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Church Cross


A Church built for the people


St Cuthbert's is in Cotherstone in County Durham. The church was built in 1881 by C Purdon Clarke as a response to the population growth of the village, along with a growing number of non conformist chapels. 

Today there are only two places of worship left in the village, St Cuthbert's and a largely gathered Quaker congregation who meet in their historic 'Friends Meeting House.'

Black and White Star in Circle

Formerly in the historic North Riding of Yorkshire, Cotherstone was transferred to County Durham for administrative and ceremonial purposes on 1st April 1974, under the provisions of the Local Government -Act 1972.

This is the reason as to why it is in the county of Durham, but not the Diocese of Durham. It is now in the Diocese of Leeds, being formerly in the Diocese of Ripon, (and prior to that in York then Chester.)

Built by Messrs Kyle of Barnard Castle the bells were a gift from Mr. Jonathan Pearson, of Notting Hill. The spire is a later addition. 

The clock was made by the same company as the clock found in front of the famous Big Ben bell in London. John Dent built the clock to the designs of Edmund Beckett Denison.

I am indebted to the website 'Bells of the North' for the following information and newspaper cutting.


The bells are a complete ring of 6 by Warners, 1881.  They have the typical “Doncaster” canons from this founder.  The timber frame was installed at time of casting, possibly also by Warners. There is a very brief note in Bell News in November 1881, it being a monthly publication at that time, about work being undertaken by Warners:  “Cotherstone Church, Yorkshire, for Mr. Pearson, Notting Hill ; tenor about 7½ cwt., B flat”

The first mention of ringing here is from “Church Bells” in their edition of October 20th 1883. 

The above article appeared in The Ringing World of October 25th 1935, showing that the bells had been rehung on ball bearings

The main feature of the ringing room is the large clock case. It takes up one side of the ringing chamber floor – the weight borne by the floor and not the walls. The rope of the second bell falls on the far side of the clock case, with the bellrope falling very close to its edge. The other ringers can only see the very top of the ringer of the second!

The first peal on the bells was not rung until 1973, for the Lancashire Association and only 3 more have followed to date.


Today there is a new bellringing band formed in the summer of 2022. Practice nights are on a Tuesday from 6:30pm, new people are always welcome

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