St Johns Church, Haverton Hill

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All that remains of the church from 1865 is the lych gate and graveyard.
St Johns, Haverton Hill / Port Clarence.
St Johns, Haverton Hill / Port Clarence.
The church was demolished in the late 1960s along with most of Haverton Hill due to heavy pollution.
I have only been able to find one tiny composite photo of what the church actually looked like.


75 thoughts on “St Johns Church, Haverton Hill

  1. hi there i hope someone can help us..we are looking for a plot number of my great aunt who passed away 27th may 1969..her name before marriage was mary forbes, her married name was cookson..she was born feb 13th 1944 in trimdon colliery….she died in haverton hill, her grave is unmarked and she is in haverton hill cemertary..any help and information would be greatfully received…thank you, i will look forward to your reply

      • Hi I am in the same boat locating grandparents which I have a idea of which is there unmarked plot, I have gained a copy of the register book so they are confirmed as been in there but all lists of plot number are nowhere to be found. Got the info from durham council

          • Hi Gemma,My surname is Cookson and my family are from Port and Haverton,I hope this helps,please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any information,Regards

          • Hi Carl, my mam is from Haverton Hill, her maiden name is Smith but she married Arthur Cookson in the early 70’s divorced a few years later but she kept his name. Are u related?

    • hi, i dont know exactly where her plot is but i do know the small area of where she was laid to rest,i will ask my mam if she knows,and try to solve this for you, i think mary married my uncle edwin, and had three children to him, linda, colin, and ian,cookson.

    • Hi,Not sure that this may help but our family name is cookson and we are from Haverton,port clarance area,Regards Wendy

      • I’m grateful for your reply, I’m not sure, I will have to speak to my mum, her maiden name is Watson, does this ring any bells?

    • I made the same enquiry in Middlesboro because my grandmother, Frances Phillips, was buried in this cemetery in 1926. I was told that archives for the cemetery are held in the Durham County Library. Unfortunately I live abroad and have not had the opportunity of visiting the Library to find information. I know that the graveyard was extended after 1936 so the grave you are seeking should be in the newer part beyond the dividing wall, Maybe you will have better luck than I did if you live locally.

    • I have also been looking for my grandmother grave which is also unmarked. Stockton-on-Tees Library has a hand written book which lists Name date of Death and what I think is a plot number. There is two numbers one which I think was painted along the wall(some of them are very faint now) and how many rows from wall. It also said it was a double so I think it probable is grave reference. Due to bad weather lately I have not been able to go and check but I think it is well worth you checking with Library. I had checked with Durham who only had date of death they told me grave details would have been in a book possible held by curate and when the church was demolished only document in safe were transferred to them. Good Luck.

    • Hi I obtained my grandmothers plot number from Stockton Library they had book with names dates and plot number in. You need to go upstairs and speak to receptionist or someone who helps with family research.
      Hope this helps. There is faint white numbers on the churchyard wall and these help to locate grave.

      • Thank you Beryl. I followed your advice and went today and was able to finally find my Grandmother’s grave, she died in 1947. Thanks again.

      • Hello, I mentioned in my message of 6 February 2019 that I was looking for my Grandmother’s grave in St John’s Churchyard, Haverton Hill and since then COVID has stopped me travelling to England from France. Should anybody be in Stockton Library I really would be grateful for any information about FRANCES PHILLIPS née McDEAN who died beginning 1928 especially as finally it seems to be the correct place to go.
        Thanks in advance.

  2. hi i am sorry that i cant help you looking for mary forbes grave plot but you may be able to help me .my late grandmothers name before she was married was jenny forbes from haverton and most of her family are burried in st johns cemetry and the name forbes was passed down to me and my late mother as a christian name have you any info about mary forbes family that you can pass on to me as we could be distant relatives.
    thank you brian forbes jones

  3. The church was still up in the early 1970s because my mother died in 1971 and we had her funeral in there. My mothers grave isnt marked but my sister and I met a vicar from billingham who had a book with all the names of the deceased in there and we found her plot with his help, that was in 1989.

  4. my grandad is buried in st john` grandma worked in the `middle house`…i was born in collingwood road and my mom got her welding papers in the shipyard there…a long time ago they used to have a movie night in the church..i remember watching rob roy there

  5. Hi I ‘m afraid I cant help with any of these people just wanted to say that I have lived in Middlesbrough all my life and I was most surprised when I came across this cemetery today.I had been to do some recycling and said to my husband as we left the tip just turn left instead of right as I have never been down this road before so he did and I thought I had seen a cemetery but then I imagined I had been mistaken so as we came back and I realised there WAS a cemetery I had to get out of the car and have a look. I have to say I felt very upset when we left this place although it is not at all unkempt or overgrown it is still a very isolated grim place and there is a real sense that this place is unloved it seems such a shame as some of the graves are still tended , I mean it is supposed to be a resting place where you can visit the grave of a loved one in quiet contemplation and reflect ….I don’t think so not in that grave yard you wont .Still very interesting to visit .

  6. i think i could be related down the line, i think mary was married to my uncle edwin cookson, my mam is called jean cookson , before she was married,

  7. hi my name is Ingrid clark.IAM looking for portraiture hire dad was a vicar in st john,s church haveton hill.Befor I was married I was Ingrid allan.So if enyone knows hire please let me know by email me.We whent port Clarence school of haverton hill.

    • hi ingrid my name is barbara in haverton i was barbara kelly,could i ask if your father was the vicar at st johns church 1968,and if he was not, do you remember who was the vicar then? i can not for the life of me remember this vicar,s name,( vicar murphy seems to ring a bell) he married my friend, sorry i cant help with the above question, regards barbara, p,s i did know a marion allen from haverton hill any relation?

        • Mr Darling had a daughter Marjory & two Sons Christopher & Sandy. Mr Darling was a keen follower of horse racing I remember.

          • Unfortunately Mr Darling has died and the death record held in Durham do not have the plot numbers for the graves. I have been told possibly sextant or warden held the book and no one though to collect it when church was destroyed all other records were kept in sage in church were eventually transferred to Durham after spending some time at St Cuthberts in Billingham. If anyone knows any of the Darling sons or daughter or how I could get in touch to see if they have any information I would be very grateful. There is a lot of graves in the churchyard that have no markers I believe I am not the only one trying to find plot records. Thank you for your reply I had been told about couple of sons but was not aware he had a daughter.

          • It’s at the back of my rusty memory somewhere that the graveyard plot details from St John’s Haverton are in Hartlepool library – yes, I know it’s weird but I’m 99% sure that’s where they are. Good luck. The girls upstairs in Central library are very helpful.

          • My father was vicar at St John’s from 1949 to 1965, and was followed by Rev Murphy. The new section of the graveyard was opened around 1960, and is through the gate as someone said. I remember digging one or more graves there in the early 1960s! I now live in Canada, my brother in Yorkshire, and my sister in Reading.
            Sandy Darling

      • Hi Barbara, sorry can’t help with the vicars name but I think I went to school with you my name was Beryl Archer we lived at 48 Collingwood Road until it was demolished. My Gran was buried at St Johns both my sister Carole and myself used to take flowers every Sunday until we moved. I can’t remember her plot number but I know we approached the church down main path then turned right when we got to church door we went through a small wall and graves were on our left.

        • hey Barbaral i was born in collingwood rd. in 1949…my nan worked in the ‘middle house’ cousins are the whites and the hills from there too ..just saying hello …

          • Hi my name was Linda Paul and I lived in St Vincent Street between 1964-71. 8 remember the Whites as our neighbours out the back.

      • The vicar was rev Murphy, he had a daughter called Patricia, she was in my class at haverton Hill school. My mother was pearl Baker, née greenmon. My auntie was Betty Thomas and she lived in tees Street. Over the years we lived in pickering St, young street, Seaton terrace and hawk Street. Left when I was 8 in 1972.

  8. Hi i was born in port clarance haventon hill in 1964 Temparence street my sister lesley is in the graveyard and if anyone can help me were do you go to find out were she is she was 13 months old 53 years ago thank you liz

    • Hi Elizabeth
      I researched for a friend who used to live in Haverton. I went to Stockton library Family History and was told the records for Haverton and Port Clarence are, surprisingly in Hartlepool library. I’ve been before for my own ancestry to Hartlepool, and the staff are very helpful. It is near Middleton Grange and next to what is locally known as ‘the ramp’, a footbridge. The no. 36 bus stops outside. Good luck – Mandy

  9. I am attempting to collect photographs of all of the Durham Light Infantrymen who died in WW2 from over 4,000 originally I have now less than 600 worldwide to secure, and one is in St Johns Haverton Hill would anyone be able to take a photograph of the white CWGC stone which commemorates Pte William Irving its situated at the West Wall and has the DLI Regimental capbadge on it?
    All of the photographs are placed online and relatives or researchers can access them free of charge. Thanks for looking:)

    • Jim, has anybody sent you the photograph of Pvt. William Irving’s stone that you asked about in January. If not then I have taken some.

      • Hello Ian ,I did get a photograph unfortunately if looked rather weather beaten I have reported the condition to the CWGC but I think that its replacement will take awhile due to their WW1 Centenary .

      • So sorry for not picking these two offers up . If any one is still available I would indeed like a photograph please. I still have the weather beaten one unfortunately Thank you and I apologise again.

  10. HI i am looking on behalf of dad colin fairweather. His dad is buried in the graveyard but we cant find the grave. His dad name was kenneth fairweather. We think his death was around 1960 as it was about 55 years ago. If anyone can help me that would be great or if they have any information at all even about the family that would be great. we think the grave might be unmarked. she died as a result of a accident in the shipyards. he was married a lady called enidth and had 4 kids, ken ,tony,my dad and lynn. if anyone call help please get in touch

    • Hi Janet, I am trying to contact Kenny Fairweather who lived High Clarence and loved motorbikes. He was mate of mine back in the 70’s but we lost touch when I moved South. Is he a relative of yours? Cheers, Alec

  11. Does anyone know where the plans are for Haverton hill st johns church need to know who or what vicar would have records of burial plots 1968

    • You should be able to get the plans for burial plots at Stockton Borough Council ‘Cemetaries dept’. Also try the Family History dept at Stockton library (for lists of Births, marriages, deaths/burials.) Teesside archives in Middlesbrough too. They are both a mine of information. Even unmarked graves will have numbers so can be traced. Burials and baptisms at the church will be listed chronologically – i.e. from when the church was built.

    • Hi Chris, the records for Haverton and Port Clarence church are surprisingly in Hartlepool library (rather than say, Teesside archives) Good luck

    • Do you know who has the burial map for the plots at St Johns Haverton Hill, I have tried Stockton council, Durham registry they only have burial records not plots and I have been advised by someone for St Cuthberts that only records kept in chuch safe would have been transferred to St Cuthberts burial plot records were not kept in safe. It is possible church warden could possibly have records and no one thought to collect them. I am trying to locate my Grandmothers plot Margaret Ivy Green who died December 1963′ Can anyone help me.

        • I’m afraid that I can’t add anything. Between 1955 and 1962 I went to Stockton Grammar School with Sandy Darling, the son of the then vicar of the church, and often visited the vicarage. His brother was Chris, but sadly I’ve lost touch with them. My father worked in the Furness shipyard opposite the site of the church.

          • HI Ivor. Since 1967 I have been living in Canada. After getting my degree in Chemistry, I entered university administration, and worked in London, Canada and Egypt.

          • Hi Sandy
            Wow, that’s great to hear from you after all these years.
            I still have contact with a few of our year group, so if you e-mail me on I’ll give you some details and info about what I’ve been up to..

      • The Rev Jim Darling was my Unicle and as a child I stayed at the vicarage for summer holidays. This was before my voice broke and I used to sing in the choir with their sons Christopher and Alexander (Sandy). They also had an older sister Margery. Jim’s wife Ethel died of cancer in 1972 and Jim died in 1977.

        • Hi Peter. A long since I heard from you. I am now in Canada, Chris is in Yorkshire and Marjory in Reading. I remember your visits well.

          • Hi Sandy
            Great to hear from you after all this time. Mandy and I are in London. Do send us an email so we can catch up to
            Look forward to hearing from you.
            Peter Brown

  12. Dear All, St John’s is now part of Billingham Parish. Church Warden at St Cuthbert’s might be able to help but I don’t think nowadays they will have hands-on access to the information. I cannot ever remember seeing a plan of St John’s churchyard, but all burials are recorded into the burial register and the plot number is recorded alongside. The registers were originally stored at St Cuthbert’s Billingham (when St John’s closed), but all completed registers must now be sent to Durham and it was sent there as far as I know. Durham has a website where you can trace the information they hold. I am not sure if they also hold a plan showing the plot numbers/names. My grandparents are buried there. Hope this helps.

  13. 20/9/15 On Ebay at the moment there is a postcard of this church,showing a different angle to the picture above . Hope this helps . Jennifer Pinder

  14. I also remember a house in the grounds of the cemetary. It was in the seventies and must of been quite large because there was a servants bell board on the wall. I was there today and there is no sign of were this house might of been

    • The vicarage was not actually in the cemetery grounds. I was there in 2016 and the area where the church was (up the path from the lych-gate) is now plain grass. East of that was the boundary of the cemetery, and the new portion is east of the boundary wall that is north and east of the church. The vicarage was directly east of the church and the grounds were about two acres. They fronted on the road and were probably 110 yards long, because I could practise a 100 yard dash. From road to the northern boundary was about 80 yards. The servant bells were in the three front rooms, and there were three rooms plus pantry at the back. Upstairs there were five large bedrooms plus three attics. It was cold in winter! Further east was the land on which the parish hall sat. North of the vicarage grounds were allotments, but they were used less and less after rationing ended and people had more money.
      Sandy Darling

      • Sandy – I lived in Haverton from 1946 to 1955 at went to School and Cub Scouts with you and have photos of you and I at the school and St John’s hall.
        Gordon Best

  15. We have had the same problem finding our name grave my sister’s went to Durham they found the names but no numbers we’ve been to hartlepool they have nothing .the flag they had a St Johns is at saint Aidan’s but my sister phoned to no avail.if anyone can help to find my mothers grave thank you in anticipation vie cross

  16. Hi my mother and father were both from haverton hill/port Clarence surnames robinson and fields, I know my grandparents are in unmarked graves in st johns grounds but have emailed durham to try and find out where about they were buried, if anyonehas any information that would be great

  17. I went to Sunday school in haverton hill, the victor was MR MURPHY and his daughter was IRIS MURPHY, it was the early 70,s . I’d love any comments or memories and wonder where IRIS MURPHY is now. We used to play in the vicarage, I was about 10
    any comments welcome… John.

    • Oh, I see someone has answered the question I was going to suggest as to the vicar’s name…. I was going to say his name would be on any baptism, marriage or burial records at the time. BMD records can often be found in archives or with luck Family history departments at some libraries. Good luck

      • Does anyone have any information about the Murphy family, I know David was the vicar and had a daughter Iris. I am tracing my family history and believe I have links to this family. Does anyone know where I could get any further info – or any photos from the time he was vicar – or anything at all? Thank you.

  18. Trying to find information about my grandfather Robert Wilson who lived around haverton hill between 1918-1929.
    We have a reference from a minister in Presbyterian Church in haverton hill.
    Can’t find any record of a presbyterian church in the town.
    We believe he married around that time & his wife died. No name or date.
    Any information would be appreciated

  19. I went to St Johns a couple of years ago finding the graveyard by accident. I was very very lucky finding gravestones for my great grandfather, great great grandfather Thomas born 1846 died in 1884 and great great great grandfather Christopher 1816-1864 all buried in graves next to each other. My great grandfather Allan died in 1908 when my grandmother was only four. They were all Robinson’s and a big family. My great grandmothers family also from Haverton Hill (Elizabeth) Pearsons. I need to go and search again, amazing there is such a place in among all that industry.

  20. Does anyone have any information about the Murphy family, I know David Murphy was the vicar in around 1967/1968 into the 70s. I am tracing my family history and believe I have links to this family. Does anyone have any photos/info about the family? He had 4 or 5 children I think.

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