"This parish formerly included the townships of Merrington, Ferryhill, Hett, and Chilton; but on the formation of the parochial chapelry of Ferryhill, Chilton was included in its district, and Hett was constituted part of the chapelry district of Croxdale. Under the provisions of the Act 9 Geo. IV., for the better division of counties, the townships of Merrington and Chilton were transferred from the south-east to the north-west division of Darlington Ward, and Ferryhill and Hett were incorporated with Durham Ward. In April 1845 the township of Middlestone was transferred from the parish of St. Andrew's Auckland to that of Merrington. The parish is at present bounded on the north and north-west by the township of Tudhoe, in the parish of that name, and the chapelry of Whitworth; on the west by the township of Westerton, in the chapelry of Coundon; on the south by the township of Windlestone, in the same chapelry; and on the east by the townships of Chilton and Ferryhill. The parish is intersected by a high ridge of hills ranging from east to west.
"Merrington Township contains an area of 1961 acres and the value of property fixed for the county rate, in 1853, was £5765.
"The village of Merrington is situated on the ridge of a lofty eminence, which commands a view of one of the most beautiful and extensive landscapes in the county, comprising the village of Westerton, the vale of the Wear, with its elegant scenery near Bishop Auckland and Witton; the castle of Brancepeth, Cockfield Fell, Ushaw College, the city of Durham, and a great part of Cleveland. Before the battle of Neville's Cross the English forces were encamped here. The Weardale Water Co. provide a supply of water, which was previously much needed.
"Merrington Lane is a village on the northern boundary of this township, near the Ferryhill and Spennymoor railway line. Here is an old established iron foundry.
"Middlestone, a township in Merrington parish, the property of the Dean and Chapter of Durham, comprises 893 acres; and the property is valued fr the county rate at £11,377. Leasingthorne Colliery in this township wa sunk in 1835, and is now worked by Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan, and Co. The output amounts to 700 tons per day, employing in all about 800 men and boys. There are 60 copper ovens here. This township comprises the villages of Middlestone, Leasingthorne, and Middlestone Moor, its inhabitants being employed in the coal mining.
"The village of Middlestone is situated on the road between Bishop Auckland and Merrington, about two and a half miles east-north-east from the former place, and comprises a few farm-houses, an inn, and several cottages.
"Leasingthorne is a colliery village, owing its origin to the opening of the colliery. It is situated on rising ground three miles east from Bishop Auckland, and one mile south of Merrington.
"Middlestone Moor, on the Auckland and Spennymoor Road, three and a half miles from the former, is also a colliery village. Here are a chapel-of-ease, Board school, and three chapels."
[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]