Durham Cathedral and the River Wear
Durham shown within County Durham
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||County Durham|
|Ceremonial county||County Durham|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||County Durham and Darlington|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
|UK Parliament||City of Durham|
|List of places: UK • England • County Durham|
The name "Durham" comes from Old English "dun-holm", meaning "hill-island". It was given this name due to its steep, hilly embankments .
Archeological evidence suggests a history of settlement at Durham since roughly 2000 BC. The present city can clearly be traced back to 995 AD, 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. (Legend says that the monks were led to the location by a milk maid who had lost her dun cow, which was found resting on this spot.) The present Durham Cathedral was built from 1093, and still contains the remains of St Cuthbert as well as The Venerable Bede. It is regarded by many - such as travel writer Bill Bryson -- as the finest cathedral in the world .
Facing the cathedral across Palace Green is Durham Castle, originally built by the Normans from 1071, on William the Conqueror's return from campaigning in Scotland. Some of the present structure is more recent, notably Anthony Salvin's Victorian restorations. The two buildings are jointly designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site- one of the original six in the United Kingdom. Since 1837 the castle has been home to University College, the first college of the University.
In the three centuries following the construction of the Castle, Durham was regularly besieged by the Scots, with the notable Battle of Neville's Cross (1346) occurring just one mile west of the city.
In medieval times Durham was a major centre of both political and ecclesiastical power, mainly due to its strategic importance near the border with Scotland. County Durham was a palatinate, ruled by Prince-Bishops who had secular authority and considerable autonomy from Westminster, minting their own coinage, dispensing their own justice and with the right to maintain their own armies. Every Bishop of Durham from 1071 to 1836 was a Prince Bishop except for the first Norman-appointed bishop Walcher, who was an Earl-Bishop. (The term Prince Bishop, while a useful one, is not one which the Durham Bishops themselves would have recognised.) Henry VIII curtailed some of the Prince-Bishop's powers, and smashed the shrine of Cuthbert in 1538.
19th Century onwardsEdit
Finally, the public climate surrounding the Great Reform Act of 1832 removed the Bishop's extraordinary powers.
In 1832 the University of Durham was founded, which has several buildings on the peninsula and on Elvet Hill on the other side of the river. The 19th century also saw Durham grow as a centre of the coal mining industry. The first Durham Miners' Gala was held in 1871, and remains a popular annual event.
The municipal borough was known as 'Durham and Framwelgate', until it was merged with Durham Rural District and Brandon and Byshottles urban district to form the City of Durham district. Durham's MP is Roberta Blackman-Woods (Labour).
Durham is situated 13 miles (21 km) to the south west of Sunderland, England. The River Wear flows north through the city, enclosing the centre on three sides to create Durham's "peninsula". 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.
Durham won the Large Town award in the Britain in Bloom awards of 2005.
The county town of County Durham, Durham is located in the City of Durham local government district, which extends beyond the city, and has a total population of 87,656, and covers 186.68 square kilometres. The unparished area of Durham had a population of 29,091, whilst the built-up area of Durham had a population of 42,939.
Areas of DurhamEdit
The centre of Durham sits on a peninsula created by the River Wear. At the base of the peninsula is the market square, which still hosts regular markets; a permanent indoor market is also situated on the square. The square and surrounding streets are one of the main commercial and shopping areas of the city. From the market square, The Bailey leads south past Palace Green: The Bailey is almost entirely owned and occupied by the University and Cathedral.
There are three old road bridges leading onto the peninsula, now all pedestrianised. Prebends Bridge is at the southern tip of the Bailey. Heading east from the square, Elvet Bridge leads to the Elvet area of the city. Heading west, Framwellgate Bridge leads to the Framwelgate district, Crossgate and North Road, the other main shopping area of the city. West of here is an area colloquially known as "The Viaduct" after the structure which dominates, now largely student-populated. 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 and Gilesgate Moor. You also have Dragonville. Towards the hospital lies Whitesmocks and Aykley Vale.
|Climate chart for Durham|
|temperatures in °C • precipitation totals in mm|
Like the rest of the United Kingdom, Durham has a temperate climate. At 643.3 millimetres (25 in) the average annual rainfall is lower than the national average of 1,125 millimetres (44 in). Equally there are only around 121.3 days where more than 1 millimetre (0.04 in) of rain falls compared to a national average of 154.4 days. The area sees on average 1374.6 hours of sunshine per year, compared to a national average of 1125.0 hours. There is an air frost on 52 days compared to a national average of 55.6 days. Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures are 12.5 °C (54.5 °F) and 5.2 °C (41.4 °F) compared to a national averages of 12.1 °C (53.8 °F) and 5.1 °C (41.2 °F) respectively.
The table below gives the average temperature and rainfall figures taken between 1971 and 2000 at the Met Office weather station in Durham:
This is a chart 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.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
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. In addition to the Cathedral and Castle, Durham contains over 630 listed buildings, 569 of which are located within the city centre conservation area. Particularly notable properties include:
Grade I listedEdit
- Chorister School
- Crook Hall
- Elvet Bridge
- Framwellgate Bridge
- Kepier Hospital
- Kingsgate Bridge
- Prebends Bridge
- St Giles Church, Gilesgate
- Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Crossgate
- Church of St Mary-le-Bow (now Durham Heritage Centre)
- Church of St Mary the Less
Grade II* listedEdit
- Aykley Heads House (now Bistro 21)
- Bishop Cosin's Hall, Palace Green
- Cosin's Library (now part of University Library, Palace Green)
- Crown Court, Old Elvet
- St Cuthbert's Society, 12 South Bailey
- St John's College, 3 South Bailey
- St Oswald's Church
- Railway viaduct, North Road
- Town Hall and Guildhall, Market Place
Durham railway station is situated on the East Coast Main Line between Edinburgh and London; rail travellers coming from the south enter Durham over a spectacular Victorian viaduct high above the city. By road, the A1(M), the modern incarnation of the ancient Great North Road, passes just to the east of the city. (Its previous incarnation, now numbered A167, passes just to the west.) Newcastle Airport lies to the north, and Durham Tees Valley Airport to the south, both being approximately 25 miles away. The Market Place and peninsula form the UK's first (albeit small) congestion charging area, introduced in 2002. 
A park and ride service is also available.
- Gem Archer Guitarist with the band Oasis
- Rowan Atkinson Actor (attended the Chorister School)
- Pat Barker Novelist ('Regeneration' trilogy)
- Barnabe Barnes Elizabethan poet
- Tony Blair former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (attended the Chorister School)
- Edward Bradley Novelist ('Cuthbert Bede')
- Count Joseph Boruwlaski Celebrated dwarf
- Richard Caddel Poet
- George Camsell International footballer
- Paul Collingwood International cricketer (born in Shotley Bridge, but lives in Durham)
- Sir Kingsley Dunham Director British Geological Survey
- John Bacchus Dykes Hymnologist
- John Meade Falkner Arms manufacturer and novelist (Moonfleet)
- James Fenton Journalist and poet (attended the Chorister School)
- Godric of Finchale Hermit and popular medieval saint
- Andy Gomarsall MBE Rugby union player
- Dora Greenwell Poet
- Canon William Greenwell Antiquary
- John Gully Pugilist
- Ian Hay Novelist
- Lorna Hill Author of the 'Wells' ballet books
- Violet Hunt Novelist and 'new woman'
- Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad Philosopher and radio broadcaster
- Roy Keane Manager of local Premier League Team Sunderland AFC
- Lawrence of Durham Poet
- Sir John Grant McKenzie Laws, Lord Justice Laws, Judge (attended the Chorister School)
- William Pearson Watercolorist, Topographer
- Anna Maria Porter Novelist
- Jane Porter Novelist
- Michael Ramsey, the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury, and once Bishop of Durham
- Reginald of Durham Hagiographer
- Simeon of Durham Historian
- Christopher Smart Poet
- Joseph Spence Literary memoirist
- Anne Stevenson Poet
- Robert Surtees Historian and antiquarian
- Hugh Walpole Novelist
- Walter of Durham 13th century painter
- Sir Arnold Wolfendale Astronomer Royal
- Sir Peter Vardy (attended the Chorister School)
- History of County Durham
- Durham University
- St Nicholas' Church, Durham
- Durham Miners' Gala
- Durham University Solar Car
- Durham School
- Durham Cathedral
- Durham Castle
- ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1511841.stm
- ^ a b c d e f Durham 1971-2000 averages, Met Office. Retrieved on 2007-08-20.
- ^ a b c d e UK 1971-2000 averages, Met Office. Retrieved on 2007-08-20.
- ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
- ^ includes hunting and forestry
- ^ includes energy and construction
- ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
- ^ http://www.durhamcity.gov.uk/Pid/511
- ^ http://www.cartoplus.co.uk/durham/text/01_introduction.htm
- ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2721545.stm
- ^ a b c d e http://www.thechoristerschool.com/alumni/rollcall.php
- ^ 
- ^ Sister Cities information obtained from the Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI)." Retrieved on June 28, 2007.
- Durham City Council
- Durham County Council
- Durham University
- 2001 Census data
- A brief history of Durham
- National Park and Ride Directory
|This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Durham. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.|