Historical Accounts of Darlington
From JG Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1905):
Darlington, parliamentary and municiple borough, market town, and parish, with railway stations. (Bank Top and North Road), North Eastern Railway, South Durham, on river Skerne, 12 miles West of Stockton-on-Tees parliamentary borough, 3611 acres, pop. 44,487; municiple borough (containing also Harrowgate Hill parish), 3956 acres, pop. 44,511; parish, 3369 acres , pop. 42,195. Market days, Monday and Friday. Dartington is the centre of the industrial district of South Durham. It has large iron and steel works, extensive locomotive establishments, breweries, and tanneries. There are large manufacturers of woollens and carpets. St. Cuthbert's Collegiate Church dates from the beginning of the 13th century. Darlington may be regarded as the birthplace of the modern railway. The Stockton and Darlington Railway was the first line in the kingdom on which locomotive steam engines were used. It was projected in 1818, and opened in 1825, largely through the instrumentality of Mr. Edward Pease, a well-known Quaker gentleman belonging to the town. George Stephenson (1781-1848),inventor of the locomotive, was the engineer. His engine, "Locomotive No. 1" (1825), and another (1847), are preserved at Bank Top Station, which is the largest and finest "intermediate" station in England, with platforms 1500 ft. long. Darlington has a technical college erected by the Corporation, a public library, and a public park. Here is the British and Foreign School Society's North of England Training College for School-mistresses (1875). There are numerous other public buildings. The borough returns 1 member to Parliament.
Extract above from: The Survey Gazetteer of the British Isles. Topographical, Statistical and Commercial. Compiled from the 1901 Census and the latest official returns. Editor JG Bartholomew. George Newnes Ltd. (1904). Some abbreviations in the original text have been expanded.