St. Edmund’s Church
The parish was founded by Bishop Cutheard in about AD 900. The Normans replaced the original wooden church with a stone building with rounded arches and the present church was built between 1246 and 1256, with later additions. The church contains some fine brasses and 17th century woodwork.
Formerly the Rectory, now home to Sedgefield Community Association, the Latin inscription above the door translates as “By the generosity of Samuel and Shute Barrington, one an Admiral of the Fleet, the other Bishop of Durham, whose achievements are praised by everyone.” The hall was rebuilt in 1793 by the Barringtons for their nephew, the rector. The grounds, now a pleasant public area, were laid out in the mid 18th century to a design by Joseph Spence. The previous rectory was destroyed by fire, which may also have exorcised the ghost of the Pickled Parson, who still lives on in legend.
The Manor House
Occupying a prominent position at the head of the green, the three storey Manor House is a fine example of Queen Anne architecture. Built in 1707, as the sundial on the house proclaims, the house was part of the Hardwick Estate until 1923. The house has been carefully restored and is currently in use as offices.
The Parish Hall
Founded in 1849 as an Institute of Literature and Science, but later rebuilt as a Mechanics Institute, the distinctive front of the parish hall was a reflection of its important status in the community. Extensively refurbished in 2008, the hall retains its central importance to the people of Sedgefield, hosting a wide variety of social events and entertainment.
The Market Cross
2012 sees the 700th anniversary of the granting of Sedgefield’s market charter. The market was held on Cross Hill from 1312 until 1918. The original market cross, removed during the 19th century, will be replaced in 2012 by a modern version produced by a local designer. A farmers’ market is held on the village green on the second Sunday of every month.
Shrove Tuesday Ball Game Statue
Erected in 2000 to commemorate the millennium, the statue beside the church represents a tradition alleged to go back for at least 700 years. Played with a special ball recreated every year, rather like a cricket ball but larger and with a verse written on it, the ball is alleyed through the bull ring at the top of the village, thrown up in the air by a village elder, then kicked and thrown with varying degrees of accuracy until the eventual winner returns the ball through the bull ring many hours (and several pints) later. The bull ring also marks the beginning and end of Sedgefield Heritage Trail, devised by Sedgefield Local History Group.