Victorian Era - 1837-1901

Learn how, after an era of tragedy for the town, St Mary's re-invents its buildings and community work for a modern age.

Victorian Era – 1837-1901

1838-40 The churchyard is extended again, and a Girls’ School erected at its southwest corner

1839 The nave floor is levelled and re-laid with slabs, and gas lighting is installed.

1849 143 inhabitants of Barnard Castle who died from Asiatic Cholera between 18th August and 18th October 1849 are interred in the separate area on the south side of the churchyard.

1855-9 The South Door porch is removed, and the North Porch is re-opened for use; the churchyard, with its new railings, is finally closed for burials and a new cemetery is consecrated on Victoria Road. The town fire-engines are removed from St Mary’s to the Town Hall in the Market Cross!

1866 Until 1866 Barnard Castle is cared for by a curate, its parent church being St Mary’s Gainford (8½ miles east towards Darlington) but now St Mary’s becomes a separate parish with its own vicar.

1868-1870 – As church rates and pew rentals are abolished, St Mary’s undergoes major renovation and restoration: both galleries are removed, the west entrance closed and new windows placed in the East and West walls and South chancel wall. The floor of the nave is lowered two feet and re-laid, and new pews are introduced. An organ chamber [now St Margaret’s Chapel] is erected for a new pipe organ.

1873-5 – A new church tower is erected by public subscription, with a chiming clock added in 1875

1883-1901 – St Mary’s establishes Church Mission Rooms on Bridgegate and The Bank providing services and activities to deprived communities there. They also set up a Parochial Guild Football Club.