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Tyne and Wear HER(16392): Byermoor, Lobleyhill Road, RC Church of the Sacred Heart - Details

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Byermoor, Lobleyhill Road, RC Church of the Sacred Heart



Religious Ritual and Funerary


Roman Catholic Church

Early Modern


Extant Building

Between 1867 and 1869 Roman Catholic services were held in the house of Dr Grinstead at Burnopfield, conducted by Father Patrick Thomas Mathews, a priest from near Leadgate. At the same time a large number of Irish immigrants arrived in the area seeking work in the mines. The Roman Catholic diocese saw a need to found new parishes, churches and schools. In 1867 Father Mathews was commissioned to found a new Catholic parish at Byermoor. This was created by 1869. That same year a temporary wooden church was built, near where the present petrol station now stands. Father Mathews became the first parish priest. In 1871 the building became a school as well. In 1874 land was leased from the Earl of Strathmore, Claude Bowes, for a new permanent church. The new church was designed by Messrs Dunn and Hansom. The foundation stone was laid by the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, Bishop Chadwick, on 12th September 1875. The church opened on 8th October 1876. It was dedicated to Saints Patrick, Cuthbert and Mary. The church can seat 400 people. There are 7 stained glass windows in the sanctuary. Four were installed when the church was built, three are later. One is in memory of Father Mathews. It depicts Thomas of Canterbury. Another window shows St. Elizabeth of Hungary and is dedicated to the good work of Miss Elizabeth Surtees of Hamsterly Hall. She was a benfactor of the church. The third memorial window is in memory of the Rev. Canon John Wilson (the second parish priest). It depicts John the Evangelist and Canon Wilson. This window was donated by his sister Jane Wilson. There is a Second World War memorial window at the front of the church. This depicts Martin of Tours. The names of serviceman and women are inscribed. The window is above a memorial tablet dedicated to the war dead of the parish during the First World War. The tablet was erected on 18th December 1919 at a cost of £25. There are three other stained glass windows in the church. The altar is of French caen stone, donated by Miss Blanche Lamb of Gibside Hall. She also gave two statues made in Munich. In July 1915 a brick wall was built around the church using 4700 bricks from Byermoor coke ovens. It cost £8.13. In 1948 the Earl of Strathmore gave the 5 acres of land to the church. The church was consecrated on 9th October 1948 by Bishop McCormick of Hexham & Newcastle. Stone church in early English style/ Semi-circular apse.




Sheila McGahon, Sunniside Local History Society, no date, A History of Byermoor Church,;, [accessed 7th March 2016]; Historic England (Designation), Consultation Report, 15 March 2016; Churches in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle: An Architectural and Historical Review, AHP, 2012

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