Esh, County Durham

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Coordinates: 54°47′26″N 1°42′22″W / 54.790537°N 1.706048°W / 54.790537; -1.706048

Esh
Esh is located in County Durham
Esh
Esh
 Esh shown within County Durham
Population 5,023 (2001) [1]
OS grid reference NZ 1944
Civil parish Esh
Unitary authority County Durham
Ceremonial county County Durham
Region North East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Durham
Dialling code 01385
Police Durham
Fire County Durham and Darlington
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
List of places
UK
England
County Durham

Esh is a village and civil parish situated around five miles north-west of Durham in County Durham, England. The central area of the village contains a stone cross, which probably replaced a former market cross. This is locally known as St Cuthberts Cross and bears the inscription I. H. S., and the date 1687.[2] Esh is a rural village, nestled between a number of working farms; it has two primary schools, a pub and the church, St Michaels.[citation needed]

Esh parish[edit]

Esh parish comprises a number of small settlements located near and around Esh village, which include: Ushaw Moor, Esh Winning and Langley Park. Predominantly these are old colliery villages sited on top of the Durham Coalfield, which was exploited in the area from the late 1800s, leading to a need to house workers from newly sunk collieries.[2] The population effect of the coal industry is clearly reflected in a table of population growth through the 1800s, which shows a nine-fold increase in a twenty-year period.

Year Population
1801 276
1811 383
1821 470
1831 486
1841 518
1851 642
1861 942
1871 2294
1881 6333
1891 6392

History[edit]

The name Esh is though to derive from an Anglo-Saxon name meaning ash tree, whilst the spelling reflects an old Northumbrian dialect, which evidently is local to the area.[citation needed]

Esh Hall was built in 1687,[3] this could be verified by the date inscribed upon the halls sundial; which until recently was still visible but has now disappeared through corrosion. This remains one of the few key public buildings in the area. The village store cum Post Office closed in June 2008 along with 79 other post offices in the north-east;[4] as a result there is now only The Cross Keys pub still open as a public amenities in the village.

A major aspect of Esh's history is bound up with the coal industry.[2] The Esh colliery specialised in the mining of coal and then from 1896 also the manufacture of coke. Employment in the collieries peaked in 1914, with around 870 men employed just prior to World War I.[5] In 1947 production of coke peaked at 70,000 tonnes largely in response to the demands of World War II. This form of employment was typical all over Northern England and much of Wales at the time and allowed for the community to develop and result in what remains today.[citation needed]

Church[edit]

St Michael's Church, Esh, County Durham

Believed to have been built in 1711, St Michael's Church holds the effigy of a lady created out of sandstone.[3]

Christian legend proclaims that monks stopped and rested in the village whilst carrying St Cuthbert's body on the way to Durham and gives reasoning for the name of the village cross. Another iconic person linked to St From 1835 until his death, the British astronomer Temple Chevallier served as Parish Priest at Esh, where he founded the village convent school and restored the church whilst also lecturing at Durham University.[citation needed]

More recently the parish church was devastated by fire in March 2006[6] causing cracking and damage to the tower, devastating the interior, and the nave roof. Two years after the fire, the church was fully renovated and able to be handed back to the Reverend John Sinclair and his Parishioners.[6] The Bishop of Newcastle then rededicated the church ready for service on Easter Sunday. The project was recently awarded a Commendation in the Conservation category of the 2009 RICS North East Renaissance Awards.

Services running at St Michaels:[7] | Sundays: Holy mass Vigil 8am and 6pm | Holydays: Holy Mass 9.30am and Evening Mass 7pm

Education[edit]

Two primary schools preside in Esh, both with links to Christian Churches. This potentially reflects the high level of religious followers in the area.

St Michael’s Esh Laude RC Primary School

Originally a Catholic Convent, thought to have been established by Temple Chevallier in 1795[8] therefore making it the oldest Roman Catholic primary school in the area. However, the convent closed in the summer of 2010 due to Sister Anna Ryan leaving; ending a 121 year tradition of having a nun heading the school.[citation needed]

Subsequently a former pupil, Helen McDaid is to become Head of the school and the school continues to thrive having achieved an outstanding Ofsted report in 2010.[9]

Esh Church of England Aided Primary School

Mr R Ward is the Head and although not a former convent, this Church of England primary school also assists teachings with Christianity. This is reinforced by a report made by the Statutory Inspection of Anglican Schools;[10] the school holds the motto 'Everyone Smiles Here' and a SIAS inspection found this to be a trend setter in the way pupils behave towards each other and is stated to be highly commendable.[11]

Demography[edit]

Esh ward currently holds 2093 homes and has a population of 5023.[12] The data in the table below shows how the majority of residents in the area are between 30 and 59. At this age you would expect workers to be reaching the peak of there career and couples settling down to make a family. Esh is primly located for families with working parents as it lies only 5 miles from Durham, giving accessibility to workplaces. Whilst the two schools in the area are both highly rated, potentially giving reason for the high number of people living in Esh within this age bracket.

Age Number Percentage
Under 16 998 19.9%
16 to 19 231 4.6%
20 to 29 563 11.2%
30 to 59 2202 43.8%
60 to 74 637 12.7%
75 and over 392 7.8%
Total 5023 100

Esh Parish Walk[edit]

Starting from Langley Park, accessible from the A691 Durham to Consett road. Around seven miles long the walk will take approximately three hours to complete and is reasonably unchallenging except for a steep climb towards the beginning.[13] The full route may be found on the Esh Parish website posted in the extended links below. Whilst ordnance survey maps covering the area include the Landranger scale 1 :50,000 No.88 and the Pathfinder maps scale 1 :25,000 No's 571 Lanchester and 572 Durham.

The Cross Keys[edit]

Esh's only pub, has been in the village since the fourteenth century and is thought to have been visited by Edward I. Furthermore good reviews from The Good Pub Guide reflect well on the village and the public house. The guide states that The Cross keys is a pleasant pub in a picturesque village, with beautiful views across the valley and a full menu.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Esh Ward Vital Statistics, Area: Esh CP". Neighbourhood statistics. Office for National Statistics. 2001. 
  2. ^ a b c "History of Esh". Kelly. Esh Parish Council. 
  3. ^ a b Pevsner.N (1953) Buildings of England: County Durham. London, Penguin Books
  4. ^ "Esh Leaves". Esh Parish Council. 
  5. ^ "Esh Colliery". The Durham Mining Museum. The Durham Mining Museum. 
  6. ^ a b "St Michaels and all Angels Church". Esh Group. Esh Group. 
  7. ^ "Esh Village". Amy Dolheng. Langley Park. eu. 
  8. ^ "End of an Era". Mark Tallentine. The Northern Echo. 
  9. ^ "Ofsted Inspection Report". Ofsted.gov. 
  10. ^ "SIAS Report". SIAS. Church of England. 
  11. ^ "Esh CE Aided Primary School". Church of England. 
  12. ^ "Esh Ward Vital Statistics". Parish Council. Parish Council. 
  13. ^ "Parish Walk". Esh Parish Council. 
  14. ^ "The Cross Keys, Esh". The Good Pub Guide. 

External links[edit]