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Usworth, Great and Little

USWORTH, GREAT and LITTLE, an ecclesiastical district, in the parish of Washington, union of Chester-le-Street, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 5 miles (S. E.) from Gateshead; containing 1030 inhabitants. This township was separated for ecclesiastical purposes from Washington in 1831, and comprises 2543a. 11p., of which 1719 acres are arable, 736 meadow and pasture, 39 woodland, and 49 waste. It occupies an elevated site, surrounded with a great variety of interesting scenery; the air is salubrious, and the neighbourhood abounds with springs of excellent water, from which the distillers of Newcastle and Gateshead derive their supplies. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in collieries. Springwell colliery, belonging to Lord Ravensworth and partners, opened in 1822, affords employment to 500 persons; the coal is conveyed by a private railway to Jarrow, where it is shipped principally to London. There are also some quarries of the finest freestone, which is raised for building; at North Bidick are some firestone quarries; and bricks, fire-bricks, and tiles are manufactured in the township. In 1834, an act was obtained for constructing a railway from the Hartlepool line, near Moorsley, to the Pontop and South Shields railway here. Usworth House and Usworth Place are both handsome mansions, with tastefully-embellished demesnes, commanding extensive and richly-varied prospects. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Bishop of Durham, with a net income of £120: the church, erected in 1831, is a neat structure containing 410 sittings, and a gallery for children. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; also a school established in 1814 by the Pearith family, who endowed it with £30 per annum, and £3 per annum for keeping it in repair. In the grounds of Usworth Place is a sulphureous chalybeate spring.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.