Easington (St. Mary)

EASINGTON (St. Mary), a parish, and the head of a union, in the S. division of Easington ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 9½ miles (E.) from Durham; comprising the townships of Easington, Haswell, Hawthorn, and Shotton; and containing above 7000 inhabitants, of whom 812 are in Easington township. This parish, which is bounded on the east by the North Sea, and intersected by the road from Stockton to Sunderland, is diversified by several beautiful and richly wooded denes abounding with romantic scenery, which, after winding for some miles, suddenly open upon the beach. Coal of excellent quality is found in abundance, and is very extensively wrought in the collieries of South Hetton, Haswell, and Shotton-Grange, giving constant employment to a great majority of the population; magnesian limestone is also plentiful, and is quarried for building and for agricultural purposes. Facility of conveyance is afforded by the Hartlepool and Sunderland railroad, which passes through the villages of Haswell and South Hetton, and joins the Durham and Sunderland railway at Murton. The village, which is situated on a declivity, is of considerable extent, and the head of the ward, deanery, and parish to which it gives name. The living is a rectory not in charge; patron, the Bishop of Durham: the tithes have been commuted for £915, and the glebe consists of 560 acres. The church, erected about the year 1222, is a handsome structure in the early and decorated English styles, with a lofty embattled tower of the Norman style, forming a conspicuous landmark for mariners: the windows of the nave are of elegant design, enriched with flowing tracery, and surmounted with square-headed dripstones; those of the chancel are decorated, and contain very beautiful flamboyant tracery. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. Some schools for boys and girls, in connexion with the National Society, are endowed with the interest of £1000 bequeathed by the late Dr. Prosser, archdeacon of Durham and rector of Easington. The union comprises 19 parishes or townships, containing a population of 19,500 persons.

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

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