|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||HOUGHTON LE SPRING|
|Fire||Tyne and Wear|
Fence Houses, or Fencehouses, is a small village within the parish of Houghton-le-Spring, on the edge of the City of Sunderland, England for the South with the North under the control of Durham County Council as part of County Durham.
It came into existence when Napoleonic prisoners were housed on the outskirts of Houghton-le-Spring[ citation needed ]. The prisoners were used as labour to cut a path through the hill at Houghton-le-Spring in order to get the troops from Durham to the coast at Sunderland. Houghton Cut as it became known has now been expanded to carry a 4-lane road, the A690. The place the prisoners were housed was known as "The French Houses" and this later changed to "Fencehouses".
This origin is highly debatable. A more likely origin was put forward by the late Houghton-le-Spring historian, C.A. Smith MA, in an article in the Official Houghton-le-Spring Urban District Handbook, 1962, as:
Fence Houses derives its name from Biddick Fence which formed the southern boundary of South Biddick and included Burnmoor
The land was originally part of the Grange (a large local manor house). In about 1950, a modern housing estate was added to the village it, called the Grange estate.
A railway line was built, bringing a 2-platform station providing services to Sunderland, Newcastle upon Tyne and Durham, and a stock yard from which local farmers shipped their cattle by train. The station opened in 1836, and the Post Office two years later as a Railway Sorting Office. The line closed to passengers in May 1964, apart from a one-day service for the Durham Miners Gala that year.
In the 1960s. Fence Houses had the largest telephone exchange in the area (The Police house at Shiney Row 4 miles (6.4 km) away had the number "Fencehouses 55" in the 1940s). In the 1980s the Fence Houses exchange numbers became the Durham exchange numbers.
The village is essentially a single main street cut in two by the path of the old railway line which also splits the village into control of two local authorities – Sunderland Council for the south of the village and Durham to the north). This is believed to be one of the only villages to split by local authorities in England with the North part of Fence Houses, County Durham and the South part of Fence Houses, Tyne & Wear.
Washington is a large town in the City of Sunderland local government district of Tyne and Wear, England, and part of historic County Durham. Washington is located geographically at an equal distance from the centres of Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland, with close ties to all three cities.
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.
Houghton-le-Spring is a town in the City of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, North East England which has its recorded origins in Norman times. Historically in County Durham, it is now administered as part of the Tyne and Wear county. It is situated almost equidistant between the cathedral city of Durham 7 miles southwest and Sunderland about 7 mi (11 km) northeast. The town of Seaham and the North Sea lie about 5 mi (8 km) directly east. The villages and towns of Newbottle, Fencehouses and Hetton-le-Hole lie nearby. It has a population of 36,746.
Wearside is an area of North East England centred on the continuous urban area of Sunderland by the River Wear. It includes nearby separate significant settlements such as Washington, Houghton-le-Spring and Chester-Le-Street as well as the many settlements which form part of the continuous urban area, including Whitburn, Hetton-le-Hole, Bournmoor, South Hetton, Springwell Village, Ouston and Pelton. Therefore, Wearside is partially situated in both the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear and the ceremonial county of County Durham. Most of the Wearside areas is within the metropolitan borough of the City of Sunderland, which had a population of 280,807 in 2001.
Ryhope is a coastal village along the southern boundary of the City of Sunderland, in Tyne and Wear, North East England. With a population of approximately 14,000, measured at 10.484 in the 2011 census, Ryhope is 2.9 miles to the centre of Sunderland, 2.8 miles to the centre of Seaham, and 1.2 miles from the main A19.
Newbottle is a village in North East England, lying between Durham and Sunderland, one and a half miles north of Houghton-le-Spring. The village occupies an elevated position and is accessed from three sides up a steep bank.
The village of Penshaw, formerly known as Painshaw or Pensher, is an area of the metropolitan district of the City of Sunderland, in Tyne and Wear, England. Historically, Penshaw was located in County Durham.
The A690 is a road in County Durham running from Sunderland in the east through Durham to Crook.
Bournmoor is a village in County Durham, England, and is situated a short distance from Chester-le-Street.
The Durham Coast Line is an approximately 39.5 miles (63.6 km) railway line running between Newcastle and Middlesbrough in North East England. Heavy rail passenger services, predominantly operated Northern Trains, and some freight services operate over the whole length of the line; it provides an important diversionary route at times when the East Coast Main Line is closed. Light rail services of the Tyne and Wear Metro's Green Line also operate over the same tracks between a junction just south of Sunderland station and Pelaw Junction.
The Leamside Line, originally part of the Durham Junction Railway, is a disused railway line, located in the North East of England. The alignment diverges from the East Coast Main Line at Tursdale Junction, travelling a distance of 21 miles north through the Durham Coalfield and Washington, prior to joining the Durham Coast Line at Pelaw Junction. The Leamside Line closed to passenger traffic in 1964, under the Beeching Axe.
Chester-le-Street was a rural district in County Durham, England from 1894 to 1974. It surrounded the urban district of Chester-le-Street.
Farringdon is a suburb of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England. Originally a Monastic grange and manor estate for hundreds of years, Farringdon was rebuilt as a post-war council housing estate in the 1950s. It is approximately 3 mi (4.8 km) south of the city centre along the A690, close to Thorney Close, Silksworth, East Herrington, Gilley Law and Doxford Park. Electorally, the area comes under the St. Chad's ward of the City.
Chilton Moor is a village in Tyne and Wear, England. The village is located between Houghton le Spring and Fence Houses on the Tyne and Wear/County Durham county boundary.
Woodstone is a hamlet in County Durham. It neighbours the larger villages of Fencehouses and Burnmoor. The local towns are Chester-le-Street and Houghton-le-Spring.
Seaburn Dene is a northern suburb of Sunderland, England, located about one mile inland from the North Sea, near the boundary with South Tyneside.
The Tyneside Passenger Transport Executive was the operations arm of the Tyneside Passenger Transport Authority, created by the Transport Act 1968.and came into operation on 1 January 1970.