A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Barmston from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:
Barmston was a township in the ancient parish of Washington. It became a separate civil parish in 1866. From 1894 until 1922 it was part of Chester le Street Rural District. In 1922 the civil parish was abolished and the area was absorbed into the urban district of Washington. It became part of Washington civil parish in 1935.