- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia
Jarrow is a town in northeast England, located on the River Tyne, with a 21st century population of 27,526 (year not quoted, but probably 2001 with different boundaries than the 2011 population quoted below). Jarrow was part of County Durham, until in 1974 it was transferred to the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear.
In the 8th century, the monastery of Saint Paul in Jarrow was the home of Venerable Bede, who is regarded as the greatest Anglo-Saxon scholar and the father of English history. From the middle of the 19th century until 1935, Jarrow was a centre for shipbuilding, and was the starting point of the Jarrow March against unemployment in 1936. Jarrow had a population of 43,431 in the UK census of 2011.
- end of Wikipedia contribution
Jarrow was an ancient parish in the Chester Ward of County Durham. It was made a civil parish in 1894, at the same time becoming a municipal borough.
As an ancient borough or parish it was responsible for the townships of Harton, Hedworth Monkton and Jarrow, Heworth and South Shields. Each of these townships became civil parishes in the 19th century. The municipal borough of Jarrow was originally formed from the township of Hedworth Monkton and Jarrow in 1894, and enlarged in 1936 by the abolition of Monkton parish and the alteration of borders between Jarrow and South Shields.
In 1974 this part of County Durham became the new county of Tyne and Wear with a different form of local government. Jarrow became a part of the South Tyneside metropolitan district.
A nineteenth century description
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Jarrow from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 (somewhat condensed from the original). The picture it conveys must be contrasted with the desolation of the town in the 1930s noted above.
- "JARROW, a town and a township in South Shields [registration] district, and a parish partly also in Gateshead [registration] district, Durham. The town stands on the river Tyne, at the terminus of a short branch of the Northeastern railway, 2 miles SW by W of South Shields. It takes its name from the Saxon word "gyrwy, " which signifies "a marsh, " and alludes to a. neighbouring bay, called the Slake. This bay is on the NE; measures about 1 mile from E to W, and about 7-1/2 miles from N to S; was so important in the Saxon times as to be the chief port of Egfrid, king of Northumbria, and the anchoring place of his fleet; extended then as far inland as Boldon; but has now become so choked with sand and mud as to be dry at ebb tide, and useless as a harbour. A Roman station once occupied the site of the town, and is proved to have done so by several inscribed altars which have been found here. A monastery was founded in 680, on the deserted station, by Benedict Biscop; was plundered by the Danes in 788, and burned by them in 867; underwent subsequent restoration; was burned again by William the Lion of Scotland; underwent a second restoration, in 1074, by Earl Waltheof and some monks from Mercia; and, in 1083, was made a dependent cell of Durham. The Venerable Bede entered the monastery as a student in 684; resided here till his death in 735; wrote and left here those works which have made his name so famous; and was buried in the church.
- [A description of the monastery and the church of a century or so later.]
- "Jarrow and its neighbourhood present a striking contrast now to what they were in the time of Bede. "Could Bede see the place now, " says Howitt, "he would imagine chaos come again. He would see the whole breadth of the river occupied with a host of vessels of all nations; scores of tall chimneys vomiting volumes of black smoke; houses clustered right and left, as far as the eye can reach, half lost in reeks and vapours of a thousand sorts, issuing from coke and brick kilns, from forges and roperies, from manufactories of glass and alkalies. He would see steam boats and steam engines; and along the banks of the Tyne, ranges of ballast hills, that is, hills, almost mountains, of sand, that ships coming from the south of England and the Continent have brought as ballast, and emptied here." This description applies truly to the whole parish, in all its reach along the Tyne; and applies centrally to the town, as situated about midway between the two extremes. A coal mine, known as the Jarrow colliery, began to be worked in 1803, and was the scene of terrible explosions by hydrogen in 1826, 1828, and 1830. Extensive ship building yards, blast furnaces, and rolling mills, and previously belonging to a private company, passed, in 1865, to a limited liability company with a capital of £2,000,000. There are also alkali works, an extensive paper manufactory, and extensive iron ship building yards. These yards give employment to a very large number of men, and were the place where the royal navy steam ship Defence and one of the floating batteries were built. A graving dock, at the W end of the yards, was opened in 1865; is rendered easily accessible by means of two entrance piers; has a depth, on the sill, of about 16 feet at ordinary spring tides; and, when not occupied by vessels of the building yards, will be available for any vessel, wooden or iron. The town has a head post office, a railway station, chapels for United Presbyterians, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, New Connexion Methodists, United Free Methodists, and Roman Catholics, national schools, and charities £104. A new cemetery was projected in 1769.
- "The township is threefold, and bears the name of Hedworth, Monkton, and Jarrow. Acres: 2,826; of which 476 are water. Real property, of Hedworth: £2,972; of Monkton and Jarrow: £22,012, of which £4,000 are in mines, and £1,500 in iron works. Population of the whole, in 1851: 3,835; in 1861: 6,494. Houses: 909. The increase of population arose from the extension of iron ship building. The manor belongs to T. Brown, Esq. Monkton competes with Bede's Hill and with Sunderland the claim of being Bede's birth place; and it has a spring called Bede's Well, which so late as 1740, was a superstitious resort for an expected healing of diseased or infirm children.
- "The parish contains also the townships of South Shields, Westoe, Harton, and Heworth. Acres: 9,782; of which 1,288 are water. Real property: £83,075; of which £13,286 are in mines, £938 in quarries, £2,200 in iron works, and £917 in railways. Population in 1851: 42,448; in 1861: 52,925. Houses: 7,098. The parochial living is a rectory in the diocese of Durham. Value: £200. Patrons: Lady James and T. Drewett, Esq. A chapelry of Jarrow-Grange was constituted in 1868. The living is a [perpetual] curacy. Value: £175. Patron: Lady James. Ten other chapelries are in the parish; and all are separate benefices. J. Hodgson, the historian of Northumberland, was parochial incumbent."