Washington Parish, 1848
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.
WASHINGTON, a parish, in the union of Chester-le-Street, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham; containing, with the chapelry of Usworth, the township of Barmston, and part of North Bidick, 2,396 inhabitants, of whom 941 are in Washington township, 5½ miles (S.E.) from Gateshead. The township comprises 1,802 acres. The surface of the parish generally is elevated about 100 feet above the river Wear, which flows on the south and south-east. The soil is various, but in a good state of cultivation, producing excellent crops; and the scenery embraces extensive views, including the cathedral of Durham, the vale of Wear, and Gateshead Fell. There are several quarries of fine building-stone, and one of firestone of great value; and three coal-mines are in operation, affording employment to 700 or 800 hands. A small manufactory of magnesia and other chemicals belongs to Hugh Lee Pattinson, Esq., of Gateshead. The river is navigable for small vessels as high as the staiths on the southern border of the parish, about a mile from the village; and the Pontop and Shields, and the York and Newcastle, railways pass through the parish. The Hall, a large gavel-ended mansion with windows divided by stone mullions and transoms, stands a little south of the church. The village is scattered, and on irregular, broken ground. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £18, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Durham: the tithes have been commuted for £528, and the glebe comprises 130 acres of good land, with a parsonage-house. The church is a neat structure, erected in 1832. At Unsworth is a separate incumbency. There are several sulphureous springs. The family of Washington, the American general, is said to have come from this place.