Cockfield, County Durham

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Church of St Mary the Virgin, Cockfield, County Durham.jpg
St Mary the Virgin church, Cockfield
Cockfield is located in County Durham
Cockfield shown within County Durham
Population 1,531 (2011)[1]
OS grid reference NZ126242
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Bishop Auckland
Postcode district Bishop Auckland
Dialling code 01388
Police Durham
Fire County Durham and Darlington
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
List of places
County Durham
54°36′47″N 1°48′22″W / 54.61292°N 1.80616°W / 54.61292; -1.80616Coordinates: 54°36′47″N 1°48′22″W / 54.61292°N 1.80616°W / 54.61292; -1.80616

Cockfield is a village on the edge of Teesdale, County Durham, England. It is situated 8 miles to the south-west of Bishop Auckland, 15 miles north-west of Darlington and 40 miles south-west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Remains found on Cockfield Fell suggest there was a settlement in the area during the Iron Age. The parish church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, probably dates from the late 12th century.

Coal mining began in the area in the medieval period. When the South West Durham coalfield was opened in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the population of the village grew significantly. The last Coal Mine closed in 1962.

Notable residents[edit]

One of the more illustrious families to hail from Cockfield was the Martindale family. George Dixon (1731–1785) owned coal mines and was a keen inventor, and was probably the first to use coal gas for illumination.[2] His brother Jeremiah Dixon (1733–1779), an astronomer, went to America with Charles Mason in 1763 to survey the boundaries of Maryland and Pennsylvania thereby creating the 'Mason–Dixon line'.

Local amenities[edit]

Public houses[edit]

There are three public houses in the village, the Queen's Head, the King's Head, and the Cockfield Working Men's Club.


There are two stores in the village of Cockfield, a Co-Operative, newsagents, and also a Post Office.


The local primary school is Cockfield County Primary School.


The two churches that can be found in Cockfield are the CofE Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and the Cockfield Methodist Church.

Cockfield Fell[edit]

Cockfield Fell is described as "one of the most important early industrial landscapes in Britain". In addition to four Iron Age (or Romano-British) settlement enclosures, there is evidence within the landscape of early coal mines (the Bishop of Durham licensed mining here at least as early as 1303), medieval agricultural field patterns, centuries of quarrying activity, a railway line established in the 1830s and several earlier tramways.[3] All together, Cockfield Fell constitutes England's largest Scheduled Ancient Monument, described as 'an incomparable association of field monuments relating to the Iron settlement history and industrial evolution of a northern English County'. One reason for its preservation (unusual for a lowland fell) is the fact that it was never subject to enclosure in the 18th-19th century (perhaps due to its highly industrialised past).[4]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "From star-gazing to canal digging". The Northern Echo. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  3. ^ Pevsner, Buildings of England: County Durham, Penguin 1983h.
  4. ^ Guy & Atkinson, West Durham: the archaeology of industry, Phillimore 2008

External links[edit]

Media related to Cockfield, County Durham at Wikimedia Commons