"This parish, which comprises the townships of Hamsterley and South Bedburn, formed part of the parish of St. Andrew's Auckland, and is bounded on the north by the parish of Wolsingham, on the west by Middleton-in-Teesdale, on the south by the chapelry of Lynesack, on the south-east by Evenwood, on the north-east by Witton-le-Wear, and on the east by Etherley.
"Hamsterley Township contains an area of 4003 acres, and the value of property assessed to the county rate in 1892 was £2684. There are two corn-mills in the township: the one called Beckside Mill is situated south of the village, on the Lynburn, which, though fordable at most times, becomes very much swollen by heavy rains, and is crossed by a foot bridge at the high road.
"Hamsterley Village is situated pleasantly on the brow of a hill, seven miles west by north of Bishop Auckland, and two miles and a half south-west from Witton-le-Wear. It retains its rural aspect, and some of the houses are still thatched, whilst others are falling into ruins. The annual feast, or hopping, was considered one of the most noted in the county, the sports consisting of cricket, wrestling, dog-trailing, quoiting, foot races, donkey races, &c. &c.
"South Bedburn Township is very extensive, though a thinly populated district. Its area is 6765 acres, and the property was assessed to the county rate, in 1892, at £2693. The township occupies the north-western portion of the chpaelry; the scenery is bold and picturesque; and the several seats and mansions by which the district is surrounded and ornamented, have, of late years, been much improved by their respective proprietors.
"Bedburn is a small village, situated amidst charming scenery on the stream of the same name. Here for many years a forge for the manufacturing of edge tools, spades, &c., was carried on. It has now become a stocking factory and saw-mill, which is driven by water, and is the principal industry of the township."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]