"This parish comprising the townships of Cockfield and Woodland, is bounded on the north by Lynesack, on the west by the parish of Middleton-in-Teesdale, on the south by Barnard Castle and Staindrop parishes, and on the east by St. Helen's Auckland. The parish comprises an area of 4416 acres. This parish, though to all appearance under Staindrop, is actually the rectory, and Staindrop simply an annexed vicarage. The township of Woodland is completely separated from that of Cockfield by the chapelry of Lynesack, and the township of Langley Dale in the parish of Staindrop.
Cockfield Township had a ratable value, in 1893, of £6587.
Cockfield Fell is a large tract, extending northward from the village to the Gaunless and it is about 2 miles in width from east to west. Coal has been worked on it from an early period, and Vavasour's mine here is the first inland colliery on record. The coals, however, have been nearly all worked out. Besides the great wealth of coal beneath the surface of this bleak fell, there are immense quantities of stone, the most valuable being the whinstone, which is extensively quarried for road metal, the quarrying of which gives employment to a great many hands. The coal mines and quarries are the principle source of employment in this district, though farming is to some extent carried on.
"The Fell was, about 1864-65, turned into a stinted common, of which there are 1100 stints, divided amongst the freeholders in the ratio of the ratable value of their property at that time. The rights and regulations of the Fell are governed by a body of men called Fieldreeves, who are to be freeholders, and elected by their fellow-freeholders.
"The Village - Cockfield is a long scattered village of healthy situation, on the summit of the Fell, seven miles south-west from Bishop Auckland, and three north from Staindrop, and about nine north-east from Barnard Castle. It has been much improved of late years, and along the road through the village trees have been planted. The railway station is about a mile distant on the Auckland and Barnard Castle Branch. Burnt Houses and Esperley are small hamlets near to the village.
"Woodland, a township in this parish, though, as before remarked, separated from Cockfield by Lynesack chapelry and the township of Langley Dale, consists of a bleak and sterile district which contained in 1851, 46 inhabited houses. The ratable value of the township in 1893 was £3292. Coal abounds in this township, and is wrought in several parts by the Woodland Collieries Co., Limited, who are working principally by drifts.
"Woodland Village, which is just within the boundary of the township, is a straggling district, situated on an eminence four and a half miles north-west of Cockfield, seen and a half north by east from Barnard Castle, and about ten west by south from Bishop Auckland. There is a good school, a fine assembly room, and a chapel."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]