Easington Colliery & Easington Village

Easington Colliery & Easington Village

St Mary the Virgin, Easington Village

St Mary the Virgin, Easington Village

Available Parish Registers at Durham Record Office

St. Mary, Easington Village, Baptisms 1571-1952
St. Mary, Easington Village, Marriages 1570-1987
St. Mary, Easington Village, Burials 1570-1956
Our Lady RC, Easington Village, Baptisms 1865-1953
Our Lady RC, Easington Village, Marriages 1872-1933
Our Lady RC, Easington Village, Burials 1866-1992
St. Mary RC, Easington Colliery, Baptisms 1923-44
Easington Methodists, Marriages 1947-56

Our Lady of Victories & St. Thomas RC church at Easington village was constructed in 1865. It later also served the new community of Easington Colliery. In 1923 St. Mary’s RC was built at Easington Colliery and a new parish created for it out of the old. In 1978 the church of Our Lady RC was constructed at Easington Colliery and replaced both of the former churches with a united parish.

Population changes in the 19th Century were:

1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901
Easington 487 542 593 693 812 916 1073 1428 1260 1262 1731

All of the above census returns for Easington 1841-1901 inclusive are transcribed and are available on this site.

Situated near a hilltop two miles from the coast Easington village commands views to the north, east and south – an important advantage in the Viking Age and earlier. Historically the Sunderland to Stockton turnpike, forerunner of the A19, passed through the village and the King’s Head pub was the collection and distribution point for the area’s mail. In 1903 the then Easington District Council based itself in Easington village.

In Saxon times ‘Esyngtana’ was a centre of religion. The church of St. Mary the Virgin (a Norman structure c.1100 ?) , probably built on the top of an earlier church, is right on the top of the hill. Between 1256 and the ending of the Palatinate in 1832 rectors of Easington were also Archdeacons of Durham. Easington has long been the ‘capital’ of East Durham, though it was eventually dwarfed in size by the new towns of Seaham Harbour (1828) and Peterlee (1948). In 1569 two local men were hanged on the village green for their part in the failed attempt to put the Catholic Queen of Scots on the throne instead of Elizabeth. The parish registers date from the following year. The Easington Union Workhouse was sited in Easington in 1837. Modern Council buildings now stand on the site. When the registration of births, deaths and marriages began in July 1837 the country was divided into registration districts, one of which was Easington. The Registrar is now based in Peterlee, reflecting the rise in stature of that vibrant community. The great change for the Easington village area came with the construction of Easington Colliery at the start of the 20th. century. This closed in 1993. Today Easington is a delightful village reeking with atmosphere and history and the nearest coalmine is over a hundred miles away.

Easington Colliery Village

Our Lady of Victories & St. Thomas RC church at Easington village was constructed in 1865. It later also served the new community of Easington Colliery. In 1923 St. Mary’s RC was built at

Easington Colliery and a new parish created for it out of the old. In 1978 the church of Our Lady RC was constructed at Easington Colliery and replaced both of the former churches with a united parish.

The sinking of Easington Colliery began on April 11 1899. Like neighbouring Dawdon the pit took many years to complete and needed to employ German contractors who used the ‘freezing’ technique to deal with massive water problems. The first coal was not shipped at Seaham Harbour until January 15 1912, transported there on the new NER railway connecting Seaham and Hartlepool (via Blackhall, Crimdon, Horden and Easington Colliery). In May 1951 an explosion at the pit killed 81 men and two rescue men. The colliery closed on May 7 1993. Now the site has been flattened and levelled and the nearest colliery is over a hundred miles away. The colliery village remains however and is currently being renovated.

— by Tony Whitehead