"This parish formerly comprised the townships of North Bedburn and Witton-le-Wear, but on the formation of the parish of Firtree, the township of North Bedburn became separated in 1862. This parish is now bounded on the north and east by Firtree, on the south-east by Witton Park and Escomb, on the south by Etherley, and on the west by Wolsingham.
"Witton-le-Wear Township comprises an area of 3168 acres, and its ratable value is £14,986. Under the Divided Parishes Act this township received Pit Close and Hargill Hill, two isolated paces, containing 213 acres.
"In this township coal is and has for many years been extensively worked, and stone is also quarried near Harperley. There are also fire-brick and sanitary pipe works in connection with the colliery, which are provided with clay from the pit; and in all there are 700 men and boys employed.
The village of Witton-le-Wear occupies a pleasant and healthy situation, on the southern declivity of an eminence on the north side of the river Wear, four miles west-north-west of Bishop Auckland, and twelve miles south-west from Durham. The village commands a charming view of the castle, with its extensive wooded park, and the picturesqe hills on the south side. The Wear is here crossed by a good substantial bridge of two arches.
"The inhabitants of the villages of High Grange, North Bitchburn, Quarryburn, and Valley Terrace are employed by the North Bitchburn Coal Co. Howden colliery, also in this township, is worked by the same company and comprises the same seams. Here 250 tons per day are drawn, employing 250 men. At hargill Hill the Brockwell seam, 6 feet, is being worked as a landsale pit by Mr. J. proud." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]