Pittington

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Pittington is a village and civil parish in County Durham, in England. It is situated a few miles north-east of Durham. The population as taken at the 2011 census was 2,534.[1]

Pittington is made up of the neighbouring settlements of Low Pittington and High Pittington, which were developed for coal mining by Lambton Collieries. High Pittington, the larger of the two has extended to include the old settlement of Hallgarth.

The civil parish of Pittington includes both villages and the neighbouring village of Littletown.

In the nineteenth century, Hallgarth near Pittington was the scene of a very famous northern murder in which a young nineteen year old servant boy, at a local mill, by the name of Thomas Clarke, was accused of the murder of a servant girl of the same age by the name of Ann Westropp. It was at 6 o'clock in the evening of Sunday 14 August 1831, while the mill owners were away that Thomas Clarke, in a most distressed state, alarmed the residents of the village of Sherburn with the information that six Irishmen had broken into the house at Hallgarth. He claimed that they had ransacked the house for its money, and then assaulted him with a poker before brutally murdering the servant girl. Returning to the mill with the people he had informed, the girl's body was found in the kitchen with several brutal wounds including a cut to her throat from ear to ear. Upon further investigation it was found that money had been stolen from the household and that a whitewashed tool had been used to break into the drawers containing the money. It was then discovered that Clarke's room had recently been whitewashed, and in that room was found a blunt piece of metal which would have fitted the identity of the tool used in the robbery. Further suspicions arose that Clarke was the murderer when it was realised that he bore no signs of an attack upon him. Huge crowds turned out for Clarke's trial at Durham on Valentines Day, 14 February 1831, and despite Clarke's calm plea of innocence, he was found guilty. On Monday 28 February he was hanged on the order of the judge. His last words were;"Gentlemen I am innocent, I am going to suffer for another man's crime". The Hallgarth murder became the subject of an interesting local ballad: Eighteen hundred three times ten, August the eighth that day, Let not that Sunday and that year, From memory pass away, At Hallgath Mill near Pittington, Was done a murder foul,The female weak- the murderer strong,No pity for her soul., Her skull was broke, her throat was cut, Her struggle was soon o'er; And down she fell, and fetched a sigh, And weltered in her gore. Her fellow servant, Thomas Clarke,To Sherburn slowly sped, And told a tale that strangers six Had done the dreadful deed. Now, woe betide thee, Thomas Clarke! For this thy coward lie; A youth like thee for girl like her Would fight till he did die. "They've killed the lass," it was his tale," and nearly have killed me"; But when upon him folk did look, No bruises could they see.

Education[edit]

Pittington Primary School is a school of approximately 180 pupils ranging from 3 to 11 years of age. The school logo is one hedgehog.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 20 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°48′N 1°29′W / 54.800°N 1.483°W / 54.800; -1.483