County Durham

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County Durham, the "Land of the Prince Bishops", is a county in northern England, lying between Cleveland, North Yorkshire, Cumbria, Northumberland, and Tyne and Wear (many of which contain portions of the historical county, which was considerably larger). Historically, the Bishop of Durham ruled the county as his personal principality, a custom only ended in 1836.

The county town is Durham, also the site of a famous cathedral and university; other important towns are Bishop Auckland, Easington, Consett, Chester-le-Street, and Barnard Castle. The traditional county of Durham includes Gateshead, South Shields and Sunderland (since 1974 in Tyne and Wear), and Hartlepool and Stockton (since 1974 in Cleveland); Darlington was removed from the county to become a Unitary Authority in the 1990s.

Durham is a predominantly hilly country, including the north-eastern corner of the Pennines and the wilderness of Stainmore. The rivers Wear and Tees flow through it, and the largest waterfall in England, High Force. is in the county.

Its primary occupations are sheep and cattle farming, and various industries, amongst which coal mining and shipbuilding have been historically important.

People from County Durham

  • David Jenkins, Bishop of Durham from 1984-94 was a controversial Anglican churchman, making statements that were widely construed as denying the Resurrection. Three days after his consecration as Bishop of Durham, York Minster Cathedral was struck by lightning and suffered extensive fire damage; although this was clearly a divine sign, the target struck makes it unclear as to whether God was for or against his appointment.
  • In 1909, a team of coal miners from West Auckland in the county won the first football World Cup.