"This parish was formed in 1863, from Easington, and is in the township of Haswell. Its area is 509 acres; the population in 1891 was 2467.
"South Hetton Colliery was sunk in 1833, and is one of the oldest collieries in South-East Durham. After passing through the Permian formation, the lower member was encountered, namely, the Yellow Sand, containing large feeders of water, which gave considerable trouble. On entering the true measures, the following workable seams were intersected, and have since been in course of working: the Five Quarter, at a depth of 100 fathoms; Main coal, 140 fathoms; Low Main, 168; and the Hutton seam, 180 fathoms; the latter seam producing first-class household and gas coal, known as South Hetton Wallsend, and one of the best coals in the market. There is only one pit, which is divided into two coal-drawing shafts, and an upcast shaft for ventilation. In the early history of the colliery, corves were used for the drawing of coals. This primitive mode gave place to cages, and it is alleged that this colliery had the honour of being the first in Durham to adopt this method. The average output is 1800 tons per day, giving employment to 1000 men and boys. An interesting geological feature, well known and appreciated by local geologists, is the Wash, occurring to the north of the pit, in the Main coal seam, where the seam has been much disturbed, and intermingled with small deposits of sandstone and boulder.
"South Hetton is a considerable village, containing about 500 houses, almost entirely occupied by miners. Here is a station on the Sunderland and Hartlepool branch of the North-Eastern railway. There is also a reading-room for the workmen."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]