Aycliffe (St. Acca)

AYCLIFFE (St. Acca), a parish, partly in the union of Darlington, and partly in that of Sedgefield, S. E. division of Darlington ward, S. division of the county of Durham, 5 miles (N.) from Darlington; containing 1372 inhabitants, of whom 823 are in the township of Great Aycliffe. This place is supposed by Spelman to be the ancient "Aclea," where synods were held in 782 and 789; and two old Saxon crosses lately discovered in the churchyard, apparently warrant that conjecture. The parish is situated in the southern portion of the county, and comprises 10,716 acres of arable and pasture land in nearly equal portions, of which 2134 are within the township of Great Aycliffe; the soil generally is tolerably fertile, and the pastures are rich. Magnesian limestone of very pure quality is extensively quarried. The village is pleasantly situated on the road from Darlington to Durham, and on the west bank of the river Skerne, on which are a spinning-mill, and a mill for the manufacture of brown paper, but not now in use. The Clarence railway intersects the parish, and joins the Stockton and Darlington railway within a distance of three-quarters of a mile; the railway from York to Newcastle also skirts the village. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £20, and in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham: the tithes have been commuted for £386. 1. 8. payable to the vicar, £165. 3. 8. to the Dean and Chapter, and £238. 7. 2. to other impropriators. The church is a very ancient structure, partly Norman, and partly in the early English style, and contains 500 sittings, of which 70 are free; the old porch has been restored, several new windows have been inserted, and the structure has been generally repaired.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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