Parish of Elwick

The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards. Originally published by Nichols and Son, London, 1823.

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Robert Surtees, 'Parish of Elwick', in The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823) pp. 85-89. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

Robert Surtees. "Parish of Elwick", in The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823) 85-89. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

Surtees, Robert. "Parish of Elwick", The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: Volume 3, Stockton and Darlington Wards, (London, 1823). 85-89. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

In this section


The Parish of Elwick, or Elwick-hall (fn. 1) is bounded by Monk-Hesilden and Hart on the North, by Hart and Greatham on the East, by the Chapelry of Wolviston and by Grindon South, and by Sedgfield on the West. Within these limits it forms a very irregular figure, stretching in length from North to South, and following on its Western and South-eastern boundaries, the irregular course of the Emilden and Claxton becks.

The Parish forms but one Constablery. There is no village (for that of Elwick is in the Parish of Hart), but it includes the manors, granges, or farmholds of Amerston, Newton Hansard, Bruntoft, Close, and Stotfold.

May 1, 1744. The Minister and Parishioners of the Parish of Elwick Hall, this day rode the bounds of the said Parish, and the boundaries are as follow:

The first boundary at the gate going out of the glebe in the road to Trimden, John Speck's land on one side the road, and William Jourdison's on the other. The iid in High Stotfold Moor, in a corner beneath a hill close by the beck side, butting on Mr. Maire's land, in the parish of Sedgefield. The iiid in a corner of Amerstone farm, North-west of the Gill, between Sir Edward Smith's land and Mr. Maire's. The iiiith in Close farm in the Gill by the beck side, where the water makes a peninsula, butting on Sr Edward Smith's land, and near Mr. Tempest's. The vth in Poplar-row farm, in the corner of a field butting on Mr. Tempest's and Mr. Spearman's land. The vith in Newton-Hansard, in a field butting on Mr. Tempest's land in Grindon Parish, and on Mr. Hogg's land in Wolviston Chapelry. The viith in High Bruntoft, at a gate in the Gill, butting on John Grange's land in Wolviston Chapelry. The viiith in the Stobb farm, close by the beck side, butting on the glebe land, and on Mr. Smith's, in the township of Newton. The ixth in Low Stotfield, in the meadow-field near the beck side, butting on Claxton lands, in the parish of Greatham, and on Brereton lands, in the parish of Stranton. The xth in Middle Stotfield Pasture, and the gate going into the landing, and butting on High Stotfield grounds, and on Grace Ranson's and William Chilton's lands, in the parish of Hart.

  • Robert Parker, Rector.
  • John Arrowsmith.
  • George Wilkinson.
  • Francis Sheraton.
  • Mich.Heaviside.
  • Thomas Wilkinson.
  • Entry in the Par.Reg.
  • John White.
  • Robert Thompson.

The Church

In its original state was a little picturesque, grey structure, with a low massy tower and buttresses. It occupies a remarkable knoll, or swell, on the edge of a deep gully, or ravine, which divides it from the long scattered village of Elwick Eastwards. The prospect from the church-yard stretches far and wide over the level cultivated country to the South and East, with the lofty Beacon-hill on the North-west.

The nave, divided from the chancel by a low circular arch, has ailes formed by round pillars, supporting pointed arches. The tower seems added to the nave on the South, in front of the South aile (fn. 2).

Monumental Inscriptions.

  • Memoriæ Sacrum
  • Roberti Parker, S. T. P.
  • cujus propé corpus requiescit.
  • Qui stirpe antiquâ et honestâ,
  • in agro Staffordiensi, ortus,
  • apud Carthusianos, literis imbutus fuit;
  • deinde Cantabridgiæ,
  • omni liberali doctrinâ politissimus,
  • literas sacras præcipué coluit,
  • Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ decus et tutamen;
  • regi et reipublicæ amicus,
  • suavissimis moribus, incorruptâ vitâ,
  • res sacras hujus parochiæ rector
  • per annos xxxvi feliciter curavit.
  • Obiit xviii die Augusti;
  • Anno Christi mdcclxxvi.
  • ætatis lxxiv.

  • Hoc marmor Thomas Parker, eques auratus, et
  • serenissimo regi, Georgio Tertio, a consiliis
  • secretis, fratri de se optimé merito mœrens posuit.

Succession of Rectors.

Elwick Rectory, the Bishop of Durham Patron.—King's Books, 20l. 18s. 1 1/2d.; Tenths, 2l. 1s. 9 3/4d.—Episc. Proc. 13s.; Archid. 4s.; Synod. 11s.—Dedication to St. Peter.

  • Stephanus, Rector Eccles. de Ellewick, occ. 1200.
  • William de Gypwico (fn. 3).
  • Luke de Perers, occ. 15 Apr. 1327.
  • Richard de Castro Bernardi, 1352.
  • Walter de Hareham, 1353.
  • John del Bek, 1359.
  • John de Castro Bernardi, 1361.
  • Hugo de Westwyk, 1362.
  • John Atte Lee, 1367.
  • William de Trafford, 1368.
  • John de Battisford, 1373.
  • John Bowring, 1376.
  • Thomas Wyot, 1378.
  • John Gyll, 1400.
  • Will. de Winlaton, 1424. p. m. Gyll.
  • Robert Heighington, 1501.
  • Thomas Atkynson, 1546.
  • George Clyffe, S. T. B. (fn. 4) 1562.
  • Henry Ewbank (fn. 5), A. M. 1598.
  • Gabriel Clark (fn. 6), A. M. 1620.
  • John Cosin (fn. 7), S. T. B. 1624, p. res. Clark.
  • John Bowey, an intruder, ejected 1660.
  • Daniel Bollen, A. M. 1660, p. res. Cosin.
  • Dennis Granville (fn. 8), A. M. 1664.
  • George Brereton, A. M. 1667, p. res. Granvill.
  • Hamond Beaumont (fn. 9), A. M. 1672, p. res. Brereton.
  • John Bowes (fn. 10), S. T. P. 1701, p. m. Beaumont.
  • William Eden (fn. 11), 1715, p. res. Bowes.
  • Robert Parker (fn. 12), D. D. 1741, p. m. Eden.
  • William Vaughan (fn. 13), A. M. 1776, p. m. Parker.
  • George Sayer (fn. 14), A. M. 1777, p. res. Vaughan.
  • George Watson, A. M. 1783, p. res. Sayer.
  • Joseph Richardson (fn. 15), D. D. Queen's Coll. Oxon.

The Rector is generally entitled to tithe of all descriptions. The glebe contains about three hundred and fifty acres.

The Rector of Elwick furnished one lance and two archers at the Array of the Clergy on Gilesgate Moor, in 1400.

Bishop Beaumont was prevented by death from appropriating this Rectory to the Convent of Durham.


Aymundestun (fn. 16) was granted by Gilbert Hansard to St. Giles, of Kepyer (fn. 17), and passed at the Dissolution, with the other lands of the Hospital, to Cockburn, Lord of Black Ormiston, who sold to Heath (fn. 18).

In 1590 John Heath, of Kepyer, Esq. died seised of the manor or chief messuage of Amerston, held of the Queen by the fortieth part of a knight's fee (fn. 19). In 1600 John Heath, his son, sold the estate to Henry Dethicke, Master of Greatham Hospital (fn. 20), whose son and heir, Martin Dethicke, survived him in 1613, and soon after sold to the Ashmalls, who made Amerston their seat for several descents.

The subsequent progress of the estate is sufficiently detailed by the annexed Pedigree.

The family terminated in the Rev. Ferdinando Ashmall, who survived all his father's house, and attained the extraordinary age of a hundred and four. His trustees (fn. 21) (for he was, like his fathers, a Catholic,) sold Amerston in 1762 (fn. 22) to Humphrey Robinson, whose nephew George Robinson, of Amerston, is the present owner.

The hall of the Ashmalls, a tall narrow gavel-ended house, stands single and deserted, on cold clay, on the Eastern edge of Emilden dene.

Pedigree of Dethick, of Amerston.

Arms: Argent, a fess vaire Or and Gules, between three water bougets Sable; a mullet for difference.

Crest: on a wreath a horse's head couped Argent, charged on the neck with a mullet, as in the Arms.


* Greatham Par. Reg.

† Thomas Dethick, a Brother of the Hospital, bur. 13 April 1658. Greatham Par. Reg.

‡ His grandson, Henry Dethick, Richmond Herald; died in 1707, and left a son Henry (æt. 18, 1692,) apparently the last of his family, for he is stated in the newspapers of the day to have married a young woman of the Mitre Coffee-house, with a view to prevent the name of Dethick from becoming extinct. In his will, dated 1740, “being now in bed, where I have been confined by a rheumatism fitt about eighteen weeks,” he constitutes his wife Susanna Dethick sole executrix; proved 1742.

Pedigree of Ashmall, of Amerston.


* Will of Ralph Ashmall, Gent.—“Wife Mary executrix; my maister Sir Edward Smithe. Witness, Thomas Bulmer, Amorellus Bulmer.”

† Mr. Ferdinando Ashmole, a popish priest, living with the Lady Mary Ratcliffe, in Old Elvet, buried 4 April 1712.

‡ Elwick Register.

Newton-Hansard derives its addition from the ancient Lords of Walworth. It was afterwards the estate of the Lords Dacre, of Gillesland; of William Dacre, Chivaler, who died in 1362, seised of the manor of Newton-Hansard, (which Alice Countess of Lincoln sometime held, and died without an heir,) held by the fourth part of a knight's fee (fn. 23), leaving Ralph Dacre his brother and heir, who granted the estate for term of his life to Catharine, of Whitfield (fn. 24), who, with the consent probably of Dacre, passed the estate by fine to John Nevill, of Raby, in whose descendants it remained vested, with the neighbouring estate of Stotfold, till the forfeiture. In 1575 Queen Elizabeth granted, inter alia, the tenements called Swainston and Newton-Hansard, parcel of the possessions of the Earl of Westmorland, to Thomas Calverley and Henry Anderson, Esquires (fn. 25). In 1638 Sir John Calverley, Knt. of Littleburn, died seised of the manor of Newton-Hansard (fn. 26), and it was the estate of his grandson, Sir Henry Calverley, Knt. of Eryholme, in 1684 (fn. 27). It afterwards passed by purchase, with Poplar-row, to the Smiths of Burnhall, and it was again alienated some years ago to the wealthy family of Thelluson.

Stotfold (fn. 28),

On the South-eastern verge of the Parish. The manor belonged to the family of Kilkenny (fn. 29), whose descent has been stated under Stanley (vol. II. p. 229), and was held of the Bishop by sixpence, Wodesilver. Stotfold afterwards passed by purchase to the Nevills (fn. 30), and was alienated immediately before the forfeiture, by Charles Earl of Westmoreland, to William Selby, of Newcastle (fn. 31), whose son, Sir George Selby (fn. 32), settled this and other estates (charged with a provision for his own daughters) on his brother Sir William Selby, of Shortflatt. From the Selbys the estate passed to the wealthy families of Carr and Milbank. Ralph-John Fenwick, Esq. M. D. purchased High Stotfold from the executors of Ralph Carr, of Cocken, Esq. and sold the same estate to Jonathan Backhouse, Esq. of Darlington. Middle Stotfold belongs to the family of Shipperdson (fn. 33) by purchase from Milbanke. Low Stotfold was alienated by John Hall, of Weston Colvill, in Cambridgeshire, Esq. (son and heir of General Thomas Hall) to Watson Alcock, Esq. of Stockton, surgeon, 3 April 1818 (fn. 34).

Bruntoft (fn. 35).

Odo, Ralph, Robert, and Philip (fn. 36) were successively lords of the vill, and assumed the local name (fn. 37). Philip de Bruntoft sold the manor to John, son of Peter, of Hertelpole (fn. 38), whose son William Fitz John de Hertelpole stiles himself lord of Bruntoft in 1312. The estate a century later had become vested by purchase in the Claxtons (fn. 39), and in 1484 fell, on partition, to Sir William Bulmer, who married Margaret, eldest of the four coheirs of Sir Robert Claxton (fn. 40).

By Ind. 8 July 1605, Sir Bertram Bulmer, of Tursdale, Knt. and Henry Bulmer, of Guisbrough, co. York, Esq. granted the manor of Bruntoft, alias Burnetofte (sometime the estate of Francis Bulmer, father of Sir Bertram), to John Fetherstonhalgh, of Stanhope, Esq. Ralph Fetherstonhalgh, Esq. son and heir of John, settled the same estate (with lands in Wolviston) in trustees, for the use of his second son Ralph Fetherstonhalgh (fn. 41). 14 July 1652 Christopher Fulthorp, Esq. (the surviving trustee) released to the same Ralph Fetherstonhalgh, then of North Auckland, Gent. who conveyed, 20 July 1652, to William Pennyman, of Gray's Inn, Esq.; and he, 20 Jan. 1652-3, granted the same manor of Bruntoft, and lands in Wolviston, to Jerrard Salvin, of Croxdale, Esq. whose descendant, William-Thomas Salvin, Esq. is the present proprietor.

The Close, a warm, ancient farmhold on the South of Emilden Dene, was part of the old Elwick (fn. 42) estate of the Nevills, derived from Bruce and Fitz-Ribald. The Booths and Radcliffes lived here as tenants to the Earls of Westmoreland. By letters patent, 26 Apr. 29 Eliz. 1587, the Queen granted the Close (inter alia) to Charles Blenkensop, Gent. and John Taylor, who conveyed to Watts, Bayning, and Alabaster. By Ind. 6 May 1607, Sir John Watts, Alderman of London, Paul Bayning, Esq. and Thomas Alabaster, merchant, granted to Sir George Frevile, Knt. (for 1200l.) all that capital messuage called the Close, late in the tenure of Roger Radcliffe, Esq. parcel of the possessions of Charles Earl of Westmoreland, attainted, to hold in common socage of the manor of East Greenwich, under 13l. 6s. 8d. crown rent (fn. 43). In 1637 (Ind. 10 Aug. 13 Car.) Nicholas Frevile, Esq. nephew and devisee of Sir George Freville, sold the same estate to Gerard Salvin, of Croxdale, Esq. for 2,640l. (fn. 44) William-Thomas Salvin, Esq. is the present owner.

There was a chantry in the church of Elwick, founded by Walter de Cumba, who gave by charter to Robert Gernet, of Ellewyk, and Anastasia his wife, all his land in Bruntoft, charged with the payment of six marks annually to the Church of St. Peter, of Ellewyk, in consideration of which payment the Rector for the time being shall provide a Chaplain to sing, for ever, for Walter and all his benefactors (fn. 45).

The following extracts from the Sequestrators' Books apply to the whole Parish.

5 Sept. 1644. Lett to John Rawling the close belonging to Gerard Salvin, Esq. 80l. rent.

Letten to Symond Harrison, of Brierton, the tythes of hay, corne, wool, lambe, and all other tythes of Stotfold, 20l. per ann. paid monthly 21 Aug. 1644.

Bruntoft tythe, &c. of two farmes belonginge to the D. and C. letten to Mr. Anthony Gibson, for 6l. To John Mainsforth, of Wolviston, the tithes of a quarter of a farme, 14s. To John Wardaile another farme, 15s. per ann. by 2s. 6d. per month (fn. 46). To James Rawling the tythes of Ranson's lands, and of the lands allotted for payment of Mr. Charles Elstobb's wife's (fn. 47) portion in Bruntoft, 5l. per ann. 16s. 8d. monthly. To Barnard Jackson the tithes of his half farm in Bruntoft, 29s.

Mr. Anthony Gibson and Barnard Jackson are entrusted to lett two parts of Amerston, belonging to Collonel John Jackson.

In 1684 the freeholders in the whole parish of Elwick were, Sir Henry Calverley, of Newton-Hansard, Knt. (at Eryholme, in Yorkshire); Thomas Ashmall, of Amerston, Gent. Recusant; Thomas Mainsforth; Anthony Salvin, Esq. Close (Trustee for Jerrard Salvin).

*** 20 Sept. 27 Eliz. Henry Bulmer, Gent. demised three tenements in Bruntofte to Thomas Thadie, Gent. for 31 years, under 8l. rent. 5 Aug. 3 Jac. Bryan Thadie, Gent. son and heir of Thomas, and Nicholas Curwen, of Fayrholme, co. York Gent. and Emmote his wife, joined the Bulmers in a fine to John Fetherstonhalgh.


  • 1. Very commonly called West Parish, from its situation in respect to the village of Elwick.
  • 2. Elwick Church was repaired, and the lead exchanged for slate, in 1813.
  • 3. Ipswich.
  • 4. Preb. of the 12th stall.
  • 5. Preb. of the 12th stall, successively Rector of Washington, Winston, and Whickham.
  • 6. Preb. of the 1st stall, Archd. of Durham, and Master of Greatham.
  • 7. Bishop of Durham.
  • 8. Dean of Durham.
  • 9. Curate of Sedgfield, Official to the Archd. of Durham.
  • 10. Preb. of the first stall, brother of Sir William Bowes, of Streatlam. He nearly rebuilt the rectory-house at Elwick. Res. for Bishop-Wearmouth.
  • 11. Son of Layton Eden, Rector of Hartburne.
  • 12. See Epitaph.
  • 13. Chaplain to Bishop Egerton, res. for Haughton-le-Skerne.
  • 14. Chaplain to Bp. Egerton, res. for Egglescliffe.
  • 15. Perpetual Curate of Witton Gilbert, Precentor of St. Paul's.
  • 16. The first settler, therefore, who fixed his [tun], or seat, on the Eastern bank of Emilden dene, was the Saxon Aymunde, [Amundertun], Villa Aymundi.
  • 17. The Charter is exemplified amongst the other muniments of the house that were destroyed by fire. Rot. Nevill. X. 31.
  • 18. See Kepyer.
  • 19. Inq. p. m. 30 Oct. 32 Eliz.
  • 20.
  • 21. Conveyance from James Dunn, of Chilton, Gent. (who survived, &c.) trustee under the will of Thomas Ashmall, and Ferdinando Ashmall, of Newhouses, Amerston-hall, the Garth, Old Orchard, Priest's Close, White Close, Carter's Pasture, &c. 143 acres 3 roods, and 2 perches; 1330l. consideration.
  • 22. Abstract Johnson's MSS.
  • 23. Inq. die Mart. prox. p. F. S. Mich. Archang. 17 Hatf.
  • 24.
  • 25. Pat. 24 June, 17 Eliz. The grant includes the site of the monastery and manor of Eryholme, co. York, divers reserved rents there out of the lands of Robert Burton and others, and lands late of John Swinburne, Esq. in Butterwick, Wolviston, Bruntoft, and Gretham.
  • 26. Inq. p. m. 1638.
  • 27. Sheriffs' List.
  • 28. The name bears its own humble origin. Roger de Stotfaldia is an early witness to charters in this neighbourhood.
  • 29. Inq. p. m. Will. de Kilkenny, 7 Bury. Will. fil. Will'i de Kilkenny, 29 Hatf.
  • 30. Inq. p. m. Ralph Earl of Westmorland, 20 Langley.
  • 31. Ind. 4 May, 11 Eliz. “The capital messuage, grange, or hamlet of Stotfold, 1500 acres arable, 800 meadow, 1000 pasture, 10 wood, 2000 furze and briar.”
  • 32. Inq. p. m. Will. Selby, 11 Jac. 1613. Inq. p. m. George Selby, mil. 3 Sept. 1 Car. See Winlaton, vol. II. pp. 273&4.
  • 33. To the younger children of Ralph Shipperdson, Esq. deceased.
  • 34. Title Deeds of W. Alcock.
  • 35. Evidently the toft upon the burn or stream.
  • 36. A permission appears from Philip, son of Robert de Bruntoft, to the Prior of Durham, to dig marle in a plot called the North ker, and to lead the same to their manor of Beauley. Witness Hugh de Capella, Lord of Wynyard; Geoffrey de Park, &c. Salvin MSS.
  • 37. Orig. Charters, Claxton Box, D. and C. Treas. Ralph and Philip of Bruntoft seal with a lion rampant. See a Charter of Odo in the Appendix.
  • 38. Orig. Chart. D. and C. Treas. T. Will'o de Kyrkenni, D'no de Stotfald, Rogero de Herice, Elia Bard, Rad'o Bard. Rad'o de Cumba, Rogero Postel.
  • 39. In 1368 Thomas de Hessewell and John Andrew grant the manor of Bruntoft to Thomas Coke and John de Bynchestre, apud Castrum super Tynam die L. p. F. S. Barnabe. The conveyance was probably on trust for Claxton. 15 Langley, 1421, Dame Isabel Claxton died seised of the manor; remainder to Sir William, her son and heir.
  • 40. See Claxton; and vol. I. p. 18.
  • 41. In 1638 the eschaet on Ralph Fetherstonhalgh, Esq. states, that he died seised of the manor of Bruntofte, three messuages, and divers free rents issuing out of two oxgangs, sometime Sayer's, now Bernard Jackson's, and out of lands of Christopher Fulthorpe, Esq. and Robert Mainsforth. The same Ralph the elder by Ind. 14 Sept. 1632, settled lands in Bruntoft, of 60l. per ann. on his second wife Jane for life, with remainder to his own right heirs. In 1652, 24 May, John Fetherstonhalgh, son and heir of Ralph, granted the reversion to James and Ralph Salvin, on trust for Jerard Salvin, Esq. Title Deeds, W. T. Salvin, Esq.
  • 42. See Elwick.
  • 43. Title Deeds, W. T. Salvin, Esq.
  • 44. Richard Frevile, of Littleburne, Gent. and Robert Frevile, of London, (brothers of Nicholas Frevile) severally released annuities of 30l. per ann. charged on the Close by grant from Sir John Calverley and others, dated 1623.
  • 45. Cart. orig. Walt'ri de Cumba. T. Magro Andrea de Kilkenny, Prebendario de Derlington, Will'o de Kilkenny, D'no de Stotfold, Simone de le More, et aliis. Then follows the deed obligatory of Robert Gernet and Anastasia; and lastly the confirmation of Robert, son of Robert Gernet, to Luke de Perers, Rector of Elwyck, attested by Galfrid le Scrop, Chivaler, and William de Kilkenny, Knt. Lord of Stotfald, 15 Apr. 1327.
  • 46. This minute precaution evidently arose from suspicion of their own tenure.
  • 47. Mary, daughter of Ralph Fetherstonhalgh, Esq. See Bruntoft.