Origins

 

» The Town and the Church

» The Town's Name

» The Story of Cuthbert

 

 

The town and the church

 

 

The town of Chester-le-Street has straddled the highway to the north of for thousands of years.

Because of its position it was an obvious choice for a Roman encampment, overlooking the Wear valley to the west and giving control of road traffic heading to and from the PONS AELIUS (the Tyne river crossing at Newcastle).

 

 

 

Excavations show that the present church building stands at the centre of the site of a Roman fort in this encampment, founded in the second century A.D

The fort measured about 500 feet east-west and 400 feet north-south, and the remains of several buildings - the barracks, granary, bathhouse and commander's quarters- have all been identified.

Recent excavations have left some of these exposed to public view.  A number of Roman and later artifacts are now housed in the church's "Anker's House" Museum

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The town’s name

 

The Romans called the town "Concangis".

The Anglo-Saxons called it "Cuneceaster" (meaning "the camp on the Cune Burn"). 

The Normans shortened the name to Ceastre and later, simply Chester.

In the Middle Ages it became Cestrie in Strata (1372) and then Chester in the Strett (1523).

By the seventeenth century the modern name of Chester-le-Street had been adopted, to distinguish it from the ancient city of Chester standing on the River Dee near the Welsh border.

 

The "Street" is the paved way, the ancient Roman road running north and south, on which the town grew, and which is now known as " Front Street".

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The story of Cuthbert

Our church history begins with Cuthbert. 

Cuthbert was born in 634, and worked as a shepherd on a Cumbrian farm until he was 17, when he became a monk at Melrose Abbey. 

After his ordination as a priest, he preached and administered the sacraments throughout Northumbria, becoming well known as a holy man and acquiring a reputation for miracles.

Sent to reform the Lindisfarne monastery, he became a hermit, reluctantly becoming its Bishop in 685.

 

 

 

Cuthbert died two years later, and was buried at Lindisfarne ( Holy Island ).

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