"This parish is bounded on the north by Witton Gilbert, on the west by Lanchester and Hamsteels, on the south by Waterhouses, and on the east by Brandon and Bearpark. This was formerly a chapelry dependent upon Lanchester.
"The township of Esh comprises an area of 3119 acres, and its ratable vale is £16,302.
"For over forty years coal has been extensively wrought in this township, but most of the large collieries are situated in the portions of the township now divided, and in Waterhouses and Hamsteels. At Ushaw Moor, not far from Flass Hall, on the north side of the Dearness, is being worked the Busty seam, which contains a band which widens greatly to the west. The top coal is 1foot 10 inches thick, and the bottom coal 3 feet 6 inches. A drift from this seam to Brockwell, 16 fathoms below, will shortly be opened to work that seam, which is about 3 feet 6 inches thick. This colliery was sunk about 1865, and when fully operating, employs over 500 men and boys. At Hill Top the Hutton seam is worked to a small extent by a drift, and is about 4 feet thick.
"Esh Village is situated about five miles west-north-west of Durham, and commands an extensive view to north and west over a wide, well-cultivated valley. The central area of the village contains a stone cross, bearing the inscription I.H.S., and the date 1687, probably erected on the site of a former village cross. The village still maintains its rural aspect, and is little changed from past years.
"Ushaw is a village about three-quarters of a mile from Esh, and is remarkable as being the seat of the splendid Catholic College of St. Cuthbert. Hill top adjoins Ushaw, and is principally occupied by the tradespeople employed at the college.
"Esh Winning, which has sprung into existence since the opening of the colliery in 1859, may, like its neighbour Waterhouses, be called a model colliery village. Here is a fine miners' institute, and a small stone chapel-of-ease. The houses, built on the south side of the road are really all that could be desired. A large garden is attached to each house, to be cultivated as the pleasure of the occupants directs. It is situated about six miles west of Durham, in the Dearness valley, and a mile below Esh, surrounded by a beautiful country.
"Langley Park Village is situated on the west side of the Brownie, about five miles north-west of Durham, and within half a mile of Witton Gilbert railway station. The sinking of Langley Park Colliery in 1876, on the opposite side of the river, gave existence to this village, whose present population amounts to over 2000 souls.
"Ushaw Moor is another colliery village in this parish, four miles west of Durham, and two miles from Esh, on the road between Waterhouses and Durham. The inhabitants are employed at the Ushaw Moor Colliery. There is a Catholic day school and an iron chapel-of-ease to Esh, also a reading-room. Ushaw Moor railway station is half a mile distant from the village."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]