Crook, County Durham

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Crook Town Centre.
Crook is located in County Durham
 Crook shown within County Durham
Population 10,018 [1]
OS grid reference NZ165356
Unitary authority County Durham
Ceremonial county County Durham
Region North East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town CROOK
Postcode district DL15
Dialling code 01388
Police Durham
Fire County Durham and Darlington
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament North West Durham
List of places
County Durham

Coordinates: 54°42′47″N 1°44′56″W / 54.713°N 1.749°W / 54.713; -1.749

Crook is a historic market town in County Durham, in the North East of England.

Located a couple of miles north of the River Wear, Crook lies about 9 miles (14.5km) south-west of the historic city of Durham and 5 miles (8km) north-west of Bishop Auckland. The A690 road from Durham turns into the A689 leading up through Wolsingham and Stanhope into the scenic upper reaches of Weardale (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Crook is consequently sometimes referred to as the "Gateway to Weardale".

The centre of Crook, a designated conservation area, features a good variety of shops and businesses with the market held on Tuesdays and Saturdays. There are two prominent churches, the centrally located St Catherine's CE and Our Lady Immaculate & St Cuthbert's RC up on Church Hill. On top of the hills to the east sits Crook Golf Club, its challenging 18 hole course offering spectacular views of the local countryside. For a town of its size Crook also features a good selection of pubs, cafes and restaurants.


Crook first appeared as an agricultural village around 1795 although its surrounding districts; Billy Row, Stanley, White Lea, Roddymoor and Helmington Row were established much earlier. [2] In these days Crook was predominantly farmland; however, it also had an Inn and a blacksmith shop, consequently the primary field of employment was within the agricultural industry. 40 years later; Crook became a mining village, and thrived as the coal was very close to the surface[2] and soon there were over 20 mines around the Crook area, and by the end of the nineteenth century the town had developed rapidly in population and economy. However a lot of the population in the area had declined in the following century as the coal mines and industries closed with over 34% of the population being unemployed.[2]

Crook has a famous amateur football team, Crook Town F.C.. Crook Town have won the FA Amateur Cup five times, most recently beating Enfield F.C. in 1964, before the cup was abolished in 1974. This record is second only to Crook's near neighbours, Bishop Auckland F.C.. The club have also reached the third round of the FA Cup and formed a key role in the development of FC Barcelona, playing a number of friendly matches in the 1910s and 1920s.


Crook Landscape.jpg

Crook has a backdrop of traditional and modern buildings. The tallest building in the town is the Council Building. It has 5 floors and at about 100 ft, it is a prominent feature of the Crook skyline. However, the council building is dwarfed by Crook's surrounding hills, which completely surround the town except on the south side. The tallest stands at 300 metres above the town, about 980 ft. The highest point in the town is on West Road where the height is 210 metres (about 690 ft).

Approximately 2 miles to the west of Crook on the A689 towards Wolsingham and Weardale, 400 yards past the roundabout junction with the A68, is the surviving World War II Harperley POW Camp 93, a Scheduled Ancient Monument within English Heritage.


Crook Cenotaph
The Devil's Stone a.k.a. The Blue Stone

The Cenotaph [edit]

A World War 1 and World War 2 Cenotaph, located in the market place.[3]

The Devil's Stone\The Blue Stone [edit]

An erratic of Borrowdale volcanic. Originally located at Dowfold Hill, it is currently situated in the market place.[3]

The Devil Stone's Plaque


Crook schools comprise primarily of White British pupils, although there is a small amount of English speaking pupils from minority ethnic groups.[4][5][6]


Crook Nursery School[edit]

Crook Nursery is an average-sized school that serves the immediate area.[7] The current headteacher is Mrs J C Thompson.[8][9]


Crook Primary School[edit]

Crook Primary School was opened formerly in 1950. A larger than average community school that shares a site with Crook Nursery School.[4] It has a pupil capacity of 371.[10][11] It has more disabled, special educational needs and free school meal eligible pupils than the national average.[4] The current headteacher is Mrs Antonella Lupton.[10][11]

Marilyn Tempest - a local legendary teacher - retired after thirty years of employment on April 30, 2014 and received a standing ovation from the then current pupils and teachers. During an interview with The Northern Echo, she said "I have had the most wonderful time here, teaching is the best job in the world.".[12]

Hartside Primary School[edit]

A smaller than average community school, it has a pupil capacity of 210.[13][14] It also has a large proportion of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.[5] The current headteacher is Mr Shawn Laws.[13][14]

St Cuthbert's RC Primary School[edit]

An average-sized voluntary aided Roman Catholic school, with a pupil capacity of 210.[15][16] The proportion of pupils with disabilities and/or special educational needs is below average, although the amount eligible for free school meals are above average and ever increasing.[6] The current headteacher is Mrs Donnelly.[17][15][16]

Notable People[edit]

Constantine Scollen. A famous missionary priest among the Blackfoot and Cree peoples of Canada in the late 19th Century.

Paul Walker. Bafta nominated TV director, known for working on such shows as Heartbeat, Shameless, The Bill and more.

Darren Holloway. Former professional footballer with English Premier League side Sunderland AFC. Also played for Wimbledon, Bradford City, Darlington and Gateshead (loans Carlisle United, Bolton Wanderers and Scunthorpe United).

Nigel Wright (boxer). Former 3 time English light welterweight professional boxing champion. Also 2 time challenger for British and Commonwealth titles.

Bill Rowe (sound engineer). 2 time BAFTA Award for Best Sound winning sound engineer who worked on over 160 films between 1955 and 1992.

Ben Hennon. World famous BMX rider.

Jack Greenwell. FC Barcelona's first official coach who won two Spanish Cups and four Catalan titles.[18][19]


Crook Market
Looking up Church Hill
Shopping in Hope Street
A view across Crook


  1. ^ Population figure is an accumulation of Crook North and Crook South
  2. ^ a b c The development of Crook: some background history
  3. ^ a b Manuel, Michael. Nooks & Crannies, A Chronicle of Crook and District 1840-2012. Lintons Printers. 
  4. ^ a b c
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  6. ^ a b
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  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ a b
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  14. ^ a b
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^ a b
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External links[edit]