St Edmund's Church at Sedgefield
Sedgefield shown within County Durham
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||County Durham|
|Ceremonial county||County Durham|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||County Durham and Darlington|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Sedgefield has attracted particular attention as the Member of Parliament for the wider Sedgefield constituency was the former Prime Minister Tony Blair; he was the area's MP from 1983 to 2007, leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007.
During November 2003, Sedgefield was visited by the American president George W. Bush during a state visit. He visited a local pub, as well as the local secondary school (Sedgefield Community College). This event was preceded by high-intensity security, which included fastening down manhole covers and drains, and closing the centre of the village to all traffic. An anti-war protest coincided with his visit.
St Edmund's church in Sedgefield is noted for its ornate 17th century Cosin woodwork, unique to County Durham: this is especially precious now that the display in Brancepeth has perished through fire.
The 18th century saw the architect James Paine commissioned by John Burdon in 1754 to design and construct a Palladian estate at nearby Hardwick Hall. Unfortunately the building work was never completed as Burdon went bankrupt, but sufficient landscaping was done to form the basis of the now renovated Hardwick Hall Country Park.
The 19th century South African politician and industrialist Henry Barrington was born in Sedgefield and actions by his offsprings indirectly lead to the South African town Sedgefield, Western Cape being named in honour of his birthplace.
In the 19th century, Sedgefield was a great hunting centre, dubbed 'the Melton of the North'. Ralph Lambton, the celebrated hunting man, had his headquarters at Sedgefield: the humorous writer, Robert Smith Surtees, who lived at Hamsterley Hall, was a friend of his. On 23 February 1815, (while Lord Byron was moping at Seaham Hall, not far away) Lord Darlington writes: 'Mr Ralph Lambton was out with some gentlemen from Sedgefield, and a most immense field.'
Sedgefield was also known in the area because of the very large complex Winterton Hospital. This in its time was an isolation hospital and an 'asylum'. The site was like a village itself with its own fire station, bank and cricket team. Today little trace is left of the hospital apart from the church which is now surrounded by the Winterton housing estate and the NETPark Science park.
Culture & Customs
There are a number of sporting venues and organisations in Sedgefield, the most famous of which is probably Sedgefield Racecourse, a regional thoroughbred horse-racing venue. There have been horse races since as early as 1732, and in 1846 officially recognised meetings began. Sedgefield Cricket Club is situated on the outskirts of the town on Station Road. The ground was donated to the people of Sedgfield around the turn of the nineteenth century and is home to a number of senior and junior teams. Reformed in 2007, Sedgefield RUFC are based at the cricket club, and have had several successful seasons in the Durham/Northumberland 3 League.
At the end of the 1970s a group of friends started gathering to ride their motocross bikes at a farm in Low Hardwick. Today Quad Sport Leisure is one of very few sites in the North East of England where people can legally ride their quad bikes off road. Occasionally, motocross tracks are available to the public for recreational use, and quads are available for hire suitable for all age groups from infants upwards. A "Bring your own" quad track, designed by a professional quad racer to include two large jumps, is also available.
Sedgefield Squash Club has two courts behind Ceddesfield Hall in the village. The club has 2 Men's and one Ladies team in the Durham and Cleveland Leagues. Sedgefield Youth Football Club (SYFC) run an under 12's team in the Teesside junior football alliance. They are based at the local community college. Sedgefield Tennis Club play on three courts at the Community College. The club enters one Ladies team, one Mixed Team, and two Men's teams in the Cleveland Tennis League. Sedgefield ST Edmunds F.C play in the Swinburn Maddison Premier League.
Knotty Hill Golf Centre is a 45-hole golf course, opened in the mid nineties. The Princes and the Bishops courses are both 18 holes, and another nine holes is made up by the Academy course.
One of the most dynamic of the sporting groups in Sedgefield, Sedgefield Harriers are a local running and athletics club based at Sedgefield Community College. They compete in road races, in fell races (mainly on the North York Moors), in cross country and on the track. There is a large junior section which competes in track and field competitions and cross country. The club hosts the Serpentine Trail Race each September, Summer and Winter open handicaps in January and July and the Neptune Relays in April.
In 2011 Sedgefield Harriers were recognised by England Athletics as National Development Club of the Year and by UK Athletics as Club of the Year - notable achievements by a club based in such a small town.
In August 2013, the club announced its intention of raising £450,000.00 to construct a full sized athletics facility in the grounds of the Community College.
Bradley Saunders (born 4 February 1986 in Stockton-on-Tees) is an English professional boxer who won a silver medal in the light welterweight division at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, gold at the 2009 European Union Amateur Boxing Championships and bronze at the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships, lives in Sedgefield.
Mark Gatiss - Actor and writer for the BBC show Dr Who and Co-creator (along with Stephen Moffat) of the popular BBC series Sherlock in which he also acted was born in Sedgefield and lived opposite to Winterton hospital where his parents worked.
- Sedgefield Town Council
- Sedgefield Racecourse
- Sedgefield Cricket Club
- Sedgefield Harriers
- Sedgefield Squash Club
- Sedgefield Tennis Club
- Sedgefield Rugby Club.