Records > Kelly's 1890 Directory : Byers Green, Newfield & Binchester
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Byers Green, Newfield & Binchester

BYERS GREEN, a considerable village and township, which, together with the township and village of NEWFIELD, the hamlet of TODD HILLS and part of the township of BINCHESTER, constitutes the ecclesiastical parish of Byers Green; it is 3 miles north-by-east from Bishop Auckland, in the Bishop Auckland division of the county, ward of Darlington, petty sessional division, union and county court district of Bishop Auckland, rural deanery and archdeaconry of Auckland and diocese of Durham. Byers Green was formerly much isolated from the surrounding neighbourhood in consequence of the absence of any bridge over the Wear, which forms the boundary of the township for a considerable distance: this has now been remedied by the erection of the Queen Victoria bridge, the foundation stone of which was laid by R. Peverell esq. the chairman of the Auckland district highway board, on the 20th of June, 1887, and which was opened for traffic by the Lord Bishop of Durham on the 3rd of December following. In June, 1878, a branch of the North Eastern railway to Spennymoor and Ferryhill was opened for passenger traffic, which, in 1885, was extended to Bishop Auckland, passing half a mile from the southern end of the village, in the neighbourhood of Old Park, whore there is a station, so that there is now access from Byers Green to all parts. The church of St. Peter, consecrated July l0th, 1845, is a plain building of stone, in the Early English style, consisting of nave, porch and a western bell cote containing one bell: several of the windows are stained, and there is some good painting and carving: there are 360 sittings. The register dates from the year 1845. The living is a rectory, tithe rent-charge £70, net yearly value £350, including 82 acres of glebe, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Durham, and held since 1875 by the Rev. Robert Eli Hooppell LL.D. of St. John's College, Cambridge, and D.C.L. of the University of Durham. There are Wesleyan Methodist and Primitive Methodist chapels, and a Church Institute, Library and Reading rooms. Near the centre of the village is the house in which Thomas Wright, a famous mathematician of the last century, resided, it was built by him, and the "Gentleman's Magazine" for March, 1793, contains a full description of the mansion, The population of the village is about 1,500, mostly employed in mining and agriculture. The minerals are the property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who are also considerable landowners in the township. The mines are leased to Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan and Co. Limited. In various places near Byers Green the remains of old paved roads have from time to time been discovered, at a certain depth below the present surface of the ground. The area of Byers Green is 1,082 acres; rateable value, £9,897; the population in 1881 was 2,452.

Newfield, a village and township, in the parish of BYERS GREEN, 3 miles north-by-west of Bishop Auckland, is inhabited almost entirely by miners. The principal landowners are the. Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan nd Co. Limited; the latter are also lessees of the mines. Here are a very large number of coke ovens, also a manufactory of fire bricks. There is at present no church, but Divine service is held in the National school. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners have granted ground for a site, and plans have been prepared for a church, which it is expected will be erected within the year 1890. There is a Primitive Methodist chapel here. Near the centre of the village is the old manor house, now divided into two residences. Two railway bridges connect the village with the opposite bank of the Wear, and give access to the railway stations at Willington and Hunwick. The area is 206 acres; rateable value, £3,475; the population in 1881 was 1,150.

Parish Clerk, Elijah White.
Sexton, Joseph Craddock.
POST, M. 0. & T. O., S. B. & Annuity & Insurance Office.- Miss Isabella Purdy, sub-postmistress. Letters arrive from Spennymoor at 7.30 a.m.; dispatched at 4.50 p.m. INSURANCE AGENT.—Norwich Union Fire, W. Hewitson.
SCHOOLS :- National (mixed & infants), built in 1843, & rebuilt in 1854, for 408 children ; average attendance, 244 ; Elijah White, master; Mrs. Susannah Nicholson, mistress.
National, Newlield (mixed), built in 1842, for 290children; average attendance, 177; G. Hunter, master.
Railway Station, Byers Green, Wm. Manners, station master.

Binchester, a township containing a few scattered farm houses, mostly in the parish of Byers Green, but partly also in that of St. Andrew Auckland, and situated 1 mile north of Bishop Auckland, is chiefly remarkable for the remains of the famous Roman city, or station, Vinovium, situated on a lofty eminence overlooking the Wear, and extensively explored in 1878 through the public spirit and munificence of John Proud esq. of Bishop Auckland. One result of these researches has been to show that the Roman work was superimposed upon a fortress of the Brigantes, the powerful British tribe who dominated the northern portion of England. The oldest notice of a Roman city of this name is by Ptolemy, circ. A.D. 138, but the place to which he refers appears to have been situated on the coast of Lancashire. The plan of the station, owing to its adaptation to the anterior British work, is remarkably irregular; portions of the ramparts, about 8 feet 6 inches in thickness, have been laid bare, and exhibit perfect courses of massive chamfered facing stones, built upon a substratum of loose water-worn stones collected from the bed of the Wear; at one point a finely built culvert was met with piercing the rampart, and the main street of the city, traversing it from north to south, together with the fronts of the buildings lining its western side, have also been uncovered. Among the antiquities brought to light in the course of the excavation, was a very curious vase, found at the bottom of a well, another con-taming coins, and an engraved gem; altogether, about 127 coins were dug out, ranging from Marcus Aurelius, A.D. 180, to Constantine the Great, A.D. 306, besides some Romano-British examples. On the eastern side of the main street are remains of the public baths, some of the fittings of which are still perfect. In a more central part of the station is a very perfect hypocaust, the tiles of which, and a brick, bear the stamped lettering " N COIV;" some pottery, bearing the workmen's names, querns, rnortaria, human and other bones, fibulae and iron implements have also been exhumed. The whole collection of antiquities has been presented to the University of Durham. The site of the Roman station and the surrounding land is the property of the Bishop of Durham, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners are large landowners in this township. The township contains also the romantic wood of Bellburn, abounding in spots of lovely scenery. The church of St. Barabus is a building of iron, erected in 1876 at a cost of £500, and will seat 195 persons. The Rev. Allan Godfrey Baldwin B.A. of Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, is curate in charge, and resides at Byers Green. The area is 583 acres; rateable value, £2379; the population in 1881 was 52.

Letters through Bishop Auckland.
Schools, erected in 1872 by Bolckow, Vaughan & Co. Limited, for 400 children; average attendance, full; William Underwood, master.

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