The parish covers a number of settlements:
Unlike the ecclesiastical parish of Cassop-cum-Quarrington with Bowburn, the civil parish does not include Quarrington Hill.
The civil parish was created in 1887 from the townships of Cassop and Quarringon with boundary changes in 1946 and 1953 (the latter changes moving much of the newly built Bowburn Estate into the parish from Whitwell House).
The parish was divided into two wards from the May 2013 elections. The division between the two is marked by the A1(M) motorway.
- East Ward - consisting of Bowburn and Tursdale has 11 councillors
- West Ward - consisting of Cassop, Parkhill, Old Cassop and Old Quarrington has 4 councillors.
In 2013 15 Labour Party Candidates and 1 Independent were elected as Parish councillors.
History of Parkhill
Park Hill was originally a farm, most of which was disappeared when the A1(M) motorway interchange was constructed in the 1960s. Many of the original homes on the current Parkhill housing estate were built for miners. Because it is separated from Bowburn by the motorway, Parkhill is often mistaken for part of Coxhoe but in recent times Durham County Council set the record straight by erecting signs that clearly show that Parkhill is a distinct community.
The Clarence Villa Hotel, and the houses opposite the hotel (Clarence Villas) are both close to what was the Four Mile Bridge, which still defines the border between Parkhill and Coxhoe. On the far side of what was the bridge ran the Clarence Railway, established in 1828. The railway was named after the Duke of Clarence, who became King William IV in 1830. It was a link to the collieries in the area to ports at Stockton and Hartlepool. At the beginning the railway only linked Port Clarence, on Teesside, with neighbouring Stockton, but it was extended north in the 1830s. The Clarence connection is remembered in Bowburn’s Clarence Street and Parkhill’s Clarence Villas.