Merrington (St. John the Evangelist)
MERRINGTON (St. John the Evangelist), a parish, in the unions of Auckland, Durham, and Sedgefield, S. E. division of Darlington ward, S. division of the county of Durham; containing, with the chapelry of Ferry-Hill, and the townships of Chilton and Hett, 1704 inhabitants, of whom 431 are in the township of Merrington, 3¾ miles (E. by N.) from Bishop-Auckland. The soil is in general light and gravelly, resting upon limestone, but in some parts clay on hard blue whinstone; the surface is hilly, and the scenery much diversified. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £14. 4. 9½., and in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Durham: the tithes of the vicar have been commuted for £376. The church is principally in the Norman style, and stands on elevated ground. There is a district church at Ferry-Hill. On the usurpation of the see of Durham by Comyn, about 1143, this place was seized by his nephew, who partly encompassed the church with a ditch and vallum, and occupied it with armed men.