Great Aycliffe was originally a township in the ancient parish of Aycliffe in County Durham. It became a separate civil parish in 1866. From 1894 it was part of Darlington Rural District. In 1947 it became the principal settlement in the "new town" of Newton Aycliffe. In 1952 the parish was increased in size by transfers from the parishes of Heighington and Woodham. Between 1974 and 2009 it became part of the larger Sedgefield non-metropolitan district. Since 2009 County Durham has been a unitary authority. (Source: A Vision of Britain through Time)
A Vision of Britain through Time also has an excerpt from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 which combines the ancient parish of Aycliffe with the township and later civil parish of Great Aycliffe. This has been reproduced under Aycliffe here in WeRelate.