Durham, England

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Durham

City of Durham
Durham Cathedral from the south-2.jpg
Durham Cathedral
Flag of Durham.svg
Flag
Durham MB-arms.png
Coat of arms
Motto(s): 
Faith, foresight, and industry.
Durham UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Durham
Shown within County Durham
Coordinates: 54°46′34″N1°34′24″W / 54.7761°N 1.5733°W / 54.7761; -1.5733 Coordinates: 54°46′34″N1°34′24″W / 54.7761°N 1.5733°W / 54.7761; -1.5733
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Region North East England
Ceremonial county County Durham
Admin HQ County Hall, Durham
FoundedAD 995
Government
  Type Civil parish
  Governing bodyCity of Durham Parish Council
Area
[1]
  Total12.4 sq mi (32.0 km2)
Population
 (2011)
  Total48,069 (urban area) [2]
  Density4,000/sq mi (1,500/km2)
Demonym(s) Dunelmian
Postcode
Area code(s) 0191
Website cityofdurham.parish.durham.gov.uk

Durham ( /ˈdʌrəm/ , locally /ˈdɜrəm/ Loudspeaker.svg listen ) is a cathedral city and the county town of County Durham in North East England. The city lies on the River Wear, to the south-west of Sunderland, south of Newcastle upon Tyne and to the north of Darlington. Founded over the final resting place of St Cuthbert, its Norman cathedral became a centre of pilgrimage in medieval England. The cathedral and adjacent 11th-century castle were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. The castle has been the home of Durham University since 1832. HM Prison Durham is also located close to the city centre. City of Durham is the name of the civil parish. [3] [4]

Contents

Name

The name "Durham" comes from the Celtic element "dun", signifying a hill fort, and the Old Norse "holme", which translates to island. [5] The Lord Bishop of Durham takes a Latin variation of the city's name in his official signature, which is signed "N. Dunelm". [5] Some attribute the city's name to the legend of the Dun Cow and the milkmaid who in legend guided the monks of Lindisfarne carrying the body of Saint Cuthbert to the site of the present city in 995 AD. [6] Dun Cow Lane is said to be one of the first streets in Durham, being directly to the east of Durham Cathedral and taking its name from a depiction of the city's founding etched in masonry on the south side of the cathedral. [6] The city has been known by a number of names throughout history. The original Nordic Dun Holm was changed to Duresme by the Normans and was known in Latin as Dunelm. The modern form Durham came into use later in the city's history. The north-eastern historian Robert Surtees chronicled the name changes in his History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham but states that it is an "impossibility" to tell when the city's modern name came into being. [5]

Durham is likely to be Gaer Weir in Armes Prydein, derived from Brittonic cajr meaning "an enclosed, defensible site" (c.f. Carlisle; Welsh caer) and the river-name Wear. [7]

History

Early history

Archeological evidence suggests a history of settlement in the area since roughly 2000 BC. [5] The present city can clearly be traced back to AD 995, when a group of monks from Lindisfarne chose the strategic high peninsula as a place to settle with the body of Saint Cuthbert, that had previously lain in Chester-le-Street, founding a church there. [6]

Legend of the Dun Cow and city origins

Legend of the founding of Durham (from a carving on the south side of the cathedral) UK Durham Dun-Cow.jpg
Legend of the founding of Durham (from a carving on the south side of the cathedral)

Local legend states that the city was founded in A.D. 995 by divine intervention. The 12th-century chronicler Symeon of Durham recounts that after wandering in the north, Saint Cuthbert's bier miraculously came to a halt at the hill of Warden Law and, despite the effort of the congregation, would not move. [8] Aldhun, Bishop of Chester-le-Street and leader of the order, decreed a holy fast of three days, accompanied by prayers to the saint. [9] During the fast, Saint Cuthbert appeared to a certain monk named Eadmer, with instructions that the coffin should be taken to Dun Holm. [9] After Eadmer's revelation, Aldhun found that he was able to move the bier, but did not know where Dun Holm was. [9]

The legend of the Dun Cow, which is first documented in The Rites of Durham, an anonymous account about the Durham Cathedral, published in 1593, builds on Symeon's account. [10] According to this legend, by chance later that day, the monks came across a milkmaid at Mount Joy (southeast of present-day Durham). She stated that she was seeking her lost dun cow, which she had last seen at Dun Holm. The monks, realising that this was a sign from the saint, followed her. [9] They settled at a wooded "hill-island" – a high wooded rock surrounded on three sides by the River Wear. [9] There they erected a shelter for the relics, on the spot where the Durham Cathedral would later stand. [9] Symeon states that a modest wooden building erected there shortly later was the first building in the city. [8] Bishop Aldhun subsequently had a stone church built, which was dedicated in September 998. [11] It no longer remains, having been supplanted by the Norman structure.

The legend is interpreted by a Victorian relief stone carving on the south face of the cathedral and, more recently, by the bronze sculpture 'Durham Cow' (1997, Andrew Burton), which reclines by the River Wear in view of the cathedral.

Medieval history

A map of the city from 1610 Durham 1610.jpg
A map of the city from 1610

During the medieval period the city gained spiritual prominence as the final resting place of Saint Cuthbert and Saint Bede the Venerable. The shrine of Saint Cuthbert, situated behind the High Altar of Durham Cathedral, was the most important religious site in England until the martyrdom of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury in 1170. [6]

Saint Cuthbert became famous for two reasons. Firstly, the miraculous healing powers he had displayed in life continued after his death, with many stories of those visiting the saint's shrine being cured of all manner of diseases. This led to him being known as the "wonder worker of England". [6] Secondly, after the first translation of his relics in 698 AD, his body was found to be incorruptible. [12] Apart from a brief translation back to Holy Island during the Norman Invasion [13] the saint's relics have remained enshrined to the present day. [14] Saint Bede's bones are also entombed in the cathedral, and these also drew medieval pilgrims to the city. [6]

Durham's geographical position has always given it an important place in the defence of England against the Scots. [15] The city played an important part in the defence of the north, and Durham Castle is the only Norman castle keep never to have suffered a breach. [16] The Battle of Neville's Cross, which took place near the city on 17 October 1346 between the English and Scots, is the most famous battle of the age[ which? ]. [5]

The city suffered from plague outbreaks in 1544, 1589 and 1598. [17]

Prince Bishops

Owing to the divine providence evidenced in the city's legendary founding, the Bishop of Durham has always enjoyed the title "Bishop by Divine Providence" [18] as opposed to other bishops, who are "Bishop by Divine Permission". [5] However, as the north-east of England lay so far from Westminster, the bishops of Durham enjoyed extraordinary powers such as the ability to hold their own parliament, [5] raise their own armies, [6] appoint their own sheriffs and Justices, administer their own laws, levy taxes and customs duties, create fairs and markets, issue charters, [8] salvage shipwrecks, collect revenue from mines, administer the forests and mint their own coins. [5] So far-reaching were the bishop's powers that the steward of Bishop Antony Bek commented in 1299 AD: "There are two kings in England, namely the Lord King of England, wearing a crown in sign of his regality and the Lord Bishop of Durham wearing a mitre in place of a crown, in sign of his regality in the diocese of Durham". [19] All this activity was administered from the castle and buildings surrounding the Palace Green. [6] Many of the original buildings associated with these functions of the county palatine survive on the peninsula that constitutes the ancient city. [15]

The entrance to Durham Castle, the bishops' palace until 1832 when it moved to Auckland Castle Durham Castle, April 2017 (2) (33802921566).jpg
The entrance to Durham Castle, the bishops' palace until 1832 when it moved to Auckland Castle

Every Bishop of Durham from 1071 to 1836 was a Prince Bishop except for the first Norman appointment, Bishop Walcher (in office ca. 1071–1080), who was styled[ by whom? ] an Earl-Bishop. [5] Although the term "prince bishop" has been used as a helpful tool in the understanding the functions of the Bishops of Durham it is not a title they would have recognised. [6] The last Prince Bishop of Durham, Bishop William Van Mildert, [6] is credited[ by whom? ] with the foundation of Durham University in 1832. Henry VIII curtailed some of the Prince-Bishop's powers and, in 1538, ordered the destruction of the shrine of Saint Cuthbert. [6]

A UNESCO site describes the role of the Prince-Bishops in the "buffer state between England and Scotland": [20]

From 1075, the Bishop of Durham became a Prince-Bishop, with the right to raise an army, mint his own coins, and levy taxes. As long as he remained loyal to the king of England, he could govern as a virtually autonomous ruler, reaping the revenue from his territory, but also remaining mindful of his role of protecting England’s northern frontier.

The Prince Bishops had their own court system, including most notably the Court of Chancery of the County Palatine of Durham and Sadberge. [21] The county also had its own attorney general, [15] whose authority to bring an indictment for criminal matters was tested by central government in the case of R v Mary Ann Cotton (1873). [22] [ need quotation to verify ] [23] [ page needed ] Certain courts and judicial posts for the county were abolished by the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873. Section 2 of the Durham (County Palatine) Act 1836 and section 41 of the Courts Act 1971 abolished others.

Civil War and Commonwealth era (1640 to 1660)

View of Durham Cathedral and its surroundings c. 1850 View of Durham Cathedral (4094887351).jpg
View of Durham Cathedral and its surroundings c. 1850

The city remained loyal to King Charles I in the English Civil War - from 1642 to the execution of the king in 1649. Charles I came to Durham three times during his reign of 1625–1649. Firstly, he came in 1633 [24] to the cathedral for a majestic service in which he was entertained by the Chapter and Bishop at great expense. He returned during preparations for the First Bishops' War (1639). [25] His final visit to the city came towards the end of the civil war; he escaped from the city as Oliver Cromwell's forces got closer. [26] [ need quotation to verify ] [27] Local legend [28] stated that he escaped down the Bailey and through Old Elvet. Another local legend has it that Cromwell stayed in a room in the present Royal County Hotel on Old Elvet during the civil war. [29] The room is reputed[ by whom? ] to be haunted by his ghost. [30] Durham suffered greatly during the civil war (1642 - 1651) and Commonwealth (1649-1660). This was not due to direct assault by Cromwell or his allies, but to the abolition of the Church of England [28] and the closure of religious institutions pertaining to it. The city has always relied upon the Dean and Chapter and cathedral as an economic force.

The castle suffered considerable damage and dilapidation during the Commonwealth due to the abolition of the office of bishop (whose residence it was). Cromwell confiscated the castle and sold it to the Lord Mayor of London shortly after taking it from the bishop. [29] A similar fate befell the cathedral, it being closed in 1650 and used to incarcerate 3,000 Scottish prisoners. [29] Graffiti left by them can still be seen today etched into the interior stone. [31]

At the Restoration in 1660, John Cosin (a former canon) was appointed bishop (in office: 1660-1672) and set about a major restoration project. This included the commissioning of the famous elaborate woodwork in the cathedral choir, the font cover and the Black Staircase in the castle. [32] Bishop Cosin's successor Bishop Lord Nathaniel Crewe (in office: 1674-1721) carried out other renovations both to the city and to the cathedral.

18th century

Durham Cathedral photographed from the south, 2009 Durham Cathedral from the south-2.jpg
Durham Cathedral photographed from the south, 2009

In 1720 it was proposed that Durham could become a seaport by digging a canal north to join the River Team, a tributary of the River Tyne near Gateshead. Nothing came of the plan, but the statue of Neptune in the Market Place was a constant reminder of Durham's maritime possibilities. [33]

The thought of ships docking at the Sands or Millburngate remained fresh in the minds of Durham businessmen. In 1758, a new proposal hoped to make the Wear navigable from Durham to Sunderland by altering the river's course, but the increasing size of ships made this impractical. This was further compounded by the fact Sunderland had grown as the north east's main port and centre for shipping. [34]

In 1787 Durham infirmary was founded. [17]

The 18th century also saw the rise of the trade union movement in the city.

19th century

Durham Cathedral and castle as seen from the river bank whilst a boat race takes place between University College, Durham and Newcastle University Durham regatta Univ College Durham v's Newcastle Uni.jpg
Durham Cathedral and castle as seen from the river bank whilst a boat race takes place between University College, Durham and Newcastle University

The Great Reform Act 1832 saw the removal of most of the Prince Bishop's powers although he still has the right to a seat in the House of Lords. The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 gave governing power of the town to an elected body. [35] All other aspects of the Bishop's temporal powers were abolished by the Durham (County Palatine) Act 1836 and returned to the Crown. [36] [37]

The Representation of the People Act 2000 and is regarded as the second most senior bishop and fourth most senior clergyman in the Church of England. [38] The Court of Claims of 1953 granted the traditional right of the bishop to accompany the sovereign at the coronation, [39] reflecting his seniority. [6]

The first census, conducted in 1801, [40] states that Durham City had a population of 7,100. The Industrial Revolution mostly passed the city by. However, the city was well known for carpet making and weaving. Although most of the mediaeval weavers who thrived in the city had left by the 19th century, the city was the home of Hugh MacKay Carpets’ factory, which produced the famous brands of axminster and tufted carpets until the factory went into administration in April 2005. [41] Other important industries were the manufacture of mustard and coal extraction. [42]

The Industrial Revolution also placed the city at the heart of the coalfields, [43] the county's main industry until the 1970s. Practically every village around the city had a coal mine and, although these have since disappeared as part of the regional decline in heavy industry, the traditions, heritage and community spirit are still evident.

The 19th century also saw the founding of Durham University [44] thanks to the benevolence of Bishop William Van Mildert and the Chapter in 1832. Durham Castle became the first college [42] (University College, Durham) and the bishop moved to Auckland Castle as his only residence in the county. Bishop Hatfield's Hall (later Hatfield College, Durham) was added in 1846 specifically for the sons of poorer families, the Principal inaugurating a system new to English university life of advance fees to cover accommodation and communal dining.

The first Durham Miners' Gala was attended by 5,000 miners in 1871 in Wharton Park, [45] and remains the largest socialist trade union event in the world. [42]

20th century

Early in the 20th century coal became depleted, with a particularly important seam worked out in 1927, and in the following Great Depression Durham was among those towns that suffered exceptionally severe hardship. [46] However, the University expanded greatly. St John's College and St Cuthbert's Society were founded on the Bailey, completing the series of colleges in that area of the city. From the early 1950s to early 1970s the university expanded to the south of the city centre. Trevelyan, Van Mildert, Collingwood, and Grey colleges were established, and new buildings for St Aidan's and St Mary's colleges for women, formerly housed on the Bailey, were created. The final 20th century collegiate addition came from the merger of the independent nineteenth-century colleges of the Venerable Bede and St Hild, which joined the university in 1979 as the College of St Hild and St Bede. [47] The 1960s and 70s also saw building on New Elvet. Dunelm House for the use of the students' union was built first, followed by Elvet Riverside, containing lecture theatres and staff offices. To the southeast of the city centre sports facilities were built at Maiden Castle, adjacent to the Iron Age fort of the same name, and the Mountjoy site was developed, starting in 1924, eventually containing the university library, administrative buildings, and facilities for the Faculty of Science. [47]

View over the university's Mountjoy site towards the cathedral. View from the 4th floor of the Calman centre.jpg
View over the university's Mountjoy site towards the cathedral.

Durham was not bombed during World War II, though one raid on the night of 30 May 1942 did give rise to the local legend of 'St Cuthbert's Mist'. This states that the Luftwaffe attempted to target Durham, but was thwarted when Cuthbert created a mist that covered both the castle and cathedral, sparing them from bombing. The exact events of the night are disputed by contemporary eyewitnesses. [45] The event continues to be referenced within the city, including inspiring the artwork 'Fogscape #03238' at Durham Lumiere 2015. [48]

'Durham Castle and Cathedral' was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Among the reasons given for the decision were 'Durham Cathedral [being] the largest and most perfect monument of "Norman" style architecture in England', and the cathedral's vaulting being an early and experimental model of the gothic style. [49] Other important UNESCO sites near Durham include Auckland Castle, North of England Lead Mining Museum and Beamish Museum. [50]

Geography

General geography

Durham is situated 13 miles (21 km) to the south-west of Sunderland and 18 miles (29 km) to the south of Newcastle. The River Wear flows north through the city, making an incised meander which encloses the centre on three sides to form Durham's peninsula.

Durham Market Place Durham Market Place.jpg
Durham Market Place

At the base of the peninsula is the Market Place, which still hosts regular markets; a permanent indoor market, Durham Indoor Market, is also situated just off the Market Place. The Market Place and surrounding streets are one of the main commercial and shopping areas of the city. From the Market Place, the Bailey leads south past Palace Green; The Bailey is almost entirely owned and occupied by the university and the cathedral.

Durham is a hilly city, claiming to be built upon the symbolic seven hills. Upon the most central and prominent position high above the Wear, the cathedral dominates the skyline. The steep riverbanks are densely wooded, adding to the picturesque beauty of the city. West of the city centre, another river, the River Browney, drains south to join the Wear to the south of the city.

Elvet Bridge towards Old Elvet Elvet Bridge.jpg
Elvet Bridge towards Old Elvet

The county town of County Durham, until 2009 Durham was located in the City of Durham local government district, which extended beyond the city, and had a total population of 87,656 in 2001, covering 186.68 square kilometres in 2007. [1] In 2001, the unparished area of Durham had a population of 29,091, whilst the built-up area of Durham had a population of 42,939. [2] [51] [52]

There are three old roads out of the Market Place: Saddler Street heads south-east, towards Elvet Bridge, the Bailey and Prebends Bridge. Elvet Bridge leads to the Elvet area of the city, Durham Prison and the south; Prebends Bridge is smaller and provides access from the Bailey to south Durham. Heading west, Silver Street leads out of the Market Place towards Framwellgate Bridge and North Road, the other main shopping area of the city. From here, the city spreads out into the Framwelgate, Crossgate, Neville's Cross and viaduct districts, which are largely residential areas. Beyond the viaduct lie the outlying districts of Framwellgate Moor and Neville's Cross. Heading north from the Market Place leads to Claypath. The road curves back round to the east and beyond it lie Gilesgate, Gilesgate Moor and Dragonville.

Many of the inner city areas are now inhabited by students living in shared houses.

Green belt

As part of the wider Tyne and Wear Green Belt area, Durham's portion extends beyond its urban area extents of Framwellgate Moor/Pity Me, Elvet and Belmont, it being completely surrounded by green belt. This primarily helps to maintain separation from Chester-le-Street, [53] and restrain expansion of the city and coalescence with nearby villages such as Bearpark, Great Lumley and Sherburn. Landscape features and facilities within the green belt area include Raintonpark Wood, Belmont Viaduct, Ramside Hall, Durham City Golf Course, the River Wear, Browney and Deerness basins, and Durham University Botanic Gardens. It was first drawn up in the 1990s. [54]

Historical geography

Sir Walter Scott's words on Durham are inscribed into Prebends Bridge Scott inscription (Prebends Bridge).jpg
Sir Walter Scott's words on Durham are inscribed into Prebends Bridge

The historical city centre of Durham has changed little over the past 200 years. It is made up of the peninsula containing the cathedral, palace green, former administrative buildings for the palatine and Durham Castle. [8] This was a strategic defensive decision by the city's founders and gives the cathedral a striking position. [15] So much so that Symeon of Durham stated:

"To see Durham is to see the English Sion and by doing so one may save oneself a trip to Jerusalem" [8]

Sir Walter Scott was so inspired by the view of the cathedral from South Street [55] that he wrote "Harold the Dauntless", a poem about Saxons and Vikings set in County Durham and published on 30 January 1817. The following lines from the poem are carved into a stone tablet on Prebends Bridge:

Grey towers of Durham
Yet well I love thy mixed and massive piles
Half church of God, half castle 'gainst the Scot
And long to roam those venerable aisles

With records stored of deeds long since forgot. [56]

The old commercial section of the city encompasses the peninsula on three sides, following the River Wear. The peninsula was historically surrounded by the castle wall extending from the castle keep and broken by two gatehouses to the north and west of the enclosure. [5] After extensive remodelling and "much beautification" [5] by the Victorians the walls were removed with the exception of the gatehouse which is still standing on the Bailey.

The medieval city was made up of the cathedral, castle and administrative buildings on the peninsula. [6] The outlying areas were known as the townships and owned by the bishop, [8] the most famous of these being Gilesgate (which still contains the mediaeval St Giles Church), Claypath and Elvet. [5]

The outlying commercial section of the city, especially around the North Road area, saw much change in the 1960s during a redevelopment spearheaded by Durham City Council; however, much of the original mediaeval street plan remains intact in the area close to the cathedral and market place. [5] Most of the mediaeval buildings in the commercial area of the city have disappeared apart from the House of Correction and the Chapel of Saint Andrew, both under Elvet Bridge. [5] Georgian buildings can still be found on the Bailey and Old Elvet [5] most of which make up the colleges of Durham University.

Climate

The table below gives the average temperature, rainfall and sunshine figures taken between 1981 and 2010, and extreme temperatures back to 1850 for the Met Office weather station in Durham:

Climate data for Durham, elevation: 102 m (335 ft), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1850–present
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)16.7
(62.1)
17.4
(63.3)
21.7
(71.1)
24.1
(75.4)
27.8
(82.0)
30.6
(87.1)
32.9
(91.2)
32.5
(90.5)
30.0
(86.0)
25.0
(77.0)
19.4
(66.9)
15.9
(60.6)
32.9
(91.2)
Average high °C (°F)6.6
(43.9)
7.2
(45.0)
9.5
(49.1)
11.9
(53.4)
15.0
(59.0)
17.6
(63.7)
20.1
(68.2)
19.8
(67.6)
17.2
(63.0)
13.3
(55.9)
9.4
(48.9)
6.7
(44.1)
12.9
(55.2)
Daily mean °C (°F)3.8
(38.8)
4.1
(39.4)
5.9
(42.6)
7.8
(46.0)
10.6
(51.1)
13.3
(55.9)
15.6
(60.1)
15.4
(59.7)
13.1
(55.6)
9.8
(49.6)
6.4
(43.5)
3.9
(39.0)
9.1
(48.4)
Average low °C (°F)0.9
(33.6)
0.9
(33.6)
2.3
(36.1)
3.7
(38.7)
6.1
(43.0)
9.0
(48.2)
11.1
(52.0)
11.0
(51.8)
9.0
(48.2)
6.3
(43.3)
3.4
(38.1)
1.1
(34.0)
5.4
(41.7)
Record low °C (°F)−17.2
(1.0)
−18.3
(−0.9)
−15.0
(5.0)
−11.1
(12.0)
−4.4
(24.1)
−1.1
(30.0)
1.1
(34.0)
0.6
(33.1)
−1.1
(30.0)
−5.5
(22.1)
−8.8
(16.2)
−16.6
(2.1)
−18.3
(−0.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches)52.3
(2.06)
41.8
(1.65)
44.6
(1.76)
52.7
(2.07)
44.2
(1.74)
55.4
(2.18)
54.0
(2.13)
60.8
(2.39)
55.4
(2.18)
60.9
(2.40)
72.0
(2.83)
57.0
(2.24)
651.1
(25.63)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)11.49.39.79.59.29.79.09.69.311.312.311.7122.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 58.680.3115.5150.3181.7164.8172.3167.3134.5102.866.451.21,445.4
Source 1: Met Office [57] [58] [59]
Source 2: NEForum [60]

Like the rest of the United Kingdom, Durham has a temperate climate. At 651.1 millimetres (26 in) [61] the average annual rainfall is lower than the national average of 1,125 millimetres (44 in). [62] Equally there are only around 122 days [61] where more than 1 millimetre (0.04 in) of rain falls compared with a national average of 154.4 days. [62] The area sees on average 1445.4 hours of sunshine per year, [61] compared with a national average of 1125.0 hours. [62] There is frost on 51.5 days [61] compared with a national average of 55.6 days. [62] Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures are 12.5 °C (54.5 °F) and 5.2 °C (41.4 °F) [61] compared with a national averages of 12.1 °C (53.8 °F) and 5.1 °C (41.2 °F) respectively. [62] The highest temperature recorded at Durham was 32.5 °C (90.5 °F) during August 1990. [63]

Governance

Durham Town Hall (Guildhall) Durham Indoor Market - geograph.org.uk - 883874.jpg
Durham Town Hall (Guildhall)

The ancient borough covering Durham was Durham and Framwelgate, which was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. In 1974 it was merged with Durham Rural District and Brandon and Byshottles Urban District to form the City of Durham district of County Durham. The district was abolished in 2009 with its responsibilities assumed by Durham County Council, a unitary authority.

Since April 2009 city status has been held by charter trustees, who are the Durham County Councillors for the area of the former district. The trustees appoint the Mayor of Durham. [64] The creation of the new City of Durham Parish Council has not affected the charter trustees. [65]

Durham's MP is Mary Foy (Labour).

Durham Town Hall is located on the west side of the Market Place. The earliest part of the complex of buildings is the guildhall which dates from 1665. The town hall, at the rear, was opened in 1851 (at the same time as the indoor market, which extends beneath and either side of the hall). [66]

A local referendum was held on creating a parish council for unparished areas of Durham City in February and March 2017, in which 66% of voters supported the proposal. The County Council approved the plans in September 2017. The City of Durham Parish Council was created on 1 April 2018, with the first elections for the 15 council seats taking place on 3 May 2018. [67] [68]

Economy

This is a table of trend of regional gross value added of County Durham at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

YearRegional Gross Value Added [notes 1] Agriculture [notes 2] Industry [notes 3] Services [notes 4]
19954,063471,7552,261
20004,783401,8402,904
20035,314391,9783,297

Landmarks

The whole of the centre of Durham is designated a conservation area. The conservation area was first designated on 9 August 1968, and was extended on 25 November 1980. [69] In addition to the Cathedral and Castle, Durham contains over 630 listed buildings, [70] 569 of which are located within the city centre conservation area. Particularly notable properties include:

Grade I listed

Looking across Elvet Bridge Elvet Bridge, Durham.jpg
Looking across Elvet Bridge

Grade II* listed

12, South Bailey StCuthsdoor.gif
12, South Bailey

Grade II listed

and a great many others. [83]

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral from Elvet Durham Crown Court and Cathedral.JPG
Durham Cathedral from Elvet

The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly referred to as Durham Cathedral was founded in its present form in AD 1093 and remains a centre for Christian worship today. It is generally regarded as one of the finest Romanesque cathedrals in Europe and the rib vaulting in the nave marks the beginning of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture. The cathedral has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site [84] along with nearby Durham Castle, which faces it across Palace Green, high above the River Wear.

The cathedral houses the shrine and related treasures of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, and these are on public view. It is also home to the head of St Oswald of Northumbria and the remains of the Venerable Bede. [84]

Durham Castle

Durham Castle, view of the keep Durham Castle Bergfried.jpg
Durham Castle, view of the keep

The castle was originally built in the 11th century as a projection of the Norman power in Northern England, as the population of England in the north remained rebellious following the disruption of the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is an excellent example of the early motte and bailey castles favoured by the Normans. [85] The holder of the office of Bishop of Durham was appointed by the King to exercise royal authority on his behalf and the castle was the centre of his command.

It remained the Bishop's Palace for the Bishops of Durham [86] until the Bishop William Van Mildert made Bishop Auckland their primary residence. A founder of Durham University, Van Mildert gave the castle as accommodation for the institution's first college, University College. [87] The castle was famed for its vast Great Hall, created by Bishop Antony Bek in the early 14th century. It was the largest great hall in Britain until Bishop Richard Foxe shortened it at the end of the 15th century. However, it is still 46 feet high and over 33 yards long. The castle is still the home of University College, Durham (which is, as a result, known informally as "Castle"). It has been in continuous use for over 900 years.

Education

Durham University

Durham is home to Durham University. It was founded as the University of Durham (which remains its official and legal name) [88] by Act of Parliament in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837. It was one of the first universities to open in England for more than 600 years, and is claimed to be England's third oldest after the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Durham University has an international reputation for excellence, as reflected by its ranking in the top 100 of the world's universities. [89]

Further education

New College Durham is the city's largest college of further education. It was founded in 1977 as a result of a merger between Neville's Cross College of Education and Durham Technical College. The college operated on two main sites near the city of Durham: Neville's Cross and Framwellgate Moor. The site at Framwellgate Moor opened in 1957 and has subsequently been rebuilt. The Neville's Cross Centre, which used to be housed in the county's former asylum has been sold for development into houses.

Durham Sixth Form Centre specialises in sixth form courses, while East Durham College has sites just to the east of the city.

Schools

The results relate to the 2008 examination series.

Secondary schools

Durham is served by four state secondary schools:

SchoolGCSE Results (percentage A* to C) [90] A/AS Average points [90]
Belmont School Community and Arts College [91] 48%N/A
Durham Johnston Comprehensive School [92] 89%853.1
Framwellgate School Durham [93] 77%645.8
St Leonard's Catholic School [94] 65%751

Independent schools

Durham School with Durham Cathedral in the background Durham School.jpg
Durham School with Durham Cathedral in the background

There are three independent schools:

SchoolGCSE Results (percentage A* to C) [90] A/AS Average points [90]
The Chorister School N/AN/A
Durham High School for Girls 98%854.8
Durham School 76%807.1

Primary schools

Primary schools include:

  • Shincliffe Primary School
  • Finchale Primary School
  • Durham Blue Coat Junior School [95]
  • Durham Gilesgate Primary [96]
  • St Joseph's RCVA Primary [97]
  • St Godric's RC Primary School
  • St Margaret's CofE Primary School [98]
  • St Oswald's CofE Infant School [99]
  • Nevilles Cross Primary School
  • St Hild's College CE Aided Primary School

Transport

Air

Durham's nearest airports are Newcastle Airport to the north, and Teesside Airport to the south – both of which are located about 25–30 miles (40–48 km) from the city by road.

Road

By road, the A1(M), the modern incarnation of the ancient Great North Road, passes just to the east of the city. The road's previous incarnation (now numbered A167) passes just to the west.

Durham Market Place and its peninsula form the UK's first (albeit small) congestion charging area, which was introduced in 2002. [100]

Rail

Durham is served by Durham station, which is situated on the East Coast Main Line between Edinburgh and London. From the south, trains enter Durham over the spectacular Victorian viaduct, high above the city.

A second station, Durham Elvet, also served Durham. The station opened in 1893, serving passengers until 1931, and goods until 1954. [101]

Park and Ride

Durham City Park and Ride consists of three sites (Belmont, Howlands and Sniperley), which are located around the outskirts of the city centre. Frequent, direct bus services operate up to every 10 minutes between 7am and 7pm (Monday–Saturday). Car parking is free, with a return bus journey costing £2 per person (as of June 2020). [102]

Durham City Park and Ride Map Durham City Park and Ride Map.jpg
Durham City Park and Ride Map

Durham Bus Station

Durham Bus Station
Durham bus station in the foreground - geograph.org.uk - 1054214.jpg
LocationNorth Road
Durham
County Durham
Coordinates 54°46′38″N1°34′55″W / 54.7773°N 1.5819°W / 54.7773; -1.5819
Owned by Durham County Council
Operated by Durham County Council
Bus stands11
Connections Durham National Rail logo.svg
Location
Durham UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Durham Bus Station
Location within County Durham

Durham Bus Station is located off North Road, and is a short walk away from Durham Cathedral and Durham University, as well as the city's railway station. It has 11 stands, and is managed and owned by Durham County Council.

Durham Bus Station is served by Arriva North East and Go North East's local bus services, with frequent routes running in and around County Durham, as well as Darlington, Gateshead, Newcastle upon Tyne, Sunderland and Teesside. The bus station has 11 departure stands (lettered A–L), each of which is fitted with seating, next bus information displays, and timetable posters.

As of June 2020, the stand allocation is:

StandRouteDestination
AX20 Sunderland National Rail logo.svg TWMetro logo no text.PNG BSicon BUS2.svg     via Houghton-le-Spring
B20 South Shields TWMetro logo no text.PNG BSicon BUS2.svg     via Sunderland National Rail logo.svg TWMetro logo no text.PNG BSicon BUS2.svg
C16 Castleside     via Stanley BSicon BUS2.svg & Consett BSicon BUS2.svg
16A Castleside     via Stanley BSicon BUS2.svg & Consett BSicon BUS2.svg
X5 Shotley Bridge     via Lanchester & Consett BSicon BUS2.svg
X15 Shotley Bridge     via Lanchester & Consett BSicon BUS2.svg
D22 Sunderland National Rail logo.svg TWMetro logo no text.PNG BSicon BUS2.svg     via Peterlee BSicon BUS2.svg & Dalton Park
24 Hartlepool     via Peterlee BSicon BUS2.svg & Blackhall
43 Esh Winning
E48 New Brancepeth
X46 Crook     via Langley Moor & Brancepeth
F49 Brandon     via Langley Moor
49A Brandon     via Langley Moor
52 East Hedleyhope     via Esh Winning
G204 Sherburn     via Gilesgate & Belmont
204A Sherburn     via Gilesgate & Belmont
208 Peterlee BSicon BUS2.svg     via South Hetton & Easington
265 Seaham     via Murton & Dalton Park
H56 Bishop Auckland BSicon BUS2.svg     via Coxhoe & Ferryhill
57 Hartlepool National Rail logo.svg BSicon BUS2.svg     via Coxhoe & Wingate
57A Hartlepool National Rail logo.svg BSicon BUS2.svg     via Coxhoe & Trimdon
58 Hartlepool National Rail logo.svg BSicon BUS2.svg     via Coxhoe & Wingate
59 Thornley     via Coxhoe
X12 Middlesbrough National Rail logo.svg BSicon BUS2.svg     via Sedgefield & Stockton BSicon BUS2.svg
J6 Cockfield     via Bishop Auckland BSicon BUS2.svg
K7 Darlington BSicon BUS2.svg     via Ferryhill & Newton Aycliffe
X12 Newcastle TWMetro logo no text.PNG BSicon BUS2.svg     via Chester-le-Street
X21 West Auckland     via Bishop Auckland BSicon BUS2.svg
L21 Newcastle TWMetro logo no text.PNG BSicon BUS2.svg     via Chester-le-Street
50 South Shields TWMetro logo no text.PNG BSicon BUS2.svg     via Chester-le-Street
50A South Shields TWMetro logo no text.PNG BSicon BUS2.svg     via Chester-le-Street
X21 Newcastle TWMetro logo no text.PNG BSicon BUS2.svg     via Chester-le-Street

Sport

Archery

Durham hosts several archery clubs who shoot at various locations in the city, [103] [104] [105] members of these clubs shoot for the region and individually at national events, as well as many who shoot purely for fun. In 2014 the regional Durham And Northumberland Archery Team won the National Intercounty Team Event at Lilleshall NSC, this event saw 260 archers from 19 counties competing over 2 days for the title. [106]

Cricket

Durham City Cricket Club plays on its own ground near the River Wear. Formed in 1829, Durham City was one of the founder members of the Durham Senior Cricket League upon its creation in 1903 and the First XI have been crowned champions on thirteen occasions. [107]

Football

The town's football club Durham City A.F.C. once boasted membership of the Football League between 1921 and 1928 but has long been a non-league club, currently playing in the Northern League. Their home ground was New Ferens Park However, after a dispute with the Landlord Durham were forced out of New Ferens Park and made a deal to groundshare at Willington F.C..

Durham is also home to FA Women's Championship team Durham Women's F.C., a team founded in 2014, they are a collaboration between South Durham and Cestria Girls and Durham University, the team are nicknamed The Wildcats, who are coached by Steph Libbey and play their Home games at New Ferens Park.

Ice rink

Durham Ice Rink was a central feature of the city for some 60 years until it closed in 1996. It was home to the Durham Wasps, one of the most successful British ice hockey clubs during the 1980s and early 1990s. In 2009 an ice rink opened outside of the bowling alley; it lasted for 6–8 months.

Durham Ice Rink's demolition began in May 2013. [108] On the location of the former ice rink now stands Freemans Reach which houses the Durham Passport Office [109]

Rowing

Prebends Bridge and the weir marking the end of the stretch available for rowing. Prebends and weir.JPG
Prebends Bridge and the weir marking the end of the stretch available for rowing.

The River Wear provides some 1800 m [110] of river that can be rowed on, stretching from Old Durham Beck in the east ( 54°46′21.49″N1°33′26.75″W / 54.7726361°N 1.5574306°W / 54.7726361; -1.5574306 ) to the weir next to Durham School Boat Club's boathouse in the west ( 54°46′20.95″N1°34′45.35″W / 54.7724861°N 1.5792639°W / 54.7724861; -1.5792639 ). This includes the 700 m straight used for most of the Durham Regatta races and some challenging navigation through the arches of Elvet Bridge, reputed to be the narrowest row through bridge in Europe, [111] and the bends of the river round the peninsula. There is a path running alongside the river's south bank (i.e. the Cathedral side) for the entire length of the stretch available for rowing, the concrete section between Hatfield College boathouse and Elvet Bridge being completed in 1882. [112] [113]

For sport rowing there are a number of boating clubs operating on this stretch, Durham Amateur Rowing Club, the Durham University Boat Club, the 14 university college clubs of the Durham campus, Durham Constabulary and the school clubs – Durham School Boat Club and St Leonard's who row regularly in their own colours out of their own boathouses and Durham High School for Girls who may row out of Durham Amateur Rowing Club.

Durham Amateur Rowing Club

Durham Amateur Rowing Club, DARC, operates out of a purpose-built community clubhouse on the River Wear which opened in 2007: [114]

Durham Amateur Rowing Club is one of the country's oldest clubs (founded in 1860) and lies at the end of Green Lane in Durham, occupying a tranquil setting on the River Wear. [115]

The club takes part in the government scheme playing for success where it uses sport to combine rowing, science, computers and video to help boost literacy and numeracy. [116]

Durham University rowing

Durham University rowing is divided into two sections: Durham University Boat Club and Durham College Rowing, the latter comprises 16 college boat clubs.

Regattas and head races

The River Wear is host to a number of regattas and head races throughout the year. These include:

the Novice Cup, Wear Long Distance Sculls and Senate Cup in November and December; Durham Small Boats Head in February; Durham City Regatta in May; Durham Regatta and Admiral's Regatta in June; and Durham Primary Regatta in September. [111]

Durham Regatta

Durham Regatta has been held on the River Wear in Durham since 1834. It is the second oldest regatta in Britain [117] and is often referred to as 'the Henley of the North'. [118]

Durham Regatta in its current form dates back to 1834, when only a handful of trophies were competed for over a period of three days. Today, the regatta takes place over a period of two days, at which dozens of trophies are competed for. It is a favourite amongst Durham University, Durham School and Durham Amateur Rowing Club, who have competed regularly since the early days. [119]

Pleasure boats

Pleasure boating on the River Wear, close to Elvet Bridge. Rowing in Durham.jpg
Pleasure boating on the River Wear, close to Elvet Bridge.

In addition to the competitive rowing and sculling of the boat clubs mentioned above, there is also a thriving hire of public pleasure boats from April to October. [120]

Rugby

Durham City Rugby Club has its headquarters on Green Lane:

Durham City RFC, the second oldest club in the county, was founded in 1872 with navy and gold playing colours and Durham Cathedral's sanctuary knocker as the club's crest.

City have a proud heritage and their Hollow Drift home has been developed into an excellent rugby facility which includes two floodlit pitches and a training area.

At present, City run four senior sides, a Veteran's XV, a Ladies' XV and mini and junior teams from aged 6 to 17. [121]

Durham University sport

Notable people

Twin towns

Freedom of the City

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the City of Durham.

Individuals

Military Units

See also

Notes

  1. Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  2. includes hunting and forestry
  3. includes energy and construction
  4. includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

Related Research Articles

Durham Cathedral Church in Durham, United Kingdom

The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England. It is the seat of the Bishop of Durham, the fourth-ranked bishop in the Church of England hierarchy. The present cathedral was begun in 1093, replacing the Saxon 'White Church', and is regarded as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Europe. In 1986 the cathedral and Durham Castle were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Chester-le-Street Human settlement in England

Chester-le-Street is a market town and civil parish in County Durham, England. Its history goes back to the building of a Roman fort called Concangis. This Roman fort is the "Chester" of the town's name; the "Street" refers to the paved Roman road that ran north–south through the town, and which is now called Front Street.

Bishop Auckland Market town and civil parish in County Durham, England

Bishop Auckland is a market town and civil parish in County Durham in north east England. It is located about 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Darlington, 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Durham and 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Crook at the confluence of the River Wear with its tributary the River Gaunless. According to the 2001 census, Bishop Auckland has a population of 24,392, increasing to 25,455 according to the 2016 estimate.

County Durham County of England

County Durham is a county in North East England. The county town is Durham, a cathedral city.

Durham District former non-metropolitan district in Durham, England

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Durham Castle Grade I listed historic house museum in Durham, United Kingdom

Durham Castle is a Norman castle in the city of Durham, England, which has been occupied since 1837 by University College, Durham after its previous role as the residence of the Bishops of Durham. Designated as a cultural World Heritage Site in England, along with Durham Cathedral, since 1986, the facility 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. The castle stands on top of a hill above the River Wear on Durham's peninsula, opposite Durham Cathedral.

St Cuthberts Society, Durham Constituent college of the University of Durham, UK

St Cuthbert's Society, colloquially known as Cuth's, is a college of Durham University. It was founded in 1888 for students who were not attached to the existing colleges. St Cuthbert's Society is a Bailey college, based on Durham's peninsula next to the River Wear, although it also has other accommodation a few minutes' walk away in Old Elvet.

The Bailey historic area in the centre of Durham, England

The Bailey, or The Peninsula, is a historic area in the centre of Durham, England. It is a peninsula within a sharp meander in the River Wear, formed by isostatic adjustment of the land. The name 'The Bailey' derives from it being the 'outer bailey' of the Norman motte and bailey-style Durham Castle. Access to the area is restricted by the Durham City congestion charge, which started in 2002 and is the UK's oldest such scheme.

Durham School school in Durham, UK

Durham School is an English independent boarding and day school in Durham, North East England and was an all-boys institution until 1985, when girls were admitted to the sixth form. The school takes pupils aged 3–18 years and became fully co-educational in 1998. A member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, it enrolls 650 day and boarding students. Its preparatory institution, known as Bow, Durham School, enrolls a further 160 pupils. Durham and Bow's former pupils include politicians, clergy and British aristocracy. Former students are known as Old Dunelmians. Founded by the Bishop of Durham, Thomas Langley, in 1414, it received royal foundation by King Henry VIII in 1541 following the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the Protestant Reformation. It is the city's oldest institution of learning.

Elvet Human settlement in England

Elvet is an area of the city of Durham, in County Durham, in England. It is situated on the opposite side of the River Wear from Durham Cathedral and forms the south-eastern part of central Durham. Elvet is currently unparished. Historically, the word elvet means "swan" or "swan-stream", from the Old English elfetu or ilfetu. The Swan and Three Cygnets, a public house on Elvet Bridge, is a reminder of the historical name given to this part of the city.

Elvet Bridge Grade I listed bridge in County Durham, United Kingdom

Elvet Bridge is a mediaeval masonry arch bridge across the River Wear in the city of Durham, in County Durham, England. It links the peninsula in central Durham and the Elvet area of the city, and is a Grade I listed building.

Durham Regatta

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Prebends Bridge Grade I listed bridge in County Durham, United Kingdom

Prebends Bridge, along with Framwellgate and Elvet bridges, is one of three stone-arch bridges in the centre of Durham, England, that cross the River Wear.

River Wear river in North East England

The River Wear in North East England rises in the Pennines and flows eastwards, mostly through County Durham to the North Sea in the City of Sunderland. At 60 mi (97 km) long, it is one of the region's longest rivers, wends in a steep valley through the cathedral city of Durham and gives its name to Weardale in its upper reach and Wearside by its mouth.

Colleges of Durham University list of colleges within the University of Durham

The Colleges of Durham University are residential colleges which are the primary source of accommodation and support services for undergraduates and postgraduates at Durham University, as well as providing bursaries and scholarships to students. They also provide funding and/or accommodation for some of the research posts in the University. All students at the University are required to be members of one of the colleges.

Grey College Boat Club British rowing club

Grey College Boat Club (GCBC) is the rowing club of Grey College at Durham University in northern England.

History of Durham University

The history of Durham University spans over 180 years since it was founded by Act of Parliament. King William IV granted Royal Assent to the Act on 4 July 1832, and granted the university a Royal Charter on 1 June 1837, incorporating it and confirming its constitution. The university awarded its first degrees on 8 June 1837. It claims to be the third-oldest university in England and is, according to the European University Association's A History of the University in Europe, one of the oldest hundred universities in continuous operation in Europe.

Durham University collegiate public research university in Durham, United Kingdom

Durham University is a collegiate public research university in Durham, England, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 and incorporated by royal charter in 1837. It was the first recognised university to open in England for more than 600 years, after Oxford and Cambridge, and is thus one of the institutions to be described as the third-oldest university in England. As a collegiate university its main functions are divided between the academic departments of the university and its 16 colleges. In general, the departments perform research and provide teaching to students, while the colleges are responsible for their domestic arrangements and welfare.

St Cuthberts Church, Durham Church in Durham, United Kingdom

St Cuthbert's Church is a Roman Catholic parish church in Durham, England. It was opened on 31 May 1827 to replace two previous chapels, one run by the secular clergy and the other by the Jesuits. It is also the home of the Durham University Catholic Chaplaincy and Catholic Society. From 2012 to 2016 the parish was entrusted, along with the chaplaincy, to the Dominican Order, and its congregation has since maintained the Dominicans' influence. The church is a protected building, being part of the Elvet Green Conservation Area. It is named for St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, the 7th century bishop, healer and patron of Northern England.

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