Church.
If you would like to contact the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, please visit
Not affiliated to www.houghton-hillside-cemetery.org.uk nor www.theoldcem.co.uk

Grey Woods, Houghton-le-Spring

ANNUAL OPEN DAY AND FAMILY FUN DAY ON SATURDAY AUGUST 4TH 2011 - FREE ENTRY
Houghton-le-Spring geocaching site, secret clue: wife of Elvis, not
You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now!

People buried at Houghton Hillside Cemetery lived at the following addresses:up
HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
1 ABBOT ST. HOUGHTON
1 BALMERS YARD HOUGHTON
1 BRITANNIA ST. DUBMIRE
1 BRITANNIA ST.. DUBMIRE
1 CEMENT ROW DUBMIRE
1 CHEST.ER ST. GRASSWELL
What are the start times of the outdoor Passion Play at the old cemetery in Houghton-le-Spring?
Passion of the Christ, re-enactment at Houghton Hillside Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring.
Who played Jesus in the Passion play at Houghton Church set outside in the old cemetery?
1 D'ARCY ST.. HOUGHTON
1 ELLISON TERRACE GREENSIDE
1 EWE HILL TERRACE FENCEHOUSES
1 FATHERLY TERRACE HOUGHTON
1 FRONT ST.. DUBMIRE
1 GREY HORSE LANE HOUGHTON
1 HOPPER SQUARE HOUGHTON
1 HOPPER SQUARE HOUGHTON
1 HOPPER SQUARE HOUGHTON
1 HOPPER SQUARE HOUGHTON
1 HOUGHTON TERRACE HOUGHTON
1 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
1 NEW HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
1 RUBY ST. GRASSWELL
1 RUBY ST. HOUGHTON
1 RYHOPE ST. NEWTOWN
1 SHIELDS PLACE HOUGHTON
1 SHIELDS PLACE HOUGHTON
1 SHIELDS PLACE HOUGHTON
1 SHORT ST. NEWTOWN
1 SMITH ST. DUBMIRE
1 SOUTH ST.. DUBMIRE
1 SOUTH ST.. NEWBOTTLE
1 ST.ANLEY ST. HOUGHTON
1 ST.OCKFIELD TERRACE HOUGHTON
1 THE GREEN HOUGHTON
1 THE TERRACE HOUGHTON LE SPRING
1 THORNTON ST. DUBMIRE
1 VIOLET ST. HOUGHTON
1 VIOLET ST. HOUGHTON
1 WATSONS YARD HOUGHTON
10 BAKER ST. HOUGHTON
10 BALFOUR ST. HOUGHTON
10 BALFOUR ST. HOUGHTON
10 COLLIERY ROW
10 CROSS ST. HOUGHTON
10 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
10 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
10 FATHERLY TERRACE COLLIERY ROW
10 LONG ROW CHILTON MOOR
10 LUMLEY ST. GRASSWELL
10 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
10 MILDRED ST. HOUGHTON
10 MILDRED ST. HOUGHTON

From sunderlandecho.com:
A GRAVEYARD at a disused quarry is to host a dramatic open-air play. The Houghton Passion Play, which will be staged at Houghton Hillside Cemetery, will also see the audience take part in the production, making up the crowd who jostle for a view of Jesus before his crucifixion. The cemetery is in an 18th-century limestone quarry, where the first graves date back from the 19th century. Today, it is a closed cemetery, with burials having stopped in the early 1970s, and is part of St Michael’s Church in the Diocese of Durham. The Passion Play, which is now in its 10th year, is usually performed in the church. This will be the first time it has been staged in the open air. The Reverend Canon Sue Pinnington, Rector of Houghton and producer of the play, said: “The Passion Play has been successfully produced in the church in recent years, but this year we are taking it outdoors for the first time. “The cemetery, with its backdrop of cliffs, is a terrific amphitheatre and will create a great atmosphere.” Local writer Stuart Clappison and lyricist Andy Slater created the play, a modern-day interpretation of the story, with the Reverend James Menzies, assistant curator of neighbouring Hetton Lyons, taking on the role of Jesus. “There will be a lot of movement during the play,” said Rev Pinnington. “The narrator and members of the cast will move around the quarry and the audience will be able to follow the story, exactly as happened when Jesus was crucified. “There will be guards in modern military dress, complete with guns, who will move people away if they go too near, to give it a realistic feel. “The whole idea is to show that the story may be 2,000 years old but it is still relevant and contemporary. “People will be able to experience what it was like for those people watching the crucifixion of Jesus. “There will be an edginess to the show. “People will be able to accompany Jesus on his last journey. “It will be a living play.” It is hoped the crucifixion scene will provide a reminder of the area’s historic links with quarrying and mining. It will take place in front of the Miners’ Monument, a cross which commemorates the many miners whose bodies lie in the cemetery. They include some of those who lost their lives in the Houghton Colliery Disaster of 1850, when firedamp and coal dust were accidentally ignited by a safety lamp, killing 27 miners. The Passion Play is supported by local community groups, including the Friends of Hillside Cemetery, who have worked hard to restore the site in recent years. Businesses and the council have also supported the event. For more information about the play, which takes place at 11am on Good Friday, April 6, visit www.stmichaels-hls.org.uk
10 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
10 OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
10 PEARTREE PLACE HOUGHTON
10 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
10 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
10 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
10 ST.ANLEY ST. HOUGHTON
10 ST.ANLEY ST. HOUGHTON
10 THE GREEN HOUGHTON
10 THORNTON ST. DUBMIRE
10 WARDEN HOUSE COTTAGES
101 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
101 NORTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
102 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
103 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
103 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
104 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
104 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
104 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
104 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
106 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
106 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
108 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
108 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
109 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
11 D'ARCY ST. HOUGHTON
11 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
11 HENRY ST. HOUGHTON
11 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
11 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
11 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
11 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
11 LAMBTON ST. HOUGHTON NICHOLAS COWIE / BELOVED HUSBAND OF / ESTHER COWIE WHO LOST HIS LIFE / AT HOUGHTON COLLIERY JULY 14TH 1896 / AGED 57 YEARS / ALSO SARAH ELLEN WIFE OF ROBERT FINCH / AND DAUGHER OF THE ABOVE / DIED MAY 2ND 1901, AGED 27 YEARS. / ALSO OF JOHN THOMAS / BELOVED SON OF THE ABOVE / WHO DIED FEBY 6TH 1911 / AGED 29 YEARS. / INTERRED IN SECT F NO 2993 / ESTHER BELOVED WIFE OF THE ABOVE / NICHOLAS COWIE / WHO DIED NOV 12TH 1920 / AGED 79 YEARS
11 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
11 NESHAM PLACE HOUGHTON
11 SWALWELL TERRACE HOUGHTON
11 THE FOLDS COLLIERY ROW
110 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
110 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
110 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
111 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
112 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
112 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
112 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
113 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
113 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
114 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
114 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
12 GRASSWELL TERRACE
12 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
12 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
12 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
12 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
12 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
12 ST.ANLEY ST. HOUGHTON
12 UNION ST. HOUGHTON
Phoenix Project at Hillside Cemetery – Houghton Colliery Mining Memorial Project Members of the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery were in attendance and answered questions in relation to the project. Members of the Committee queried the connection between the Friends of Hillside Cemetery and RATS. A representative of the Group advised that the Group had visited Biffa and received a talk from RATS at one of its meetings, concerning the rubbish coming over from the landfill site onto the cemetery site. Members of the Committee stated that they did not want to be seen as giving funding to a political group and queried Councillor Wakefield’s involvement with the Group and the nature of the personal and prejudicial interest he had declared. David Thompson, (Solicitor), representing the City Solicitor, advised that Councillor Wakefield had previously received legal advice from the City Solicitor concerning this agenda item. He reminded Members of the need to focus upon whether Members’ believed the application submitted by the ‘Phoenix Project at Hillside Cemetery – Houghton Colliery Mining Memorial project’ met the funding criteria and whether they wished to support the application. The reason why Councillor Wakefield had declared a personal and prejudicial interest should not be taken into account in reaching their decision about whether, or not to support the application. Councillor Anderson expressed her astonishment that the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery could be viewed as a political group and stated that she would like this recorded in the minutes of the meeting. Mr. Blackett confirmed that funding would not be released if it was found that the Friends of Hillside Cemetery was a political group.
12 WARDEN HOUSE YARD HOUGHTON
124 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
124 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
13 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
13 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
13 ELIZABETH ST. CAST.LETOWN
13 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
13 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
13 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
13 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
13 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE Hillside is a cemetery located on the outskirts of Houghton Le Spring and the recently restored Lych Gate can be seen when driving along Houghton Cut
13 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
13 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
13 JOHN ST. HOUGHTON
13 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
13 LAMBTON ST. HOUGHTON
13 LAMBTON ST. NEWTOWN
13 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
13 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
13 MILDRED ST. HOUGHTON
13 OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
13 OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
13 OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
13 OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
13 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
13 THORNTON ST. DUBMIRE
132 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
132 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
139 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
14 BALMER TERRACE HOUGHTON
houghton-le spring old cemetry
14 CEMENT ROW DUBMIRE
14 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
14 CROSS ROW HOUGHTON
14 EWE HILL TERRACE HOUGHTON
14 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
14 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
14 MILDRED ST. HOUGHTON
14 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
14 QUARRY RD HOUGHTON
14 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
14 THORNTON ST. DUBMIRE
14 WILLIAM ST. DUBMIRE
14 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
14 WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
15 CHURCH ST. HOUGHTON
15 CHURCH ST. HOUGHTON
15 FRONT ST. DUBMIRE
15 GEORGE ST. DUBMIRE
15 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
15 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
15 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
15 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
15 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
15 IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
15 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
15 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
15 LAMBTON ST. HOUGHTON
15 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
15 MARKET PLACE
15 MILDRED ST. HOUGHTON
15 MILDRED ST. HOUGHTON
15 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON

Write to us at:
Houghton Hillside Cemetery (Church Burial Ground)
Cemetery Lodge
147 Sunderland Street
Houghton-le-Spring
Co Durham
DH5 8BG
Or email via www.houghtonlespring.org.uk
15 ST.ATION RD HOUGHTON
15 WILLIAM ST. DUBMIRE
15 WILLIAM ST. DUBMIRE
16 BALFOUR ST. HOUGHTON
16 BALFOUR ST. HOUGHTON
16 BERNARD ST. HOUGHTON
16 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
16 GEORGE ST. DUBMIRE
16 LAMBTON ST. NEWTOWN
16 LOW HILL SIDE HOUGHTON
16 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
16 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
16 LUMLEY ST. GRASSWELL
16 LUMLEY ST. GRASSWELL
16 LUMLEY ST. GRASSWELL
16 NESHAM HALL HOUGHTON
16 OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
16 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
16 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
16 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
17 BAKER ST. HOUGHTON
17 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
17 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE

In 1826, Houghton-le-Spring parish covered an enormous area, including several communities which would later be large enough to carve their own parishes out of the mother church of Saint Michael's. At the time, this parish included Houghton-le-Spring itself, Colliery Row, Shiney Row, Newbottle, The Herringtons, Warden Law, Copt Hill, Hetton-le-Hole, Hetton-le-Hill, Easington Lane, The Raintons, Moorsley, Leamside, Morton Grange, Fence Houses, Chilton Moor, Philadelphia, Wapping, Lambton, Bournmoor, Lumley and Cocken. The burial registers also include a few stragglers from the neighbouring parishes of Seaham, Easington, Pittington, Chester-le-Street, Penshaw and Bishopwearmouth. The registers for 1826-54 cover the cholera epidemic of 1830-31 and the Houghton Colliery Disaster of November 1850. Until August 1833, the registers listed the names of the parents of deceased children, an uncommon practice in Anglican churches of the period and a priceless bonus for genealogists. One of the children of Thomas Hepburn, the leader of the Northumberland and Durham miners in the great strikes of 1831 and 1832, is recorded. The old graveyard at Houghton was finally closed in 1854, replaced by Houghton Cut Cemetery. This was in turn replaced by the new Houghton Cemetery in 1892. We will be be covering Houghton burials after 1854 and before 1826
17 CHEST.ER RD GRASSWELL
17 EAST. MOORE RD SUNDERLAND
17 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
17 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
17 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
17 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
17 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
17 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
17 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
17 LAMBTON ST. HOUGHTON
17 LAMBTON ST. NEWTOWN
17 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
17 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
17 THORNTON ST. HOUGHTON
17 THORNTON ST. HOUGHTON
17 WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
17 WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
18 BALFOUR ST. HOUGHTON
18 BALFOUR ST. HOUGHTON
18 BERNARD ST. HOUGHTON
18 CROSS ST. HOUGHTON
18 EWE HILL TERRACE HOUGHTON
18 FRONT ST. DUBMIRE
18 HANLEY ST. HOUGHTON
18 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
18 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON

PLANT SPECIES LIST Compiled by Julie Stobbs & Richard Hockin, July 2005 ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Much appreciation is extended to Julie Stobbs for her continued interest and help at Hillside Cemetery. Acer pseudoplatanus – sycamore Achillea millefolium – yarrow Agrostis stolonifera – creeping bent Anthriscus sylvestris – cow parsley Arctium nemorosum – burdock Arrhenatherum elatius – false oat grass Artemisia vulgaris – mugwort Bellis perennis – daisy Brachypodium sylvaticum – wood false-brome Calystegia sepium – bindweed Campanula rotundifolia – harebell Centaurea nigra – common knapweed Centaurea scabiosa – greater knapweed Chamerion angustifolium – rosebay willowherb Cirsium arvense – creeping thistle Cirsium vulgare – spear thistle Cotoneaster horizontalis – wall Cotoneaster Crataegus monogyna – hawthorn Dactylis glomerata – cock’s foot Epilobium montanum – broad-leaved willowherb Fallopia japonica – Japanese knotweed Fallopia japonica var. compacta – Japanese knotweed (tetraploid form) Fraxinus excelsior – ash Galium aparine – goosegrass Geranium robertianum – herb robert Geum urbanum – wood avens Hedera helix – ivy Heracleum sphondylium – hogweed Hieracium ?perpropinquum – hawkweed Holcus lanatus – Yorkshire fog Hypercum perforatum – perforate St John’s wort Hypercum pulchrum – slender St John’s wort Ilex aquifolium – holly Lamium album – white deadnettle Lapsana comunis – nipplewort Linaria vulgaris – common toadflax Lolium perenne – perennial rye grass Malva sylvestris – common mallow Medicago lupulina – black medick Plantago lanceolata – ribwort plantain Plantago major – greater plantain Poa trivialis – rough meadow grass Polygonum ?bistorta – common bistort Potentilla reptans – creeping cinquefoil Prunella vulgaris – selfheal Ranunculus repens – creeping buttercup Ribes rubrum – red currant Rubus fruticosus – bramble Sambucus nigra – elder Senecio erucifolius – hoary ragwort Senecio jacobaea – common ragwort Silene vulgaris – bladder campion Sonchus oleraceus – sow thistle Stachys sylvatica – wood woundwort Syringa vulgaris – lilac Tanacetum parthenium – feverfew Taraxacum officinale – dandelion Taxus baccata – yew Trifolium repens – white clover Trifolium pratense – red clover Ulex eropaeus – gorse Urtica dioica – stinging nettle Symphoricarpos albus – snowberry Verbascum thapsus – great mullein Veronica persica – field speedwell Vicia sepium – bush vetch Vinca minor – lesser periwinkle Viola riviniana – common dog violet
18 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
18 IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
18 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
18 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
18 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
18 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
18 SOUTH CRES FENCEHOUSES
18 ST.ANLEY ST. HOUGHTON
18 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
18 WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
18 WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
18A HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
19 BOWLBY ST. HOUGHTON
19 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
19 ELIZABETH ST. HOUGHTON
19 EWE HILL FENCEHOUSES
19 EWE HILL TERRACE HOUGHTON
19 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
19 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
19 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
19 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
19 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
19 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
19 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
19 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
19 PROSPECT ROW HOUGHTON
19 ST.ATION AVE FENCEHOUSES
19 ST.ATION AVE FENCEHOUSES
19 WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
1GREY HOUSE LANE HOUGHTON
1SOLATION HOSPITAL
2 BLACKBOY COTTAGES DUBMIRE
2 BRICKYARD DUBMIRE
2 BRITANNIA ST. DUBMIRE
2 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
2 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
2 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
2 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
2 CHEST.ER ST. GRASSWELL
2 COLLIERY ROW
2 CROSS ST. HOUGHTON
2 D'ARCY ST. HOUGHTON
2 DUBMIRE TERRACE NEWBOTTLE
2 ELM WOOD ST. SUNDERLAND
2 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
2 GREY HORSE LANE HOUGHTON
2 HENRY ST. HOUGHTON
2 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
2 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
2 JOHN ST. HOUGHTON
2 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
2 JOHNSONS CRES HOUGHTON
2 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
2 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
2 NESHAM HALL YARD HOUGHTON
2 OVERMANS ROW CHILTON MOOR
2 PARKINSON TERRACE HOUGHTON
2 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
2 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
2 SOUTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
2 SOUTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
2 ST.ANLEY ST. HOUGHTON
2 ST.ANLEY ST. HOUGHTON
2 TERRACEPOTTERY YARD HOUGHTON
2 THORNHILL ST. HOUGHTON
2 TROUT ST. DUBMIRE
2 WALLACE ST. HOUGHTON
2 WATSONS YARD HOUGHTON
2 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
2 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
2 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
2 WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
20 D'ARCY ST. HOUGHTON
20 ELIZABETH ST. HOUGHTON
20 ELIZABETH ST. HOUGHTON

William Standish Standish “In the old cemetery are the vaults of several famous men of Houghton and district, and one of them contains the remains of Mr. W. Standish Standish, of Cocken Hall, who was buried at the foot of the cliff over which he fell with his horse in July, 1856. Mr Standish was an author and artist whose eminence was appreciated over a wide area. His extensive and valuable gallery of pictures, together with his unique and costly library of the rarest books, were bequeathed by him, in April, 1840, to Louis Phiippe, King of France. His Majesty deposited them in a suite of cabinets in the Louvre which he named the ‘Musee Standish’. Mr. Standish valued his paintings at £32,000 and his books at £11,000. After the revolution of 1848, The Standish Collection was removed to England and the gallery of pictures, with that by Spanish artists, was sold by public auction at Christie’s, London, in May, 1853. There were paintings by Watteau, Morale, Murilla, Velasquez and others which brought such prices as 700 guineas, 205 guineas, 380 guineas and so on. In 1848, Mr. Standish Standish offered the use of his residence at Duxbury Park to the ex-royal family of France, but the offer was declined.”
20 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
20 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
20 LANBTON ST. HOUGHTON
20 MORELAND ST. SUNDERLAND
20 OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
20 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
20 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
20 RAILWAY COTTAGES DUBMIRE
20 THORNTON ST. DUBMIRE HOUGHTON GRAVEYARD
What are the start times of the outdoor Passion Play at the old cemetery in Houghton-le-Spring?
Passion of the Christ, re-enactment at Houghton Hillside Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring.
Who played Jesus in the Passion play at Houghton Church set outside in the old cemetery? OS sheet 88 NZ345505 Aspect South East Altitude 110m Approach time 2 minutes
20 WILLIAM ST. DUBMIRE
20 WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
21 CELLAR TERRACE NEWBOTTLE
21 FRONT ST. DUBMIRE
21 GEOGE ST. HOUGHTON
21 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
21 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
21 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
21 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
21 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
21 THORNTON ST. DUBMIRE
22 BRITANNIA TERRACE DUBMIRE
22 ELIZABETH ST. HOUGHTON
22 ELIZABETH ST. HOUGHTON
22 ELIZABETH ST. HOUGHTON
22 GEORGE ST. CHILTON MOOR
22 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
22 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
22 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
22 HOPPER ST. NEWTOWN
22 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
22 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
22 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
22 LOW HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
22 PROSPECT ROW HOUGHTON
22 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
22 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
22 SOUTH CRES FENCEHOUSES
22 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
23 EWE HILL TERRACE HOUGHTON
23 FRONT ST. DUBMIRE
23 GEOGE ST. HOUGHTON
23 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
23 NORTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
23 NORTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
23 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
23 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
23 UNION ST. HOUGHTON
24 CHURCH ST. HOUGHTON
24 CRESCENT ST. DUBMIRE
24 D'ARCY ST. HOUGHTON
24 D'ARCY ST. HOUGHTON
24 GILPIN ST. HOUGHTON
24 GILPIN ST. HOUGHTON
24 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
24 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
24 IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
24 IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
24 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
24 PROSPECT ROW HOUGHTON
24 PROSPECT ROW HOUGHTON

General William Beckwith and his wife, Priscilla Maria Beckwith nee Hopper, are interred in the rock face at Houghton Hillside Cemetery.
General William Beckwith (Silksworth House, 1830s-1890s) Priscilla Hopper inherited Silksworth House (now Doxford House) from her uncle, Hendry, and married General William Beckwith in 1831. Beckwith, a Knight of Hanover and High Sheriff of County Durham, led the notoriously bloody and violent charge of the Light Dragoons at the Reform riots in Bristol. Beckwith and his wife apparently loved France and visited Paris annually; the large French tapestry in the main hallway of the house may have been brought back from France by the couple. Mrs Beckwith had her own money and as a Catholic convert she paid for St. Leonard’s Church at New Silksworth to be built. The Beckwiths moved to Shropshire in 1890 and let the house out.
24 PROSPECT ROW HOUGHTON
24 UNION ST. HOUGHTON
25 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
25 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
25 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
25 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
25 EWE HILL TERRACE HOUGHTON
25 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
25 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
25 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
25 ST.ANLEY ST. HOUGHTON
25 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
26 CEMENT ST. HOUGHTON
26 COLLIERY ROW
26 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
26 JOHN ST. KIBBLESWORTH
26 LONG ROW COLLIERY ROW
26 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
26 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
26 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
27 BOWLBY ST. HOUGHTON
27 BOWLBY ST. HOUGHTON

Write to the cemetery manager/sexton at:

Houghton Hillside Cemetery, The Cemetery Lodge, 145 Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring, Co Durham, DH5 8BG
27 PROSPEDT ROW HOUGHTON
28 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
28 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
28 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
28 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
28 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
29 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
29 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
29 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
29 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
29 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
3 ANDERSON SQUARE HOUGHTON
3 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
3 CHURCH ST. HOUGHTON
3 COUNCIL ST. HOUGHTON
3 D'ARCY ST. HOUGHTON
3 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
3 ELM PLACE HOUGHTON
3 GARDEN PLACE HOUGHTON
3 HENRY ST. HOUGHTON
3 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
3 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
3 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
3 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
3 MARY ST. CHILTON MOOR
3 MARY ST. DUBMIRE
3 MILLERS HILL HOUGHTON
3 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
3 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
3 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
3 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
3 MOUNT RD SUNDERLAND
3 NESHAM HALL HOUGHTON
3 NESHAM PLACE HOUGHTON
3 OVERMANS ROW CHILTON MOOR
3 OVERMANS ROW HOUGHTON
3 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
3 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
3 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
3 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
3 RUBY ST. GRASSWELL
3 RUBY ST. GRASSWELL
3 SEAHAM RD NEWTOWN
3 SHIELDS PLACE HOUGHTON
3 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
3 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
3 ST.OCKSFIELD TERRACE HOUGHTON
3 ST.OCKSFIELD TERRACE HOUGHTON
3 THORNHILL ST. HOUGHTON
3 THORNTON ST. DUBMIRE
3 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
3 WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
30 EWE HILL TERRACE HOUGHTON
30 EWE HILL TERRACE HOUGHTON
30 FRONT ST. DUBMIRE
30 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
30 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
30 OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
30 PROSPECT ROW HOUGHTON
30 QUARRY RD HOUGHTON
30 QUARRY RD HOUGHTON 1. REGIONALLY IMPORTANT GEOLOGICAL/GEOMORPHOLOGICAL SITE (RIGGS) The rock face in the Cemetery (as circled) is classed as a RIGGS. 2. SITE OF NATURE CONSERVATION IMPORTANCE (SNCI) TYPE Botanical and Geological FIRST NOTIFIED 1986 DATE OF REVISION 1993 LAND USE Open Land LOCAL PLAN Green Belt Local Plan, Unitary Development Plan Deposit Version (UDP) DEVELOPMENT PLAN Mineral Working. Cemetery and White Land MAP REF NZ 342504 NZ 343504 NZ 345507 AREA 14.55 HA. OWNERSHIP Private/Council DWT Ref 3.22

I’m currently researching a gentlman called William Standish Standish who died in 1856 whilst living at a place called Cocken Hall, County Durham. Intriguingly, there are two completely different accounts of how William met his death, before being laid to rest in a vault in a cemetery in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham. A local newspaper of the period, the Durham County Advertiser, Friday 11th July 1856, carried the following report: Death - We deeply regret to announce the death of William Standish Standish Esq of Coken Hall and Duxbury Park, Lancashire, which took place at an early hour yesterday morning after a short illness at Cocken Hall. The deceased, who was in his 50th year, was universally respected by men of all classes in the north of England; and his amiable, benevolent and hospitable character had endeared him to a large circle of friends, by whom his loss will be truly and deeply regretted. Strange that another story is also in circulation, the earliest source of which seems to be from a book published sometime around the early 1950’s, titled: Houghton-le-Spring: A History by Frank H Rusford W. STANDISH STANDISH In the old cemetery are the vaults of several famous men of Houghton and district, and one of them contains the remains of Mr. W. Standish Standish, of Cocken Hall, who was buried at the foot of the cliff over which he fell with his horse in July, 1856. Mr Standish was an author and artist whose eminence was appreciated over a wide area. His extensive and valuable gallery of pictures, together with his unique and costly library of the rarest books, were bequeathed by him, in April, 1840, to Louis Phiippe, King of France. His Majesty deposited them in a suite of cabinets in the Louvre which he named the ‘Musee Standish’. Mr. Standish valued his paintings at £32,000 and his books at £11,000. After the revolution of 1848, The Standish Collection was removed to England and the gallery of pictures, with that by Spanish artists, was sold by public auction at Christie’s, London, in May, 1853. There were paintings by Watteau, Morale, Murilla, Velasquez and others which brought such prices as 700 guineas, 205 guineas, 380 guineas and so on. In 1848, Mr. Standish Standish offered the use of his residence at Duxbury Park to the ex-royal family of France, but the offer was declined. The inscription on the vault’s memorial stone at Houghton-le-Spring reads: Within this tomb lies the remains of the deservedly lammented William Standish Standish Esq of Duxbury Park, County of Lancashire and Cocken Hall in the County of Durham, who died at Cocken Hall July 10th 1856 aged 48 years. The following report was printed in the Durham County Advertiser on Friday 18th July 1856: Funeral of the late William Standish Standish Esq - Yesterday morning the mortal remains of the late Wm. Standish Standish Esq, were consigned to their final resting place, in a vault in the new cemetery at Houghton-le-Spring. It was intended that the interment should have been in the family vault in the parish church of Chorley, but as there was some difficulty in carrying this intention into effect, owing to the recent Act of Parliament, the funeral, as already stated, was at Houghton-le-Spring. The funeral procession left Cocken Hall about 11 o’clock; it consisted of several mourning coaches and a large number of carriages, the whole of Cocken and Ludworth tenantry on horseback, besides a great number of the gentry and inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who attended to pay this last mournful tribute of respect to the memory of one, whom whilst living, they so highly esteemed. Mrs Standish, Mrs Sinclair, Miss Standish, Captain Standish and Mr Sinclair were present at the mournful ceremony. H Fenwick Esq MP, HJ Spearman Esq, EC Jepson Esq, Geo Wilkinson Esq, C Branwell Esq, Rev RGL Blenkisop, Rev T Crossman, Rev G Lord and etc, and etc, besides a large number of tradesmen and other inhabitants of this city were likewise present. The funeral service was read in an impressive manner by one of the curates of Houghton-le-Spring parish church, after which, the funeral procession returned to the Hall. Anyone think they might connect with this William Standish Standish gentleman? Kind regards... David Allan.
30 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
30 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
30 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
31 WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
32 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
32 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
32 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
33 BERNARD ST. HOUGHTON
33 D'ARCY ST. HOUGHTON
33 D'ARCY TERRACE HOUGHTON
Meanwhile, Michael and Margaret Thompson had moved from Newbottle to New Town, an offshoot of Houghton-le-Spring, some time during the late 1850's. Michael is recorded as living there in a Poll Book published in 1868. He was elector No. 470 in the Hetton-le-Hole District. The election - for two seats to represent the North Durham Constituency, was fought out between George Elliott of Houghton Hall, Sir Hedworth Williamson Bt. of Whitburn Hall, and Isaac Lowthian Bell of Washington Hall. The system under which the election was fought is interesting - one could either record a full vote, termed a "Plumper" for a single candidate, or a half vote, termed a "Split" for any two candidates. George Elliott, the Tory, romped home with 4143 Plumpers and 516 Splits. Second place went to Sir Hedworth, but it was a close run thing and he beat Isaac Bell into third place by only 189 Splits. Michael, I am ashamed to say, voted for the Tory. He and Margaret were still living there in 1871, but Michael died two years later at the age of 80 on 24th September 1873. The cause of death was said to be 'natural decay'. His burial service took place in the Parish Church on 28th September, and he is likely to be interred in the Old Cemetery, (now disused), off Sunderland Street.
33 IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
33 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
33 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
33 OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
34 BOWLBY ST. HOUGHTON
34 IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
34 IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
34 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
34 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
34 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON NICHOLAS COWIE / BELOVED HUSBAND OF / ESTHER COWIE WHO LOST HIS LIFE / AT HOUGHTON COLLIERY JULY 14TH 1896 / AGED 57 YEARS / ALSO SARAH ELLEN WIFE OF ROBERT FINCH / AND DAUGHER OF THE ABOVE / DIED MAY 2ND 1901, AGED 27 YEARS. / ALSO OF JOHN THOMAS / BELOVED SON OF THE ABOVE / WHO DIED FEBY 6TH 1911 / AGED 29 YEARS. / INTERRED IN SECT F NO 2993 / ESTHER BELOVED WIFE OF THE ABOVE / NICHOLAS COWIE / WHO DIED NOV 12TH 1920 / AGED 79 YEARS
34 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
34 SOUTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
35 BOWLBY ST. HOUGHTON
35 HOUGHTON RD HETTON LE HOLE
35 IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
35 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
35 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
35 ST.ATION AVE FENCEHOUSES
35 ST.ATION AVE FENCEHOUSES
36 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
36 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
36 SOUTH VIEW DUBMIRE
38 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
38 MARKET PLACE
38 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON

December 11th 2006 was the 100th anniversary since George Wheatley died. George Wheatley was a Crimean War veteran having fought at the battle of the Alma at the siege of Sevastopol for which he had received two medals with clasps. It was here that his right leg was blown off by a cannon ball – he was only nineteen years old. Sevastopol was a port and naval base in the S. Ukraine, in the Crimea, on the Black Sea. It was captured and destroyed by British, French and Turkish forces during the Crimean War. George was discharged from the Navy and went on to found the well-known Wheatley’s confectionery business in Houghton. At the age of 35 years, and as widower of Jane Finlay, he married Josephine Lowson aged 17 years, on April 26th 1869 at their home. Interestingly he is buried alongside the mother of his first wife, Elizabeth Finlay, and his second wife Josephine. He was survived by six sons and seven daughters. OBITUARY: It is with regret that we have to announce the death of Mr George Wheatley of Houghton-le-Spring at the advanced age of 78 years. The deceased was a man-o’ warsman aboard the Agamemnon. He was a Crimean veteran having fought at the battle of the Alma at the siege of Sebastopol for which he had received two medals with clasps. At the storming of Sebastopol one of his legs [the right] was blown off by a cannon ball, this misfortune occurring at the early age of nineteen. On several occasions he was commanded to appear before the late Queen at Buckingham Palace. After he lost his leg he was discharged from the Navy with a pension. He then tried his fortune in Dundee where he entered the spirit trade, undertaking the management of four public-houses in which he was very successful. About thirty years ago he crossed the Borders into England, first settling at Spennymoor where he built a large factory and commenced in the confectionery trade. His principal business was by vans which covered a great part of North Durham. As however Spennymoor was not well situated for reaching the larger towns on the Wear and Tyne he removed to Houghton-le-Spring, first taking a wooden building which has been gradually converted into a first-rate factory and is now occupied by his son Robert. George Wheatley soon began to cultivate a trade in count goods amongst the merchants along the Tyne and Wear and this so increased that he gave up his vans altogether and passed them on to his sons. He regularly visited Newcastle on Tuesdays where up to a few years ago he was a well-known figure on market days. The deceased was twice married and leaves a widow and grown up family of six sons and seven daughters to mourn his loss. He was buried at the cemetery of Houghton-le-Spring and the funeral was attended by a large following which stretched for about 300 yards. The confectionery trade was represented among others by Mr Sam Adams, Durham, Mr Henry Pringle, Chester-le-Street, and Mr GW Smith, Spennymoor. Mr Wheatley was a quaint character and had a personality all his own and if space permitted many racy anecdotes could be told about him. One incident of rather a dramatic kind took place in Durham County Court, the writer being a witness on behalf of Mr Wheatley. A well known doctor in Houghton-le-Spring sued Mr Wheatley for a sum of money owing which was disputed and the case was tried before Judge Maynell in the Durham County Court. After the proceedings had gone so far the doctor’s solicitors retired from the case. The doctor then took upon himself to conduct his own case and was several times pulled up by the Judge for asking offensive questions. At last he told Mr Wheatley that what he was saying was nothing but lies. George at once rose up to his full height in the witness box and throwing open his overcoat displayed to the Court his medals saying in dramatic style whilst pointing to his breast, “Your Honour, would a man who had received these medals be guilty of telling untruths?” Judge Maynell, with a kindly smile he so often wore, replied, “Well, I have no doubt the medals are a good evidence of the parlour you have displayed but I should hardly like to go so far as to say that uncorroborated they are in an evidence of a man’s truthfulness.”
38 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
38 SOUTH VIEW TERRACE HOUGHTON
39 MAITLANDST. HOUGHTON
39 MAITLANDST. HOUGHTON
39 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
39 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
4 BACK ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
4 BALFOUR ST. HOUGHTON
4 BALFOUR ST. HOUGHTON
4 BOWLBY ST. HOUGHTON
4 BRITANNIA ST. DUBMIRE
4 CHEST.ER ST. GRASSWELL
4 COLLIERY ROW
4 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
4 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
4 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
4 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
4 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON

William Standish Standish, father of William Standish Carr Standish:

The present east window has this inscription at its foot : "In memory of William Standish Standish Esq., of Duxbury Hall, County of Lancaster, and Cocken Hall, in the County of Durham, born July 7th A.D. 1807, died at Cocken Hall July 10, 1856. Buried in the Cemetery of Houghton-le-Spring, This window is erected by the tenantry of the deceased, 1861." In the centre top-light is the Agnus Dei, and in the side top-lights the arms of Standish of Duxbury, and the arms of the same impaling those of the widow of the deceased Jenkins, of Beachley Lodge, co. Gloucester Argent, 3 martlets in pale, between 2 flanches table, each charged with a lion passant or. The three principal lights display the Resurrection, the Crucifixion, and the Ascension. The beautiful window in the south aisle (showing the three Holy Women and the Angel at the Sepulchre) has under it a brass inscribed : " To the beloved memory of Susan Standish Standish, relict of Wm. Standish Standish Esq r of Duxbury Park in this County, and Cocken Hall, Durham, who died Decbr 1st 1873, aged 62. Buried at Wellesbourne in the County of Warwick. This window is erected by her only Son, W. S. Carr Standish, 1875. At Rest." On a lozenge are the arms of the deceased lady impaled with her husband's, and the family motto Constant en tout. The two-light window in the north of the chancel displays the figures of the two great Martyr-Saints Lawrence and Alban. In the top-light of St. Alban's half of the window are shown the arms of Standish of Duxbury quartering Carr of Cocken Hall : Or, on a bend between three Cornish choughs table, 3 pards' heads erased, of the field.
4 HALLIWELL ST. HOUGHTON
4 HALLIWELL ST. HOUGHTON
4 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
4 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
4 JAMES ST. DUBMIRE
4 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
4 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
4 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
4 LABURNUM HOUSE HOUGHTON
4 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
4 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
4 NESHAM PLACE HOUGHTON
4 NEW UNION ST. HOUGHTON
4 OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
4 PARKINSON TERRACE HOUGHTON
4 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
4 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
4 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
4 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
4 ST.ANLEY ST. HOUGHTON
4 THORNHILL ST. HOUGHTON
4 THORNTON ST. DUBMIRE
4 THORNTON ST. DUBMIRE
4 UNION ST. HOUGHTON
40 FRANKLAND ST. SUNDERLAND
40 FRANKLAND ST. SUNDERLAND
40 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
40 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
41 NORTH VIEW CHILTON MOOR
41 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
42 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
42 ST.ATION AVE FENCEHOUSES
42 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
42 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
42 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
43 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
43 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
43 IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
43 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
43 NORTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
43 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
43 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
44 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
45 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
45 IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
46 SOUTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW

Durham County Advertiser on Friday 18th July 1856: Funeral of the late William Standish Standish Esq - Yesterday morning the mortal remains of the late Wm. Standish Standish Esq, were consigned to their final resting place, in a vault in the new cemetery at Houghton-le-Spring. It was intended that the interment should have been in the family vault in the parish church of Chorley, but as there was some difficulty in carrying this intention into effect, owing to the recent Act of Parliament, the funeral, as already stated, was at Houghton-le-Spring. The funeral procession left Cocken Hall about 11 o’clock; it consisted of several mourning coaches and a large number of carriages, the whole of Cocken and Ludworth tenantry on horseback, besides a great number of the gentry and inhabitants of the neighbourhood, who attended to pay this last mournful tribute of respect to the memory of one, whom whilst living, they so highly esteemed. Mrs Standish, Mrs Sinclair, Miss Standish, Captain Standish and Mr Sinclair were present at the mournful ceremony. H Fenwick Esq MP, HJ Spearman Esq, EC Jepson Esq, Geo Wilkinson Esq, C Branwell Esq, Rev RGL Blenkisop, Rev T Crossman, Rev G Lord and etc, and etc, besides a large number of tradesmen and other inhabitants of this city were likewise present. The funeral service was read in an impressive manner by one of the curates of Houghton-le-Spring parish church, after which, the funeral procession returned to the Hall.
46 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON
46 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
46 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
47 NORTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
48 EWE HILL TERRACE HOUGHTON
48A ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
4HALLIWELL TERRACE HOUGHTON
5 BINKS YARD HOUGHTON
5 BRICK YARD DUBMIRE
5 D'ARCY ST. HOUGHTON
5 ELIZABETH ST. HOUGHTON
5 FRONT ST. CHILTON MOOR
5 GARDEN PLACE HOUGHTON
5 GENERAL ST. HOUGHTON
5 HENRY ST. HOUGHTON
5 HENRY ST. HOUGHTON
5 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
5 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
5 HOUGHTON TERRACE HOUGHTON
5 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
5 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
5 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
5 JOHN ST. NEWTOWN
5 LAMBTON ST. HOUGHTON
5 LAMBTON ST. HOUGHTON
5 LAMBTON ST. NEWTOWN
5 LAMBTON ST. NEWTOWN

William Standish Standish had royal links... William Standish Standish Genealogical research by Paul Lanagan and other members of the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery suggests that the modern day descendants of William Standish Standish are The 18th Marquess of Winchester and his son, The Earl of Wiltshire. Further research has shown that William's ancestors were royalty, including: Kings Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, and Prince Edward the Black and King Richard II. William was also related to Sir Henry Percy, the renowned Hotspur, the English rebel who was killed leading an army against Henry IV. William's great-great-great grandparents, Ralph Carr and Anne Fairfax (and other Carrs) are buried in St Michael and All Angels Church, Houghton. A legal technicality required William Standish Carr (as he was) to become William Standish Standish so he could inherit the family seat of Duxbury Hall, Lancashire.
5 LUMLEY ST. GRASSWELL
5 NORTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
5 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
5 PIT ROW HOUGHTON
5 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
5 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
5 RUBY ST. HOUGHTON
5 SHIELDS PLACE HOUGHTON
5 SOUTH ST. DUBMIRE
5 SOUTH ST. DUBMIRE
5 SWALWELL TERRACE HOUGHTON
5 TERRACE POTTERY YARD HOUGHTON
5 TERRACEPOTTERY YARD HOUGHTON
5 THORNTON ST. DUBMIRE
5 WILLIAM ST. DUBMIRE
5 WYNYARD ST. COLLIERY ROW
5 WYNYARDS ROW COLLIERY ROW
5 WYNYARDS ST. DUBMIRE
50 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
50 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
52 SOUTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
52 ST.ATION AVE DUBMIRE
52 ST.ATION AVE HOUGHTON

Shown on Ordnance Survey first edition map. The cemetery (detached burial ground of the Church of St Michael and All Angels, opened when the churchyard became full during the cholera outbreak of 1853) was consecrated on September 4th 1854. Local residents complained about the cemetery being located in a former quarry (HER 3170). The original entrance was through the adjacent farm, but a new entrance from Sunderland Street was added in 1873. The former Sexton's Lodge is derelict, but the stone lych gate survives, although in need of sympathetic restoration. The cemetery was extended to the east in 1894. The last recorded burial was in 1924, but infrequent burials took place in the 1940s and the last burial may been in 1965. Over 6800 burials took place between 1854 and 1924. The cemetery itself is on two levels, a higher level which is a large enigmatic green open space within the quarry walls, with vaults cut into the cliff face and still retaining some gravestones, and a lower level with many surviving monuments and headstones, which is very atmospheric but overgrown and more difficult to access. There are many notable monuments in Hillside Cemetery - the vault of William Standish (d.1856), the Elliot family vault (Sir George Elliot MP d. 1893), the vault of General William Beckwith (d. 1871) and his wife Priscilla Maria Beckwith (d.1877), Thomas William Usherwood Robinson (d. 1888) a memorial to the Wheatley family and others who fought in the Crimean War. The cemetery is very unusual in having vaults cut into the quarry rock face. Worthy of consideration for adding to the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
53 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
53 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
54 BOWLBY ST. HOUGHTON
54 SOUTH VIEW HOUGHTON
55 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
56 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
56 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
58 EDWIN ST. HOUGHTON
58 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
59 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
59 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
5A IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
6 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
6 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
6 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
6 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
6 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
6 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
6 CEMENT ST. DUBMIRE
6 CHEST.ER ST. HOUGHTON
6 CORRIN ROW HOUGHTON
6 CORVEN ROW CHILTON MOOR
6 COTTAGES NESHAM YARD
6 DUBMIRE COTTAGES DUBMIRE
6 EDWARD ST. HOUGHTON
6 FREDERICK PLACE HOUGHTON
6 GARDEN PLACE HOUGHTON
6 GEORGE ST. DUBMIRE
6 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
6 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
6 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
6 HENRY ST. HOUGHTON
6 HENRY ST. HOUGHTON
6 LUMLEY ST. HOUGHTON
6 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
6 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
6 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
6 MILDRED ST. HOUGHTON
6 NESHAM HALL YARD HOUGHTON
6 NESHAM PLACE HOUGHTON
6 PROSPECT ROW HOUGHTON
6 PROSPECT ROW HOUGHTON
6 PROSPECT ROW HOUGHTON
6 PROSPECT ROW HOUGHTON
6 REDBURN ROW CHILTON MOOR
Houghton Hillside Cemetery Tours NEXT SITE TOUR: Sat Sept 13th frm Hoton Library. Visitors can also meet at the lych gate entrance. Each tour can last from 45 - 90 minutes. Tours cost £2.00 per person and includes a free guide map/colouring book. The overgrown nature of the site makes it unsuitable for wheelchair access. Suitable footwear and trousers are recommended. To book a tour for your group CONTACT US. Left: The oldest headstones can be found in the vastly overgrown lower level (D). TOUR REPORTS 2008: May 8 2008 | Jul 19 2008 Open Day | Sept 13 2008 TOUR REPORTS 2007: May 10 2007 | May 31 2007 | Sept 8 2007 | Aug 4 2007 Open Day TOUR REPORTS 2006: Aug 5 2006 | Sept 9 2006 TOUR REPORTS 2005: May 11 2005 | July 20 2005 | Aug 6 2005 | Sept 10 2005 TOUR REPORTS 2004: May 12 2004 | Aug 7 2004 | Sept 11 2004 | Sept 15 2004 | Sept 27 2004 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SUNDERLAND HERITAGE FESTIVAL 2007 - THURSDAY MAY 10 2007 .......[TOP] Visitors to meet at the Cemetery Lodge entrance at 6:30pm. . . -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LIVING CHURCHYARD SITE TOUR - THURSDAY MAY 31 2007 .......[TOP] A site tour for Durham Wildlife Trust's LIVING CHURCHYARD GROUP. The group last visited in 2005 and were amazed at the developments at Houghton Hillside Cemetery. . . -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HERITAGE OPEN DAYS 2007 - SATURDAY SEPT 8 2007 .......[TOP] Visitors to meet at the Cemetery Lodge entrance at 11:00am. . . -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HERITAGE OPEN DAYS 2006 - SEPTEMBER 9 2006 .......[TOP] This tour was a special event to show off the recently restored lych gate (phase 1). Visitors came from Houghton, Sunderland, Durham and North Shields and were new to Hillside Cemetery and had not visited before. For more information visit: www.twhods.org.uk. . . -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HERITAGE OPEN DAYS 2005 - SEPTEMBER 10 2005 .......[TOP] This was a stall in Houghton Library and a site tour at the burial ground by Paul Lanagan and Dr Andy Lane. For more information visit: www.twhods.org.uk. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CONSERVATION GROUP SITE TOUR - JULY 20 2005 .......[TOP] This site tour was for West Rainton Green Group, a local conservation group. Attendees met at the lych gate for 6:30pm. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SUNDERLAND HERITAGE FESTIVAL SITE TOUR - MAY 11 2005 .......[TOP] Present: Paul Lanagan; Thelma Steel; Hsathr @liver; Bds Harsda; J@n ice Sh_o rt; and Alastair Bradley. Attendees: 14 members of the public, including: Jean Henderson, SITE TOUR The Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery Committee Members and members of the public met at the lychgate entrance at around 6:45pm. There was a £2.00 charge per person which included the cost of a free guide map and notes. Historic cemetery tidied upPremium Article !Your account has been frozen. For your available options click the below button. Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery taking part in a clean up with the help of the VInvolved volunteers and youth development workers. 28 April 2010 By Jane O'Neil FRIENDS of a Wearside cemetery have given the historic site a spring spruce-up. Supporters of Hillside Cemetery in Houghton descended with gloves and rubbish bags to help tidy the site at the top of Sunderland Street. Support on the day came from social landlord gentoo and Springboard Trust, which provides volunteering opportunities across the city. Young volunteers from charity Etec also joined the tidy up. The nine youngsters, aged 16 to 19, helped renovate the graveyard as part of the annual Community Service Volunteers Action Earth Programme. The teenagers, who are all studying construction skills, built a set of steps and viewing platform at a new cenotaph, which commemorates those who died in the Houghton mining disaster. Gentoo donated materials needed for the project. The spruce-up was organised by Brian Watson, Youth Volunteer Development Manager with the VInvolved Team. It comes after Brian organised a volunteer event at Hillside Cemetery, where 100 young people worked with Friends of Hillside Cemetery. He said: "This project is bringing communities together and assisting people, who need the help. It also shows some of the good work which young people can do." from the Friends of Hillside Cemetery, said: "It's very important that we do this and it's very hard work. "There is always something to do down there and it's like painting the Forth Bridge, by the time you have finished, it's ready to be done again." The Friends are also taking part in a Roman-inspired trek to raise funds for the cemetery. On Sunday, about 20 walkers will tackle eight miles along the route of Hadrian's Wall from Housesteads Roman fort in Hexham. Yobs run amok in graveyardPremium Article !Your account has been frozen. For your available options click the below button. SPRAY PAINT: Bds Harsda (left) and Virginia Gatherer of Friends of Hillside Cemetery, Houghton, with some of the vandalism at the cemetery. 21 June 2010 By Jane O'Neill Vandals have wreaked havoc at a historic cemetery. Louts pushed over gravestones and daubed them with pink paint during the attack at Hillside Cemetery, in Houghton. Guardians of the cemetery were shocked to discover the damage, and are now mounting a clean-up operation. Colin J@rv1s, a Friend of the Cemetery, said: "It just infuriates me as we work really, really hard and you come out and leave it quite tidy, but when you come back three headstones are down. "It really does not fill you with confidence and you think why do you do it? "But if we did not keep it going, then who would? You have to keep going." The attack came just days before a monument to pit disaster victims is unveiled in the cemetery's ground. Former Vaux managing director Sir Frank Nicholson will officially open the restored memorial on Saturday. The unveiling also marks the Friends' seventh annual opening day with a tombola, raffle and a new tour, from noon to 4pm. Friends of the Cemetery was awarded £10,500 in funding for the project from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, £500 from the National Union of Mineworkers and raised £2,500 themselves through bag packing at Sainsbury's, sponsored walks and a sleep-over in the cemetery. The monument replaces one damaged in the 1970s and commemorates those who lost their lives in the local mining industry between 1823 and 1981. Hillside Cemetery has a sad history of being targeted by vandals, despite the hard work of its Friends group, who saved the historic site from disappearing beneath a tangle of ivy and bushes. Louts desecrated the tomb of nobleman William Standish Standish, and scattered his bones around his vault in January 2008. The historic vault was fitted with a thick metal cover after intruders daubed sick slogans such as "Satan, evil, death" and "The point of no return, beware" on the walls. Gravestones were smashed up and lynchgate and crucifix targeted, which cost £33,000 to restore in February last year. The cemetery opened in 1854, with burials decreasing in 1940 and the last taking place in the 1970s -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SITE TOUR & LITTER COLLECTION - MAY 12 2004 .......[TOP] Present: David Turnbull Chair; Paul Lanagan Secretary; Bds Harsda Treasurer; J@n ice Sh_o rt Vice Chair; Virginia Gatherer; Thelma Steel; Alastair Bradley; Hsathr @liver and Emma Frew. Attendees: Douglas Smith; Lyndsay Lanagan; Anne Farrow; Anne Goodman; Jim Winn; Sue Suggett; Brenda Graham; Kirk Green; M.Harris; Marion Toy; Dick Toy; Rachel Short; Greg Harrison; R.Rawlings; Irene Lanagan; Lyn Fife; Rona Fife; Ron Lawson; Peter Thirlwall and others! SITE TOUR The Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery Committee Members and members of the public met at the lychgate entrance at 7:00pm on a pleasant May evening. Over thirty people were in attendance and the last time this amount of people were in the burial ground at any one time was probably at the funeral of a local dignitary in the late 1800s! The tour was held to allow Committee members to get to know the burial ground site, however members of the public were welcome to attend and the Committee was pleasantly surprised at the number in attendance. The tour was given by Paul Lanagan and concentrated on the noteworthy headstones and vaults on the plateau area (ABC). Contributions were made by Sunderland Antiquarian, Douglas Smith, and members of the community who had memories of the burial ground. GUIDE MAP & NOTES A plan of the burial ground plus historical notes and images was available for sale, costing £1.00 each. Unfortunately many attendees had come along without any money however eight copies were sold, contributing to the Friends’ funds. (Additional copies are available for purchase online or from St Michael’s Church summer fete on June 19 2004). ROCK CLIMBING A demonstration by Jim Winn and other professional rock climbers was given on the wall/rock face near to the Standish vault. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS On behalf of the Friends group, Paul Lanagan wishes to express his thanks to all those who attended and contributed to the event. The tour will have raised the issue of the burial ground and again will be useful in showing a positive sign to the community that the Cemetery is no longer forgotten about. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OPEN DAY & SITE TOURS - AUG 7 2004 .......[TOP] Present: David Turnbull Chair; Paul Lanagan Secretary; Bds Harsda Treasurer; J@n ice Sh_o rt Vice Chair; Virginia Gatherer; Hsathr @liver; Thelma Steel; and Alastair Bradley. Attendees: Over 150 visitors in attendance (circa 100 at any one time). Visitors came from the local area as well as parts of Newcastle, Stockton, London, Manchester, USA and Australia. Dozens of new names were added to Friends’ mailing list. 150TH ANNIVERSARY OPEN DAY & SITE TOUR The Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery Committee Members, in period costume, and Houghton 1st Scouts met at the Hillside Cemetery from 10:00am on a very warm August day. Gazebos and decorative stalls were erected in section A. The Open Day was held to commemorate the 150th anniversary since the site was consecrated. Visitors started arriving from 11:00am and over 150 people were in attendance; the last time this amount of people were in the burial ground at any one time was probably at the funeral of a local dignitary in the late 1800s! A great interest was shown in the possibility of similar events in the future, and a teacher from St Michael’s School said the site would be of interest for work that her class would be doing. GUIDED TOURS Two tours took place: one at 12:40pm and another at 2:30pm, each lasting around 40 mins. Both were attended by over 30 people and took in the noteworthy graves/vaults in sections ABC, as well as passing through the overgrown sections of DEF. HORSE DRAWN HEARSE A Victorian horse drawn hearse was hired from the Northeast Carriage Company, and they attended the event between 2:00pm and 3:30pm. The horses, clad in black and adorned with black ostrich feathers, were a big crowd-pleaser and very well behaved in the sweltering heat. Unfortunately the vintage hearse could not safely pass along the entrance route, and the horse-men suggested that a barrow would have been used in the past. It is hoped that the horses can attend future Open Days, now that a relationship has been established with the company. SITE BLESSING & ROW Rev Wallis had been invited to say a few words for the site’s future. Unfortunately the blessing was not carried out owing to the hectic nature of the Open Day and unexpected number of visitors. Apologies were relayed to the Rector. A visitor to the Open Day brought along copies of definitive ROW maps and statements that he had obtained from Durham County Council. One map and statement described a bridle route as passing through the Hill Farm property, as well as describing where the route continued on land adjacent to the far east of the burial ground site. These items confirmed what the Friends had regarded as the correct route of the bridle path, and copies are to be sent to the group. COMPLAINTS & SUGGESTIONS Prior to the Open Day, concerns were raised by a Sunderland Street resident with regard to parking. Fortunately publicity had been billed as “come by foot to enjoy a walk out” and parking directions on the website stated that visitors should park in the adjacent streets. It has been suggested that as a future project, the land in front of the lych gate be developed into parking bays for visitors to the site (estimated cost £50,000). This would encourage people from the wider area to visit and assist in deterring vandalism. One visitor complained about the £1.00 fee for the Guide Map & Notes, and a visitor from Manchester raised concerns that her ancestor’s coffin would soon be visible due to the soil erosion. Another visitor provided information on a Radio 4 programme which has requested information on unusual cemeteries! Rev Wallis raised concerns over the appropriateness of investing in the attendance of the vintage hearse/horses, and concerns over the safety of the ‘re-instated’ lych gate entrance (a grant had been applied for to cover the Open Day costs). No other complaints were received, and everybody complimented the hard work and effort work that the Friends had put into the day. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS On behalf of the Friends group, Paul Lanagan wishes to express thanks to all those who attended and/or contributed to the event, including: David Allan and Northeast Press; George Davison; Millie Barrass; Nick Burke; Lyndsay Lanagan; Mr Rowe and Mrs Pat Simmons of Lambton & Houghton Banner Heritage Group; Houghton Art Club; John Stephenson of Northeast Carriage Company; Edinburgh Bakery; Rachel Short; Greg Harrison; Ron Young; Andrew Fletcher and Houghton Local History Group; Eve Oliver; Fiona Eden; The Northern Echo; Rev Ian Wallis; Sign Post Magazine of St Michael’s Church. The event would not have gone ahead without the help of certain people, and a special thank you is extended to Bds Harsda, Houghton 1st Scouts and Helina Frain.
6 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
6 RYHOPE ST. NEWTOWN
6 SOUTH VIEW CHILTON MOOR
6 SOUTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
6 ST.ATION RD FENCEHOUSES
6 ST.ATION TERRACE FENCEHOUSES
6 SWALWELL TERRACE HOUGHTON
6 THE FOLDS COLLIERY ROW
60 SOUTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
64 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
64 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
64 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
67 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
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7 BRICK YARD DUBMIRE
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7 CEMENT ROW DUBMIRE
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7 GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
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7 HIGH HILLSIDE HOUGHTON
7 HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
7 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
7 JOHNSON CRES HOUGHTON
7 JOHNSON CRESCENT HOUGHTON
7 KIRKLEE LANE HOUGHTON
7 LONG ROW COLLIERY ROW
7 LUMLEY ST. HOUGHTON
7 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
7 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
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7 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
7 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
7 ROSE ST. HOUGHTON
7 RUBY ST. HOUGHTON
7 RYHOPE ST. NEWTOWN
7 SEAHAM RD HOUGHTON
7 ST.ATION TERRACE FENCEHOUSES
7 ST.ATION TERRACE HOUGHTON
7 TERRACEPOTTERY YARD HOUGHTON

Write to us at:
Houghton Hillside Cemetery (Church Burial Ground)
Cemetery Lodge
147 Sunderland Street
Houghton-le-Spring
Co Durham
DH5 8BG
Or email via www.houghtonlespring.org.uk
7 THORNHILL ST. HOUGHTON
7 THORNHILL ST. HOUGHTON
7 THORNHILL ST. HOUGHTON
7 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
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7 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
70 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
71 COLLIERY ROW
71 LONG ROW COLLIERY ROW
71 LONG ROW COLLIERY ROW
71 LONG ROW COLLIERY ROW
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8 ELIZABETH ST. HOUGHTON
8 FATHERLEY TERRACE COLLIERY ROW
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8 LAMBTON ST. NEWTOWN
8 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
8 MOUNT PLEASANT HOUGHTON
8 NEWBOTTLE ROW HOUGHTON

In 1826, Houghton-le-Spring parish covered an enormous area, including several communities which would later be large enough to carve their own parishes out of the mother church of Saint Michael's. At the time, this parish included Houghton-le-Spring itself, Colliery Row, Shiney Row, Newbottle, The Herringtons, Warden Law, Copt Hill, Hetton-le-Hole, Hetton-le-Hill, Easington Lane, The Raintons, Moorsley, Leamside, Morton Grange, Fence Houses, Chilton Moor, Philadelphia, Wapping, Lambton, Bournmoor, Lumley and Cocken. The burial registers also include a few stragglers from the neighbouring parishes of Seaham, Easington, Pittington, Chester-le-Street, Penshaw and Bishopwearmouth. The registers for 1826-54 cover the cholera epidemic of 1830-31 and the Houghton Colliery Disaster of November 1850. Until August 1833, the registers listed the names of the parents of deceased children, an uncommon practice in Anglican churches of the period and a priceless bonus for genealogists. One of the children of Thomas Hepburn, the leader of the Northumberland and Durham miners in the great strikes of 1831 and 1832, is recorded. The old graveyard at Houghton was finally closed in 1854, replaced by Houghton Cut Cemetery. This was in turn replaced by the new Houghton Cemetery in 1892. We will be be covering Houghton burials after 1854 and before 1826
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8 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
8 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
8 ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
8 ROSE ST. HOUGHTON
8 RUBY ST. HOUGHTON
8 RYHOPE ST. NEWTOWN
8 RYHOPE ST. NEWTOWN
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8 WILLIAM ST. DUBMIRE
8 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON 1. REGIONALLY IMPORTANT GEOLOGICAL/GEOMORPHOLOGICAL SITE (RIGGS) The rock face in the Cemetery (as circled) is classed as a RIGGS. 2. SITE OF NATURE CONSERVATION IMPORTANCE (SNCI) TYPE Botanical and Geological FIRST NOTIFIED 1986 DATE OF REVISION 1993 LAND USE Open Land LOCAL PLAN Green Belt Local Plan, Unitary Development Plan Deposit Version (UDP) DEVELOPMENT PLAN Mineral Working. Cemetery and White Land MAP REF NZ 342504 NZ 343504 NZ 345507 AREA 14.55 HA. OWNERSHIP Private/Council DWT Ref 3.22
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8 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
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8 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON HOUGHTON GRAVEYARD OS sheet 88 NZ345505 Aspect South East Altitude 110m Approach time 2 minutes
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8 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
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8 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
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81 NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
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9 BRICKYARD HOUGHTON
9 BULMER ST. DUBMIRE
9 EWE HILL TERRACE HOUGHTON
9 FRONT ST. DUBMIRE
9 HENRY ST. HOUGHTON
9 HOPPER SQ HOUGHTON
9 HOPPER ST. HOUGHTON
9 JAMES ST. DUBMIRE
9 MAITLANDST. HOUGHTON

Famous 'residents' From the Northern Echo, first published Saturday 6th Aug 2005. THOUSANDS of people are buried in Houghton Hillside Cemetery, but among its better known permanent residents are: * William Standish-Standish - descended from royalty, his ancestors included Kings Edward III and King Richard II and his descendants include the present-day Earl of Wiltshire. According to local legend, he died after his horse fell over the edge of the cliff into the cemetery where he is now buried - leading his ghost to haunt the spot ever since. The reality is less romantic, it appears he met his end in bed at Cocken Hall in 1856. * Sir George Elliot - born the son of a Gateshead miner, he began his working life as a trap boy down the pit and ended his days a wealthy mine owner, financier and trusted advisor to the Prime Minister. Among the first to lay cable across the Atlantic, he became an MP in 1868, baronet six years later and advised Disraeli to buy shares in the proposed Suez Canal project. At his funeral in 1893, pitmen rubbed shoulders with members of the House of Lords. * General William Beckwith - born in Calcutta and colonel of the 14th Hussars, he died in 1871 at the age of 75. In 1831, he led his dragoons in a sabre charge against rioters in Bristol who were demanding parliamentary reform. An estimated 250 were killed or injured. He is buried in the family vault with his wife, Priscilla Maria Beckwith, who appears to have led a more peaceful life and is credited with having brought Catholicism to Silksworth. There are also four casualties of the First World War and at least one veteran of the Crimean War, along with countless inmates of the local workshouse, buried within its walls.
9 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
9 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
9 MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
9 MILDRED ST. HOUGHTON
9 OSWALD TERRACE SHINEY ROW
9 PEARTREE PLACE HOUGHTON
9 QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
9 ST.ATION TERRACE FENCEHOUSES
9 SUNNISDE ST. NEWBOTTLE
9 SUNNISIDE HOUGHTON
9 SUNNISIDE ST. HOUGHTON
9 SWALWELL ST. HOUGHTON
9 UNION ST. HOUGHTON
9 UNION ST. HOUGHTON
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98 SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
ALMS HOUSES
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ALMS HOUSESS HOUGHTON
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ALMS HOUSESS HOUGHTON
ALMS HOUSESS HOUGHTON

Famous 'residents' THOUSANDS of people are buried in Houghton Hillside Cemetery, but among its better known permanent residents are: * William Standish-Standish - descended from royalty, his ancestors included Kings Edward III and King Richard II and his descendants include the present-day Earl of Wiltshire. According to local legend, he died after his horse fell over the edge of the cliff into the cemetery where he is now buried - leading his ghost to haunt the spot ever since. The reality is less romantic, it appears he met his end in bed at Cocken Hall in 1856. * Sir George Elliot - born the son of a Gateshead miner, he began his working life as a trap boy down the pit and ended his days a wealthy mine owner, financier and trusted advisor to the Prime Minister. Among the first to lay cable across the Atlantic, he became an MP in 1868, baronet six years later and advised Disraeli to buy shares in the proposed Suez Canal project. At his funeral in 1893, pitmen rubbed shoulders with members of the House of Lords. * General William Beckwith - born in Calcutta and colonel of the 14th Hussars, he died in 1871 at the age of 75. In 1831, he led his dragoons in a sabre charge against rioters in Bristol who were demanding parliamentary reform. An estimated 250 were killed or injured. He is buried in the family vault with his wife, Priscilla Maria Beckwith, who appears to have led a more peaceful life and is credited with having brought Catholicism to Silksworth. There are also four casualties of the First World War and at least one veteran of the Crimean War, along with countless inmates of the local workshouse, buried within its walls.
ALMS HOUSESS HOUGHTON
ALMS HOUSESS HOUGHTON
ALMS HOUSESS HOUGHTON
ALMS HOUSESS HOUGHTON
ALMS HOUSESS HOUGHTON
ALMS HOUSESS HOUGHTON
BACK YARD COTTAGES DUBMIRE
BANK BUILDINGS NEW HERRINGTON
BANK HEAD
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BANK HEAD COLLIERY ROW
BANKHEAD CHILTON MOOR
BANKHEAD FENCEHOUSES
BANKHEAD HOUGHTON
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BANKHEAD HOUGHTON
BATYS HOUSES
BEAMISH
BELMONT
BENSHAM GATESHEAD
BIG HOUSE YARD HOUGHTON
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BLACK BOY
BLACK BOY BRIDGE HOUGHTON
BLACK BOY CHILTON MOOR
BLACK BOY CHILTON MOOR
BLACK BOY FENCEHOUSES
BLACK BOY NEWBOTTLE
BLACKBOY BRIDGE EAST. RAINTON
BLACKIE BOY COTTAGE FENCEHOUS
BLUE HOUSE
BOG HOUSE
BOG ROW SILKSWORTH
BOUNDARY HOUSE
BOUNDARY HOUSE
BOWLBY ST. HOUGHTON
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BRANCEPETH
BRITANNIA TERRACE DUBMIRE
BRITTANIA INN NEWBOTTLE
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BROWNEY COLLIERY
BRUCES YARD HOUGHTON
BUNKER HILL
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CARVILLA GILESGATE MOOR
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CEMETERY LODGE HOUGHTON
CHEST.ER LE ST.REET
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CLAYPATH DURHAM
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From sunderlandecho.com:
A GRAVEYARD at a disused quarry is to host a dramatic open-air play. The Houghton Passion Play, which will be staged at Houghton Hillside Cemetery, will also see the audience take part in the production, making up the crowd who jostle for a view of Jesus before his crucifixion. The cemetery is in an 18th-century limestone quarry, where the first graves date back from the 19th century. Today, it is a closed cemetery, with burials having stopped in the early 1970s, and is part of St Michael’s Church in the Diocese of Durham. The Passion Play, which is now in its 10th year, is usually performed in the church. This will be the first time it has been staged in the open air. The Reverend Canon Sue Pinnington, Rector of Houghton and producer of the play, said: “The Passion Play has been successfully produced in the church in recent years, but this year we are taking it outdoors for the first time. “The cemetery, with its backdrop of cliffs, is a terrific amphitheatre and will create a great atmosphere.” Local writer Stuart Clappison and lyricist Andy Slater created the play, a modern-day interpretation of the story, with the Reverend James Menzies, assistant curator of neighbouring Hetton Lyons, taking on the role of Jesus. “There will be a lot of movement during the play,” said Rev Pinnington. “The narrator and members of the cast will move around the quarry and the audience will be able to follow the story, exactly as happened when Jesus was crucified. “There will be guards in modern military dress, complete with guns, who will move people away if they go too near, to give it a realistic feel. “The whole idea is to show that the story may be 2,000 years old but it is still relevant and contemporary. “People will be able to experience what it was like for those people watching the crucifixion of Jesus. “There will be an edginess to the show. “People will be able to accompany Jesus on his last journey. “It will be a living play.” It is hoped the crucifixion scene will provide a reminder of the area’s historic links with quarrying and mining. It will take place in front of the Miners’ Monument, a cross which commemorates the many miners whose bodies lie in the cemetery. They include some of those who lost their lives in the Houghton Colliery Disaster of 1850, when firedamp and coal dust were accidentally ignited by a safety lamp, killing 27 miners. The Passion Play is supported by local community groups, including the Friends of Hillside Cemetery, who have worked hard to restore the site in recent years. Businesses and the council have also supported the event. For more information about the play, which takes place at 11am on Good Friday, April 6, visit www.stmichaels-hls.org.uk
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Write to the cemetery manager/sexton at:

Houghton Hillside Cemetery, The Cemetery Lodge, 145 Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring, Co Durham, DH5 8BG
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COXHOE KELLOE
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DENE HOUSE COTTAGES
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DUBMIRE CHILTON MOOR
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DURHAM
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DURHAM COUNTY ASYLUM
EASINGTON
EASINGTON
EASINGTON LANE
EASINGTON LANE
EASINGTON LANE
EASINGTON LANE
EASINGTON LANE
EASINGTON LANE
EAST. HERRINGTON
EAST. RAINTON
EAST. RAINTON
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EAST. RAINTON
EAST. RAINTON
EAST. RAINTON
ELEMORE VALE
ELIZABETH ST. HOUGHTON
ELM PLACE HOUGHTON
EPPLETON
EWE HILL
EWE HILL
EWE HILL
EWE HILL
FATHERLYS TERRACE HOUGHTON
FENCEHOUSES
FENCEHOUSES
FENCEHOUSES
FENCEHOUSES
FEVER HOSPITAL
FEVER HOSPITALL HOUGHTON
FLINT MILL
FOUR LANE ENDS
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FRONT ST. CHILTON MOOR
FRONT ST. DUBMIRE
FRONT ST. DUBMIRE
GARDEN COTTAGE DUBMIRE
GARDEN TERRACE WASHINGTON
GATESHEAD
GATESHEAD
GATESHEAD
GATESHEAD
GATESHEAD
GEORGE ST. DUBMIRE
GEORGE ST. HOUGHTON
GORE HALL THORNLEY
GREAT LUMLEY
GREYHOUSE LANE HOUGHTON
What are the start times of the outdoor Passion Play at the old cemetery in Houghton-le-Spring?
Passion of the Christ, re-enactment at Houghton Hillside Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring.
Who played Jesus in the Passion play at Houghton Church set outside in the old cemetery?
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HALFWAY HOUSE INN HOUGHTON
HANOVER SQUARE LONDON
HARLES BUILDINGS NEWBOTTLE
HARROGATE (YKS)
HASWELL
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HENDON
HERRINGTON
HESHAM PLACE HOUGHTON
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HETTON COLLIERY
HETTON HIGH DOWNS
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HETTON ST.ABLES
HIGH BARNES BISHOPWEARMOUTH Hillside is a cemetery located on the outskirts of Houghton Le Spring and the recently restored Lych Gate can be seen when driving along Houghton Cut
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HIGH DUBMIRE
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HIGH FIELD HOUSE
HIGH HILL SIDE HOUGHTON
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HIGH MOORSLEY
HIGH ROW 6TH PIT
HIGH ST.REET SUNDERLAND
HIGH WARDEN LAW
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HILLSIDE FARM
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HOPPER ST. DUBMIRE
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INFIRMARY SUNDERLAND
IRONSIDE ST. HOUGHTON
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ISOLATION HOSPITAL HOUGHTON
IVY HOUSE HOUGHTON
JANE PIT
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JOLLY FARMERS INN HOUGHTON
JUNCTION RD HOUGHTON
JUNCTION ROW HOUGHTON
JUNCTION ROW NEWBOTTLE
KEPIER SCHOOL HOUGHTON
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KIRTLEY LANE
LABURNUM HOUSE YARD HOUGHTON
LAMBTON ST. NEWTOWN
LINDEN COTTAGES HOUGHTON
LONG RIGGS FARM HOUGHTON
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LOW FELL
LOW MOORSLEY
LOW WARDEN LAW
LUMLEY
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LUMLEY 8TH PIT
LUMLEY M00R HOUSE
LUMLEY WICKS
LUNATIC ASYLUM SEDGEFIELD
LUNATIC ASYLUM SEDGEFIELD
LYONS
MAITLANDST. HOUGHTON
MANOR HOUSE HOUGHTON
MARKET PLACE HOUGHTON
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MEDOMSLEY
MIDDLE RAINTON
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MILDRED ST. HOUGHTON
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MILL HOUSE WARDEN LAW
MILLWARD HILL HOUGHTON
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MONKWEARMOUTH SUNDERLAND
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Published on Mon Aug 07 09:58:55 BST 2006 HUNDREDS of visitors flocked to a cemetery for a family day out with a difference. More than 600 people visited Hillside Cemetery, Houghton, at the weekend to take part in the “Back To Life” event. Ghostly goings-on at the Sunderland Street cemetery included workshops musical entertainment, as well as tales of times past and stories about families buried in the “Old Quarry Hole.” A Victorian-style horse-drawn hearse greeted visitors, who were served cream teas. A stone masonry workshop, bird box making, traditional games and entertainment from a brass band kept the kids busy. Paul Lanagan, Secretary of Friends of Hillside Cemetery and open day organiser, said: “We are delighted with the turnout. The most we have had through the gate in the past was 150. “The community have supported us in the past and it’s great to see that they are still supporting us now. “They have shown us today that we have a valid reason for doing what we do.” Houghton Colliery Banner was on show, in memory of those killed at the pit, and a tribute to Crimean War veteran and confectioner George Wheatley was also on display. The wooden leg worn by the town sweet maker, which he used to stir sugar syrup at his shop in Newbottle Street, was exhibited by his great-grandson David Wheatley. David said: “My great-grandfather was the founder of the sweet making factories in Houghton. I take great pride in sharing my family history with so many people.” A remembrance service for the First World War casualties buried at Hillside was also held. This was the third open day and the Friends of Hillside Cemetery were in period costume. Co-operative funeral directors gave advice on the coffins and headstones available today. Funeral director Victor Thompson said: “We were asked to come along and talk to the people because death is a bit of a taboo subject. “We have had some really interesting questions today and hopefully we have put their minds at rest.” All funds raised on Saturday will go towards the restoration of the lychgate entrance.

Someone's alive in the cemetery Published on Wed Sep 24 11:22:55 BST 2008 STRANGE things have been happening at historic Houghton Hillside Cemetery. Apart from the repeated break-ins and desecration of William Standish Standish’s grave, as reported in the Echo earlier this year, somebody has made it a home for the living. During a recent visit by the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, members found that someone had pitched a tent on the lower level of the site and a fire was burning outside. The tent was dismantled and a note left for the occupant advising that camping was not allowed at the cemetery.
MORTON ACRES ON BLACK BOY
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MORTON FENCE
MORTON GATE
MORTON GRANGE
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MORTON GRANGE
MORTON HILL
MORTON ROW
MORTON ROW
MOUNT PLEASANT
MURTON COLLIERY
NESHAM HALL
NESHAM HALL HOUGHTON
NESHAM HALL YARD HOUGHTON
NESHAM HALL YARD HOUGHTON
NESHAM HALL YARD HOUGHTON
NESHAM HALL YARD HOUGHTON
NESHAM PLACE HOUGHTON
NESHAM ST. HOUGHTON
NESHAMS ARMS INN HOUGHTON
NEVILLES CROSS DURHAM
NEW DURHAM
NEW HERRINGTON
NEW HERRINGTON
NEW HERRINGTON
NEW HERRINGTON
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NEW HOUSES HOUGHTON
NEW LAMBTON
NEW LAMBTON
NEW LAMBTON
NEW PENSHER
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NEWBOTTLE HOUGHTON
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NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
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NEWBOTTLE ST. HOUGHTON
NEWBOTTLE WEST. HOUSE
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NORTH BIDDICK
NORTH BIDDICK
NORTH HETTON ST.ABLES
NORTH PIT
NORTH SHIELDS
NORTH VIEW COLLIERY ROW
NORTHALLERTON (YKS)
OFFERTON
OLD ELVET DURHAM
OUTRAM ST. HOUGHTON
OVERMANS ROW
PALLION SUNDERLAND
PARK TERRACE HORDEN
PEARSONS BUILDINGS HOUGHTON
PEARSONS BUILDINGS HOUGHTON
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PEGGY PIT
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PENSHER
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PIT HOUSE LANE LEAMSIDE
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PITTINGTON
PLACES YARD HOUGHTON
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POOR LAW INST.ITUTION
POOR LAW INST.ITUTION
POOR LAW INST.ITUTION
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POST. OFFICE CAST.LE EDEN
PROSPECT PLACE
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QUARRY ROW HOUGHTON
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RAINTON ENGINE
RAINTON ENGINE HOUSE
RAINTON MEADOW
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RATTEN ROW
RECTORY COTTAGE HOUGHTON
RED BURN ROW
REDBURN ROW
REDCAR (YKS)
RICHARDS YARD MARKET PLACE
RICHMOND
ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
ROBINSON ST. HOUGHTON
ROYAL INFIRMARY SUNDERLAND
ROYAL INFIRMARY SUNDERLAND
RUBY ST. HOUGHTON
RYTON POST. OFFICE
SACRIST.ON
SEAHAM HARBOUR
SEAHAM RD HOUGHTON
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SEDGEFIELD
SEDGEFIELD
SEDGEFIELD ASYLUM
SEDGEFIELD ASYLUM
SEDGELETCH
SEDGELETCH
SEGLETCH
SEGLETCH
SEGLETCH
SEGLETCH
SEGLETCH
SEGLETCH
SEGLETCH
SEGLETCH
SHERBURN
SHERBURN HILL
SHERBURN HILL
SHERBURN HOSPITAL
SHIELDS PLACE HOUGHTON
SHINCLIFFE
SHINEY ROW
SHINEY ROW
SHINEY ROW
SHINEY ROW
SHINEY ROW
SHINEY ROW
SHORT ST. HOUGHTON
SHOTTON
SHOTTON
SHOTTON COLLIERY
SHOWMANS VAN THE LAKE
SILKSWORTH
SILKSWORTH
SILKSWORTH
SILKSWORTH
SILKSWORTH
SILKSWORTH
SILKSWORTH
SOUTH HETTON
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SOUTH HETTON
SOUTH HETTON
SOUTH HETTON
SOUTH HETTON
SOUTH HETTON
SOUTH HYLTON
SOUTH SHIELDS
SOUTH ST. DUBMIRE
SOUTH ST. DUBMIRE
SPRING GARDENS
SPRING GARDENS NEWBOTTLE
ST.ATION AVE FENCEHOUSES
ST.OTS PAST.URE
ST.OTS PAST.URE
ST.OTS PAST.URE
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ST.OTS PAST.URE
SUCCESS PIT NEWBOTTLE
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SUNDERLAND LANE HOUGHTON
SUNDERLAND LANE HOUGHTON
SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
SUNDERLAND ST. HOUGHTON
SUNNISIDE
SUNNISIDE
SUNNISIDE
SUNNISIDE HOUGHTON
SUNNISIDE HOUGHTON
SUNNISIDE NEWBOTTLE
SUNNISIDE NEWBOTTLE
SUTTON ST. DURHAM
SWALWELL TERRACE
TERRACEPOTTERY YARD HOUGHTON
THE ALMS HOUSESS HOUGHTON
THE BRICK YARD DUBMIRE
THE BRICK YARD DUBMIRE
THE COTTAGE CHILTON MOOR
THE COTTAGES DUBMIRE
THE FOLDS COLLIERY ROW
THE GLEBE FARM
THE GREEN HOUGHTON
THE HUTS WEST. MATFEN
THE INFIRMARY
THE INFIRMARY
THE INFIRMARY SUNDERLAND
THE INFIRMARY SUNDERLAND
THE LAKE HOUGHTON
THE LAKE HOUGHTON LE SPRING
THE LAMBTON LODGING HOUSE
THE PRINCE OF WALES INN
THE RECTORY, HOUGHTON LE SPRING
THE TERRACE HOUGHTON
THE TERRACEPOTTERY YARD HOUGHTON
THEGROVE HILLINGDON UXBRIDGE
THORNHILL ST. HOUGHTON
THORNLEY
THORNLEY
THORNLEY
TILE SHEDS
TILE SHEDS
TILE SHEDS
TORISH HILL
TORQUAY (DEV)
TYLE SHEDS
UNION HOUSE
UNION ST. HOUGHTON
UNUON ISOLATION HOSPITAL
URBAN ISOLATION HOSPITAL
USWORTH
VICTORIA INN HOUGHTON
WALLSEND (NBL)
WARDEN HOUSE HOUGHTON
WARDEN HOUSE HOUGHTON
WARDEN LAW
WARDEN LAW
WARDEN LAW
WARDEN LAW
WARDEN LAW
WARDEN LAW
WASH HOUSE HOUGHTON LE SPRING
WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON
WELLINGTON COTTAGE DUBMIRE
WEST. RAINTON
WEST. RAINTON
WEST. RAINTON
WEST. RAINTON
WHEELOCK RECTORY HOUGHTON
WHIE HOUSE FARM COTTAGES
WHITE HOUSE
WHITE HOUSE
WHITE HOUSE COTTAGES
WHITE HOUSE FARM HOUGHTON
WHITE HOUSE GEORGE ST.
WILLIAM HENRY PIT
WILLIAM HENRY PIT
WILLIAM HENRY PIT
WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
WILLIAM ST. NEWTOWN
WITTON GILBERT.
WORKHOUSE
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WORKHOUSE
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WORKHOUSE
YEW HILL
21 WILLIAM ST. HOUGHTON
BARNES
BATYS HOUSE
BEAMISH
BEDLINGTON (NBL)
BETTY PIT
BISHOPWEARMOUTH
BURDON
CASSOP KELLOE
CAST.LE EDEN
CHILTON MOOR
CHILTON MOOR
CLUB ROW
COCKEN PIT
COUNTY ASYLUM
ELIZABETH ST. HOUGHTON
FLAT ENGINE
FOLKST.ONE (ESSEX)
FOUR LANE ENDS
GAINFORD
GRASSWELL
GREAT EPPLETON
HALLBANK GATE
HARDWICK HALL SEDGEFIELD
HOUGHTON
HOUGHTON Welcome to a special newsletter about JAMES FINCH 1836 - 1888 and JOHN GEORGE DAWSON died: Nov 1943 buried: August 1944. These fascinating articles were written by Friends members, J@n ice Sh_o rt, Vice Chair (left) and Bds Harsda, Treasurer (right), as seen by the grave of John George & Hannah Dawson in December 2005, and give an insight into the journey taken when researching one's Family Tree. If you think you are related to any of the people mentioned in the articles, please get in touch. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JAMES FINCH 1836 - 1888 by J@n ice Sh_o rt, Vice Chair, FoHHC December 2005 James Finch was born in 1836 in West Boldon, Co Durham. He was the eldest son of Samuel Finch and Hannah Kirk. His wife Mary Ramshaw was born in East Herrington in 1845 and they married in 1865. They had ten children between the years 1865 and 1881. Throughout his working life he was employed in agriculture and it was his trade that brought him to live in Houghton-le-Spring. Sadly in 1888 he died after being kicked by a horse, although his death certificate states pneumonia. Mary continued to live in Houghton after James’ death and brought up their children. She died in January 1923 and was laid to rest at Hillside Cemetery with her husband James. When we discovered the headstone for James and Mary, my cousin Brenda and I were overjoyed as it was still in a good condition and very clear to read. We then noticed the name Moore in Mary’s name – yet this hadn’t appeared on either her birth or marriage certificate. It was somewhat of a mystery. Brenda requested the death certificate from Sunderland Register Office but they said that they didn’t have it. The Registrar even rang Brenda and discussed the certificate that had been requested. Only one Mary had been registered on the date in question – what a shock – it was Mary Moor, age77, and the informant of the death was Thomas Finch, son! Eventually we found out that in 1902 Mary remarried, to a man named Thomas Moor. Unfortunately the marriage between Mary and Thomas was doomed from the start and after the marriage ceremony it is believed that they took one look at each other and decided it was a huge mistake – they went their separate ways and the marriage was never discussed again. When Mary died legally she was still Mary Moor and not Mary Finch and had to be registered as Mary Moor. We think the family slotted Moore into the inscription just to recognise that this washer name, however it wasn’t the correct spelling! There are many other Finchs buried at Hillside Cemetery, including several of James’ children, his mother, and his father who was the eldest inmate of the Union Workhouse in 1901! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- JOHN GEORGE DAWSON Died: November 1943 - Buried: August 1944 by Bds Harsda, Treasurer, FoHHC March 2006 Since meeting up four years ago with my cousin, J@n ice Sh_o rt, our Finch Family History research has gone from strength to strength. James Finch and his wife Mary Finch nee Ramshaw had ten children at Warden Law between 1865 and 1881. Janice is descended from Robert, the eldest son, and myself from Margaret, the second daughter. Working together with another Finch cousin, Bill in America, has been fascinating and we have so much information on most of the children and their descendants. Janice, my mother and me went up to the Hillside Cemetery around about four years ago to look for any Finch headstones but because it was September we were unable to make any progress onto the bottom level - the whole area was vastly overgrown. We decided to return the following March before everything grew again. After a good two hours search on the lower level of the 1894 extension (F) Janice saw a headstone for James and Mary Finch! We were elated. We stood a long time just looking at the stone which was still perfectly preserved. This stone revealed a mystery itself and we made many visits back (see above article). We were walking along a path through the trees to the plateau on the day we first visited the Cemetery together with my mother. We noticed a headstone where the bank side had slid down, covering most of the inscription with soil – except for the word ‘Hannah’. The eldest Finch daughter was Hannah who had married a John George Dawson in St Michael & All Angels Church on April 13th, 1895. We climbed up to the headstone and with our trowel dug until the next line was revealed. It was indeed our Hannah, the beloved wife of JG Dawson, died February 24th, 1936, aged 66. We cleared the rest of the inscription and it confirmed that husband and wife were buried together. We were progressing well with the descendants of the ten Finch children except for Hannah and JG Dawson. We had discovered from the Hillside Cemetery grave registers that JG Dawson was buried in August 1944 but had died on November 30th, 1943 and could not understand why there was such a discrepancy! We knew that this period was during World War II and we assumed that priority would have been to bury someone more or less immediately – not nine months later! I applied to the Registrar at Sunderland for a copy of a death certificate dated November 30 1943 to see if this would give any clue as to the delay but there was none for that year at all. I applied to the Registrar at Sunderland for a copy of a death certificate dated November 30th 1943 to see if this would give any clue as to the delay. We were shocked when the Registrar replied that there was no death certificate for a John George Dawson of Houghton-le-Spring for that year at all. We went back to the headstone taking cleaning materials and a small brush and gave the headstone a good clean – particularly the dates – and it definitely said “…died Nov 30th 1943 aged 79…” which we knew would be the correct age on that date. Janice looked on 1837online and there was a JG Dawson died the same quarter in Blyth, Northumberland so I sent for that certificate and we were surprised to see this JG had died December 12th, 1943 and was older and a coal miner - whereas our John George worked for a builder. Sadly we knew this couldn’t be our man. We were at a loss as to how to find where he had died. An idea came to mind - we would apply online through the General Register Office. We entered the various details and submitted our request. As we wanted the certificate back quickly we paid £27 for the privilege. Two days later the certificate arrived. We were so disappointed to find that we had a second copy of the chap who died in Blyth! Another check of 1837online revealed the only other JG Dawson in the whole country who died that quarter of 1943 was registered in Ilford, Essex. We had no idea of any connection with Ilford but Janice sent for this certificate. Two days later it arrived and read “30th November 1943 John George Dawson aged 79, informant: HS Dawson, son, of Boleyn Way, Ilford”. We knew Hannah and JG had a son Herbert Seymour Dawson born June 23rd, 1909 in the Market Place here in Houghton-le-Spring so we knew we must have the right man at last. We still had no idea why the Burial Register showed the burial as August 1944. Janice decided to look on 1837online for anything for Herbert Seymour Dawson and found his death on March 25th, 1997 in Hillingdon, London. I immediately applied for a copy of Herberts death certificate and discovered the informant was Gillian Rosemary Dawson, daughter, of the same address as Herbert. A check of the telephone directory revealed that GR Dawson was still at that address so together we composed a letter explaining who we were and how we were connected and posted it off. By return of post we got a lovely letter from our new “cousin” Gillian who was pleased to hear from us; she was more than willing to help us in our research. I have had two lovely telephone conversations with Gillian and she has given us such a lot of help and also revealed an older sister Sheila Mary Moore nee Dawson who has also written to us. We have done a Finch family report for both sisters and sent them photos of their grandmother Hannah, as they had none, photos of Houghton-le-Spring - and a set of postcards of our Cemetery to show both sisters where their grandparents and great-grandparents are buried. The delay between death and burial was finally explained: Gillian told us that her grandfather JG Dawson had been cremated and that Herbert, an accountant in the City of London, had come up from London to Houghton-le-Spring by train on his next summer holiday with the ashes of JG in an urn in his brief-case. These were interred with Hannah at our Hillside Cemetery. The finding of the Dawson headstone and finally unravelling its mystery has brought us two new cousins and, at long last, the living descendants of the Finch children of James and Mary are all in contact with each other. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- FROM THE RECORDS The entry for John George Dawson in the burial registers makes no mention of ashes being interred, and is recorded as an ‘ordinary burial’. Only one entry out of the 7000 interments is explicitly listed as interment of ashes, and this was for John Morgan Forster on February 11th, 1961. The newly discovered burial plan has revealed that the remains of John George were not buried in the same plot as his wife Hannah, but in a plot nearby (shown right). These are the only graves in the 1894 extension to be numbered in the unusual way of WA, WB, WC and so on. The grave plot is suffering badly from the prevalent soil erosion at Hillside Cemetery. It is found in the first row of plots on the upper level of the 1894 extension. The inscription, when visible, reads: In loving memory of HANNAH, the beloved wife of JOHN GEORGE DAWSON died Feb. 24th 1936, aged 66 years, also JOHN GEORGE DAWSON died Nov 30th 1943 aged 79 years. At Rest The headstone had almost been completely buried until Janice and Brenda excavated it; it is hoped that the soil erosion issue will be partly addressed in summer 2006 as part of a potential footpaths project for the teenagers attending the NE1 Christian Youth Jamboree at Herrington Country Park.
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HOUGHTONSatan vandals desecrate nobleman's tomb Slogans daubed on the tomb of William Standish Standish « Previous « PreviousNext » Next »View GalleryADVERTISEMENTPublished Date: 09 January 2008 Sick vandals have desecrated the tomb of a nobleman whose ancestors included four kings of England. The vault at historic Hillside Cemetery, Houghton, has been targeted several times by intruders who daubed sick slogans like "Satan, evil, death" and "The point of no return, beware" on the walls. A thick metal cover was fitted to prevent future attacks, but in the latest act of sacrilege this was removed and the bones of William Standish Standish were scattered around the vault. The 19th century landowner died on July 10, 1856, at his home, the long-since demolished Cocken Hall near Finchale Priory, County Durham. The acts of vandalism have come as a blow to the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, who have put a lot of effort into restoring the historic site, which was once overgrown with the graves disappearing beneath a tangle of ivy, trees and bushes. After the latest attack, Colin J@ rv1s, a member of the Friends, said: "They broke the metal plate off, climbed in and scattered his bones about. I can't understand why anybody would want to do that at all. "Some of the bones had been put into a bag after the last break-in but the bag had been ripped open and the bones had been scattered." He said what was apparently a name - Cal 07 - had been scrawled in the tomb during the intrusion, which is believed to have occurred within the last week. Colin said: 'I'm pretty gutted about it. The way I look at it is it's someone's family - it's somebody you have lost. When you get laid to rest that should be it - it should be peaceful. "The last time it was broken into somebody had scrawled Satan on the wall inside the crypt and The Point of No Return, Beware. It's not nice." Colin said he would like to see the inside whitewashed, the bones put in a new coffin and the vault filled with soil and sealed to prevent further intrusions. "It's happened a few times in the last few years. I don't think they can be right in the head. We do a lot of hard work to keep the cemetery in a good state but sometimes it feels like you are fighting a losing battle." Police are investigating the latest break-in. Anybody with information should ring 0191 454 7555 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111. PANEL William's royal links... * Genealogical research by Paul Lanagan and other members of the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery suggests that the modern day descendants of William Standish Standish are The 18th Marquess of Winchester and his son, The Earl of Wiltshire. * Further research has shown that William's ancestors were royalty, including: Kings Edward I, Edward II, Edward III, and Prince Edward the Black and King Richard II. William was also related to Sir Henry Percy, the renowned Hotspur, the English rebel who was killed leading an army against Henry IV. * William's great-great-great grandparents, Ralph Carr and Anne Fairfax (and other Carrs) are buried in St Michael and All Angels Church, Houghton. * A legal technicality required William Standish Carr (as he was) to become William Standish Standish so he could inherit the family seat of Duxbury Hall, Lancashire. PANEL Body parts... * Some time during the period 1972 to 1983, the head and hand of William Standish Standish were removed from his vault. * The hand turned up under a mobile classroom at the then Houghton Grammar School and was re-interred in the vault when it was bricked up. * Later the police arrived at the rectory one night with William's head in a bag – it was found being kicked around the gutter of Ironside Street by some children. As the vault had been bricked up the head was buried in St Michael's churchyard. PANEL A myth buried... * A story that William died when his horse plummeted over the cliffs of the new burial ground (which had opened two years earlier in 1854) and was later buried on the spot where he met his end was discredited after Northeast Press photographer Dave Allan researched the subject. In fact he died after a short illness, aged 48 or 49, at Cocken Hall, near Finchale Priory.
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Digging up cemetery's troubled past A ONCE forgotten burial ground that divided a community celebrated its 150th anniversary at the weekend. Hillside Cemetery, at Houghton-le-Spring, Wearside, is one of the only burial grounds in England to feature burial vaults in the rock face of the surrounding limestone cliffs. An open day was held on Saturday as part of events to mark the 150th anniversary of its consecration. The Friends of Hillside Cemetery, dressed in period costume, gave more than 150 visitors a tour of the cemetery. A vintage hearse and the newly restored Houghton Colliery banner were also on show. Paul Lanagan, one of the event organisers, said: "Essentially, the village is rediscovering the cemetery. "We didn't expect any where near 150 people, so it was a huge success." The friends group was formed in December last year to further the historical, cultural, and recreational aspects of the disused burial ground. By 1853, St Michael's churchyard, in the village, was full, so Houghton's Rector, the Reverend John Grey, suggested using a disused quarry at the top of Sunderland Street, which caused uproar among residents. The village was split into factions for and against the development. Despite the objections, the plans went ahead with support from several un-named dignitaries, and on September 4, 1854, the Bishop of Exeter consecrated the burial ground. In 1895, the rector was interred in a vault at the cemetery. Among those buried there are colliery owner Sir George Elliot Bart, an advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who died in December 1893. The site became isolated from the village in the 1960s, when the A690 road was built, and was left to fall into ruin. For further details on the burial ground, visit the website
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Public meeting tonight to discuss 'major problem' at cemetery A HISTORIC cemetery has become the target of repeated vandalism. In recent weeks, trees have been felled, headstones damaged, fires lit on graves and empty beer cans strewn around the Hillside Cemetery, in Houghton-le-Spring. Now the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery have called a public meeting, tonight, to discuss with council officials and police what can be done to halt the spate of attacks. The graveyard dates back to 1854, when it was opened by the Reverend John Grey, Rector of Houghton, and was created by opening up the village's old quarry for burials, which at the time led to a public outcry. It is the final resting place of four First World War soldiers, one MP and a descendent of the Royal Family. However, the cemetery is now being targeted on Friday and Saturday nights. A 100-year-old yew tree, which stands next to the grave of Mr Grey, has been hacked to pieces. A fire was started which became so intense it scorched the headstone of William Turnbull Houghton's one-time medical officer. In addition, the grave of Crimean War veteran George Wheatley was littered with beer cans. Paul Lanagan, secretary of the Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, which has worked tirelessly for three years to maintain the graveyard, said: "We have a major problem at the site at the moment. "We were really sickened by the bonfire. "These acts are like a kick in the teeth and have upset all of the group in an unbelievable way. "I am concerned these youths have staked claim on the cemetery. "We need more people to visit to discourage these acts or to report any problems." The Friends group recently applied for funding of more than £30,000 to restore parts of the cemetery. * The public meeting will be at the cemetery at 7pm.
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Schedule of events Noon: Cemetery is opened to visitors, with the unveiling of display boards giving information on the cemetery's four veterans of the First World War 12.30pm-12.45pm: Talk by Richard Curry, of Houghton Local History Group, about his ancestor William Hollis, killed in Houghton Pit in 1907 12.45pm-1pm: Talk by Houghton Local History Group on the Union Workhouse, which provided the cemetery with ten per cent of its inhabitants 1.15pm-2pm: Dr Andy Lane will lead a guided geological tour of the graveyard, including notes on what makes a good headstone 2.30pm-3.45pm: Historian Paul Lanagan leads a guided tour of the graveyard, pointing out notable tombs along the way. Throughout the day, there will be photographic exhibitions, Victorian undertakers in fancy dress, and a chance to search the registers for family members. There will also be cream teas. Entry is 50p, including a free guide map and notes for each visitor. Houghton Hillside Cemetery is on Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring, near Houghton Cut on the A690. Visitors are advised there is no parking at the cemetery and drivers should park in the town and walk.
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NORTH HETTON FARM
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OVER THE HILL FARM
PHILADELPHIA
PORTLAND PLACE LONDON
PRIMROSE HILL
ROTHBURY (NBL.)
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SEAHAM
SEATON MOOR
SHARROW HOUSE SHARROW LANE
SOUTH SHIELDS
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ST.ONEYGATE
SUNNISIDE
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THE FELLING
THE PLAINS HETTON WAGGONWAY
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WEST. CONFORTH
WEST.ERN HILL DURHAM CITY
WORKHOUSE
YEW HILL
Anyone ever taken a look around Houghton Cemetery before? Just in case you're not familiar with the geography, it's located off to the left of the A690 Sunderland to Durham road just after you start heading down through Houghton Cut, as it's known. There are the remains of a stone arched entrance, which keen-eyed observers may have noticed before. It's rapidly becoming covered in ivy and well on its way to becoming lost altogether. As for the cemetery itself... what an amazing place... a sort of forgotten 'lost world'. It seems to have been built in what may have been an old quarry on the side of a steep hill. The limestone rock face that towers up on one side gives it a sort of 'lost world' appearance. A short track leads from the entrance near the A690, bordered on each side by trees. This opens out into a sort of large oval area where the grass had recently been cut. There are the scattered remains of broken headtones, only one or two of which have legible inscriptions. There is also a vault built at the base of the aforementioned rock face and eveidence that someone has attempted to break in. The outer brickwork has a gaping hole and as I gazed into the dark interior, I could make out another wall which had also had some stone knocked out. Presumably, the occupants laid to rest were on the other side of the second wall, but it was too dark to see! At the far end of this open oval area, I thought I'd reached the end of the cemetery. However, in amongst the trees and tangle of ivy, loads more headstones. Most appear as just ivy-covered mounds, but a number of headstones were visible. It was interesting to discover one headstone that gave the details of someone who died in 1971. This was really surprising when you consider how overgrown and forgotten it all seems to have become. Just in case anyone has any Houghton connections, I've taken the time to add some of the headstone inscriptions below: 1 Within this tomb lies the remains of the deservedly lammented William Standish Standish Esq. (no, I haven't made a mistake, the inscription has Standish Standish) of Duxbury Park, County of Lancashire and Cocken Hall in the County of Durham, who died at Cocken Hall July 10th 1856 aged 48 years. 2 In memory of General William Beckwith, of Silksworth and Trimdon, Colnel 14th Hussars, who died February 23rd1871, aged 75 years. Also Priscilla Maria Beckwith, widow of the General Beckwith, died June 3rd 1877 aged 70 years. John Beckwith of Silksworth and Trimdon, formerly of Calcutta, who died April 23rd1891 aged 87 years. 3 Sacred to the memory of our dear daughter Edith Wanless, who died 8th March 1943 aged 33 years. Also her dear father Joseph Wanless, who died 4th January 1965 aged 89 years. Also her dear mother Mary Jane, who died 13th July 1971 aged 91 years. 4 In loving memory of Elizabeth, the beloved child of Joseph and Mary Jane Wanless, who died October 29th 1902 aged 18mths. Edith, sister of the above, died October 27th 1905, aged 2.5 years. 5 In loving memory of Mary Jane, the beloved wife of Gordon Brown, of Prospect Row, Houghton-le Spring, who died June 1st 1902, aged 38 years. 6 In loving memory of William, beloved husband of Elizabeth Hollis, who was accidently killed at Houghton Colliery, 9th April 1907 aged 52 years. 7 In loving memory of James Finch, who died 13th January 1888 aged 61 years. Also Mary Moore Finch, wife of the above, who died 18th January 1923, aged 77 years. 8 Charles, beloved son of George and Margaret Turner, of Dubmire Cottage, who died October 21st 1903 aged 2 years and 8 days. 9 Thomas Barron of Colliery Row who died January 21st 1888 aged 57 years. Also of Elizabeth his wife who died December 15th 1903 aged 68 years. Also of Thomas their grandson who lost his life in the Lady Ann Pit June 30th 1904 aged 13 years. Also Jane Barron who died August 23rd 1916 aged 16 years. 10 In affectionate remembrance of Samuel Smyth who died October 25th 1887 aged 53 years. In memory of Isabella wife of Samuel Smyth who died September 23rd 1899 aged 64 years. Also Isabella his daughter, who died September 2nd 1878 aged 7 months. 11 Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth James of The Lindens who departed this life August 21st 1879 aged 47 years. Also of George James of The Lindens who departed this life May 4th 1887 aged 62 years. 12 In memory of Jane Ann the beloved wife of William Horn who died January 27th 1891 aged 65. Also William Horn the beloved husband of the above who died September 12th 1896 (the age can not be made out). Hope some of this information may prove useful to someone... DAVID.
You can purchase the official Houghton Le Spring 2010 calendar featuring Houghton Hillside Cemetery from this site, now!

Information on: Hillside Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring Location: OS Map 88, Grid Ref NZ345504 Hillside is a cemetery located on the outskirts of Houghton Le Spring and the recently restored Lych Gate can be seen when driving along Houghton Cut

WEBLOG [TOP] March 25 2008 - Large trees growing in the Houghton Mining Memorial kerbing were felled in preparation for the forthcoming restoration. January 28 2008 - Contact with Houghton Kepier School was established with an aim of involving the pupils in designing the interpretation boards. September 28 2007 - The resubmitted SIB application for the restoration of the large cruciform mining memorial was granted and £10,500 was awarded. June 6 2007 - An application to Sunderland Council's Coalfield Area Committee for SIB funds for the restoration of the Elliot Vault and Project Launch event was rejected by Ward Councillors. An amended submission is being considered. January 18 2007 - The Friends decided to go ahead with the Phoenix Project and apply for funding for the vault restorations and excavation of the bulldozed headstones. December 19 2005 - The Friends met with Jonathan McKelvey, Keeper of Field Archaeology, Tyne & Wear Museums, and discussed the excavation sites. Jonathan advised that the surface should be skimmed of brambles and leaf matter, and the surface further skimmed to allow a non-invasive investigation to be carried out with survey pins. The next stage, once all permissions and funding had been obtained, would involve two small evaluation trenches. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PROJECT OUTLINE [TOP] On September 4th 1973, the 119th anniversary since the burial ground was consecrated, the Diocese of Durham Advisory Committee gave approval to the removal of kerbs, headstones and memorials from the Hillside Cemetery. The plateau area was completely cleared; local man Alan Hilman and a colleague were hired by the Urban District Council, and the headstones were buried in a large crater at the east end of the plateau. The Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery plan to excavate the bulldozed headstones and restore the main vaults, as a means of: - putting right a travesty - showing the community that the burial ground is not forgotten about - deterring vandalism and youth disorder by showing that the land is not simply an unwanted area - ensuring that historical and genealogical information be preserved -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HEADSTONE EXCAVATION [TOP] In 1974 the headstones on the plateau section were bulldozed. To excavate them will cost over £5,000 To find out more about the bulldozed headstones, click HERE. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RESTORATION OF SIR GEORGE ELLIOT'S VAULT [TOP] This vault was desecrated in 1957 and the wooden door was bricked up. Restoration would include: :: conservation tasks to tidy up growth in the area (free) :: restored cross on top (£484.10) :: restored railings with lockable gate (£7790.25) :: installation of an interpretation board - 1 out of the 8 (£1217 each) TOTAL COST = circa £9,500 Front elevation Side elevation To find out more about Sir George Elliot and his vault, visit his page by clicking HERE. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RESTORATION OF THE WILLIAM STANDISH STANDISH VAULT [TOP] This vault has frequently been desecrated, the last time being in January 2008. On a positive note, the inside has been thoroughly tidied and offensive graffiti removed. Restoration would include: :: conservation tasks to tidy up growth in the area (free) :: restored railings with lockable gate (£10,356.45) :: installation of an interpretation board - 1 out of the 8 (£1217 each) TOTAL COST = circa £11,500 To find out more about this noble man and his connection to Royalty, visit his page by clicking HERE.

Write to the cemetery manager/sexton at:

Houghton Hillside Cemetery, The Cemetery Lodge, 145 Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring, Co Durham, DH5 8BG ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RESTORATION OF RECTOR GREY'S GRAVE [TOP] This grave is frequently set on fire and can often be found with rubbish dumped on it. Restoration would include: :: conservation tasks to tidy up growth in the area (free) :: rechampering and slight extension of kerb set (£3560.25) :: restored dwarf railings to match originals (£6000) :: installation of an interpretation board - 1 out of the 8 (£1217 each) TOTAL COST = circa £11,000 To find out more about the Honourable and Reverend John Grey and his struggle to open Hillside Cemetery in 1854, visit his page by clicking HERE. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RESTORATION OF HOUGHTON MINING MEMORIAL [TOP] This large memorial was pulled down during the clearance in the 1970s. Restoration would include: :: conservation tasks to tidy up growth in the area (free) :: reuse of original base and foundation :: new column (fallen original left insitu) :: new cross :: new inscription TOTAL COST = circa £12,000 £10,500 acquired from City of Sunderland Coalfields SIB Segments needed Front elevation INSCRIPTION RESTORED BY THE FRIENDS OF HOUGHTON HILLSIDE CEMETERY IN MEMORY OF ALL THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES AT HOUGHTON COLLIERY AND THOSE WHO ARE BURIED IN UNMARKED GRAVES 2008 Actual font to be confirmed as that preferred/recommended by Durham Diocese for their churchyards. Number of lines here is not representative of how it will look on the actual memorial. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RETURN OF WAR GRAVE HEADSTONES [TOP] Private James Place, Private Frederick William Wheatley, Gunner Frederick Henry Place, and Private Arthor Ernest Richardson died following injuries during WWI. Three of the graves were commemorated with Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstones, but these were removed in 1962 and four 'alternative' commemorations were erected at Durham Road Cemetery. The Friends would like to see the headstones returned to Hillside Cemetery: :: conservation tasks to tidy up growth in each of the grave plots :: general conservation in the section containing the graves :: a site management plan :: working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission To find out more about the four WWI casualties buried at Hillside, visit their page by clicking HERE. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SIGNAGE & INTERPRETATION [TOP] Content and layour will be designed by pupils from Houghton Kepier Secondary School. Corporate-style logo used on each board to be designed by local primary school children following an artwork competition. *This online version of the project should not be used for quotation purposes, as specific hardcopy packs are sent out to contractors. Like any website, this page can be updated without notice.

Houghton Hillside Cemetery Project News Detached Churchyard of St Michael & All Angels Church Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: LYCH GATE RESTORATION PROJECT AUGUST 2007 ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: OUTLINE | PROCESS | WEB BLOG This unusual structure is a lych gate (‘lych’ rhymes with ‘itch’). It is a roofed gate to a churchyard and was once used as a temporary shelter for the stand on which the coffin rests before burial. The lych gate at Houghton Hillside Cemetery was built in around 1873. A car crashed into it in the 1960s! Click the photos for larger views then BACK to return. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- RESTORATION PROCESS [TOP] 1. Parochial Church Council Permission .......................................................................[granted] 2. Ivy removal ...................................................................................................[done] 3 . Acquire quotations for repair/restoration ..............................................................[done] 4 . Apply for further funds from grant aid & other Heritage sources .................................[granted] 5 . Acquire drawings .............................................................................................[done] 6 . Seek approval/permission from City Council and St Michael's Church .....................[granted] - - - - - - - 7 . PHASE 1 - Stonework repair or dismantling/rebuilding of structure and installation of stone cross ......[completed] 8 . PHASE 2 - Restoration of dwarf wall, coping and pillars .............................................................[completed] 9 . PHASE 3 - Installation of railings and access gates ...................................................[completed] [10. PHASE 4 - Restoration of wooden gates in the archway] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PROJECT OUTLINE [TOP] These are quick sketches only and are not technical drawings. The Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery plan to restore the lych gate at the burial ground entrance as a means of: - making the place more identifiable. - showing the community that the burial ground is not forgotten about. - deterring vandalism and youth disorder by showing that the land is not simply an unwanted woodland area. - ensuring that a historical structure will be preserved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OTHER LYCH GATES [TOP] For more details about lych gates visit the Wikipedia entry by clicking HERE. *This online version of the project should not be used for quotation purposes, as specific hardcopy packs are sent out to contractors. Like any website, this page can be updated without notice. Permission is granted for the copyrighted images/text in this page to be viewed online only. This page must not be saved to a PC or printed off. 1. REGIONALLY IMPORTANT GEOLOGICAL/GEOMORPHOLOGICAL SITE (RIGGS) The rock face in the Cemetery (as circled) is classed as a RIGGS.

Write to us at:
Houghton Hillside Cemetery (Church Burial Ground)
Cemetery Lodge
147 Sunderland Street
Houghton-le-Spring
Co Durham
DH5 8BG
Or email via www.houghtonlespring.org.uk 2. SITE OF NATURE CONSERVATION IMPORTANCE (SNCI) TYPE Botanical and Geological FIRST NOTIFIED 1986 DATE OF REVISION 1993 LAND USE Open Land LOCAL PLAN Green Belt Local Plan, Unitary Development Plan Deposit Version (UDP) DEVELOPMENT PLAN Mineral Working. Cemetery and White Land MAP REF NZ 342504 NZ 343504 NZ 345507 AREA 14.55 HA. OWNERSHIP Private/Council DWT Ref 3.22

Write to the cemetery manager/sexton at:

Houghton Hillside Cemetery, The Cemetery Lodge, 145 Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring, Co Durham, DH5 8BG

425 Houghton Graveyard Houghton Graveyard HoughtonGraveyardHoughton GraveyardHoughtonGraveyardHillside FarmInOutPA690SunderlandA182Shiney RowA1052Fence Houses(A183 to A1 atChester le-Street)Houghtonle-SpringRaintonBridgeA690DurhamB1404Seaton,A19 &SeahamA182Shiney RowB1284Fence HousesA182 Hetton le-Hole & EasingtonB1284 Hettonle-Hole500 m1/2 mile Tyne and Wear 426 Houghton Graveyard 427 Houghton Graveyard Houghton Graveyard Main Wall Just right of the prominent chimney/gully. 4. CreativeThinking F7b+ The steep wall following a line of resin bolts immediately right of the chimney. Strictly no bridging. 5 bolts to LO. 5. Revenge of the Body Snatchers F7b+ Start 2 metres right of the chimney. Fingery climbing eventually leads to a good hold 3m below the top, hard moves lead to the top. 4 bolts to LO. 6. Abiotrophy F7c Top Rope Climb direct until a desperate move on a small under-cling leads over the small roof. Another hard move leads to the large finishing pocket. 7. Depression F7a+ * Start just right of the bush. A hard start leads to hollow jugs and bolt. Delicate moves, keeping right of the next three bolts, lead to the lower off. 4 bolts to LO. 8. The Petzl Hangers F7b+ The line of 4 Petzl hangers just L of the curving groove lead over a bulge to a chain. 4 bolts to LO. 9. Seven Sisters F7b * Follow the curving groove until a long reach up and left from a small pocket leads to a good small crimp. Very thin moves may lead direct to the lower off. 3 bolts to LO. 10. Evensong F7a+ About 1m R of the curving groove is a vague R facing “corner”. Four Petzl bolts lead to a single resin bolt. It is better to LO as for Seven Sisters. 4 bolts to LO. 11. Immortalised in Stone F7a The short well-bolted line at the right edge of the wall, just left of (or under) the Ivy. Four bolts lead up first L then back R until a very thin move gains the twin bolt lower off. (Stud and three bolts) . 4 bolts to LO. Back Wall This is an impressive face up to 20 metres high. The striking crack up the left end of the face consists of soft, loose rock and is not recommended. The Back Wall is split by a vegetated corner, which is towards the right side. The shorter right-hand wall has a fine arête overlooking the prominent corner. SECTOR a The Left FlankSECTOR b Main Wall1011Houghton Graveyard987654321 HOUGHTON GRAVEYARD OS sheet 88 NZ 345505 Aspect South East Altitude 110m Approach time 2 minutes Situation and Character The crags are found between Sunderland and Durham in a former graveyard on the north east side of Houghton le Spring adjaacent to the A690 Dual Carriageway at Houghton Cut. The faces of Magnesium limestone form part of the ancient reef deposit that also surfaces at Cleadon. The climbing is situated on the best and most impressive faces, which are also the first encountered as one enters the graveyard. The rock quality on these two faces is variable, better than it looks, but it is friable and does suffer from a powdery deposit. The walls are very compact and do not run to strong features or cracks. The steep bulging nature and small fragile holds provide pumpy climbing. Most of the climbs are bolted and other lines have a lower off to enable those eliminates to be top roped. This can only be considered a local venue. History The Graveyard was originally developed as a top-roping venue. Gavin Ellis and John Boyle recorded ascents of Abiotrophy and Revenge of the Body Snatchers. Michael Gardiner and Dave Stainthorpe added Pegasus and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey. Stephen “Woody” Fleming made the only recorded lead before the arrival of bolts in the Graveyard, with the very bold ascent of Roasting the Ox. Bolts began to appear during the 1990’s. From 1996, Steve Crowe and Karin Magog added Hallowed Ground, Depression and Creative Thinking. Access and Approaches From the main roundabout below the A690 Durham to Sunderland road, exit onto the B1404 towards Seaham and take the first left turn almost immediately into Elizabeth Street. Follow this uphill to give way at a crossroads and go straight ahead. (The crag is now visible on the hill behind the allotment gardens.) Take the second street on the left and at the end, turn right into Sunderland Street. Drive up the hill to the end of the street and park at the end adjacent to Hillside farm. A path leads uphill to the old cemetery gate. Turn into this and follow a short path into the graveyard. The first crag on the left is Lower Wall whilst above and behind is the Back Wall. The Lower Wall Two walls divided by a deep chimney. The left flank is a steep slab with a prominent overlap at half height whilst the main wall is a steep wall offering technical climbing up to 10 metres in height. The Climbs The climbs are described from left to right. The Left Flank 1. Hallowed Ground F6a+ The central line of this buttress. Delicate climbing leads to powerful moves across the prominent overlap and up to a lower off at half height. 3 bolts to LO. 2. Alternative F6b Top Roped It is possible to top rope an independent line about 2m R of the bolts of Hallowed Ground from the same lower off. About 3m to the R is the prominent chimney/gully, which separates the Left Flank from The Main Wall. 3. Bushwhacking Blues F5 ** The right edge of the Left Flank, taking care to avoid the loose rock on the arête. 3 bolts to LO. Tyne and Wear 428 Houghton Graveyard 12. Pinning The Tail On The Donkey 6a The poorest recorded route. It has only been top roped and is not recommended. Start at a lower level than the other routes to the left of a small memorial plaque. Climb the wall to the left of centre to a ledge. Continue up the wall above at its steepest part trending slightly left near the top. No bolts or LO. The following routes all start from the ledge above the crypt. Pegasus and Myrrh both start at the left end of the ledge up a shallow groove behind the tree. 13. Pegasus F6c A top rope problem. Start as for Myrrh below the obvious scoop. Climb up the scoop. Pass to the left of the second bolt to gain a very blunt rib. Finish straight up the wall above. Sustained. No bolts to LO. 14. Myrrh F7a+ ** A bold start behind the tree leads to a technical finish on small holds. Climb the shallow groove for 3m step left then follow the obvious curving scoop sweeping back right to finish direct. 5 bolts to LO. 15. Good Friday F7a+ * A direct start to Myrrh. Start to the left of a black bulge at the base of the crag about 5m left of the corner. Climb up the wall to the left of the bulge via a prominent pocket then join Myrrh to finish direct. Originally finished further right closer to My Little Pony. No bolts in start. 16. My Little Pony F7a+ *** Start just left of the foot of the vegetated gully. Climb the wall to mid-height and move left through a weakness in the wall. Move back right where thin moves lead past the penultimate bolt. 6 bolts to LO. The next route follows the prominent arête right of the corner. 17. Roasting The Ox F6b+ ** Start below the corner left of the narrow wall and the prominent arête. Go up the corner until moves on the right wall can be made towards the arête. Follow the arête mainly on its left to top out (or lower off the top bolt). 6 bolts to tree. 18. The Cat Crept into the Crypt F6b+ Left of The Sepulchre on the steep slab is a prominent crack. Climb the slab just right of this. Top Rope only. 19. The Sepulchre F6b+ Start below the right hand side of the steep slab up the slope at the extreme right-hand end of Main Wall. Climb the slab left of the Ivy mass. Top rope only. Houghton Graveyard SECTOR C Back Wall1514161718191413

A day of history and picnic among the hillside gravestones IT may not be everyone's idea of fun, but an historic cemetery opens its gates for an open day today. It is no ordinary day out, but Houghton Hillside Cemetery, which for more than 150 years has been the final resting place for thousands of residents of Houghton-le-Spring, is no ordinary graveyard. During its eventful history, the cemetery has been the focus of public protest, the source of local legend and final home to some of the most colourful characters the community ever produced. Today, the Friends of Houghton Hillside will invite the public to enjoy talks and tours of the graveyard, exhibitions of photographs, fancy dress parades by Victorian undertakers and even picnics among the tombstones. Organiser Paul Lanagan sees nothing macabre in a day out among the dead. "It is unusual but, hopefully, it is entertaining and informative and people will enjoy it." There has been a graveyard at St Michael and All Angels at Houghton since the middle of the 16th Century. The first burial is recorded as taking place in 1581 but, as the rural community turned into a Victorian pit town, the town's cemetery began to overflow. By 1853, at least 8,500 people had been interred at the site and the crisis came that year when cholera swept through the crowded mining districts of Sunderland and Durham and decimated the townsfolk of Houghton. As the bodies began to pile up, and the gravediggers resorted to breaking into old coffins to bury the dead, Rector John Grey came up with a drastic solution - extending the burial ground into the old quarry, on the edge of the village, with its dramatic cliff-face. The suggestion was met with uproar. Townsfolk were furious at what they saw as dumping their loved ones in the old quarry. Meetings took place in the Golden Lion to organise protests, posters appeared around the village denouncing the scheme. However, despite being crippled with early arthritis, which made him look much older than his 41 years, the clergyman stood firm against the opposition and, after an 18-month battle - and the personal intervention of Home Secretary Lord Palmerston - the new cemetery witnessed its first burial in September 1854. Gradually, the community came to accept the new cemetery. Several of its most notable citizens were buried there in vaults - some created by using explosives to blow a hole in the rock face. Landowners, statesmen, pitmen, paupers - they were all brought to their final rest By the time Reverend Grey was himself buried in the cemetery extension he created in 1895, the graveyard was accepted by the community. In the early 20th Century, however, a municipal cemetery was opened nearby, in Durham Road, and, gradually, Hillside was used less and less. Its last new grave was dug in 1971. Mr Lanagan, a local government worker, said: "I first went up there when I was about four years old - my grandfather would take me up there for a walk. "About four years ago, I took my wife up there just for a walk to see some of the places I had gone to as a child, and I realised how bad a state it was in, with rubbish everywhere and vandalism." He launched a campaign to clean up the site and, with help from the church and Sunderland City Council, established a Friends of Houghton Hillside Cemetery, with the writer Lucinda Lambton as its patron, to maintain the site. In March, the site was officially closed to new graves, although it remains possible for someone to be interred in a family plot. The cemetery has given rise to a number of legends, many rooted in the site's remarkable geology. The cemetery is located on the area's famous geological fault line, the same fault which gave rise to Houghton Cut and the cliff face which has been excavated for many of the tombs. The graveyard is said to be haunted by the ghost of William Standish-Standish, who is thought to have died in 1856 when, as he rode at night on the moors above the cemetery, his horse stumbled over the edge of the cliff and threw him to his death. He is buried in the family vault in the rock face and his apparition is said to recreate that fatal fall on the anniversary of his death, in July. Historians believe the truth may be far less interesting and suggest he died in his sick bed at stately Cocken Hall. To the edge of the cemetery is a crevasse, created by the same fault line, said to be so deep it hides the wreckage of a Spitfire buried there during the Second World War. The history and geology of the cemetery will be explored in the day-long event, which starts at noon.

From sunderlandecho.com:
A GRAVEYARD at a disused quarry is to host a dramatic open-air play. The Houghton Passion Play, which will be staged at Houghton Hillside Cemetery, will also see the audience take part in the production, making up the crowd who jostle for a view of Jesus before his crucifixion. The cemetery is in an 18th-century limestone quarry, where the first graves date back from the 19th century. Today, it is a closed cemetery, with burials having stopped in the early 1970s, and is part of St Michael’s Church in the Diocese of Durham. The Passion Play, which is now in its 10th year, is usually performed in the church. This will be the first time it has been staged in the open air. The Reverend Canon Sue Pinnington, Rector of Houghton and producer of the play, said: “The Passion Play has been successfully produced in the church in recent years, but this year we are taking it outdoors for the first time. “The cemetery, with its backdrop of cliffs, is a terrific amphitheatre and will create a great atmosphere.” Local writer Stuart Clappison and lyricist Andy Slater created the play, a modern-day interpretation of the story, with the Reverend James Menzies, assistant curator of neighbouring Hetton Lyons, taking on the role of Jesus. “There will be a lot of movement during the play,” said Rev Pinnington. “The narrator and members of the cast will move around the quarry and the audience will be able to follow the story, exactly as happened when Jesus was crucified. “There will be guards in modern military dress, complete with guns, who will move people away if they go too near, to give it a realistic feel. “The whole idea is to show that the story may be 2,000 years old but it is still relevant and contemporary. “People will be able to experience what it was like for those people watching the crucifixion of Jesus. “There will be an edginess to the show. “People will be able to accompany Jesus on his last journey. “It will be a living play.” It is hoped the crucifixion scene will provide a reminder of the area’s historic links with quarrying and mining. It will take place in front of the Miners’ Monument, a cross which commemorates the many miners whose bodies lie in the cemetery. They include some of those who lost their lives in the Houghton Colliery Disaster of 1850, when firedamp and coal dust were accidentally ignited by a safety lamp, killing 27 miners. The Passion Play is supported by local community groups, including the Friends of Hillside Cemetery, who have worked hard to restore the site in recent years. Businesses and the council have also supported the event. For more information about the play, which takes place at 11am on Good Friday, April 6, visit www.stmichaels-hls.org.uk
What are the start times of the outdoor Passion Play at the old cemetery in Houghton-le-Spring?
Passion of the Christ, re-enactment at Houghton Hillside Cemetery, Houghton-le-Spring.
Who played Jesus in the Passion play at Houghton Church set outside in the old cemetery?