Croft (St. Peter)
CROFT (St. Peter), a parish, in the union of Darlington, wapentake of Gilling-East, N. riding of York; containing 744 inhabitants, of whom 422 are in the township of Croft, 3½ miles (S.) from Darlington. The parish comprises the townships of Croft, Daltonupon-Tees, part of Great Smeaton, and part of Stapleton; and consists by measurement of 6384 acres, of which 5032 are in tillage, and 1352 meadow and pasture. It has been latterly much resorted to for the benefit of its sulphureous springs, which are similar to those of Harrogate. The spa is in the township of Croft, and on the property of Sir William Chaytor, Bart.: it was first brought into notice in 1668, and so early as 1713 the water had acquired such fame that it was sold in London in sealed bottles at an exorbitant price. In 1808 the proprietor erected a capacious hotel, with suitable conveniences, and a number of lodging-houses for the accommodation of visiters; and over the spring is a splendid suite of baths, built in 1829. The air is remarkably pure; the surrounding country is pleasant, and the views on the banks of the Tees are delightful, commanding an extensive tract in the highest possible state of cultivation. The village is neatly built, and situated on the river, over which is a handsome stone bridge of seven arches, about 200 yards distant from the spa; it is 414 feet in length, and from the bed of the river to the top of the iron-railing 59 feet high. At about a quarter of a mile below the village, the York and Newcastle railway crosses the Tees by a splendid oblique viaduct of four arches, at an angle of 45°, and 54 feet above the level of the river; the Croft station is only about one hundred yards from the village, although locally in the parish of Hurworth. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £12. 8. 4., and in the patronage of the Crown; net income, £825. The church is an ancient edifice, and exhibits specimens of various styles of English architecture; it contains an altar-tomb to a member of the Milbank family, and another to the family of Clervaux, the ancestors of Sir William Chaytor. Burnet, the author of the Theory of the Earth, was born here in 1635.