Ryton Parish, 1848
RYTON (Holy Cross), a parish, in the union of Gateshead, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham; containing 2,570 inhabitants, of whom 677 are in the township of Ryton, 6 miles (W.) from Gateshead. This place frequently suffered from the incursions of the Scots, particularly in 1297, when the village was reduced to ashes by Wallace, who at that time occupied Hexham. The parish comprises the townships of Ryton, Ryton-Woodside, Stella, and Crawcrook, and the village of Greenside, sometimes called Long Row, and formerly Cadger's Row; it contains 6,530 acres, two-thirds arable, and the remainder pasture, with 10 acres of woodland. At Ryton-Woodside and Stella are coal-mines, the produce of which is chiefly shipped to London and to foreign markets; there are also quarries of limestone in the parish. The Newcastle and Carlisle railway runs between the Tyne and the village of Ryton. The village is highly picturesque, and contains several handsome mansions; the scenery around it embraces an extensive view of the vale of the Tyne to the east and west. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £42. 10. 10., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Durham, with a net income of £956, and a rectory-house. The tithes of Ryton township have been commuted for £246, and the glebe consists of 53 acres. The church is a structure of much interest, in the early English style, with a tower surmounted by a lofty octangular spire of curiously-constructed wood-work cased with lead. The interior is remarkable for its elegant arrangement and its decorations. A light and beautiful screen separates the nave and chancel; some ancient stalls remain, and over the communion-table are embellishments of richlycarved oak. Within the chancel is a recumbent figure of a mitred abbot; likewise some brasses to the memory of the Thorp family. It has been lately beautified with three lancet windows of stained glass, the gift of the present incumbent, the Venerable Archdeacon Thorp, warden of Durham University, to whom the parish is in many respects indebted. The churchyard is ornamented by a row of noble elms; and the church, from its commanding position and the height of its spire, forms a conspicuous object for a considerable distance. Ryton savings' bank was the first established in England.
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.