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Location within County Durham
OS grid reference NZ180572
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Country England
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Postcode district NE16
Dialling code 01207
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County Durham
54°54′25″N1°44′10″W / 54.907°N 1.736°W / 54.907; -1.736 Coordinates: 54°54′25″N1°44′10″W / 54.907°N 1.736°W / 54.907; -1.736

Burnopfield is a village in County Durham, in England. It is situated north of Stanley and Annfield Plain, close to the River Derwent and is 564 feet above sea level. [1] There are around 4,553 inhabitants in Burnopfield. It is located 10 miles from Newcastle upon Tyne and 15 miles from Durham.



The name Burnopfield probably comes from the Old English meaning "field by the valley stream", although local legend says that the village got its name after an attempted Scottish invasion of England was foiled by literally burning up the fields to stop the advancing armies. In the 19th century, Burnopfield was usually referred to as the Leap, or in local dialect, as the Loup, after the area of Burnopfield named Bryan's Leap.


The shell of Gibside Hall GibsideHall.jpg
The shell of Gibside Hall

Burnopfield was the site of a leper hospital, High Friarside Hospice, which was founded in 1312, but was demolished in approximately 1450. The remains of the original chapel can still be seen today. [2] Other historical buildings in Burnopfield include Burnopfield Hall, which was constructed in 1720 by the Newton family, a wealthy mine-owning family, Leap Mill Farm, a classic example of an 18th-century mill with a working water wheel, and the Gibside estate, which is located between Burnopfield and Rowlands Gill.

Andrew Robinson Stoney Stoney Bowes02.jpg
Andrew Robinson Stoney

The families of Burnopfield Hall and Gibside are linked by the scandalous adventurer Andrew Robinson Stoney: in the late 1760s, Hannah Newton, daughter and heiress to the Newton family fortune, married Stoney, an Irish Lieutenant and adventurer who was stationed in Newcastle. They went to live at Colepike Hall in Lanchester, where his ill-treatment of her became a local scandal, and within a few years she died. In control of her £20,000 fortune, he set off for London, where he met the widowed Countess of Strathmore, who owned the Gibside estate. Stoney eventually tricked her into marriage, and having to adopt her family name of Bowes, became the notorious Stoney Bowes. Her subsequent miserable life with him became one of the biggest scandals of the period. [3] His story was fictionalised by William Makepeace Thackeray in The Luck of Barry Lyndon . Stanley Kubrick later adapted the novel into the 1975 film Barry Lyndon . The family at Gibside Hall eventually became the Bowes-Lyon family, one member of the family being Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. The hall itself is now owned by the National Trust. In 1815, J. M. W. Turner produced several landscapes of Gibside Hall, which are on display in the Tate Britain. [4]

In 1746, John Wesley visited the village, and preached in a garden in Sheep Hill, an area within Burnopfield. He made several more visits, resulting in the formation of a Methodist Society, and in 1775 the first chapel was built, and rebuilt in 1880. By this time other two places of worship had been built: in 1870, a second Methodist chapel, and in 1873, the Anglican church of Saint James was constructed in 1873 at the Leazes end of the village. [5] Until the church was built, Burnopfield had been a section of the Tanfield and District Anglican Parish.

Coal mining

Durham mine Grove Rake Mine, Rookhope, under snow - geograph.org.uk - 371830.jpg
Durham mine

Coal mining in County Durham began in the 1600s, and narrow waggonways were laid from the pits and Burnopfield was found to be an ideal place for the waggonways from the Pontop and Tanfield Moor areas to pass through and then continue down the hill to cross the Derwent, and on to the River Tyne for the coal to be shipped. [3] Although surrounded by colliery villages like Lintz, Hobson, High Friarside and Marley Hill, it never had a serious mine of its own. Gradually it became largely occupied by people who worked in the nearby mining villages. With the building of a Co-operative Society shop in 1889, it also became a shopping centre for the miners and their families from the neighbouring colliery villages. [3]

With the decline of the British mining industry, the number of miners in the village drastically decreased, and they worked in the coastal pits. Industrial estates, factories, offices and shops now provide the work for residents of Burnopfield. During the latter part of the 20th century, the village changed from its old waggonway days; new council and private estates have been built and Burnopfield has extended both to the east and the west absorbing much of the adjoining areas into its postal district. [3]


Cricket has long been a popular sport in the village – it has been played at two small cricket grounds. One is to be found in Lintz, near Burnopfield, since 1905, and the other once was located in Burnopfield proper before being demolished and turned into a housing estate. Both grounds were built upon land given to the clubs by the National Coal Board. The Burnopfield Club produced two Test cricketers for England, both of whom played before Durham County Cricket Club took part in the county championship; Jim McConnon, who played for Glamorgan, and Colin Milburn, the "Burnopfield Basher", who played for Northamptonshire. When Milburn died in 1990, his funeral was the largest ever seen in Burnopfield, and was attended by many notable cricketing figures including future Durham player Ian Botham. [3]


Lintz is a small village immediately to the south-west of Burnopfield. [6] The famous court case, Miller v. Jackson, arose from cricket played by Lintz Cricket Club in the village.

Notable residents


The M6, V7, the X70 and the X71 service Burnopfield. [7] Previous bus services included the 43, X12 and the 770. The R5 runs hourly during the day Mon. to Sat. from St James Church to Rowlands Gill and Highfield.

Related Research Articles

Tanfield, County Durham Human settlement in England

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

Stanley, County Durham Human settlement in England

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.

Shotley Bridge Human settlement in England

Shotley Bridge is a village, adjoining the town of Consett in County Durham, England. It is on the A694 road and beside the River Derwent which is crossed by the bridge giving the name. It was once the heart of Britain's swordmaking industry.

Throckley Human settlement in England

Throckley is a village located in Newcastle upon Tyne, North East England, approximately 7 miles (11 km) west of Newcastle city centre. Hadrian's Wall passed through the village, its course traced by the village's main road, Hexham Road. Throckley lies within the historic county of Northumberland.

Rowlands Gill Human settlement in England

Rowlands Gill is a town situated along the A694, between Winlaton Mill and Hamsterley Mill, on the north bank of the River Derwent, in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England. Within Gateshead's greenbelt, the village has a picturesque setting with much open space and views across the valley to Gibside Estate, now owned by the National Trust.


Gibside is an estate in the Derwent Valley in North East England. It is between Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear and Burnopfield, County Durham, and a few miles from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Gibside was previously owned by the Bowes-Lyon family. It is now a National Trust property. Gibside Hall, the main house on the estate, is now a shell, although the property is most famous for its chapel. The stables, walled garden, Column to Liberty and Banqueting House are also intact.

Bowes-Lyon family Scottish noble family

The Bowes-Lyon family descends from George Bowes of Gibside and Streatlam Castle (1701–1760), a County Durham landowner and politician, through John Bowes, 9th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, chief of the Clan Lyon. Following the marriage in 1767 of the 9th Earl to rich heiress Mary Eleanor Bowes, the family name was changed to Bowes by Act of Parliament. The 10th Earl changed the name to Lyon-Bowes and the 13th Earl, Claude, changed the order to Bowes-Lyon.

Wylam Human settlement in England

Wylam is a village and civil parish in the county of Northumberland. It is located about 10 miles (16 km) west of Newcastle upon Tyne.

North Durham (UK Parliament constituency)

North Durham is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2001 by Kevan Jones of the Labour Party.

Wideopen Human settlement in England

Wideopen, also occasionally spelled Wide Open, is a village in the administrative borough of North Tyneside, north of Gosforth and six miles (9.7 km) north of Newcastle upon Tyne city centre.

Causey Arch Bridge in United Kingdom

The Causey Arch is a bridge near Stanley in County Durham, northern England. It is the oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge in the world, and a key element of the industrial heritage of England. It carried an early waggonway to transport coal. The line was later diverted, and no longer uses the bridge.

Whickham Human settlement in England

Whickham is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, North East England, 5 miles (8 km) southwest of Newcastle upon Tyne. Whickham lies within historic County Durham. The town is on high ground overlooking the River Tyne. The 2011 Census recorded its population as 16,652.

The Derwent Valley Railway was a branch railway in County Durham, England. Built by the North Eastern Railway, it ran from Swalwell to Blackhill via five intermediate stations, and onwards to Consett.

Byermoor is a village near Burnopfield and Sunniside in England. The village has a population of around 100 and contains a school and a church. The village sits on the South side of the A692 on a ridge overlooking the Derwent Valley and the nearby village of Burnopfield. It lies just within the County of Tyne and Wear and is the last village on the old turnpike road to Wolsingham before it reaches the border with County Durham.

Marley Hill

Marley Hill is a former colliery village about six miles to the south west of Gateshead, near the border between Tyne and Wear and County Durham. It has been part of the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead since 1974. Prior to this it was part of Whickham Urban District. It lies within the Whickham South & Sunniside electoral ward of the Blaydon parliamentary constituency.

Brandling Junction Railway

The Brandling Junction Railway was an early railway in County Durham, England. It took over the Tanfield Waggonway of 1725 that was built to bring coal from Tanfield to staiths on the River Tyne at Dunston. The Brandling Junction Railway itself opened in stages from 1839, running from Gateshead to Wearmouth and South Shields. Wearmouth was regarded at the time as the "Sunderland" terminal.

The Durham County Record Office holds the archives for the county of Durham and the Borough of Darlington. The archives are held at County Hall, Durham, and the service is run by Durham County Council.

Newton, Northumberland Human settlement in England

Newton is a village in the civil parish of Bywell in Northumberland, England. It is situated close to the A69 road, 3 miles (5 km) north of Stocksfield and 13 miles (21 km) west of Newcastle upon Tyne. Bywell parish has a population of around 450 and Newton is its most populous settlement. Newton, Newton Hall and Stelling were three separate civil parishes from 1866 to 1955, when they were merged into the existing Bywell civil parish.


  1. "Burnopfield Geographical Data".
  2. Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1240894)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Towns and Villages Around Consett | Burnopfield". www.visitoruk.com.
  4. http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-gibside-tw0008
  5. "St. James' Church Burnopfield and Dipton - Official site for St. James' Church in Burnopfield and Dipton". St. James' Church Burnopfield and Dipton.
  6. Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 88 Newcastle upon Tyne (Durham & Sunderland) (Map). Ordnance Survey. 2012. ISBN   9780319229989.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

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