County Durham

County Durham

Overview
County Durham ˈ is a ceremonial county
Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties are areas of England to which are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as counties and areas for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997...

 and (smaller) unitary district in north east England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. The county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 is Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county (in its own unitary Borough
Darlington (borough)
Darlington is a local government district and borough in North East England. In 2008 it had a resident population of 100,500 It borders County Durham to the north and west, North Yorkshire to the south along the line of the River Tees, and Stockton-on-Tees to the east.-Council:Traditionally part of...

) is the town of Darlington
Darlington
Darlington is a market town in the Borough of Darlington, part of the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It lies on the small River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees, not far from the main river. It is the main population centre in the borough, with a population of 97,838 as of 2001...

. The county has a mixture of mining and farming heritage, as well as a heavy railway industry, particularity in the southwest of the county in Darlington, Shildon
Shildon
Shildon is a town in County Durham, in England. It is situated 2 miles to the south east of Bishop Auckland and 11 miles north of Darlington. It is 13 miles away from Durham, 23 miles from Sunderland and 23 miles from Newcastle-upon-Tyne...

 and Stockton
Stockton-on-Tees
Stockton-on-Tees is a market town in north east England. It is the major settlement in the unitary authority and borough of Stockton-on-Tees. For ceremonial purposes, the borough is split between County Durham and North Yorkshire as it also incorporates a number of smaller towns including...

. Its economy was historically based on coal and iron mining.
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Encyclopedia
County Durham ˈ is a ceremonial county
Ceremonial counties of England
The ceremonial counties are areas of England to which are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as counties and areas for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997...

 and (smaller) unitary district in north east England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. The county town
County town
A county town is a county's administrative centre in the United Kingdom or Ireland. County towns are usually the location of administrative or judicial functions, or established over time as the de facto main town of a county. The concept of a county town eventually became detached from its...

 is Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county (in its own unitary Borough
Darlington (borough)
Darlington is a local government district and borough in North East England. In 2008 it had a resident population of 100,500 It borders County Durham to the north and west, North Yorkshire to the south along the line of the River Tees, and Stockton-on-Tees to the east.-Council:Traditionally part of...

) is the town of Darlington
Darlington
Darlington is a market town in the Borough of Darlington, part of the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It lies on the small River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees, not far from the main river. It is the main population centre in the borough, with a population of 97,838 as of 2001...

. The county has a mixture of mining and farming heritage, as well as a heavy railway industry, particularity in the southwest of the county in Darlington, Shildon
Shildon
Shildon is a town in County Durham, in England. It is situated 2 miles to the south east of Bishop Auckland and 11 miles north of Darlington. It is 13 miles away from Durham, 23 miles from Sunderland and 23 miles from Newcastle-upon-Tyne...

 and Stockton
Stockton-on-Tees
Stockton-on-Tees is a market town in north east England. It is the major settlement in the unitary authority and borough of Stockton-on-Tees. For ceremonial purposes, the borough is split between County Durham and North Yorkshire as it also incorporates a number of smaller towns including...

. Its economy was historically based on coal and iron mining. It is an area of regeneration and promoted as a tourist destination.

The ceremonial county borders Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear is a metropolitan county in north east England around the mouths of the Rivers Tyne and Wear. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972...

, North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

, Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

 and Northumberland
Northumberland
Northumberland is the northernmost ceremonial county and a unitary district in North East England. For Eurostat purposes Northumberland is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "Northumberland and Tyne and Wear" NUTS 2 region...

 and forms part of the North East England
North East England
North East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside . The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland...

 region.

Etymology


Many counties are named after their principal town, and the expected form here would be Durhamshire. The county is commonly known as County Durham but was officially named Durham until at least 1997. The structural change legislation in 2009, however, referred to the county of County Durham. The former postal county was known as "County Durham" to distinguish it from the post town
Post town
A post town is a required part of all postal addresses in the United Kingdom, and a basic unit of the postal delivery system. Including the correct post town in the address increases the chances of a letter or parcel being delivered on time. Post towns are usually based upon the location of...

 of Durham. Durham is the only English county name to be prefixed with "County" in common usage - a practice more common in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

.

Local government


The ceremonial county of Durham is administered by four unitary authorities
Unitary authority
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national...

. The ceremonial county has no administrative function, but remains the area to which a Lord-Lieutenant
Lord Lieutenant of Durham
This is a list of people who have served as Lord Lieutenant of Durham.*Henry Neville, 5th Earl of Westmorland 1552–?*Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon 2 August 1586 – 1595*vacant...

 and High Sheriff
High Sheriff
A high sheriff is, or was, a law enforcement officer in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.In England and Wales, the office is unpaid and partly ceremonial, appointed by the Crown through a warrant from the Privy Council. In Cornwall, the High Sheriff is appointed by the Duke of...

 are appointed.
  • County Durham (governed by Durham County Council). The unitary district was formed on 1 April 2009 replacing the previous two-tier system of a county council providing strategic services and seven district councils providing more local facilities. It has 126 councillors. The seven districts abolished were:
    • Chester-le-Street
      Chester-le-Street (district)
      Chester-le-Street was a local government district in County Durham, England. Its council was based in Chester-le-Street. Other places in the district included Great Lumley and Sacriston.- Formation :...

      , including the Lumley, Pelton and Sacriston
      Sacriston
      Sacriston is a village and civil parish in County Durham, England, situated north of the city of Durham.Although the area has been populated since the Bronze Age, the first recorded settlement dated back to the 13th century to Sacristan's Heugh. According to old maps it was once known as...

       areas
    • Derwentside
      Derwentside
      Derwentside was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district in County Durham, England.The district took its name from the River Derwent, which made up part of the northern border of the district. Its main towns were Consett and Stanley, with the district council offices on Consett's Medomsley...

      , including Consett
      Consett
      Consett is a town in the northwest of County Durham, England, about southwest of Newcastle upon Tyne. It is home to 27,394 .Consett sits high on the edge of the Pennines. In 1841, it was a village community of only 145, but it was about to become a boom town: below the ground was coking coal and...

       and Stanley
      Stanley, County Durham
      Stanley is a former colliery town and civil parish in County Durham, England. Centred on a hilltop between Chester-le-Street and Consett, the town lies south west of Gateshead....

    • City of Durham, including Durham
      Durham
      Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

       city and the surrounding areas
    • Easington
      Easington (district)
      Easington was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district in eastern County Durham, England. It contained the settlements of Easington, Seaham, Peterlee, Murton, Horden, Blackhall, Wingate and Castle Eden...

      , including Seaham
      Seaham
      Seaham, formerly Seaham Harbour, is a small town in County Durham, situated south of Sunderland and east of Durham. It has a small parish church, St Mary the Virgin, with a late 7th century Anglo Saxon nave resembling the church at Escomb in many respects. St Mary the Virgin is regarded as one of...

       and the new town
      New town
      A new town is a specific type of a planned community, or planned city, that was carefully planned from its inception and is typically constructed in a previously undeveloped area. This contrasts with settlements that evolve in a more ad hoc fashion. Land use conflicts are uncommon in new...

       of Peterlee
      Peterlee
      Peterlee is a new town in County Durham, England. Founded in 1948, Peterlee town originally mostly housed coal miners and their families.Peterlee has strong economic and community ties with Sunderland and Hartlepool.-Peterlee:...

    • Borough of Sedgefield
      Sedgefield (borough)
      Sedgefield was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district and borough in County Durham, in North East England. It had a population of about 87,000 . It was named after Sedgefield; but its largest town was Newton Aycliffe...

      , including Spennymoor
      Spennymoor
      Spennymoor is a town in County Durham, England. It stands above the Wear Valley approximately seven miles south of Durham. The town was founded over 160 years ago...

       and Newton Aycliffe
      Newton Aycliffe
      Newton Aycliffe is a town in County Durham, England. Founded in 1947 under the New Towns Act of 1946, it is the oldest new town in the north of England.-Geography:...

    • Teesdale
      Teesdale (district)
      Teesdale was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district in County Durham, England. Its council was based in Barnard Castle and it was named after the valley of the River Tees....

      , including Barnard Castle
      Barnard Castle
      Barnard Castle is an historical town in Teesdale, County Durham, England. It is named after the castle around which it grew up. It sits on the north side of the River Tees, opposite Startforth, south southwest of Newcastle upon Tyne, south southwest of Sunderland, west of Middlesbrough and ...

       and the villages of Teesdale
    • Wear Valley
      Wear Valley
      Wear Valley was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district in County Durham, England. Its council was based in Crook.The district covered much of the Weardale area. In the west it was parished and rural, whereas in the east it was more urban...

      , including Bishop Auckland
      Bishop Auckland
      Bishop Auckland is a market town and civil parish in County Durham in north east England. It is located about northwest of Darlington and southwest of Durham at the confluence of the River Wear with its tributary the River Gaunless...

      , Crook
      Crook, County Durham
      Crook is a market town in County Durham, England. It is situated about 10 miles south-west of Durham.Crook lies a couple of miles north of the River Wear, on the A690 from Durham...

      , Willington
      Willington, County Durham
      Willington is a former-pit town in County Durham, England. It is in the foothills of the Pennines and near the River Wear close to Crook and Bishop Auckland. Like many communities in the area, Willington's economy was largely based on coal mining. The closure of the colliery in 1967 therefore hit...

      , Hunwick, and the villages along Weardale
      Weardale
      Weardale is a dale, or valley, of the east side of the Pennines in County Durham, in England. Large parts of Weardale fall within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the second largest AONB in England and Wales. The upper valley is surrounded by high fells and heather grouse...

  • The Borough of Darlington
    Darlington (borough)
    Darlington is a local government district and borough in North East England. In 2008 it had a resident population of 100,500 It borders County Durham to the north and west, North Yorkshire to the south along the line of the River Tees, and Stockton-on-Tees to the east.-Council:Traditionally part of...

    : previous to 1 April 1997 the borough came under the control of Durham County Council.
  • The Borough of Hartlepool
    Hartlepool (borough)
    Hartlepool is a unitary authority in the ceremonial county of County Durham, north east England. In 2003 it had a resident population of 90,161. It borders the non-metropolitan county of County Durham to the north, Stockton-on-Tees to the south and Redcar and Cleveland to the south-east along the...

    : Until 1 April 1996 the borough was one of four districts in the County of Cleveland.
  • The part of the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees
    Stockton-on-Tees (borough)
    Stockton-on-Tees is a unitary authority area and borough in the Tees Valley area of north east England, with a population in 2001 of 178,408, rising to 185,880 in 2005 estimates....

     that is north of the centre of the River Tees
    River Tees
    The River Tees is in Northern England. It rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows eastwards for 85 miles to reach the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar.-Geography:...

    . Stockton was also part of Cleveland until 1996. The remainder of the borough is part of the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire
    North Yorkshire
    North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

    .

Emergency services


Durham Constabulary
Durham Constabulary
Durham Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for policing the non-metropolitan county of County Durham and the unitary authority of Darlington. The force covers the 2,232 km² of the county which has a resident population of 595,308. It is one of the smaller forces of the...

 operate in the area of the two unitary districts of County Durham and Darlington. Members of Darlington and Durham councils appoint members to the Durham Police Authority.
The other areas in the ceremonial county fall within the police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

 area of the Cleveland Police
Cleveland Police
Cleveland Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing the area of former county of Cleveland in north east England. The Cleveland Police area covers approximately and has a population of over 554,000....

.

Fire service areas follow the same areas as the police with County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering an area of , for the unitary authority areas of County Durham and Darlington...

 serving the two unitary districts of County Durham and Darlington
Darlington
Darlington is a market town in the Borough of Darlington, part of the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It lies on the small River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees, not far from the main river. It is the main population centre in the borough, with a population of 97,838 as of 2001...

 and Cleveland Fire Brigade
Cleveland Fire Brigade
Cleveland Fire Brigade is the statutory fire and rescue service covering the boroughs of Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland & Stockton-on-Tees in the North East of England. The name originates from the former county of Cleveland which was abolished in 1996...

 covering the rest. County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering an area of , for the unitary authority areas of County Durham and Darlington...

 is under the supervision of a combined fire authority consiting of 25 local councillors: 21 from Durham County Council and 4 from Darlington Borough Council.

The North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust
North East Ambulance Service
The North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust is the authority responsible for providing NHS ambulance services in North East England, covering the counties of County Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear and the boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and...

 are responsible for providing NHS
National Health Service (England)
The National Health Service or NHS is the publicly funded healthcare system in England. It is both the largest and oldest single-payer healthcare system in the world. It is able to function in the way that it does because it is primarily funded through the general taxation system, similar to how...

 ambulance
Ambulance
An ambulance is a vehicle for transportation of sick or injured people to, from or between places of treatment for an illness or injury, and in some instances will also provide out of hospital medical care to the patient...

 services throughout the ceremonial county, plus the boroughs of Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough is a large town situated on the south bank of the River Tees in north east England, that sits within the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire...

 and Redcar and Cleveland
Redcar and Cleveland
The borough of Redcar & Cleveland is a unitary authority in the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, England consisting of Redcar, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Guisborough, and small towns such as Brotton, Eston, Skelton and Loftus. It had a resident population of 139,132 in 2001, and is part of the Tees...

, which are south of the River Tees
River Tees
The River Tees is in Northern England. It rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows eastwards for 85 miles to reach the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar.-Geography:...

 and therefore in North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan or shire county located in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and a ceremonial county primarily in that region but partly in North East England. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972 it covers an area of , making it the largest...

, but remain part of North East England.

Air Ambulance services are provided by the Great North Air Ambulance
Great North Air Ambulance
The Great North Air Ambulance Service is an English charity based in the United Kingdom. It provides air ambulance services across the North of England from the Scottish border south to North Yorkshire in the east and Cumbria in the west. It currently operates two helicopters, one near Penrith,...

. The charity operates 3 helicopters including one at Durham Tees Valley Airport
Durham Tees Valley Airport
Durham Tees Valley Airport is an international airport in north east England, located southeast of Darlington, about southwest of Middlesbrough and south of Durham. The airport serves County Durham and parts of North Yorkshire, and is in Middleton St George in the borough of Darlington...

 covering the County Durham area.

Teesdale
Teesdale
Teesdale is a dale, or valley, of the east side of the Pennines in England. Large parts of Teesdale fall within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the second largest AONB in England and Wales. The River Tees rises below Cross Fell, the highest hill in the Pennines, and its...

 and Weardale
Weardale
Weardale is a dale, or valley, of the east side of the Pennines in County Durham, in England. Large parts of Weardale fall within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the second largest AONB in England and Wales. The upper valley is surrounded by high fells and heather grouse...

 Search and Mountain Rescue
Mountain rescue in England and Wales
Mountain rescue services in England and Wales operate under the umbrella association of the MREW - Mountain Rescue...

 Team, based at the Durham Constabulary
Durham Constabulary
Durham Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for policing the non-metropolitan county of County Durham and the unitary authority of Darlington. The force covers the 2,232 km² of the county which has a resident population of 595,308. It is one of the smaller forces of the...

 base in Barnard Castle
Barnard Castle
Barnard Castle is an historical town in Teesdale, County Durham, England. It is named after the castle around which it grew up. It sits on the north side of the River Tees, opposite Startforth, south southwest of Newcastle upon Tyne, south southwest of Sunderland, west of Middlesbrough and ...

, respond to search and rescue incidents in the county.

County Palatine of Durham


The territory that became known as County Durham was originally a liberty
Liberty (division)
Originating in the Middle Ages, a liberty was traditionally defined as an area in which regalian rights were revoked and where land was held by a mesne lord...

 under the control of the Bishops of Durham. The liberty was known variously as the "Liberty of Durham", "Liberty of St Cuthbert's Land" "The lands of St. Cuthbert between Tyne and Tees" or "The Liberty of Haliwerfolc".

The bishops' special jurisdiction was based on claims that King Ecgfrith of Northumbria
Ecgfrith of Northumbria
King Ecgfrith was the King of Northumbria from 670 until his death. He ruled over Northumbria when it was at the height of its power, but his reign ended with a disastrous defeat in which he lost his life.-Early life:...

 had granted a substantial territory to St Cuthbert
Cuthbert of Lindisfarne
Saint Cuthbert was an Anglo-Saxon monk, bishop and hermit associated with the monasteries of Melrose and Lindisfarne in the Kingdom of Northumbria, at that time including, in modern terms, northern England as well as south-eastern Scotland as far as the Firth of Forth...

 on his election to the see
Episcopal See
An episcopal see is, in the original sense, the official seat of a bishop. This seat, which is also referred to as the bishop's cathedra, is placed in the bishop's principal church, which is therefore called the bishop's cathedral...

 of Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne
Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the north-east coast of England. It is also known as Holy Island and constitutes a civil parish in Northumberland...

 in 684. In about 883, a cathedral housing the saint's remains was established at Chester-le-Street
Chester-le-Street
Chester-le-Street is a town in County Durham, England. It has a history going back to Roman times when it was called Concangis. The town is located south of Newcastle upon Tyne and west of Sunderland on the River Wear...

 and Guthfrith, King of York
Guthfrith, King of York
Guthfrith was the king of Northumbria from circa 883 until his death.The first known king of Viking York, Halfdan, was expelled in 877. In c. 883, Symeon of Durham's History of the Kings simply states, "Guthred, from a slave, was made king", but his History of the Church of Durham gives a longer...

 granted the community of St Cuthbert the area between the Tyne
River Tyne
The River Tyne is a river in North East England in Great Britain. It is formed by the confluence of two rivers: the North Tyne and the South Tyne. These two rivers converge at Warden Rock near Hexham in Northumberland at a place dubbed 'The Meeting of the Waters'.The North Tyne rises on the...

 and the Wear
River Wear
The River Wear is located in North East England, rising in the Pennines and flowing eastwards, mostly through County Durham, to the North Sea at Sunderland.-Geology and history:...

. In 995 the see was moved again to Durham.

Following the Norman invasion
Norman conquest of England
The Norman conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy. William became known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, defeating King Harold II of England...

, the administrative machinery of government was only slowly extended to northern England. In the twelfth century a shire or county of Northumberland was formed, and Durham was considered to be within its bounds. However the authority of the sheriff of Northumberland and his officials was disputed by the bishops. The crown still regarded Durham as falling within Northumberland until the late thirteenth century. Matters came to a head in 1293 when the bishop and his steward failed to attend proceedings of quo warranto
Quo warranto
Quo warranto is a prerogative writ requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority they have for exercising some right or power they claim to hold.-History:...

 held by the justices of Northumberland. The bishops' case was heard in parliament, where he stated that Durham lay outside the bounds of any English shire and that "from time immemorial it had been widely known that the sheriff of Northumberland was not sheriff of Durham nor entered within that liberty as sheriff. . . nor made there proclamations or attachments". The arguments appear to have been accepted, as by the fourteenth century Durham was accepted as a liberty which received royal mandates direct. In effect it was a private shire, with the bishop appointing his own sheriff. The area eventually became known as the "County Palatine
County palatine
A county palatine or palatinate is an area ruled by an hereditary nobleman possessing special authority and autonomy from the rest of a kingdom or empire. The name derives from the Latin adjective palatinus, "relating to the palace", from the noun palatium, "palace"...

 of Durham".

Sadberge
Sadberge
Sadberge is a village in the borough of Darlington and ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It is situated between Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees. The village of Sadberge was once the Wapentake of the Viking settled area north of the Tees known as the Earldom of Sadberge which stretched...

 was a liberty, sometimes referred to as a county, within Northumberland. In 1189 it was purchased for the see but continued with a separate sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

, coroner
Coroner
A coroner is a government official who* Investigates human deaths* Determines cause of death* Issues death certificates* Maintains death records* Responds to deaths in mass disasters* Identifies unknown dead* Other functions depending on local laws...

 and court of pleas. In the 14th century Sadberge was included in Stockton
Stockton-on-Tees
Stockton-on-Tees is a market town in north east England. It is the major settlement in the unitary authority and borough of Stockton-on-Tees. For ceremonial purposes, the borough is split between County Durham and North Yorkshire as it also incorporates a number of smaller towns including...

 ward and was itself divided into two wards. The division into the four wards of, Chester-le-Street, Darlington
Darlington
Darlington is a market town in the Borough of Darlington, part of the ceremonial county of County Durham, England. It lies on the small River Skerne, a tributary of the River Tees, not far from the main river. It is the main population centre in the borough, with a population of 97,838 as of 2001...

, Easington
Easington (district)
Easington was, from 1974 to 2009, a local government district in eastern County Durham, England. It contained the settlements of Easington, Seaham, Peterlee, Murton, Horden, Blackhall, Wingate and Castle Eden...

 and Stockton existed in the 13th century, each ward having its own coroner and a three-weekly court corresponding to the hundred
Hundred (division)
A hundred is a geographic division formerly used in England, Wales, Denmark, South Australia, some parts of the United States, Germany , Sweden, Finland and Norway, which historically was used to divide a larger region into smaller administrative divisions...

 court. The diocese
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

 was divided into the archdeacon
Archdeacon
An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in Anglicanism, Syrian Malabar Nasrani, Chaldean Catholic, and some other Christian denominations, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. In the High Middle Ages it was the most senior diocesan position below a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church...

ries of Durham and Northumberland. The former is mentioned in 1072, and in 1291 included the deaneries of Chester-le-Street, Auckland, Lanchester
Lanchester, County Durham
Lanchester is a village and civil parish in County Durham, England, and was in the former district of Derwentside . It is to the west of the city of Durham and from the former steel town of Consett, and has a population of slightly over 4,000 people.Although there was a small drift mine on the...

 and Darlington.

The term palatinus is applied to the bishop in 1293, and from the 13th century onwards the bishops frequently claimed the same rights in their lands as the king enjoyed in his kingdom.

Early administration



At its historic
Historic counties of England
The historic counties of England are subdivisions of England established for administration by the Normans and in most cases based on earlier Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and shires...

 extent, Durham included a main body covering the Catchment
Catchment area (human geography)
In human geography, a catchment area is the area and population from which a city or individual service attracts visitors or customers. For example, a school catchment area is the geographic area from which students are eligible to attend a local school...

 of the Pennines
Pennines
The Pennines are a low-rising mountain range, separating the North West of England from Yorkshire and the North East.Often described as the "backbone of England", they form a more-or-less continuous range stretching from the Peak District in Derbyshire, around the northern and eastern edges of...

 in the west, the River Tees
River Tees
The River Tees is in Northern England. It rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows eastwards for 85 miles to reach the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar.-Geography:...

 in the south, the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 in the east and the Rivers Tyne
River Tyne
The River Tyne is a river in North East England in Great Britain. It is formed by the confluence of two rivers: the North Tyne and the South Tyne. These two rivers converge at Warden Rock near Hexham in Northumberland at a place dubbed 'The Meeting of the Waters'.The North Tyne rises on the...

 and Derwent
River Derwent, North East England
The River Derwent is a river on the border between County Durham and Northumberland in the north east of England. It broadens into the Derwent Reservoir, west of Consett. The Derwent is a tributary of the River Tyne, which it joins near the MetroCentre...

 in the north. The county had a number of exclaves: Bedlingtonshire
Bedlingtonshire
Bedlingtonshire is an area in north east England, consisting solely of the parish of Bedlington. It was an urban district in the county of Northumberland from 1894...

, Islandshire
Islandshire
Islandshire was an area of Northumberland, England, comprising Lindisfarne or Holy Island, plus five parishes on the mainland.It is historically associated with the Bishop of Durham, and was administratively an exclave of County Palatinate of Durham...

 and Norhamshire
Norhamshire
Norhamshire was an exclave of County Durham in England. It was first mentioned in 995, when it formed part of the lands of the priory at Lindisfarne...

 within Northumberland, and Craikshire
Crayke
Crayke is a village and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England, about two miles east of Easingwold.The parish was formerly a detached part of County Durham , due to its connection with St Cuthbert and the Bishop of Durham, who had a castle at Crayke.The seventh-century...

 within the North Riding of Yorkshire. In 1831 the county covered an area of 679530 acres (2,750 km²) and had a population of 253,910.
The historic boundaries were used for parliamentary purposes until 1832, and for judicial and local government purposes until the coming into force of the Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844
Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844
The Counties Act 1844 , which came into effect on 20 October 1844, was an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which eliminated many outliers or exclaves of counties in England and Wales for civil purposes....

, which merged most remaining exclaves with their surrounding county.

Until the 15th century the most important administrative officer in the palatinate was the steward
Steward (office)
A steward is an official who is appointed by the legal ruling monarch to represent him or her in a country, and may have a mandate to govern it in his or her name; in the latter case, it roughly corresponds with the position of governor or deputy...

. Other officers were the sheriff, the coroners, the Chamberlain
Chamberlain (office)
A chamberlain is an officer in charge of managing a household. In many countries there are ceremonial posts associated with the household of the sovereign....

 and the chancellor
Chancellor
Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

. The palatine exchequer was organized in the 12th century. The palatine assembly represented the whole county, and dealt chiefly with fiscal questions. The bishops council, consisting of the clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

, the sheriff and the baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

s, regulated the judicial affairs, and later produced the Chancery
Court of equity
A chancery court, equity court or court of equity is a court that is authorized to apply principles of equity, as opposed to law, to cases brought before it.These courts began with petitions to the Lord Chancellor of England...

 and the courts of Admiralty and Marshalsea
Marshalsea
The Marshalsea was a prison on the south bank of the River Thames in Southwark, now part of London. From the 14th century until it closed in 1842, it housed men under court martial for crimes at sea, including those accused of "unnatural crimes", political figures and intellectuals accused of...

.

Durham city
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

 was captured by a Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 army in 1069. There was a rebellion against the new Norman earl Robert de Comines, who was killed. However, County Durham largely missed the Harrying of the North
Harrying of the North
The Harrying of the North was a series of campaigns waged by William the Conqueror in the winter of 1069–1070 to subjugate Northern England, and is part of the Norman conquest of England...

 that was designed to subjugate such rebellions.
The best remains of the Norman period are to be found in Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The Bishopric dates from 995, with the present cathedral being founded in AD 1093...

 and in the castle
Durham Castle
Durham Castle is a Norman castle in the city of Durham, England, which has been wholly occupied since 1840 by University College, Durham. It is open to the general public to visit, but only through guided tours, since it is in use as a working building and is home to over 100 students...

, also in some few parish
Parish
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

 churches, as at Pittington and Norton in Stockton. Of the Early English period
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 are the eastern portion of the cathedral, the churches of Darlington, Hartlepool, and St Andrew, Auckland, Sedgefield, and portions of a few other churches.

The prior
Prior
Prior is an ecclesiastical title, derived from the Latin adjective for 'earlier, first', with several notable uses.-Monastic superiors:A Prior is a monastic superior, usually lower in rank than an Abbot. In the Rule of St...

 of Durham ranked first among the bishop's barons. He had his own court, and almost exclusive jurisdiction over his men. There were ten palatinate barons in the 12th century, the most important being the Hyltons
Baron Hylton
Baron Hylton is a title that has been created twice, once in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The first creation came in the Peerage of England 1295 when Robert Hylton was summoned to the Model Parliament as Lord Hylton by writ. His son, Alexander, was called to...

 of Hylton Castle
Hylton Castle
Hylton Castle is a ruined stone castle in the North Hylton area of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England. Originally built from wood by the Hilton family shortly after the Norman Conquest in 1066, it was later rebuilt in stone in the late 14th to early 15th century...

, the Bulmers of Brancepeth
Brancepeth
Brancepeth is a village and civil parish in County Durham, in England. It is situated about from Durham on the A690 road between Durham and Weardale. Brancepeth Castle was until 1570 the fortress of the Neville Earls of Westmorland. The castle was extensively modified and rebuilt in the 19th century...

, the Conyers of Sockburne, the Hansards of Evenwood, and the Lumleys
Earl of Scarbrough
Earl of Scarbrough is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1690 for Richard Lumley, 2nd Viscount Lumley. He is best remembered as one of the Immortal Seven who invited William of Orange to invade England and depose his father-in-law James II...

 of Lumley Castle
Lumley Castle
Lumley Castle is a 14th century quadrangular castle at Chester-le-Street in the North of England, near to the city of Durham and a property of the Earl of Scarbrough. It is a Grade I listed building.-History:...

. The Nevilles owned large estates in the county. Raby Castle
Raby Castle
Raby Castle is situated near Staindrop in County Durham and is one of the largest inhabited castles in England. The Grade I listed building has opulent eighteenth and nineteenth century interiors inside a largely unchanged, late medieval shell. It is the home and seat of John Vane, 11th Baron...

, their principal seat, was rebuilt by John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby
John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby
John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby, KG was born at Castle Raby, County Durham, England to Ralph Neville, 2nd Baron Neville de Raby and Alice de Audley. He fought in the Battle of Neville's Cross on 17 October 1346 as a Captain in his father's division...

 in 1377.

Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

's quo warranto
Quo warranto
Quo warranto is a prerogative writ requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority they have for exercising some right or power they claim to hold.-History:...

 proceedings of 1293 showed twelve lords enjoying more or less extensive franchises under the bishop. The repeated efforts of the Crown
The Crown
The Crown is a corporation sole that in the Commonwealth realms and any provincial or state sub-divisions thereof represents the legal embodiment of governance, whether executive, legislative, or judicial...

 to check the powers of the palatinate bishops culminated in 1536 in the Act of Resumption, which deprived the bishop of the power to pardon offences against the law or to appoint judicial officers. Moreover, indictments and legal processes were in future to run in the name of the king, and offences to be described as against the peace of the king, rather than that of the bishop. In 1596 restrictions were imposed on the powers of the chancery, and in 1646 the palatinate was formally abolished. It was revived, however, after the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

, and continued with much the same power until July 5, 1836, when the Durham (County Palatine) Act 1836
Durham (County Palatine) Act 1836
The Durham Act 1836 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Doubts about the construction of this Act led to the enactment of the Durham County Palatine Act 1858.-Repeal:...

 provided that the palatine jurisdiction should in future be vested in the crown.

During the Wars of the Roses
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of dynastic civil wars for the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the houses of Lancaster and York...

, Henry VI
Henry VI of England
Henry VI was King of England from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471, and disputed King of France from 1422 to 1453. Until 1437, his realm was governed by regents. Contemporaneous accounts described him as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, known as the Wars...

 passed through Durham. On the outbreak of the Great Rebellion
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 Durham inclined to support the cause of the Parliament
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

, and in 1640 the high sheriff of the palatinate guaranteed to supply the Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 army with provisions during their stay in the county. In 1642 the Earl of Newcastle formed the western counties into an association for the kings service, but in 1644 the palatinate was again overrun by the Scottish army, and after the Battle of Marston Moor
Battle of Marston Moor
The Battle of Marston Moor was fought on 2 July 1644, during the First English Civil War of 1642–1646. The combined forces of the Scottish Covenanters under the Earl of Leven and the English Parliamentarians under Lord Fairfax and the Earl of Manchester defeated the Royalists commanded by Prince...

 fell entirely into the hands of the parliament.

In 1614 a bill
Bill (proposed law)
A bill is a proposed law under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act or a statute....

 was introduced in parliament for securing representation to the county and city of Durham and the borough of Barnard Castle
Barnard Castle
Barnard Castle is an historical town in Teesdale, County Durham, England. It is named after the castle around which it grew up. It sits on the north side of the River Tees, opposite Startforth, south southwest of Newcastle upon Tyne, south southwest of Sunderland, west of Middlesbrough and ...

. The movement was strongly opposed by the bishop, as an infringement of his palatinate rights, and the county was first summoned to return members to parliament in 1654. After the Restoration the county and city returned two members each. By the Reform Act
Reform Act 1832
The Representation of the People Act 1832 was an Act of Parliament that introduced wide-ranging changes to the electoral system of England and Wales...

 of 1832 the county returned two members for two divisions, and the boroughs of Gateshead
Gateshead
Gateshead is a town in Tyne and Wear, England and is the main settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead. Historically a part of County Durham, it lies on the southern bank of the River Tyne opposite Newcastle upon Tyne and together they form the urban core of Tyneside...

, South Shields
South Shields
South Shields is a coastal town in Tyne and Wear, England, located at the mouth of the River Tyne to Tyne Dock, and about downstream from Newcastle upon Tyne...

 and Sunderland acquired representation. The boroughs of Darlington, Stockton and Hartlepool
Hartlepool
Hartlepool is a town and port in North East England.It was founded in the 7th century AD, around the Northumbrian monastery of Hartlepool Abbey. The village grew during the Middle Ages and developed a harbour which served as the official port of the County Palatine of Durham. A railway link from...

 returned one member each from 1868 until the Redistribution Act of 1885.

Modern local government



The municipal boroughs of Durham, Stockton on Tees and Sunderland were reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835
Municipal Corporations Act 1835
The Municipal Corporations Act 1835  – sometimes known as the Municipal Reform Act, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in the incorporated boroughs of England and Wales...

. In 1875 Jarrow was incorporated as a municipal borough, as was West Hartlepool in 1887. At a county level, the Local Government Act 1888
Local Government Act 1888
The Local Government Act 1888 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which established county councils and county borough councils in England and Wales...

 reorganised local government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

 throughout England and Wales. Most of the county came under control of the newly formed Durham County Council in an area known as an administrative county
Administrative county
An administrative county was an administrative division in England and Wales and Ireland used for the purposes of local government. They are now abolished, although in Northern Ireland their former areas are used as the basis for lieutenancy....

. Not included were the county borough
County borough
County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland , to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control. They were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales, but continue in use for lieutenancy and shrievalty in...

s of Gateshead
Gateshead
Gateshead is a town in Tyne and Wear, England and is the main settlement in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead. Historically a part of County Durham, it lies on the southern bank of the River Tyne opposite Newcastle upon Tyne and together they form the urban core of Tyneside...

, South Shields
South Shields
South Shields is a coastal town in Tyne and Wear, England, located at the mouth of the River Tyne to Tyne Dock, and about downstream from Newcastle upon Tyne...

 and Sunderland. However, for purposes other than local government the administrative county of Durham and the county boroughs continued to form a "county of Durham" to which a Lord Lieutenant of Durham
Lord Lieutenant of Durham
This is a list of people who have served as Lord Lieutenant of Durham.*Henry Neville, 5th Earl of Westmorland 1552–?*Henry Hastings, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon 2 August 1586 – 1595*vacant...

 was appointed.

Over its existence, the administrative county lost territory, both to the existing county boroughs, and also due to the municipal borough of West Hartlepool becoming a county borough in 1902 and Darlington in 1915. In 1967 the former area of the borough of Hartlepool was removed from the administrative county when it merged with West Hartlepool to form a new county borough of Hartlepool. The county boundary with the North Riding of Yorkshire was adjusted: that part of the town of Barnard Castle historically in Yorkshire was added to County Durham, while the portion of the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees in Durham was ceded to the North Riding. In 1968, following the recommendation of the Local Government Commission, Billingham was transferred to the county borough of Teesside
Teesside
Teesside is the name given to the conurbation in the north east of England made up of the towns of Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar, Billingham and surrounding settlements near the River Tees. It was also the name of a local government district between 1968 and 1974—the County Borough of...

, in the North Riding. In 1971 the population of the county including all associated county boroughs (an area of 634,000 acres) was 1,409,633 and the population outside the county boroughs was 814,396.

In 1974 the administrative county and the county boroughs were abolished by the Local Government Act 1972
Local Government Act 1972
The Local Government Act 1972 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom that reformed local government in England and Wales on 1 April 1974....

 and County Durham was reconstituted as a non-metropolitan county
Shire county
A non-metropolitan county, or shire county, is a county-level entity in England that is not a metropolitan county. The counties typically have populations of 300,000 to 1.4 million. The term shire county is, however, an unofficial usage. Many of the non-metropolitan counties bear historic names...

. The reconstituted County Durham lost territory to the north east (around Gateshead, South Shields and Sunderland) to Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear
Tyne and Wear is a metropolitan county in north east England around the mouths of the Rivers Tyne and Wear. It came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972...

 and to the south east (around Hartlepool) to Cleveland
Cleveland, England
Cleveland is an area in the north east of England. Its name means literally "cliff-land", referring to its hilly southern areas, which rise to nearly...

. At the same time it gained the former area of Startforth Rural District
Startforth Rural District
Startforth Rural District was a rural district in the North Riding of the historic county of Yorkshire in the Pennines of northern England.It was formed in 1894 under the Local Government Act 1894...

 from the North Riding of Yorkshire
North Riding of Yorkshire
The North Riding of Yorkshire was one of the three historic subdivisions of the English county of Yorkshire, alongside the East and West Ridings. From the Restoration it was used as a Lieutenancy area. The three ridings were treated as three counties for many purposes, such as having separate...

. The area of the Lord Lieutenant
Lord Lieutenant
The title Lord Lieutenant is given to the British monarch's personal representatives in the United Kingdom, usually in a county or similar circumscription, with varying tasks throughout history. Usually a retired local notable, senior military officer, peer or business person is given the post...

 of Durham was also adjusted by the Act to coincide with the non-metropolitan county (which occupied 745995 acres (3,018.9 km²) in 1981).

In 1996, as part of the 1990s UK local government reform
1990s UK local government reform
The structure of local government in the United Kingdom underwent large changes in the 1990s. The system of two-tier local government introduced in the 1970s by the Local Government Act 1972 and the Local Government Act 1973 was abolished in Scotland and Wales on April 1, 1996, and replaced with...

, Cleveland was abolished and its districts were reconstituted as unitary authorities. Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees (north of the River Tees) were returned to Durham for the purposes of Lord Lieutenant. In 1997, Darlington became a unitary authority and was separated from the shire county. The change in area for Lord Lieutenant to include all these places was reconfirmed by the Lieutenancies Act 1997
Lieutenancies Act 1997
The Lieutenancies Act 1997 is an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom, that defines areas that Lord-Lieutenants are appointed to in Great Britain. It came into force on July 1, 1997.-Creation of modern local government:...

. Cleveland was adopted as a postal county in 1974 and by the time of its abolition, Royal Mail had abandoned the use of counties altogether; the County Durham former postal county
Postal counties of the United Kingdom
The postal counties of the United Kingdom, now known officially as the former postal counties, were postal subdivisions in routine use by the Royal Mail until 1996. The raison d'être of the postal county – as opposed to any other kind of county – was to aid the sorting of mail by...

 therefore has not been adjusted to the new ceremonial boundary.

As part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England
2009 structural changes to local government in England
Structural changes to local government in England were effected on 1 April 2009, whereby a number of new unitary authorities were created in parts of the country which previously operated a 'two-tier' system of counties and districts...

 initiated by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the seven district councils within the County Council area were abolished. The County Council assumed their functions and became a unitary authority. The changes came into effect on 1 April 2009.

Climate



The following climate figures were gathered at the Durham weather station between 1971 and 2000.




Population



At the 2001 Census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

, Easington and Derwentside districts have the highest proportion (around 99%) of resident population who were born in the UK. 13.2% of County Durham residents rate their health as not good, the highest proportion in England. This table shows the historic population of the current area of County Durham between 1801 and 2001.
YearPopulationYearPopulationYearPopulation
1801
59,765
1871
273,671
1941
511,590
1811
64,781
1881
329,985
1951
504,943
1821
74,366
1891
360,028
1961
506,070
1831
86,267
1901
419,782
1971
509,307
1841
121,602
1911
492,503
1981
501,639
1851
161,035
1921
503,946
1991
505,625
1861
217,353
1931
518,581
2001
493,470
Source: A Vision of Britain through Time.

Employment


The proportion of the population working in agriculture fell from around 6% in 1851 to 1% in 1951; currently less than 1% of the population work in agriculture. There were 15,202 people employed in coal mining in 1841, rising to a peak of 157,837 in 1921.
As at 2001, Chester-le-Street district has the lowest number of available jobs per working-age resident (0.38%).

Economic history




The economic history of the county centres round the growth of the mining
Mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

 industry, which at its heights employed almost the whole of the non-agricultural population, with large numbers of pit villages being founded throughout the county. Stephen
Stephen of England
Stephen , often referred to as Stephen of Blois , was a grandson of William the Conqueror. He was King of England from 1135 to his death, and also the Count of Boulogne by right of his wife. Stephen's reign was marked by the Anarchy, a civil war with his cousin and rival, the Empress Matilda...

 possessed a mine in Durham which he granted to Bishop Pudsey, and in the same century colliers are mentioned at Coundon, Bishopwearmouth and Sedgefield. Cockfield Fell was one of the earliest Landsale collieries in Durham. Richard II
Richard II of England
Richard II was King of England, a member of the House of Plantagenet and the last of its main-line kings. He ruled from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. Richard was a son of Edward, the Black Prince, and was born during the reign of his grandfather, Edward III...

 granted to the inhabitants of Durham licence to export the produce of the mines, the majority being transported from the Port of Sunderland complex which was constructed in the 1850s. The port was the largest in Durham and the fourth biggest in Britain. Among other early industries lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

-mining was carried on in the western part of the county, and mustard
Mustard plant
Mustards are several plant species in the genera Brassica and Sinapis whose small mustard seeds are used as a spice and, by grinding and mixing them with water, vinegar or other liquids, are turned into the condiment known as mustard or prepared mustard...

 was extensively cultivated. Gateshead had a considerable tanning
Tanning
Tanning is the making of leather from the skins of animals which does not easily decompose. Traditionally, tanning used tannin, an acidic chemical compound from which the tanning process draws its name . Coloring may occur during tanning...

 trade and shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

 was undertaken at Sunderland, which became the largest shipbuilding town in the world - constructing a third of Britain's tonnage.

Economic output


The chart and table summarise unadjusted gross value added
Gross value added
Gross Value Added ' is a measure in economics of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy...

 (GVA) in millions of pounds sterling for County Durham across 3 industries at current basic prices from 1995 to 2004.
| Gross Value Added (GVA)
Gross value added
Gross Value Added ' is a measure in economics of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy...

 (£m)
1995 2000 2004
Agriculture, hunting and forestry 45 33 48
Industry, including energy and construction 1751 1827 1784
Service activities 2282 2869 3455
Total 4078 4729 5288
UK 640416 840979 1044165

Culture



The culture of coal mining found expression in the Durham Miners' Gala
Durham Miners' Gala
The Durham Miners' Gala is a large annual gathering held on the second Saturday in July in the city of Durham, England. It is associated with the coal mining heritage of the Durham Coalfield, which stretched throughout the traditional County of Durham. It is also locally called "The Big Meeting"...

, which was first held in 1871, developed around the culture of trade unionism. Coal mining continued to decline and pits closed. The UK miners' strike of 1984/5
UK miners' strike (1984–1985)
The UK miners' strike was a major industrial action affecting the British coal industry. It was a defining moment in British industrial relations, and its defeat significantly weakened the British trades union movement...

 caused many miners across the county to strike. Today no deep-coal mines exist in the county and numbers attending the Miners' Gala have decreased significantly over the period, although recent years have seen numbers increase, and more banners return to the Gala as former collieries restore former banners.

Education


Durham LEA
Local Education Authority
A local education authority is a local authority in England and Wales that has responsibility for education within its jurisdiction...

 has a comprehensive school system with 36 state secondary schools (not including sixth form college
Sixth form college
A sixth form college is an educational institution in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Belize, Hong Kong or Malta where students aged 16 to 18 typically study for advanced school-level qualifications, such as A-levels, or school-level qualifications such as GCSEs. In Singapore and India, this is...

s) and five independent schools (four in Durham and one in Barnard Castle). Easington district has the largest school population by year, and Teesdale the smallest with two schools. Only one school in Easington and Derwentside districts have sixth forms, with about half the schools in the other districts having sixth forms.

The University of Durham is based in Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

 city.

Places of interest

  • County Hall
  • Auckland Castle
    Auckland Castle
    Auckland Castle is a castle in the town of Bishop Auckland in County Durham, England....

    , Bishop Auckland
    Bishop Auckland
    Bishop Auckland is a market town and civil parish in County Durham in north east England. It is located about northwest of Darlington and southwest of Durham at the confluence of the River Wear with its tributary the River Gaunless...

     
  • Barnard Castle
    Barnard Castle
    Barnard Castle is an historical town in Teesdale, County Durham, England. It is named after the castle around which it grew up. It sits on the north side of the River Tees, opposite Startforth, south southwest of Newcastle upon Tyne, south southwest of Sunderland, west of Middlesbrough and ...

     
  • Beamish Museum
    Beamish Museum
    Beamish, The North of England Open Air Museum is an open-air museum located at Beamish, near the town of Stanley, County Durham, England. The museum's guiding principle is to preserve an example of everyday life in urban and rural North East England at the climax of industrialisation in the early...

    , in Stanley
  • Binchester Roman Fort
    Binchester Roman Fort
    Binchester Roman Fort is situated just over to the north of the town of Bishop Auckland on the banks of the River Wear in County Durham, England...

     
  • Bowes Museum
    Bowes Museum
    The Bowes Museum has a nationally renowned art collection and is situated in the town of Barnard Castle, Teesdale, County Durham, England.The museum contains an El Greco, paintings by Francisco Goya, Canaletto, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, François Boucher and a sizable collection of decorative art,...

    , in Barnard Castle
  • Causey Arch
    Causey Arch
    The Causey Arch is a bridge near Stanley in County Durham. It is the world’s oldest surviving railway bridge.It was built in 1725-26 by stonemason Ralph Wood, funded by a conglomeration of coal-owners known as the "'Grand Allies'" at a cost of £12,000...

    , near Stanley
  • Durham Cathedral
    Durham Cathedral
    The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The Bishopric dates from 995, with the present cathedral being founded in AD 1093...

     and Castle
    Durham Castle
    Durham Castle is a Norman castle in the city of Durham, England, which has been wholly occupied since 1840 by University College, Durham. It is open to the general public to visit, but only through guided tours, since it is in use as a working building and is home to over 100 students...

    , a World Heritage Site
    World Heritage Site
    A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

  • Durham Dales
    Durham Dales
    The Durham Dales is the name given to a large area of landscape in the west of County Durham, consisting primarily of the Durham portion of the North Pennines, in England.- Geography :...

  • Durham Light Infantry Museum
    Durham Light Infantry
    The Durham Light Infantry was an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1968. It was formed by the amalgamation of the 68th Regiment of Foot and the 106th Regiment of Foot along with the militia and rifle volunteers of County Durham...

    , Aykley Heads, Near Durham
  • Escomb Saxon Church
    Escomb Church
    Escomb Saxon Church is one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon churches in England, located in Escomb, approximately 2.5 km to the west of Bishop Auckland, County Durham.-History:...

    , near Bishop Auckland
    Bishop Auckland
    Bishop Auckland is a market town and civil parish in County Durham in north east England. It is located about northwest of Darlington and southwest of Durham at the confluence of the River Wear with its tributary the River Gaunless...

  • Finchale Priory
    Finchale Priory
    Finchale Priory was a 13th century Benedictine priory. The remains are sited by the River Wear, four miles from Durham. It is a Grade I listed building.-Current Situation:...

    , near Durham city
    Durham
    Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

     
  • Hamsterley Forest
    Hamsterley Forest
    Hamsterley Forest is a commercial forest in County Durham operated by the Forestry Commission. It is the largest forest in County Durham and covers more than 2000 hectares. Recreational activities are promoted within the forest and are focussed at the eastern end around the...

     
  • Hardwick Hall Country Park
    Hardwick Hall Country Park
    Hardwick Hall County Park is a park located in County Durham near Sedgefield. It is registered with the Register of Parks and Gardens as a II* site, which indicates that a park is "of exceptional historic interest."-History:...

      near Sedgefield
    Sedgefield
    Sedgefield is a small town and civil parish in County Durham, England. It has a population of 4,534.Sedgefield has attracted particular attention as the Member of Parliament for the wider Sedgefield constituency was the former Prime Minister Tony Blair; he was the area's MP from 1983 to 2008,...

  • High Force
    High Force
    High Force is a waterfall on the River Tees, near Middleton-in-Teesdale, Teesdale, County Durham, England. The waterfall is within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and European Geopark....

     and Low Force
    Low Force
    Low Force is a 5.5m high set of falls in the Tees Valley, England. Further upstream is the High Force waterfall. Low Force is also the site of the Wynch Bridge, completed in 1830. It is suggested that only one person at a time should cross the bridge as it may be unstable.Low Force is within the...

     waterfall
    Waterfall
    A waterfall is a place where flowing water rapidly drops in elevation as it flows over a steep region or a cliff.-Formation:Waterfalls are commonly formed when a river is young. At these times the channel is often narrow and deep. When the river courses over resistant bedrock, erosion happens...

    s, on the River Tees
    River Tees
    The River Tees is in Northern England. It rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows eastwards for 85 miles to reach the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar.-Geography:...

     
  • Killhope Wheel, part of the North of England Lead Mining Museum in Weardale
    Weardale
    Weardale is a dale, or valley, of the east side of the Pennines in County Durham, in England. Large parts of Weardale fall within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the second largest AONB in England and Wales. The upper valley is surrounded by high fells and heather grouse...

     
  • Locomotion
    Shildon Locomotion Museum
    Shildon Locomotion Museum is a railway museum in Shildon, County Durham, England. The museum is a branch of the National Railway Museum , which is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry...

     railway museum, in Shildon
    Shildon
    Shildon is a town in County Durham, in England. It is situated 2 miles to the south east of Bishop Auckland and 11 miles north of Darlington. It is 13 miles away from Durham, 23 miles from Sunderland and 23 miles from Newcastle-upon-Tyne...

     
  • Raby Castle
    Raby Castle
    Raby Castle is situated near Staindrop in County Durham and is one of the largest inhabited castles in England. The Grade I listed building has opulent eighteenth and nineteenth century interiors inside a largely unchanged, late medieval shell. It is the home and seat of John Vane, 11th Baron...

    , near Staindrop
    Staindrop
    Staindrop is a village in County Durham, in England. It is situated to the east of Barnard Castle. Lord Barnard of Raby Castle also resides on the border.The village has one of the long greens typical of County Durham...

     
  • Tanfield Railway
    Tanfield Railway
    The Tanfield Railway is a standard gauge heritage railway in Gateshead and County Durham, England. Running on part of a former colliery wooden wagonway, later a steam railway, it operates preserved steam and diesel industrial tank locomotives. The railway operates a passenger service on Sundays all...

    , in Tanfield
    Tanfield, Durham
    Tanfield is a former mining village in County Durham, England near Stanley and is the location of Tanfield Railway and the Causey Arch. It is also the location of Tanfield School.-History:...

     
  • Weardale Railway
    Weardale Railway
    The Weardale Railway is a British single-track branch line railway providing regular daily passenger service between Bishop Auckland , Wolsingham, Frosterley and Stanhope. Services began on 23 May 2010 after a lapse of almost sixty years. The railway originally ran from Bishop Auckland to...

    , at Stanhope, County Durham
    Stanhope, County Durham
    Stanhope is a small market town in County Durham, in England. It is situated on the River Wear between Eastgate and Frosterley on the north side of Weardale. The A689 trans-Pennine road meets the B6278 road from Barnard Castle to Shotley Bridge here....

    , Wolsingham and Bishop Auckland
    Bishop Auckland
    Bishop Auckland is a market town and civil parish in County Durham in north east England. It is located about northwest of Darlington and southwest of Durham at the confluence of the River Wear with its tributary the River Gaunless...


External links