The present parish of Harton owes its formation to the devotion and self-sacrifice of the Rev. William Coward, curate of Westoe Chapel, who, soon after his appointment in 1829, commenced to hiold Sunday services at Harton, with such success that he secured the erection, by private subscription, of a small chapel or oratory, as it was generally called, at that place, which was opened on November 6, 1836. Thenceforward, to the time of his death in 1853, he conducted service every Sunday afternoon at Harton, in addition to morning and evening services in Westoe Chapel. The oratory was from time to time extended, until it was nearly doubled in size, and a tower added. The Dean and Chapter in December 1857 gave two acres of land for a burial ground, St Hild's, the parish churchyard, being closed and the parishioners of Harton having no legal right to bury in the Borough cemetery. Harton was created a seperate parish by order in Council dated August 27, 1864.
The area of the Ecclesiastical District comprised so much of the civil Parish of Harton as lay within St Hild's Parish together with part of Westoe township. The order provided that the Chapel of Ease and the burial ground attached to it should be the Parish Church and Churchyard, the parishioners being exonerated from all rates for the repair of St Hild's or any other Church, and made exclusively liable for the repair of Harton-Church. The Rev. Arthur A. Phillpotts was appointed first incumbent.The old oratory becoming greatly dilapidated and too small, a new church was erected on the same site. The foundation-stone was laid on September 11, 1866, by the Rev. T. H. Chester, incumbent of St Hild's, and the Church was consecrated by the Bishop of Durham on August 15, 1867, and dedicated to St Peter. It is in the French Gothic style, with an organ chamber and vestry on the north side. The nave is lighted by six two-light windows. and has a high, open, woodwork roof. The church has accommodation for about 200 worshippers, and the total cost was about Pound 1650. The east window, of three lights, was filled with stained glass in 1873, by subscription. The Rev. A. A. Phillpotts, first vicar, died suddenly on April 29, 1888. He was succeeded by the Rev. J. Dixon Hepple, who died January 30, 1901, the present vicar, the Rev. G. H. Ashworth, M. A., being appointed in March. The living is a perpetual curacy of the value of Pound 300 per annum, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Durham. The Parish, which includes Caldwell and east Harton, in 1891 contained 110 inhabited houses and a population of 585, and in 1901, 121 inhabited houses and a population of 724.
William Irwin beloved husband of
Mary Irwin and dearly loved son of
Mary and the late Henry Irwin
of Harton Colliery who died at (Danoon)
while serving in his Majesty's Forces.
Born May 8th, 1880 Died November 6th, 1918.
Death devides but memory clincs.
beloved wife of William Irwin
Born June 24th, 1883 Died August 4th, 1948
beloved husband of Elizabeth Machin
Born September 26th, 1857 Died March 22nd, 1941
beloved wife of George Machin
Born June 26th, 1857 Died December 17th, 1946