In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described West Rainton like this:
RAINTON (West), a village, a township, and a chapelry, in Houghton-le-Spring parish, Durhamshire. The village stands ¾ of a mile N E of Leamside-Junction r.station, and 4¼ N E by N of Durham; and has a post-office under Fence-Houses. The township comprises 1, 788 acres. Real property, £5, 722; of which £2, 100 are in mines, and £810 in railway s. Pop., 1, 447. Houses, 308. The manor belonged once to a convent at Durham, and belongs now to the Dean and Chapter of Durham. The chapelry is more extensive than the township; and was constituted in 1838, and re-constructed in 1866. Pop., about 3,000. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Durham. Value, £310.* Patron, the Bishop of Durham. A new church was built in 1864. There are a Wesleyan chapel and national schools.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing West Rainton has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Durham. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering West Rainton and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of West Rainton, in Durham and County Durham | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd April 2014
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