Sedgefield Parish, 1848
SEDGEFIELD (St. Edmund), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the N.E. division of Stockton ward, S. division of the county of Durham; comprising the chapelry of Embleton, and the townships of Bradbury, Butterwick, Fishburn, Foxton with Shotton, Mordon, and Sedgefield; and containing 2,015 inhabitants, of whom 1,345 are in the town, 5 miles (E.) from Rushyford, and 11 (S.E. by S.) from Durham. This place occupies an eminence commanding an extensive prospect to the south and south-east, and is remarkable for the peculiar salubrity of its atmosphere and the longevity of its population, attributable, in a great degree, to the openness of its site, and the fine gravel soil on which it stands. The inhabitants are supplied with water from springs. The centre of the town forms a spacious square, where the market, granted in 1312 by Bishop Kellaw, is held every Friday; and a fair takes place on the first Friday in each month, for the sale of hogs. The parish comprises 17,471 acres; the greater part is arable, but there is fine pasture land all round the town.
The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £73. 18. 1½., and in the gift of the Bishop of Durham. The tithes have been commuted for £1481. 7., with a glebe of 385 acres in Sedgefield township; the glebe of Bradbury comprises 60 acres, that of Fishburn 69, and of Embleton 2. The church is a handsome cruciform structure in the early and later English styles, with a square embattled tower crowned by pinnacles; the interior has many features of interest, and a fine old organ. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. A free grammar school here has an income of about £50 per annum, for which eight children are instructed; and six children are educated and clothed at another school from a benefaction of £400 three per cent. Bank annuities, by Richard Wright, Esq., in 1790. The grammar school and master's house were lately rebuilt, partly from the accumulated funds of a school at Bishop Auckland, and partly by subscription, towards which £600 were given by the trustees of Bishop Barrington, £100 by the Rev. Viscount Barrington, and £150 by the trustees of Lord Crewe. In 1782, John Lowther, Esq., bequeathed £600 three per cent. Bank annuities, for the instruction and clothing of girls. An almshouse for ten men and women was founded, and endowed with £44 per annum, by Thomas Cooper; and additional benefactions were made by William Wrightson and Thomas Foster, the latter of whom bequeathed the interest of £3435 three per cent. consols. for the inmates. Upwards of ninety-one acres of land belong to a charity instituted by Lady Frevill, in 1630. The union of Sedgefield comprises 23 places, containing a population of 6,113. The pious and erudite Bishop Lowth was rector of Sedgefield prior to his elevation to the see of London.
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.