A History of the County of Durham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1928.
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The parish is composed of three townships: Redmarshall, in which is the church, Carlton, adjacent to the north-east, and Stillington, quite detached, to the north-west. The areas of the three townships are 875, 1,499 and 1,153 acres in the order mentioned. The general surface is flat, but elevated about 150 ft. to 180 ft. above sea level. A brook runs north through the centre of Redmarshall and Carlton to join Whitton Beck near Thorpe Thewles, and here there is a valley. In Stillington the surface is rather more varied, and rises to over 200 ft. above the ordnance datum, several brooks running south-east to join the Bishopton or Whitton Beck, which forms the boundary on that side. Shotton Beck bounds it on the north.
A road from Stockton to Whitton passes north-west near the small village of Redmarshall, placed amid trees. At this point a cross-road leads west to Bishopton and east to Carlton, dividing here to go north to Thorpe Thewles and south and east to Stockton and Norton. The village of Stillington lies on the road from Grindon to Great Stainton. The West Hartlepool branch of the London and North Eastern railway runs eastward through the parish and has stations called Stillington and Redmarshall, the latter being at Carlton Grange. At the eastern boundary it makes a junction with the line from Stockton north to Sunderland.
The soil is clay, suitable for wheat growing; oats, barley and potatoes also are raised. About 1845 the land was thus used (fn. 1) : 2,530 acres of arable, 791 acres of pasture and 16 acres of woodland; now the figures for the parish are (fn. 2) 1,115 acres of arable, 1,981 acres of pasture and 38 acres of woodland. There are isolated plantations in each of the townships. Among 17th-century field names in Stillington are Whitton lands, Margerie garth lands and Boynton lands; the inhabitants had 'beast gates' or common on the moor. (fn. 3) Some chemical works stand by Carlton station.
The story of the parish has been as peaceful as befits a retired agricultural community. One of the stories of the early miracles of St. Godric relates the cure of the son of the smith of Stillington. (fn. 4) The rising of 1569 drew five men to join it from Redmarshall and five from Stillington; one from each place was executed. (fn. 5) The Protestation of 1641 was signed in the parish. (fn. 6) Sir Anthony Carlisle was born at Stillington in 1768. He became surgeon to the Westminster Hospital, and was made a knight in 1820. He died in London in 1840. (fn. 7)
Among the Durham charters is one by which Walter Bek granted 4 oxgangs of the demesne land in Redmarshall to Adam the Carpenter. (fn. 8) Bishop Robert (1274–83) confirmed it, with reservation of the advowson, to Thomas de Multon, who had inherited it from his brother Edmund, who had purchased the manor from John Bek. (fn. 9) From Thomas de Multon it was purchased by Henry de Lisle, lord of the neighbouring Wynyard. (fn. 10) Alan de Langton of Wynyard had a dispute with the men of Redmarshall in 1307. (fn. 11) He was lord of the place in 1311 (fn. 12) and Henry in 1314. (fn. 13) From that time it descended with Wynyard in the families of Langton, Conyers and Claxton until the partition of the estates after the death of William Claxton in 1597. It was then divided among his three co-heirs, Cassandra wife of Lancelot Claxton, and daughter of his daughter Elizabeth wife of Josias Lambert, Alice wife of Sir William Blakiston, his daughter, and Anne wife of William Jenison, a third daughter. (fn. 14)
Cassandra Lambert subsequently married Francis Morley of Wennington in Lancashire. In 1608 Francis Morley and Cassandra his wife mortgaged or sold their third part of messuages and lands in Redmarshall, Carlton and Stillington to John Girlington, (fn. 15) and in 1610 the three sold the same to Anthony Buckle of Whitton. (fn. 16) In 1616 Christopher Place of Dinsdale and Christopher his son and heir purchased this part. (fn. 17) The elder Christopher died in 1624 holding of the bishop a third part of the manor of Redmarshall with lands and tenements there. (fn. 18) In 1650 it was purchased from Roland Place by Robert or John Bromley, (fn. 19) and from Robert Bromley it passed in 1713 to his grandson Robert Spearman, who in February 1719–20 transferred it to his father, Gilbert Spearman. (fn. 20) The Spearman trustees in 1750 sold it to John Tempest of Wynyard, from whom it has descended to the Marquess of Londonderry, the present lord of this part of the manor. (fn. 21)
Sir William Blakiston had by inheritance an estate in Redmarshall in addition to that third part brought by his wife. Ralph de Rounton (Rungeton) was in 1339 said to hold two messuages and 24 acres of land in Redmarshall of Henry de Langton by a rent of 12d. His heir was a son William de Blakiston, aged thirty. (fn. 22) This son appears to be the William who in 1349 held much the same estate, the heir being a nephew, John Roland of Butterwick. (fn. 23) The holding seems to have passed to the main branch of the Blakiston family. Nicholas Blakiston of Blakiston in 1460 had a messuage in Redmarshall and 50 acres in Carlton, (fn. 24) which descended with the manor of Blakiston (q.v.) in Norton to the above-named Sir William. He, in conjunction with Alice his wife and Thomas his son and heir, sold the third part of the manor and lands in 1612 to Michael Forwood. (fn. 25) The purchaser in the same year sold it to John Cooke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, draper. (fn. 26)
Of the remaining third part of the manor William Jenison and Anne his wife made a feoffment in 1595. (fn. 27) In 1611 William Jenison sold his third part of the manor to John Cooke, (fn. 28) who, as stated above, afterwards purchased another third part. The new owner died on 2 September 1616 holding two-thirds of the manor of Redmarshall of the bishop, and leaving a son Timothy, then sixteen years of age, to inherit; livery was granted in 1623. (fn. 29) Timothy Cooke died in possession in 1636, his son Thomas being his heir. (fn. 30)
The later descent of this part of the manor cannot be certainly traced. In 1684 the Rev. Thomas Davison was among the freeholders, and in 1731 Thomas and Philip (?) Davison conveyed five messuages and 700 acres in Wynyard and Redmarshall to John Turner. (fn. 31)
Some other estates are noticed in the inquisitions. John Emmeson was in 1349 found to have held two messuages in Redmarshall of Henry de Langton by fealty only; his son and heir John was thirty years old. (fn. 32) John de Redmarshall in 1375 held a messuage of Simon de Langton by 1d. rent; his heir was a son William, aged twenty-one. (fn. 33) Robert de Fetherstonhaugh of Stanhope, in or before 1374, held 2 oxgangs of land of Simon de Langton by 12d. rent, (fn. 34) and his son William in 1399 held a toft and 20 acres of Thomas de Langton. (fn. 35) Robert Culy of Stockton, whose name occurs in 1388, (fn. 36) died in November 1422 holding a messuage in Redmarshall of the bishop by knights' service and suit of court; his son John, aged thirty, was heir. (fn. 37) There is probably a mistake in the age stated, for John Culy died in 1426, leaving a son William, aged twenty-four. (fn. 38) The latter died in 1428, leaving a brother Thomas to succeed him. (fn. 39) Thomas was succeeded by his son Thomas. (fn. 40) John Hartburne died in 1478 holding a tenement of the heirs of Thomas Langton (fn. 41); his son and heir William was forty years of age, and did homage on livery of the lands. (fn. 42)
John Eden about 1609 sold a messuage and 150 acres in Redmarshall to Leonard Harrison, (fn. 43) who was in 1627 succeeded by his grandson Robert, aged eleven, son of his son Robert. Livery was not, however, obtained before February 1638–9. (fn. 44) Robert Jamson (? Janison), as a Royalist, had his land sequestered by the Parliament in 1644. (fn. 45)
The freeholders in 1684 were Robert Bromley, the Rev. Thomas Davison, John Shippardson, Robert Stelling, William Williamson and Timothy Wright. (fn. 46)
Finchale Priory had a grange at Redmarshall, (fn. 47) and n 1426 and later received 46s. 8d. from the 'manor' there, (fn. 48) but in 1479–80 an exchange was made with Lionel Claxton by which this estate passed from the priory. (fn. 49) The monks of Durham had a rent here. (fn. 50)
CARLTON (Carltun, xii cent.) was one of the vills given by Bishop Aldhun with his daughter Egfrida to Uctred son of Earl Waltheof. Uctred afterwards repudiated her, and she married a Yorkshire thegn, Kilvert son of Ligulf, by whom she had a daughter Sigrid. She was again repudiated, and became a nun. Sigrid married Arkil, who, after her death, restored Carlton to the bishopric. (fn. 51)
The vill was occupied in 1184 by twenty-three 'firmars,' each holding 2 oxgangs, and various other tenants more or less free. The 'firmars' paid a money rent of 10s. and dues of hens and eggs, provided a cart for carrying corn for six days and owed four boondays in the autumn. Of the other tenants all but one paid the money rent, but were quit of the services, one at the bishop's will, one while he was in the bishop's service, and another, the miller, in return for an extra payment of 2s. William son of Orm, who held a carucate of land, was possibly a drengage tenant. He paid a rent of 10s. quit of all service except attending the bishop's great hunt with a hunting dog. (fn. 52)
Carlton was considered a member of the manor of Stockton, the reeve of which for the half-year ending at Michaelmas 1349 received 44s. 1d. from twenty-six malmen (i.e., 'firmars') of Carlton in lieu of boonworks. (fn. 53) In 1385–6 the receipts from Carlton were £27 15s. 2d. in the ordinary issues, 26s. 6d. from the court, and 16s. 4d. other issues. (fn. 54)
The holding of William son of Orm was apparently broken up. In 1339 it was found that Ralph de Rounton (Rungeton) had held 53 acres, &c., in Carlton of the bishop by a rent of 4s. 5d., (fn. 55) and his son William de Blakiston held the same estate in 1349. (fn. 56) In 1349 it was found that John Emmeson held 67 acres of the bishop by homage and suit of court and a rent of 11s. (fn. 57) John de Redmarshall in 1375 held 63 acres of the bishop by suit of court and 5s. rent (fn. 58); his son William succeeded.
About 1384 the tenants in drengage were the above-named William son of John de Redmarshall and Simon Chamber (de camera), each holding by charter 4 oxgangs of land (60 acres) by 5s. rent and attending the hunt with his greyhounds. The free tenants were Thomas son of John Gower, Hugh de Laton of Thorp and Thomas de Cramblington, each holding a rood of meadow at 4d. or 8d. rent. The 'firmars' holding by services resembling those of 1184 were in 1384 called bondmen. These services were now, however, commuted for a money rent, 13s. 7d. being the normal rent for a tenement of 2 oxgangs. The services of repairing the mill and Stockton manorhouse, which do not appear in Boldon Book, are here mentioned. The holdings range from 1 to 4 oxgangs in extent. The tenants as a body held the mill for £6, the oven for 2s. and the brewing for 2s. The forge was outside their tenure and was not arrented. A native living away at Seaton Carew paid 5s. to the lord. There were eight exchequer tenements rendering from 2d. to 12d. each. (fn. 59)
Robert Culley had acquired one of the abovedescribed drengage tenements before his death in 1422, for it was found that he had held 60 acres in Carlton of the bishop. (fn. 60) In the inquisitions held after the death of his son John in 1426 and his grandson William in 1428 the tenement is described as 4 oxgangs of land in Carlton, held by knights' service and going with the bishop to his great chase provided with dogs. (fn. 61)
William Culley left a brother and heir Thomas, whose son William Culley was the tenant in 1478. (fn. 62) William seems to have been succeeded by Thomas Culley and he by his daughter Agnes, wife of one Bainbridge; Agnes died some time during the reign of Henry VIII, and it is uncertain whether her son and heir John Bainbridge survived her. (fn. 63) Percival son of John was a man of 40 in 1577, (fn. 64) but nothing more is known of the history of this holding.
In 1408 the bishop demised to Thomas Redmarshall 12½ messuages and 25 oxgangs of land— nearly half the vill—which had been lying waste for sixteen years for lack of tenants; Thomas took this for twelve years at £8 rent. (fn. 65) Bishop Booth demised the vill to Thomas Caldbeck in 1472 on a three years' lease. (fn. 66) In 1476 a nine years' lease of the whole vill was granted to William Hartburn at a rent of £20; the previous rent had been £16. (fn. 67) William was probably the son of John Hartburn mentioned above who in 1478 died holding the second drengage tenement in Carlton, his son being forty years old. (fn. 68) This land descended in the family to John Hartburn who died in 1586 leaving a daughter Margaret, wife of Robert Forrest. (fn. 69) Margaret was succeeded in March 1615–16 by William her son, but he died in the following December, when William Forrest his son was little more than a year old. (fn. 70) William obtained livery of his inheritance in 1636. (fn. 71)
The freeholders in 1684 were William Forrest, recusant, William Newton and Anne Stelling. (fn. 74)
About 1200 Robert de Amundeville granted to Ralph de Hamsterley 2 oxgangs of land in STILLINGTON (Stillyngton, xiii cent.) that had belonged to Robert son of Huchtred. (fn. 75) The whole 'manor' was in 1268 acquired by Walter de Merton from Thomas son of Ralph de Amundeville, one of his special friends, and given to Merton College, Oxford, which he founded. (fn. 76) The college possesses deeds relating to the place from 1200 onwards and court rolls of the manor from 1290 to 1396, but the customs of the manor have not been kept up. (fn. 77) William de Hamsterley, who granted certain lands to John his son, released part at least of his holding to the college in 1290. (fn. 78) In 1634 Charles I granted a confirmation of the manor to the warden and scholars of Merton, (fn. 79) and the college retains the estate in Stillington.
In 1366 William de la Pole was found to have held 5 acres of meadow here of the Master of Merton by rendering a rose yearly. (fn. 80) The land descended with the manor of Bradbury to William Earl and afterwards Duke of Suffolk, the 'manor' of Stillington being included in feoffments of his lands in 1430 (fn. 81) and 1431. (fn. 82) Roger Thornton held both it and Bradbury on his death in March 1470–1, (fn. 83) but its later history has not been traced.
Robert Morpeth of Stillington, who died in 1623, had 7 acres of meadow called Ellerbriggs Close and 7 acres of pasture called Whynndy Close in Elstob. (fn. 84) His son Christopher, a benefactor to the parish, died early in 1640–1 holding lands in Stillington, Elstob and Bishopton. (fn. 85) Richard Morpeth, his son and heir, was a Royalist in the Civil War time, and his estate was therefore sequestered in 1644; he had left his house and gone into Cumberland to assist the king's forces. Part of his land in Stillington was held in fee and part on lease from Merton College. He compounded in 1646 by a fine of £100. (fn. 86) His son Robert in 1676 sold his lands to John Spearman. (fn. 87)
The will of John Hartburn of Stillington, 1560, has been printed. (fn. 88) Captain Richard Hartburn, a delinquent and Papist, suffered sequestration of his lands by the Parliament at the same time as his neighbour Richard Morpeth (fn. 89); he held the manor on lease from Merton College. He died in 1644, and his widow Dorothy, being a recusant, had two-thirds of her estate sequestered on that account, the other third being allowed her in 1651. The college, however, said that the lease had expired, and put a new tenant in. (fn. 90)
The freeholders in 1684 were Sir Ralph Jennison of Elwick, George Robinson and George Todd. (fn. 91) Elizabeth Todd, as a 'Papist,' registered her leasehold at Stillington in 1717; the value was £23 15s. (fn. 92)
The church of ST. CUTHBERT consists of chancel 19 ft. 9 in. by 13 ft., nave 40 ft. by 18 ft. 6 in., south chapel 22 ft. by 11 ft., south porch 9 ft. 11 in. by 6 ft. 10 in., and west tower 9 ft. square; all these measurements are internal.
Of the original 12th-century church the nave and tower remain, but the chancel was rebuilt in its present form in the latter part of the 13th century. The south chapel, representing the chantry of St. Mary, and later known as the Claxton porch, is an addition of the 15th century. In subsequent and modern times a good many changes and alterations have taken place in the fabric, but except for the addition of the south porch in the angle of the nave and chapel and a small vestry on the south side of the chancel, the plan has remained unaltered. The porch is of late but uncertain date, and its outer doorway is composed of the 12th-century entrance moved forward from its original position. In 1806 the roofs were removed and the windows altered, and in 1845–6 (fn. 93) a further restoration was carried out, when the sash windows which then existed were replaced by stone and the small vestry or entrance porch on the south side of the chancel added in front of the priest's doorway, the ancient stonework of which was moved forward to form the entrance. The church was again restored in 1893.
The building throughout is constructed of rubble masonry with quoins at the angles. The roofs of both chancel and nave are of flat pitch and covered with lead overhanging at the eaves. The walls were raised to their original heights in 1893, when the new roofs were erected. The south chapel is under a wide gabled modern slated roof, which is continued down on the west side over the porch. All the windows are modern, but those in the sides of the chancel are said to reproduce the ancient designs.
The chancel has a modern five-light pointed east window with perpendicular tracery, but the north and south windows are each of two lights, and, if reproducing the older forms, are interesting examples of early tracery. That on the north side consists of two lancets with a circle in the head, and the other has two trefoiled lights with a quatrefoil above. Below the latter, which is near the west end of the wall, is a built-up low-side window, the sill of which is only 12 in. above the present ground level. The priest's doorway, which now forms the outer entrance to the vestry or porch, has a semicircular moulded arch dying out at the springing with a hood mould terminating in carved heads, and with a larger head at the crown. The jambs are chamfered. The vestry, which is now used as a store cupboard, measures internally only 7 ft. by 4 ft. 8 in., and has a window on the east side. An ancient altar stone discovered in 1893 is placed under the communion table. The sedilia are of 15th-century date and consist of three seats on the same level with ogeeheaded recesses under a square hood mould with carved head terminations and flat trefoils in the spandrels. The seats are separated by chamfered mullions standing clear of the wall, and have been inserted close to the south-east angle of the chancel, the piscina having probably been destroyed. In the north wall is a recess with segmental moulded arch and hood mould, which may have been used as an Easter sepulchre. The opening contains a flat graveslab, now much weathered, with floreated cross and chalice. The chancel arch is elliptical in form and of a single square order the full thickness of the wall, without hood moulds and plastered on the soffit. It springs from chamfered imposts, which are carried back along the wall on each side. The width of the opening is 10 ft. The holes for the sill of a former chancel screen remain in the jambs. The floor of the chancel is flagged and level with that of the nave. All the walls of the church are plastered internally.
The nave has three windows on the north and a single one high up in the wall (fn. 94) at the west end of the south side. Towards its eastern end the nave is open to the chapel on the south side by a pointed arch of two chamfered orders, the outer continued to the ground and the inner springing from moulded corbels supported by grotesque male and female heads. The arch has no hood mould, and, like the rest of the walling, is plastered and whitewashed. The chapel is lighted on the south side by a modern four-centred window of four lights with perpendicular tracery. Part of a stone bracket remains at the south end of the east wall. The south doorway, now the entrance to the porch, has a semicircular arch of two orders, with billeted hood mould inclosing a tympanum, across the face of which is carved a line of bold cheveron ornament. The outer order is moulded, and the inner is square and consists of twelve plain voussoirs springing from angle shafts with cushion capitals and moulded bases. The tympanum, which is 7 in. thick, is carried by shaped corbels set behind the imposts, the latter being chamfered on the underside with horizontal sinkings in the top member. The inner doorway of the porch has a flat four-centred arch with hollow-chamfered jambs and head.
The tower is internally of three stages. The lowest has a chamfered set-back outside, above which the walls go straight up to the string below the parapet. The lowest stage is blank on the north and south, but on the west side a modern two-light window has been inserted, and on the east the tower is open to the nave by a semicircular arch of a single square order consisting of twenty-six voussoirs springing from chamfered imposts. The soffit is flat like that of the chancel arch, and none of the arch stones go through the wall. Two large jamb stones, one on either side, still preserve traces of colouring and of black-letter inscriptions towards the nave. The middle stage has a small square opening on three sides, and the belfry windows are of two lights with rounded heads, roughly fashioned and without hood moulds. These windows and the embattled parapet are of late date, the top part of the tower having possibly been rebuilt in the 16th century or later. The parapet is very plain and of rubble masonry with two embrasures only on each side.
Against the east wall of the chapel are two alabaster figures on a plain altar tomb representing Thomas de Langton (d. 1440) and his wife Sibyl. The man, whose face is destroyed, is attired in plate mail with the collar of SS. The head rests on a helm and the feet on a lion. The head of the lady lies on two cushions, and her hair is dressed in horn-like fashion, the head-dress being partly covered by a veil. She is clad in an under-garment and long loose kirtle with jewelled belt. The tomb is probably not original. (fn. 95)
The font is of late 12th-century date, and consists of a circular basin of Frosterley marble on a shaft and moulded base. The Gothic cover is said to date from 1845. (fn. 96)
The seating to both nave and chapel is of late 17th-century date, being somewhat similar in style to that at Egglescliffe, Aycliffe and in other churches in the county, the backs of the pews being open, with short turned balusters. In the nave the pew ends have fleur-de-lis terminations, but those in the chapel finish with turned knobs, and the pew doors have balusters in the upper part. The whole of the woodwork, however, is painted dark red, and it may be a later copy of earlier work. The three canopied churchwardens' seats lettered 'Redmarshall,' 'Carlton' and 'Stillington' against the west wall of the chapel suggest a comparatively late date.
The tower contains three bells, two of which are without date or inscription. The third is a mediaeval bell and bears the inscription '+ cristoferus' in Gothic letters more than 2 in. apart. (fn. 97)
The plate consists of a chalice and paten of 1845, Newcastle make, of Elizabethan design, both inscribed 'Thos Austin Rector 1845.' There is also a pewter dish. (fn. 98)
The advowson originally belonged to the bishopric; thus Ralph de Croynden was presented to the rectory by the king in 1260, the see being vacant. (fn. 99) The advowson was transferred to the Bishop of Ripon in 1859 (fn. 100) and in the following year to the Crown, (fn. 101) which retains the patronage.
In 1291 the benefice was taxed at £26 13s. 4d., (fn. 102) but this was reduced by half before 1318 in consequence of the depredations of the Scots. (fn. 103) The assessment had risen to £18 in 1535; 2s. was paid to the archdeacon. (fn. 104) The tithes of corn of Stillington belonged to Sherburn Hospital. (fn. 105)
Nicholas Holme, canon of Ripon, rector of Redmarshall, who died in St. Mary's Abbey at York in 1458–9, left to this church a book called Pupilla Oculi. (fn. 106) In 1461–2 Adam Morland, then rector, had the bishop's pardon for building a tower to his rectory-house and beginning to crenellate it as a fortalice, and was allowed to go on with this work. (fn. 107)
A chantry at the altar of St. Mary in the church was founded before 1311, when Alan de Langton, lord of the manor, presented a chantry priest. (fn. 108) In 1314 inquiry was made at the bishop's command by the rectors of Redmarshall and other neighbouring churches; it was found that the patronage belonged to Henry de Langton as heir to his father Alan, that the value was 6 marks a year, and that on a vacancy the patron must present within forty days or his right would devolve on the archdeacon. (fn. 109) No further mention of this chantry has been found.
Stillington gave its name to an ecclesiastical parish formed in 1872, (fn. 110) but the church is in Whitton.
Christopher Morpeth, by will proved at York in 1640, demised a rent-charge of £4, one moiety thereof for the poor of Redmarshall and Carlton and the other moiety for the poor of Stillington. The annuity is paid out of land called Bishopton Field. The distribution is made among poor widows.
(b) The charity known as the Holgate Educational Charity was founded by declaration of trust 21 April 1875, applicable towards the maintenance of the Sunday school and other religious instruction, with power to expend £2 yearly upon the sustentation of the Mission Room. The trust fund of the educational branch consists of £95 guaranteed and £95 preference stock of the London and North Eastern Railway, producing £7 12s. yearly, which is applied in the purchase of books for the Sunday school, and the trust fund for providing £2 a year for the Mission Room consists of £25 in each of the same stocks.
(c) The Church Repair Fund,a founded by declaration of trust 31 December 1880. The trust funds consist of £100 4 per cent. 2nd preference, £50 5 per cent. preferred ordinary, and £40 deferred ordinary stock of the same railway.
The several sums of railway stock are held by the official trustees, who also hold a sum of £1 8s. 4d. consols in trust for the last-mentioned charity, representing the proceeds of the sale of letters of allotment from time to time.