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"Dinsdale Parish, which comprises no independent townships, occupies the north-eastern peninsula of Sockburn. It is bounded on the north by the parish of Sadberge, on the west by a portion of Hurworth parish, on the south by Sockburn, and on the east by Middleton St. George, and the river Tees. It comprises an area of 1176 acres, and the value of property assessed to the County rate, in 1893, was 3714.

"The village of Dinsdale, or Low Dinsdale, as it is sometimes called, occupies a retired situation near the river Tees, five miles from Yarm, four miles from Croft Bridge, and five miles south east by east of Darlington. It is almost entirely surrounded by the river. Although its population is almost exclusively rural, and it appears secluded at the present time, it possesses considerable historical interest, the ancient Roman roads, which intersected this part of the country, no doubt contributing to its early settlement. Siward, Earl of Northumberland, called by William of Malmesbury, Earl Siward Digera, and who died in 1055, is traditionally connected with this place. The name has undergone many changes; in early documents and in Doomsday it is Dirneshale, Digneshale, and in later times Dedenshale and Detensal, ending in the Dinsdale of today.

"The old manor house, which occupies a low and sheltered situation near the river, now serves as a farmhouse; and its thick walls, heavy beams and rafters, and low apartments, render it an interesting relic of "the days that are over." A stone, inserted in the wall, on the left side of the door, bears the arms of the Place family. There was formerly a gatehouse on the south; but the only defences were an outer fosse or moat. There are four other farms in the parish, a corn-mill on the Tees, and a productive salmon fishery. Over Dinsdale, in Yorkshire, is approached by a wooden bridge, supported by two substantial stone piers in the river, and one on each bank."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]


The monumental inscriptions in the churchyard have been transcribed, indexed and published by the Cleveland Family History Society.
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"The population in 1801 was 108; in 811, 125; in 1821, 111; in 1831, 169; in 1841, 169; in 1851, 157; in 1861, 203; in 1871, 143; in 1881, 252; nd in 1891, 221 souls."

From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The 1851 Census Index (booklet 47) published by the Cleveland Family History Society may be of value to researchers interested in this parish.

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Church History

"The Church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, situated within a beautiful and sequestered bend of the Tees, was built in 1196. Previous to its restoration, it was an ivy-covered building of unpretentious appearance, in the Early English style, consisting of nave, south aisle or chapel, western tower, and south porch. It was beautifully restored in 1875-76, at a cost of over 2000, due regard having been paid to the original design."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1556." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1556-1987 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Di).

The Marriages (1813-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

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