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MARKET TOWNS OF DURHAM (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Sedgefield in 1837

Sedgefield is in Stockton ward, on the road from Stockton to Durham, 251 miles from London, 9 from Durham, and 9 from Stockton. The parish contains 17,480 acres : it is divided into seven townships. The township of Sedgefield, which comprehends the town with the hamlets of Layton, Sands, and Hardwick, has an area of 6,220 acres : it had, in 1831, 309 inhabited houses, and a population of 1,429; of which about half was agricultural. The population of the whole parish was 2,178.

Sedgefield is a small neat town, with the appearance rather of a handsome village, and stands on an eminence commanding an extensive prospect over the vale of Tees and the Yorkshire hills beyond.

The church, dedicated to St. Edmund, is one of the handsomest in this part of the county : the date and style of the architecture are different in different parts : there are some curious early English piers with enriched capitals, and some Decorated windows. The tower is in the Perpendicular style, turreted, and with four pinnacles. The chancel is divided from the nave by a rich screen of old oak with three stalls on each side: the chancel is wainscoted with old oak, and stalled with seven seats on each side. The font is a handsome octagon of black marble. The church yard is spacious and shaded with trees. The living is a rectory worth £1,802 per annum, with a glebe house, on the lawn in front of which are some fine evergreen oaks. The bishop of Durham is patron of the living. There is a range of almshouses near the church, founded in 1702 by Mr Thomas Cooper, for five poor men and as many poor women.

The market is on Friday. There were in the township of Sedgefield, in 1833, one boarding and day-school, and seven day-schools, one endowed, containing in all about 270 children; and two Sunday-schools, with 150 children. The rest of the parish contained two day-schools (one endowed). with 36 children.