St. Nicholas Church, Durham

St. Nicholas Church, Durham

In the early 12th century, Ranulf Flambard, Prince-Bishop of Durham, cleared the green between his castle and Durham Cathedral. The area became a marketplace and the site of Saint Nicholas Church. Saint Nicholas was the patron saint of merchants, sailors, archers, reformed thieves, prostitutes, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students, also known as "St Nic."

The first Saint Nicholas church had a buttressed nave, chancel, and a square, crenelated tower. One wall was part of the city walls. There was one cemetery between the church and the marketplace; another at the rear of the church. The building underwent extensive changes over the years. In 1857 it was demolished and rebuilt.

Only the 18th-century font and five bells from the 17th century were salvaged. The new church was built following a similar plan to the original. It was completed in 1858 by architect J. B. Pritchett of Darlington. The London News claimed it was "the most beautiful specimen of church architecture in the north of England."

The church, made with snecked sandstone with ashlar dressings, has a slate roof with stone gable copings. The nave and chancel are aisled. There are a south porch and tower and an octagonal stone spire with lucarnes. Above the ornate double doors is a niche with a statue of Saint Nicholas, who holds a ship in his left hand.

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St. Nicholas Church on Map

Sight Name: St. Nicholas Church
Sight Location: Durham, England (See walking tours in Durham)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Durham, England

Create Your Own Walk in Durham

Create Your Own Walk in Durham

Creating your own self-guided walk in Durham is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Durham Introduction Walking Tour

Durham Introduction Walking Tour

The monks from Lindisfarne were on the run in 995, the Vikings hot behind. The monks were carrying the body of Saint Cuthbert. The Saint's bier stopped. Along came a milkmaid who had lost her dun cow. The coffin moved and the monks followed the maid to a high hill by the River Wear. The bier stopped again and, despite the effort of the monks, would not move. The monks had found their place.
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles