Friends of Our Lady


The Parish of Delaval


Exploratory work to be undertaken at The Church of Our Lady in 2013/14.


Over recent years it has become evident that the structure of this Norman church is suffering from ground movement which is causing cracks to appear in the walls and arches. This movement has been professionally monitored since 1998 but from 2009 it was noted that movement in some areas was becoming progressive. The vault was opened in 2010 to check the condition of stonework below ground level and everything was found to be in very good order. The decision was taken to carry out more detailed exploratory work in, around and under the church in an attempt to understand what was causing movement and this work is planned in three main stages.

Stage 1. 20 th and 21 st August 2013. Accurate measurement of reference points on the building to indicate the extent of current movement in the walls and arches. At the same time the soak-away drainage system will be explored and research of coal mining records carried out.

Stage 2. September 2013. A number of pits will be dug close to the walls to discover what is happening below ground and to enable investigation of foundations. Narrow holes will also be bored around the church and cores removed to discover the nature of the rock strata, coal seams and general condition of the ground the building stands on.

Stage 3. 2013 to 2014. Sensitive equipment will be lowered down one of the 30 metre core boring holes to measure movement below ground level over a period of time.

Data gathered from all these sources will enable judgements to be made about actual causes of movement and damage. This will lead to the design and implementation of structural solutions for support and repair to the church which will ensure its survival long into the future.

This essential investigative work is financially supported by English Heritage, The Heritage Lottery Fund, The Northumbria Historic Churches Trust and The Friends of Our Lady. The Parish of Delaval is immensely grateful for their invaluable help towards the long term preservation of this Grade 1 listed church. Thanks are also expressed to The National Trust for their positive support and practical involvement, especially with archaeological aspects of the project. Members of the public are welcome to visit the site to see what is taking place and to experience the beauty and serenity of The Church of Our Lady.

If you would like further information about the work or if you would like to offer financial support for this respected place of worship and valued local heritage site please contact

Revd. David Bowler on 0191 2371982 or Mr R. Kermode, Churchwarden, on 0191 2371136. Thank you,

The Friends of Our lady are a group of dedicated people who wish to preserve the ancient building of The Church of Our Lady. They are a registered charity and hold fundraising events and act as guides to visitors during the Summer months.

The church of our Lady is open from 11.00 -4.40pm Fridays and 2.00pm-4.30pm Sunday afternoons (and bank holiday Mondays) from the beginning of May to the end of September.

If you want to know more about the friends please contact  the membership secretary from our Contact Us page

From time to time they publish a newsletter which it is hoped to reproduce on this page.

  © Delaval Parish 2007