If you want to search in this county

Click to go back to Inns in County DurhamCounty Durham Crestounty of northeast England. First recorded in 1000 as Dunholme. From the Saxon word Dunholme, dun meaning a hill and holme referring to an island in a river (the rocky outcrop where Durham Cathedral now stands). The Normans changed it to Duresme, which was corrupted to Durham. Bishops ruled this area until 1836 so the suffix ‘shire’ was never added: it is County Durham, not Durhamshire.

Back Next County

Local Links Durham County Council - Durham City Council - Chester-le-Street District Council

owns and cities Durham (administrative headquarters), Newton Aycliffe, Peterlee, Chester-le -Street
rea 2,232 sq km  /  862 sq miles.
opulation 492,900  (1995 est)

highfce.jpg (5366 bytes)

County Durham extends from the North Sea west to the Pennines between the rivers Tyne and Tees. It is bounded on the north by Northumberland, and Tyne and Wear; on the west by Cumbria; and on the south North Yorkshire, Stockton-on-Tees, and Hartlepool. East of the River Wear, Durham occupies a low plateau (100-120 m / 328-394 ft above sea-level) with a coast lined by cliffs.  The rock here is magnesian limestone, which is covered by glacial deposits. Seams of coal, which are underneath the limestone in the east, form the surface rock in the centre of the county, covered only by deposits from post-glacial lakes. Coal seams are also found in the west of the county. Pennine Hills.

There are vivid contrasts within the county with the bleak and rugged Pennines and sheep-rearing farmland of west Durham akin to the north Yorkshire moors, while the industrial, chemical-based south-east has a nuclear landscape and the mining areas of Easington and Peterlee with their big wheels signposting mine shafts to remind us that this was where the Industrial Revolution had its perhaps biggest impact. Jarrow, South Shields and Sunderland to the northeast are metropolitan areas with a great shipbuilding tradition.

County Rivers: Wear, Tees. Fine fishing along the fast-flowing rivers and at reservoirs at Balderhead, Burnhope, Selset, Weskerley and Tunstall.

ommerce Industries: clothing; chemicals; iron and steel processing;p light engineering industries; quarrying; cement; pharmaceuticals

Agriculture: sheep; dairy produce; hill farming

amous people Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Anthony Eden Stockton- on-Tees was the birthplace of the cabinet maker Thomas Sheraton, and of John Walker, inventor of the first friction match. James Cook, who was born in Marton in 1728. The Venerable Bede, known as the father of English, lived at Jarrow and lies in Durham cathedral.

durham.jpg (4581 bytes)

Durham has a fine Norman cathedral and the remains of a castle built in 1072 by William I. The cathedral and castle are together a World Heritage site. Other features include the university's Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental Art and Archaeology (1960), the UK's only museum wholly devoted to the subject, and the annual Miners' Gala. The university was founded in 1832. Durham Cathedral and castle are situated on a 30 m / 98 ft-high sandstone hill which forms a peninsula surrounded on three sides by the River Wear. The present cathedral was built between 1093 and 1133. The nave was begun in 1093 by Bishop William of St Carileph and finished in 1128 by Bishop Flambard. The interior of the cathedral is richly ornamented and has the earliest English examples of pointed transverse arches, and ribbed vaulting on a grand scale.

Beamish open-air industrial museum; site of one of Britain's richest coalfields (pits no longer functioning); Bowes Museum; Barnard Castle; University of Durham, (1832) housed in Durham Castle; dales in the west of the county

Between 1071 and 1836, Durham was a Palatinate county, that is the Bishop of Durham exercised such jurisdiction over the territory as in other counties belonged to the sovereign

County Durham was made a county Palatinate in 1071 because of its strategic position on the then main route to Scotland and its distance from the English government in London. The bishops fortified an outcrop on a loop of the River Wear at Durham, and built an imposing cathedral there. From here they repelled, generally successfully, a series of Scottish incursions during the 12-14th centuries.

Barnard Castle
Fine medieval bridge, old houses and nearby French chateau-style Bowes Museum.

The Blaydon Races are immortalized in the words of the eponymous local folk song.

Synonymous with the first railway in the country and fascinating museum to match.

Still has bits of medieval town wall. In the docks is HMS Warrior, the world's earliest iron-hulled battleship, and now a floating museum.

The word 'march' springs to mind but in the depths of this grimy town is a lovely 7th-century church where the Venerable Bede sought solace.

Stockton on Tees
Famous for its open-air market started in 1310 in the broadest high street in England. Stockton-on-Tees was the starting point for the Stockton-Darlington railway, the world's first passenger railway, which opened in 1825. The town has the oldest railway-station building in the world, and there are many Georgian buildings.

Shares with its neighbour Jarrow a shipbuilding heritage, and it became a city in 1992. Nearby Roker's St Andrew's Church (1906) is an Arts and Crafts design with William Morris tapestries.

George Washington's ancestral home, Washington Old Hall, is open in summer.The Barbican is an attractive small urban area and site of the original town as Drake knew it: and the Hoe has outstanding coastal views.

Raby castle, Darlington.

Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland.

Auckland Castle deer House, Bishop Auckland.

Rokeby Park, Co Durham

Egglestone Abbey, Durham