Durham, England

City in County Durham, England / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Durham (/ˈdʌrəm/ DURR-əm, locally /ˈdɜːrəm/ listen)[lower-alpha 1] is a cathedral city and civil parish in the county of Durham, England. It is the county town and contains the headquarters of Durham County Council, the unitary authority which governs the district of County Durham.[3][4] It had a population of 48,069 at the 2011 Census.

Quick facts: Durham, Area, Population, • Density, Fou...
City and civil parish
Arms of Durham
Coat of arms
Durham is located in County Durham
Location within County Durham
Area12 sq mi (31 km2) [1]
Population48,069 (2011 BUASD)[2]
 Density4,006/sq mi (1,547/km2)
FoundedAD 995
Civil parish established1 April 2018
Civil parish
  • City of Durham
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Areas of the city
(2011 census BUASD)
Post townDurham
Postcode districtDH1, DH6, DH7
Dialling code0191
FireCounty Durham and Darlington
AmbulanceNorth East
List of places
County Durham
54°46′34″N 1°34′24″W

The city was built on a meander of the River Wear, which surrounds the centre on three sides and creates a narrow neck on the fourth. The surrounding land is hilly, except along the Wear's floodplain to the north and southeast.

Durham was founded in 995 by Anglo-Saxon monks seeking a place safe from Viking raids to house the relics of St Cuthbert. The church the monks built lasted only a century, as it was replaced by the present Durham Cathedral after the Norman Conquest; together with Durham Castle it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the 1070s until 1836 the city was part of the County Palatine of Durham, a semi-independent jurisdiction ruled by the bishops of Durham which acted as a buffer between the kingdoms of England and Scotland. In 1346 the Battle of Neville's Cross was fought immediately outside the city, resulting in an English victory, and in 1650 the cathedral was used to house Scottish prisoners after the Battle of Dunbar. During the Industrial Revolution the Durham coalfield was heavily exploited, and there were several collieries close to the city; although the pits have closed, the annual Durham Miners' Gala continues. Historically, Durham was also known for the manufacture of hoisery, carpets, and mustard.[5]

The city is the home of Durham University, which was founded in 1832 and therefore has a claim to be the third-oldest university in England. The university is a significant employer, alongside the local and national government and the University Hospital of North Durham, and the city has a significant tourism sector.[6] HM Prison Durham is also located close to the city centre.