Wolsingham (St. Matthew)
The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £31. 13. 4., and in the gift of the Bishop: the tithes have been commuted for £900, and the glebe comprises 12 acres, with a house. The church, situated on rising ground to the north-west of the town, is an ancient and neat plain edifice, with a low tower, and has a font of Weardale marble, beautifully variegated with petrifactions of shells, &c. There are places of worship for Baptists, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyans. The grammar school, founded in 1613, with a residence for the master, was rebuilt in 1786, by subscription (Bishop Egerton, and Dr. Sharp, archdeacon of Northumberland, a trustee of Lord Crewe's charity, being the principal contributors), upon a piece of waste granted by the bishop and the landowners of the parish, by whom it was endowed with 16 acres of land. About 7½ acres were added on the inclosure of the moor, and bequests have been made to the school, of £30 by the Rev. William Nowell, in 1782; £100 by Jonathan Wooler, in 1789; and £100 by George Wooler, in 1826. The poor of Wolsingham are periodically relieved by the interest of various benefactions, amongst which are bequests of £200 each, left by the Rev. W. Nowell and the Rev. Robert Gordon, and an annual sum of £18 from land purchased with the bequests of Messrs. Markindale, Aisley, and others. Contiguous to a field called Chapel Walls, are the remains of an extensive building surrounded by a moat, supposed to have been the manor-house of the Bishop of Durham. Henry Pudsey, nephew to Bishop Pudsey, contemplated the erection of a religious institution at Baxtonford, in Wolsingham-Park, the intended site for which is marked by a quantity of stone collected for the purpose. There are several chalybeate springs; and about two miles east of Wolsingham, on the Bradley estate, is a sulphureous spring.
Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.