Middleton-in-Teesdale Parish, 1848
MIDDLETON-in-Teesdale (St. Mary), a markettown and parish, in the union of Teesdale, S. W. division of Darlington ward, S. division of the county of Durham; comprising the chapelry of Egglestone, and the townships of Forest with Frith, Middleton, and Newbiggin; and containing 3,787 inhabitants, of whom 1,770 are in the township of Middleton, 10 miles (N.W.) from Barnard Castle, and 253 (N.N.W.) from London. This town, which of late years has been very much improved, and through the whole of which neat and convenient footpaths have been constructed, presents a handsome appearance, and is situated in the midst of hills, and the most picturesque and romantic scenery. The environs abound with great varieties of rocks; the basalt forms a striking feature, and, in connexion with numerous waterfalls, adds much to the beauty of the landscape. The fertile valleys and sloping eminences in the neighbourhood of the town, enriched by the rapid and serpentine river Tees, a fine trout-stream, which meanders through the vale, and bounds the parish on the south, cannot fail to attract the attention of the lover of nature. About three miles above the town is Wynch bridge, a light and neat suspension chain-bridge, seventy feet in length and two feet in width, thrown from rock to rock across a tremendous chasm about fifty feet in depth; and higher up the river are the stupendous cataracts of High Force and Caldron Snout. The inhabitants are principally occupied in raising, washing, and smelting lead-ore, produced in considerable quantities in the vicinity. The market is on Saturday; and there are fairs on the third Thursday in April, July 7th, and the second Thursday in September. The townhall is a neat edifice with a market-place beneath it, erected at the expense of the Duke of Cleveland. Courts leet and baron are held annually for the manor. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £25. 17. 1., and in the patronage of the Crown. The church is a small ancient edifice, the tower of which is several yards distant from the rest of the building; the parsonage is neat, with hanging-gardens and a terrace, and forms a handsome object in the scenery. At Forest, a chapel and a parsonage-house were built in 1844, by the Duke of Cleveland, who maintains the minister; and at Egglestone and Harwood are other incumbencies. There are places of worship for Primitive Methodists, Wesleyans, and Baptists. The inhabitants of Middleton and the neighbourhood, chiefly miners, are remarkable for their orderly and peaceable conduct, and evince considerable intelligence.
Extract from: A Topographical Dictionary of England comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, and townships..... 7th Edition, by Samuel Lewis, London, 1848.