The Victoria history of the county of Durham, England

The fact that the county of Durham was a palatinate, and therefore more than other counties a separate district, may be the reason why it has been peculiarly fortunate in having attracted men of culture and leisure to study its history seriously and enthusiastically. Although he never attempted anything in the form of a county history, George Allan, a solicitor of Darlington, during the latter half of the eighteenth century collected and added to the manuscripts which had been prepared by many earlier workers. This vast store of material he freely placed at the disposal of historical students, thus enabling them to give a thoroughness to their work which otherwise could not probably have been attained. It was by this means that William Hutchinson was able to write his History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, the first volume of which appeared in 1785. Hutchinson was a man of many parts, a lawyer, a politician, a playwright and a novelist, but his history is nevertheless good, and will compare favorably in a few points with that of his rival Surtees.

Without doubt, however, the principal historian of the county was Robert Surtees. From his boyhood Surtees was a student of history, and conceived the idea of writing a history of his native county while an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford. He retired to his family seat at Mainsforth in 1805, and there at the age of twenty-six began what became his life's work. But The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham was delayed on account of his health, and the first volume was not published till 18 16. Beyond the care and accuracy which he gave to his task there is a quaint humor in his style of writing, unusual in works of this nature, which adds a charm to what otherwise might often prove dry reading. The attraction of this quaint humor, exhibited as well in conversation as in writing, together with a generous disposition, surrounded him with those congenial companions and devoted friends who may be said to have founded a school of local historical research which has attained a standard that has never been reached elsewhere in this country. Among those influenced by this movement occur the names of Rev. James Raine, Canon Raine, his son, J. Hodgson Hinde, Sir Cuthbert Sharpe, W. H. D. LongstafF, Canon Greenwell, and Canon Fowler. Surtees died in February, 1834, leaving the fourth volume of his history, which remained unpublished till 1840, to be completed by his colleague. Rev. James Raine. Within a few months of his death the Surtees Society, which has done so much to elucidate the history of the north of England, was founded as a memorial to him. The prime mover in the formation of this Society was Rev. James Raine, D.C.L., author of The History and Antiquities of North Durham, a most scholarly work relating to the detached parts of Durham locally situated in Northumberland, the first part of which was issued in 1830, and the second in 1852. Raine was a man of great learning and indefatigable industry, to whose works all historians of the north of England are indebted. With such rivals as these it seems bold to compete, but it may perhaps be claimed that the aims of the Victoria County History differ in many respects from those of the existing county histories.

The editor desires to express his thanks to Rev. Canon Greenwell, for valuable advice and assistance; to Rev. Dr. Gee, for help in many ways; to Dr. Kitchin, Dean of Durham, for the use of plates; and to the Society of Antiquaries of London, the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, and the Surtees Society, for the use of blocks for illustrations.



Table of Contents

Dedication v
The Advisory Council of the Victoria History vii
General Advertisement vii
The Durham County Committee xiii
Contents xv
List of Illustrations xvii
Preface xix
Table of Abbreviations xxi
Natural History

Geology 1
Palaeontology 31
Botany 35
Marine 83
Marine Molluscs 87
Non-Marine Molluscs 90
Insects 93
Spiders 141
Crustaceans 150
Fishes 168
Reptiles and Batrachians 174
Birds 175
Mammals 191
Early Man 199
Anglo-Saxon Remains 211
The Contents of St. Cuthbert's Shrine 241
Introduction to the Boldon Book 259
Text of the Boldon Book 327
Ancient Earthworks 343
History of Schools 365
Index to the Boldon Book 415


Read the Book - Free

Download the Book - Free ( 32.0 MB PDF )



Table of Contents

Dedication v
Contents ix
List of Illustrations and Maps xi
Ecclesiastical History 1
Religious Houses

Introduction 78
Monastery of Hartlepool 79
St. Hilda's First Monastery 80
Gateshead House 80
Nunnery of Ebchester 81
Monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow 81
Priory of St. Cuthbert, Durham 86
Priory of St. John the Baptist and St. Godric, Finchale 103
Priory of St. Mary, Neasham 106
Priory of Baxterwood 109
Franciscan Friars of Hartlepool 109
Franciscan Friars of Durham 110
Friars Preachers of Hartlepool 110
Friars Preachers of Jarrow 110
Austin Friars of Barnard Castle 111
Hospital of St. Giles, Kepier 111
Hospital of St. Mary Magdalen, Witton Gilbert 114
Hospital of Bathel 114
Hospital of SS. Lazarus, Martha and Mary, Sherburn 115
Hospital of the Holy Trinity, Gateshead 117
Hospital of St. John the Baptist, Barnard Castle 117
Hospital of St. Edmund, Bishop and Confessor, Gateshead 118
Hospital of St. Mary Magdalen, Durham 119
Hospital of St. Stephen, Pelaw 120
Hospital of SS. Mary and Cuthbert, Greatham 121
Hospital of St. Leonard, Durham 123
Hospital of Friarside 123
Hospital of St. Edmund, King and Martyr, Gateshead 124
Hospital of Gainford 125
Hospital of Werhale 125
College of Darlington 125
College of Auckland St. Andrew 126
College of Norton 127
College of Lanchester 127
College of Chester-le-Street 128
College of Staindrop 129
College of Barnard Castle 129
Hermitages 130
Political History 133
Social and Economic History 175
Table of Population, 1801- 1901 261
Introduction 275
Iron and Steel 278
The Chemical Works 293
Shipbuilding 302
Glass Works 309
Potteries 312
Textile Industries 314
Mining 319
Coal 230
Lead 348
Iron 353
Barytes 356
Fluorspar 356
Agriculture 357
Forestry 373
Sport Ancient and Modern
Introduction 285
Fox-hunting 288 The Raby, Mr. Cradock's and Lord Zetland's Foxhounds 388
The Lambton, the Durham County, and the South Durham Foxhounds 393
The Durham County Hounds 395
The North Durham Fox Hounds 397
The Hurworth Hunt 398
The Braes of Derwent 399
The Grove 400
Hare-Hunting 401
Otter-Hunting 403
Coursing 404
Shooting 409
Angling 414
Horse-Racing 417
Rowing 420
Golf 426
Football 427


Read the Book - Free

Download the Book - Free ( 29.3 MB PDF )

The most ancient deposits to be seen in the county probably, but by no means certainly, belong to the Stockdale Shale group of the Silurian System. Only the upturned edges of these beds are visible, and that too only in a very small inlier laid bare by the erosive action of the Upper Tees close to the fine basaltic crags of Cronkley Scar, above the High Force, at the old Pencil Mill. Long ago the late Professor John Phillips had noticed these rocks and had noted their resemblance to the 'Grauwacke' of the older Palaeozoic formations, but without assigning any geological date to them.' It was not however till 1875 that the exposure was carefully studied by Messrs. Gunn, Clough and Dakyns, and the approximate age of the strata ascertained. The natives had for centuries used the soft clay-slate of which the beds consist for slate-pencils, and the name of the old mill standing by the river at the point of their outcrop testifies to this. The uptilted position of the layers and their denudation before the deposition of the lowest over-lying Carboniferous material sufficiently prove the pre-Carboniferous age of the pencil beds; their lithological characters are those of the Stockdale Shales as they occur in the Lake District. Some dykes of mica-trap (minette) accompany them here as in their typical area of development, and so far give confirmatory (though in the absence of fossils still inconclusive) evidence as to their age.