Hilton (County Durham)
Hilton is a small village, about eight miles to the north-west of Darlington, and close to West Auckland and Staindrop. There are few early remains from the parish. The most important building is Hilton Hall. Although it is now mainly of 16th century date it contains the remains of an earlier, medieval chapel, dedicated to the Blessed Catherine. This was built by Thomas Baldor in 1219. It was rectangular in shape and had thick stone walls.
Just to the south of Hilton Hall lie a number of large earthworks- in the form of two large ditches. It is possible that they are all that survive of medieval fishponds. These would have contained fish used as a source of food by the inhabitants of the hall. It is likely that there was also a small village surrounding the hall, though there are no remains to be seen.
The church (St. Peter) is a small edifice, believed to date from the 11th century, and still retains two of its ancient Norman doorways. It was restored in 1873. A small stone screen behind the altar, with a marble cross in the centre, was erected, in 1887, to the memory of Douglas Errol Hay, son of Richard Henry Hay. In the 19th century a small school was built.
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