‘Long Newton’. (Longa) Neutona, (Lange) Newetone 1235, Long Neuton 1281 , Lang Newton 1367-1586, Longnewton from 1508. Old English lang + place-name Newton, ‘the new settlement’, Old English niwe + tun.
Information about this place-name was supplied by Victor Watts by personal communication
Long Newton was in the possession of the Balliol family of Barnard Castle. In 1295, John Balliol granted Long Newton to the Bishop of Durham, shortly before his estates were forfeited to King Edward I. The rest of the Barnard Castle Estate was granted to Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and before his death in 1315 the earl had acquired Long Newton as well. The manor remained in the hands of the earls of Warwick until 1499 when it was forfeited by Edward earl of Warwick. During the reign of Charles I (1625-49) the Vanes then became overlords.
See the Victoria History of the County of Durham vol.3 (ed.) William Page (1928)
An Early Mention
From The Close Rolls of King Henry III,  translated and quoted in”The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham” vol.3, R.Surtees (1823)
“The king to his trusty and beloved John Baylyol, on complaint of Walter (de Kirkham), bishop of Durham. Whereas Baylyol’s men had intruded into the church of Long Newton, and occupied the same with armed force: the bishop excommunicated the offenders, and after they had continued forty days impenitent, caused them, as is the custom in our realm, to be seized by the secular arm; and hereupon Eustace de Balyol, Goceline his brother, Henry Fitz-Ralph, and many others, lying in ambush, armed and provided with horse, in a certain wood which lay on the road of the bishop and his retinue, sent certain knights and esquires out of the same wood, who seized the bishop, his clerks, domestics, and with swords and other weapons did irreverently insult and most enormously handle them, and four of the said bishop’s familiars did detain, and to Barnard Castle take, and there imprison them . . . wherefore the king orders John Balyol to release his prisoners and make complete satisfaction to the bishop, that we may hear no more of the matter; otherwise we shall be obliged to lay a differing hand to the business.”
An early mention in literature appears in “Historical, Topographical and Descriptive View of the Count Palatine of Durham”vol .2 by E.Mackenzie and M.Ross (1834)
“Long-Newton, as its name imports, is a long straggling village, extending about half a mile along the Darlington and Stockton road, to within 4ö miles west-by-south of the latter, and 6 miles east-by-north of the former town. It is the residence of two cartwrights, two blacksmiths, a butcher, a tailor, and two shoemakers; and contains a school, two shops, and a public house. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists each have a licensed preaching-room in the village. The family mansion of the Vanes, which was a large brick house, is entirely taken down. The whole parish contains upwards of twenty farms.”
St. Mary’s church. (The medieval church was largely rebuilt in 1806, then completely rebuilt in 1857).
Rectory (17th century, but much altered).
Manor House (18th century).
The Wilson Institute (now the Wilson Centre)(1887)
A Few Lost Buildings
Long Newton Hall demolished before 1823.
White House Farm (17th century) demolished in about 2000.
The Methodist chapel (1901) Standing in 1991. Subsequently demolished.
Some People of Note
John de Balliol (c.1208-1268) of Barnard Castle. As Lord of Long Newton, he clashed with the Bishop of Durham and in repentance he promised to support a house for students at Oxford. His endowments led to the creation of Balliol College.
Ralph Conyers ( ? – 1581) A local landowner who took part in the Rising of the Northern Earls. He was spared execution but his lands at Coatham Conyers (now Coatham Stob) were forfeited.
George Vane (1618-1679) The first of the Vanes to live in Long Newton. He was knighted in 1640 and in 1648 he defended Raby Castle from Royalist troops during the Civil War.
Thomas Rudd (1640-1719) A clergyman, born in Westmorland, who was curate of Stockton for 50 years. He was responsible for the building of Stockton parish church. He later became rector of Long Newton and was buried in the choir of St. Mary’s church.
Lionel Vane (1646-1711) A local landowner who became one of the two M.P.s for County Durham from 1698 to 1702.
Charles Plumtre (1755-1812) A clergyman and author who served as Rector of Long Newton. He was the author of “The Christian Guide”.
The Hearth Tax of 1666
22 houses in Long Newton had 1 or 2 hearths in 1666. The house of “Jno Oliver Gent” had 5 hearths, while the house of “Christ Hall gent” had 6 hearths. The highest tax payer was “Sr Geo Vaine” with 7 hearths. 24 houses were exempt from tax. Adding these to the others makes a total of 49 houses in the parish.
See “Hearth Tax List for South Durham Lady Day 1666” (ed.) J.C.Howe for Cleveland Family History Society.
Parson and White’s Directory of 1828 listed 2 shopkeepers, a butcher, a tailor, 2 shoemakers, 2 blacksmiths, 2 cartwrights and 20 farmers in Long Newton. Margaret Kirk kept the White Horse. There were two licensed preaching rooms in the village, one for the Primitive Methodists and one for the Wesleyans. According to this directory “The old mansion house, which was for many generations occupied by a branch of the family of Vane, is now divided into tenements, and inhabited by labourers.”
Whellan’s Directory of 1856 mentioned a brick and tile works owned by the Marchioness of Londonderry, the Grey Horse, the village post office, and a beerhouse. Also listed were 20 farmers, 3 shopkeepers, a butcher, a tailor, 2 shoemakers and 2 blacksmiths. In Kelly’s Directory of 1914 plenty of farmers were named, as were the Vane Arms and the Londonderry Arms. There was a police station, an elementary school and a post office, but only one shopkeeper and one blacksmith.
A Selection of Dates
1254 John de Balliol’s men seized Long Newton church by force and assaulted the Bishop of Durham’s men.
1318 The minster’s accounts for this year mentioned a windmill at Long Newton.
1437 Bishop Thomas Langley granted the rector the right to enclose part of the churchyard near the rectory to keep pigs.
1501 Reference was made to a religious gild and a chantry in the parish church.
1564 Long Newton parish register was begun.
1569 During the Northern Rising a former rector of Long Newton restored the altar in the parish church and said mass. The altar was removed when the Rising collapsed. Ralph Conyers’ estate at Long Newton was forfeited because of his part in the Northern Rising.
1573 Queen Elizabeth I granted the Conyers’ land to Sir Roger Manners.
1583 John Tunstall left money in his will to repair the causeway in Long Newton.
1613 There is reference to a fulling mill at Long Newton in this year.
1646 Sir George Vane was made High Sheriff of County Sheriff.
1666 Sir George Vane made Long Newton his family seat at some time before this date.
1689 Thomas Baker, Rector of Long Newton, refused to take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary and was deprived of his living.
1794 The last of the Vane family moved away from the hall in Long Newton.
1800 The school was rebuilt.
1806 Rev. Plumptre recorded mature sycamore trees in the churchyard, two of which were still there in the 21st century.
1820 The Primitive Methodist evangelical William Clowes preached in Long Newton.
1854 Charles Vane, Marquis of Londonderry was buried at St. Mary’s.
1857 St. Mary’s church was entirely rebuilt by Lady Londonderry.
1887 The Wilson Institute was built as a library and reading room thanks to a bequest by Rev. Jonathan Wilson.
1901 The Methodist chapel was dedicated.
1904 A carved oak chancel screen was installed in the parish church.
1905 Long Newton Reservoir was completed.
1940 Incendiary bombs were dropped on Long Newton during a wartime air raid.
1944 An R.A.F. Lancaster bomber crashed near Coatham Stob.
1966 Work began on the A66 dual carriageway between Stockton and Darlington, relieving Long Newton from the heavy traffic that ran through the village every day.
1973 St. Mary’s C.E. Primary School was opened. There had previously been a school in the village for at least 150 years. The old building became a Community Centre.
1983 The Methodist Chapel was closed.
1990 The village post office closed about this time.
1999 The first trees were planted in Coatham Wood.
2003 The administration of the Institute passed from St. Mary’s Church to a charity specially set up for the purpose. The name was changed from the Wilson Institute to the Wilson Centre.
In the same year the Big Butterwick Bike Ride, a fund-raising event for the Butterwick Hospice passed through Long Newton . This was the first of what became an annual event.
2008 A new junction and a bridge over the A66 was constructed to improve road safety.
2009 A programme of refurbishment at the Wilson Centre was completed.
2014 The daily bus service through the village was ended.
2017 The Community Centre was closed.
This list of dates was compiled from “The Local Records of Stockton and Neighbourhood” by Thomas Richmond (1868) and other secondary sources.
Suggested Further Reading
“The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham” vol. 3, R.Surtees (1823)
“The Victoria History of the County of Durham” ed. W.Page (1928)
“ The Durham Crown Lordships” D.S.Reid (1990)