Talk:County Durham

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for County Durham:
  1. Anything further to add to Etymology section: something for origin of "Durham" perhaps
  2. The Education section is completely without references and is too journalistic
  3. The history section needs specific inline referencing, the "1911" tag isn't enough
  4. Physical geography section: including geology, landscape, ecology and climate
  5. Tourism (the county council have something to say about this)
  6. Reduce settlements section to a summary of the main towns and cities; the list belongs at List of places in County Durham
  7. A nice sentence in the opening paragraph about heritage of mining, political struggles and something contemporary
  8. Perhaps a seperate entry for Durham County Council, as it is now the largest local authority in this part of England?

slightly bothered[edit]

Hi Roger (and others)

I'm slightly bothered about County Durham (the article here, not the place!):

  • Do we usually list sea as bordering areas? I thought maybe not, but I'd be happy to discuss it.
  • It can't border onto Cleveland, because Cleveland doesn't exist any more as an administrative area. It may border onto Redcar and Cleveland but that's a different thing, plus I guess it must border onto Middlesbrough and maybe other authorities round there. This whole counties and areas thing is getting me down, I seem to be too old to be able to keep a grip on what is where and what it's called!

All responses read with interest ... Nevilley 19:49 Dec 21, 2002 (UTC)

I'm a newby to this, so please excuse any early mistakes. Here's my comments:

  • I'm happy to go with the flow (intentional pun) re the sea bordering County Durham. I put it there for completeness sake, maybe it deserves a mention but not in the same sentence as the list of neighbouring administrative areas.
  • Tyne and Wear no longer exists as an administrative area either but it still exists as a County name. County Durham borders the unitary authorities of Sunderland and Gateshead in Tyne and Wear, and Stockton, Billingham and Hartlepool in Cleveland. I don't think it borders any others.
  • There's also Darlington which until a couple of years ago was part of the County of Durham administratively until it was hived off into a unitary authority.
  • Until 1974 County Durham was broadly the area between the Tees in the south and the Tyne and Derwent in the North, out to the centre of the Pennines. The local government reoganisation in that year carved out Cleveland and Tyne and Wear but added the Startforth Rural District from what had been the North Riding of Yorkshire. I think this information could well be added to the article.
  • I'm no great cricket fan but I believe that Durham County Cricket Club covers the historical area of County Durham, so the historical extent does still have some relevance today.

Thanks for your comments, Nevilley ... Roger

Aaaargh! I've had a go at it but it's still a mess. I think we probably need a general, broad Wiki policy on how to "do" counties as there are nowadays so many ways to interpret it. ho hum ... Nevilley 10:51 Dec 22, 2002 (UTC)
I've added a lot more information and clarifications, the only thing I removed was the reference to Lancashire being a bordering county, since it isn't, the south-west corner of County Durham is 20 miles from the north-east corner of Lancashire. I hope you see this as an improvement. In my view it still needs a lot on history and geography and industry and transport, but I would have to go to copyrighted sources for these, I think. Roger 19:13 Dec 22 2002 (UTC)
Your edits looks good, Roger. As for "copyrighted sources" - you can, of course, use copyrighted sources to get information, so long as you rephrase the way that information is preseted before putting it in the article here. Mere facts are not copyrightable, only the way those facts are presented. Welcome to the Wikipedia, by the way! --Camembert
I hope people don't mind that I moved this - it was the only English county that I could find that had "England" in, and I could not see the reason for its different treatment. I will endeavour to sort out all the links as soon as possible. Nevilley 00:25 Dec 23, 2002 (UTC)


The form of the county name is unique in England. Many counties are named after their principal town, but the expected form here would be 'Durhamshire'. The reason it is called Durham instead is that the Prince-Bishops of Durham historically exercised power in regions outside the county as well, so the inner part was named County Durham as opposed to the rest of the estate of Durham. (But the form "County X" is standard for Irish counties, with no such significance.)

Can you clarify this? Does it mean County Durham was used to distinguish the area of Bishop's temporal power from his ecclesiastical power in the rest of the Diocese of Durham which went to the Scottish borders until the 19th century. --garryq 18:13, 25 May 2004 (UTC)

The difference is that it became a county after the language of government changed from Anglo-Saxon to Norman French (1066). The Anglo-Saxons called them Shires, and named them either after a tribe or old Kingdom (Somerset, Sussex, Kent, Essex), or after the capital City (Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire etc.). When the Normans took over they became County of Kent, County of Oxfordshire etc. Durham was a Bishopric, and was not part of England until after 1066. It was never a "Shire", just "County Durham". The same reason applies in Ireland, Irish counties were created after 1066 by the Normans. See here: [1] TiffaF 15:25, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

List of places[edit]

Steinsky, I am confused about what you are trying to achieve here. I agree in principle with the idea of moving the list of towns and villages onto a seperate page (by the way, I have looked in vain for whatever it was you referred me to on the UK notice board). However, what existed before was a list of every place in the county, for which we had an article. With not many articles this was a reasonable stopgap, and my plan was to look at a map and actually come up with a list of every village, article or not, and then create a seperate page and just summarise on the main County Durham page. What you did, as far as I can tell, was simply duplicate the list on a new page, and then call the one on the County Durham page a list of the main towns only, which it wasn't, and call the new list a list of everything. They were both exactly the same. Can you shed any light on all this? — Trilobite (Talk) 18:12, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

(this was noted on the complete to do list, anyway...)
What we're doing with all the UK counties is moving the lists of settlements from the main page to the list of places page, and turning the section on the county article into a summary of the main settlements (see Dorset, Buckinghamshire and Somerset for examples where this has already been completed). I called the list on the main page a list of towns and requested that somebody review it to make sure it was just a list of towns, as I did for a number of county pages at the time (and left it at that, you clearly came and found that nobody had acted on the request). I have since cut it down to towns only by consulting the articles themselves, so this should no longer be a problem. Either way, reverting it back to a list of only the settlements which already had articles was greatly hindering the progress of the list. Joe D (t) 18:37, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I think you have missed my point. All you did was duplicate the list, my reversion simply made it clear that there are a lot more places in County Durham, and the list only included towns and villages with articles. If you had changed the section into a paragraph of prose and created a full list elsewhere there wouldn't have been a problem. Anyway, forget all that, the main thing now is to create something akin to the Dorset model. Your work on that article was, by contrast, excellent. I am in the process of compiling a proper list of settlements for List of places in County Durham. — Trilobite (Talk) 18:51, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Yes, but the reason I duplicated the list was to prompt others to start editing the two articles along their divergent paths. I could make some elaborate analogy to gene duplication and molecular evolution creating two very different genes over time, but I won't :) Joe D (t) 18:59, 17 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Options for change[edit]

I think at least some of this section should stay -- it's relevant and interesting that reorganisation was rejected -- but the lengthy information we have now can definitely be cut down. I've reverted the complete removal for now. How much should we keep? I'd say the maps can certainly go, as they're duplicated at Northern England referendums, 2004, but there should certainly be a link to that page from the main article. --Ngb 23:50, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Status Box[edit]

I'm a bit unhappy about "Status: Both ceremonial and administrative, though the latter is smaller". Certainly the Administrative Co has a smaller population, but I wouldn't like to guess whether the bit lost to Tyne and Wear is bigger or smaller in terms of area than the bit gained from the NRY. Anyone got any figures? Phlogistomania 14:49, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)

It's sometimes a real mess trying to sort out the changes that have been made over the years, but I think I am right in saying that the ceremonial co includes all of the bit gained from the NRY (i.e. what had been the Startforth Rural District). The administrative co differs from the ceremonial co only in that Hartlepool, Darlington and Stockton are all unitary authorities. If I'm right and this is the only difference then the administrative co is definitely smaller than the ceremonial, which does include those three places. This means that that status bit in the table avoids the question of whether the ceremonial county is smaller than the traditional county. It's not clear from a brief look at the maps whether the Tyne and Wear bit is big enough to cancel out the Durham-ised Yorkshire Dales, but since this article talks mainly about the ceremonial and administrative counties, the infobox says nothing about the area and population of the traditional county (figures would be harder to come by in any case). All this brings us back to the slightly odd compromise Wikipedia has worked out, whereby we talk mainly about the evil 1974 ceremonial counties (with some modifications, such as the abolition of Cleveland, which directly affects this question), which as far as I can see are now pretty irrelevant as of late-90s reorganisations unless you're a Lord Lieutenant. If we did things consistently and talked about the counties as being primarily administrative, and we adhered to this strictly, then the existence of unitary authorities would make us look foolish in following the legal fiction that Derby is not in Derbyshire, etc. Personally I'd much rather we used the traditional counties as our unchanging frame of reference, which would at least make us consistent and immune to further arbitrary changes. There was a report not too long ago that recommended that Cumbria should be abolished and Cumberland and Westmorland restored. If this kind of messing about with the administrative and ceremonial counties continues we will be forever moving and rewording our articles. Anyway, I'm getting rather off topic here.... — Trilobite (Talk) 16:25, 18 May 2005 (UTC)


Have removed:


In Durham city there are groups of teenagers that are increasingly getting involed in gang tagging with initials such as 'RCS'. Which is a major contributor to the vandalism problems in Durham and is believed to be an anti-social street gang in the Crossgate Moor area and the area near the old organ factory, believed to have up to 50 members. Tagging and breaking into buildings is believed to be the initiation for the people wanting to get involved with the group many crimes have been linked to this group, including graffiti, criminal damage, burgalary and violent acts."

Ironic as this is essentially graffiti itself! Logica 00:22, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

History of County Durham[edit]

Can we just merge the History of County Durham page with this one? Logoistic 02:22, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Lead and definitions[edit]

Could regular editors of this article with the knowledge please be kind enough as to revamp the article somewhat. It is policy and convention to have articles about counties as a singluar entity. That is to say, we should take the position that the counties of England with their various defintions have a fluid and continuous history, with the boundaries changing with each period (as seen at the Lancashire article for example). Furthermore, the lead section with its multiple defintions is in breach of WP:LEAD, and a little unsightly.

Hope someone can take a look at this? Jza84 20:49, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand what is wrong with the article as it is. You write that "the counties of England with their various defintions have a fluid and continuous history". This depends on what you are defining by "county": non-metropolitan, adminsitrative, ceremonial, historic? The term "County Durham" has been used as a term for lots of different entities, as the lead makes clear. At the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that the area that these entities covered has overlapped very significantly. However, please do not make the mistake of assuming that the entities form a countinous link, as they do not. The administrative county was abolished in 1974, and the area divided into the "non-metropolitan county of Durham" and the "metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear", therefore Tyne and Wear has just as much claim to be a continuation of the previous entity as the "County Durham" that is the non-metropolitan county. What exactly is the problem? Logoistic 16:32, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
The problem was that the article was in breach of WP:MOS, WP:LEAD and importantly, the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (places) - which is a policy (not mine) that insists on this position being taken. Also as it was, the article preached fundamental misunderstanding about the LGA1888 and LGA1974; Tyne and Wear is not a contiunation of Durham, but a new county, whilst simillarly, Durham was cropped by the act. Durham has one defintion; it is a county that has had its boundaries and status changed over time. See Cheshire or Lancashire for a comparable approach. -- Jza84 · (talk) 14:31, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
The article did not suggest Tyne and Wear was a continuation. Moreover, Durham was not "cropped", and it too is not a continuation. The adminsitrative counties and the non-metropolitan/metropolitan counties are two distinctive entities. The LGA 1972 (implemented in 1974) makes it clear that all administrative counties are (and I quote) "abolished", including their respective councils. New counties were created - it says nothing about them being a continuation of adminsitrative counties. The whole point about organisations like the Assoication of British Counties is to dispel notions about "cropping" and continuation that you erroneously suggest. The article as it is balances the fact that the entities are all informally known as "County Durham" but they are not a continuation of one another, at least not in official legislation (popular imagination is another matter, though). In other words, "County Durham" does not have one definition, it has at least 4. Logoistic (talk) 23:40, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
As per this, I have undid your revision. Please argue here before reverting what I orignally had. The important difference is that you seem to think that there is a continuation in of "County Durham" between entities. Whatever is thought of this in the popular imagination, this is a fallacy. I have already stated why the 4 definitions should not be given seperate articles - to prevent confusion: I invoke Wikipedia: Ignore all rules. Logoistic (talk) 00:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The Association of British Counties is a political pressure group whom their material is banned as reliable per WP:RS. There website has multiple falsifications and misquotations in it. Also you cannot simply breach convention with Wikipedia: Ignore all rules simply because you do not like it - that's not what IAR is for!
Not only did I provide a full rationale for the changes, I'm afraid your notion of "4 definitions" is pure original research; can you cite a realiable source which you can attribute your idea that County Durham has four defitions? Can you provide official government material that takes this stance? What about other encyclopedias? Until you do so, the wealth of policy and convention is in my and wider community's favour. In this capacity, I'm going to revert you changes. You're welcome to revert them if you can, per policy, provide citation that County Durham has four defintions. -- Jza84 · (talk) 14:00, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Firstly, are you doubting that the historical county, the administrative county, the non-metropolitan county, or the ceremonial county existed? The LGA 1888, the LGA 1972, and the Lieutenancies Act 1997 all define "counties" that have been considered as "County Durham" (even if the exact wording wasn't used: e.g. the LGA 1972 only referred to the "non-metropolitan county of Durham" and never "County Durham"). I can cite them if you wish, but Wikipedia:Verifiability makes it clear that citations are only required where material is "challenged or likely to be challenged". And are you seriously doubting that these entities existed? Perhaps the text that states "4 definitions" sounds too conclusive: on this point I concede and will gladly change it to something like: "County Durham has been used to refer to" if you want.
Secondly, I cannot see where the lead breaches WP:Lead: please be more specific.
Thirdly, as per the single naming policy at policy and convention, thank you for directing me to this. While I feel aggrieved that the non-metropolitan county definition would get prime use of "County Durham" according to this guideline, I see its merits in that it is widely used as such today. Therefore, I will change the section to state its use as a non-metropolitan county first, and then say something like "'County Durham' has also been used to refer to...".
I will make alterations based on the above. Logoistic (talk) 22:57, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Because the article is about the non-metropolitan county, I have therefore removed the text about the adminsitrative, historical, and ceremonial definitions to seperate articles. In the same way we wouldn't have a section on the administrative counties of Durham and Northumberland in the Tyne and Wear sections, we shouldn't have it in this article. Logoistic (talk) 23:21, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Unacceptable. I believe you're disrupting Wikipedia to make a point, and you've clearly no intention of listening to my rationale. We have a policy called the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (places) that insists we do not split county articles - you've done it. We have fundamental policies on verifiablity and you've broken them to illustrate a point. I've requested citation but you haven't provided them. I'm going to bring this to the attention of the wider editting community. -- Jza84 · (talk) 00:30, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Fact: the article is about the non-metorpolitan county of Durham. It is NOT about the adminsitrative county, the ceremonial county, or the historic county. The non-metropolitan county has no more right to have the historic county in its article than does Tyne and Wear or Cleveland. I am very offended by your attacking me over this. I have adressed every one of your points. You have failed to adress mine. Please bring it to the attention of others. Logoistic (talk) 00:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I've rewritten the lead with full citation which supports my rationale. Furthermore, I brought this to the attention of other editors, the result of which is found here. -- Jza84 · (talk) 00:17, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The current intro seems quite unsatisfactory and misleading as it presumes that the current local government administration is the primary concept. Previous versions seemed better in that they made a more general statement of the form, "County Durham is a county in North-East England" which did not give primacy to any particular conception of the county. Having grown up in this area, what the name County Durham means to me is the postal county - the line that one put in an address. Since the postal county is actually named County Durham while the current local govt administration is not, it has a better claim to primacy and yet the article doesn't even mention it. So, I plan to revert to a more general form of the intro as before and will include a mention of the postal concept too. Just giving some warning ... Colonel Warden (talk) 10:28, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
No. Please do not revert sourced content. A policy and massive [[consensus exists for you not to do this now. It's not a helpful thing to do per the editing community's requests. -- Jza84 · (talk) 02:48, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
The consensus you cite was to keep everything in the one article - this one. We now move on and so now I propose to improve this article per my detailed points above which you do not address. More anon. Colonel Warden (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 10:33, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Right, well think about your logic here. Infact let me highlight a comparable approach.... "Manchester (a [[WP:FA|Featured article) is unsatisfactory - it's too biased towards the local government administration as its primary concept. I (not books, or policy) having grown up in the area (which gives me no authority whatsoever) understand Manchester to be the Manchester post town. Since the postal town is actually named Manchester while the current local govt administration is called City of Manchester, it has a better claim to primacy and yet the article doesn't even mention it. So, I plan to revert to a more general form of the intro as before and will include a mention of the postal concept too. Oh, this is despite me supplying no citation, and just giving a bias towards a company. Just giving some warning ..."
It's dim to say the least to turn an official territory into an area used by one company. Come on, it's a very unencyclopedic approach you're pushing here. Imagine I did it to Manchester per above. -- Jza84 · (talk) 10:46, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Can I ask you to look at Wikipedia:Etiquette: calling somebody's reasoned arguments "dim to say the least" is not very constructive. And this is not the first time you have said this kind of thing - e.g. message on my talk page. Logoistic 17:01, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
- Please re-read it. I actually said "It's dim to say the least to turn an official territory into an area used by one company" - which it is. I never said any user or their ideas are dim. -- Jza84 · (talk) 17:13, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Manchester is a particularly nice example since it got special treatment: "Unlike most other modern counties (including Merseyside and Tyne and Wear), Greater Manchester was never adopted as an official Postal county by Royal Mail for postal addresses and delivery. As part of the Post Office's policy review in 1973, it was noted that "Greater Manchester" would be unlikely to be adopted because of confusion with the Manchester post town.". Postal addresses are not just the work of an ordinary company but are a vital component of an area's identity. I have never had any dealings with Durham County Council and have little interest in them. County Durham is to me the geographical area which, I wrote again and again on letters and documentation, as part of the address. Colonel Warden 16:26, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Anyway, I'm not planning a simple revert - that would have happened already. I plan a new revision which incorporates and improves upon the current and earlier versions. This will take some time to prepare - watch this space... Colonel Warden 16:26, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
WHAT?!?! "Postal addresses are not just the work of an ordinary company but are a vital component of an area's identity." - who says? "Greater Manchester was never adopted as an official Postal county by Royal Mail" - and that has what to do with post towns? "County Durham is to me the geographical area..." - well it's not to me, or source material, so why are you the authority?
"I plan a new revision which incorporates and improves upon the current and earlier versions." No, unacceptable. You don't have consensus, and are not citing your sources. If you remove cited material you are in breach of fundamental policy.
Oh, and for the record, postal counties were abolished by Royal Mail in 1996 - you can put Disneyland on your addresses for all I or anybody else cares, but you'll still get your post delivered to Durham, and you still won't change the official boundaries. Furthermore, postal counties overlapped all the other county systems of England - it merely indicated what county the address's post town sort centre was in!!!!
Allow me point out that at the vote, you were in the absolute minority on demarcation; please don't force an edit war and get another codified consensus about this topic. Please think about what you're proposing, and failing to acheive consensus with. -- Jza84 · (talk) 17:01, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
That "vote" dealt with whether there should be seperate articles on different county definitions, not which should be given precedence in a given article on a county. Logoistic 17:06, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

How about a line in the lead saying something along the lines of "County Durham" has also been used to refer to postal districts or wtte. I agree with the resoning that the non-metropolitan county should be given precedence though, since this is the active form of government that is currently known as "County Durham". Logoistic 17:18, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Do you two know each other by any chance??.... So let me get this right....
Lancashire is a postal county, which was actually abolished in 1996, in north-west England. It extends from Lancaster in the north which is in a non-metropolitan county of Lancashire, through to parts of Saddleworth which was in Yorkshire despite everybody putting Yorkshire on their evelopes in protest to being lumped with Lancashire which is important to it's local identity. It doesn't cover Merseyside, or half of Cumbria from the ceremonial counties of England - a strange and uncommon method of geographic demarcation for England. Half of Greater Manchester is in the pre-1996 Postal County of Lancashire. Everybody knows the county (postal - careful of bias) as Lancashire, but from hereon, without citation, we'll know it as Lancastershire.
OK, I exagerate for effect, but I don't know why anybody would have any reason to adopt this kind of sillyness (and it is silly, I really do stand by that - WP:COMMONSENSE) for this article. Just take a look at every other county of England! -- Jza84 · (talk) 17:24, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
What are you implying by the suggestion that me and the Colonel know each other? If you have any concerns that we are breaking any Wikipedia policies then please say so outright. For the record, I do not know Colonoel Warden and I would appreciate your good faith in assuming that too . Just because I see some sense in his arguments does not mean we know each other (and which I assume you mean we are both coordinating our responses). As I have said, I see the logic in giving precedence to the non-metropolitan county in the way that the article now is, but I also see no harm in putting in a line at the end of the lead that "County Durham" can be seen as the postal county. What is your objection to this? Logoistic 17:50, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I am here because of the AFD which Jza84 proposed himself. He wanted more editors to get involved and talks of consensus. It's a case of be careful what you wish for, you might get it. Colonel Warden 08:35, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you've hit the nail on the head. Not about wishing for something and getting it (a somewhat unengaging comment), but about getting a consensus - which I did; an overwhelming one. I was clearly right with each of the points I contested. What's annoying is it seems to be me who's taking the flak for being the one with fringe views and not having policy, community and the articles best interests at heart!!! -- Jza84 · (talk)
This is not about you. Anyway, I see a flurry of edits from MRSA who seems to know what he's doing and the intro is now cleaner than the previous mess. I'll wait until this activity settles down before reviewing the state of the article. Too many cooks ... Colonel Warden 08:34, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

More on "County Durham"[edit]

The article should recognise the fact that the non-metropolitan county of Durham is only seen as a 'natural successor' to the administrative county of Durham by secondary sources and that the LGA 1972 simply split the area up among three seperate entities. I will adjust the text to include this: these are facts, and thus should not at all be contestable. I have included Jza84's references which say that County Durham's boundaries have "changed" - I assume that they also mean that the administrative county boundaries were "changed" (rather than "abolished") to form the non-metropolitan county of Durham. It is misleading to put in the lead that County Durham#s boundaries have "changed" as it errnoneously implies there is a single continuous "County Durham" entity running through history, when in reality the "County Durham" that was the administrative county was abolished and the "County Durham" of the non-metropolitan created. I have included text that shows that some people think that the non-met. county is the direct continuation of "County Durham".

Given the weight of opinion suggesting that the administrative county of Durham should be covered exclusively in the "County Durham" article, mainly because the non-metropolitan county covers most of the same area, I will have to accept that. Logoistic 16:59, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

How about reformed rather than changed? -- Jza84 · (talk) 17:03, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
And bare in mind that there have been minor exchanges of land between Durham and its surrounding counties per the Boundary Commission for England since 1974. It is therefore a truism that Acts of Parliament have changed it's boundaries. -- Jza84 · (talk) 17:06, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Since 1974 it is right to say that boundaries have "changed", but not when refferring to the changes between the adminsitrative and non-metropolitan county. What do you think of the article as I have altered it? I think it is fair. Logoistic 17:08, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Seems fair yes. Hopefully we can look at strengthening this article sooner rather than later. I actually found it when told it was one of the weakest county articles we have. -- Jza84 · (talk) 17:26, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Good. I think the article could certainly do with merging the "history of County Durham" article into it, as I have suggested before. At the very least it now has the particulars of local government changes well refined. It could do with sections on physical geography (of the non-met county of course), a lot more about cultural history (namely coal mining - largely missing from the history of County Durham article). Logoistic 17:43, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Have merged them. How do we delete History of County Durham? Logoistic 19:18, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

"Some take the view"[edit]

I reverted this text back as this just isn't what the literature cited is telling us. This is exactly why we came up with WP:PLACES. MRSCTalk 19:48, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Request for Comment[edit]

Issue concerns the local government changes in 1974 as per the Local Government Act 1972: specifically the relationship between the new non-metropolitan/metropolitan counties and the older administrative counties.

The LGA 1972 states that the administrative counties were "abolished" and new non-metropolitan and metropolitan counties "created". Land from the administrative counties was distributed among these new areas. The administrative county of Durham was abolished and distributed among three new entities: the non-metropolitan county of Cleveland, the non-metropolitan county of Durham, and the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear. All of these new entities also contained land from administrative counties other than Durham (Yorkshire, North Riding, and Northumberland): for example, the non-metropolitan county of Durham contains nearly 100,000 acres from the administrative county of Yorkshire, North Riding.

However, the dispute arises because lots of secondary sources view the non-metropolitan county of Durham as the continuation of the administrative county of Durham: i.e. that "County Durham's" boundaries have "changed" - land was "lost" to Cleveland and Tyne and Wear, but "gained" from Yorkshire.

The two sides are this: presenting the 1974 changes as a single entity ("County Durham") being "reconstituted", with land being lost or gained (as supported by secondary sources) (this being presented as fact), versus presenting the 1974 changes as per the LGA 1972 (that one area was "abolished" and distrubited among three newly "created" entities) but acknowledging that some interpret the changes as a single entity changing its boundaries (i.e. stated explicitly as an interpretation rather than as a fact). Logoistic (talk) 00:31, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

This should probably move to Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (places), as it is not unique to Durham. MRSCTalk 00:34, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
Or WP:UKGEO? -- Jza84 · (talk) 00:37, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
This seems like unnecessary pedantry to me. There was an entity called "County Durham" before 1974, and one afterwards. They contained much the same territory. The Local Government Act 1972 article can perfectly well describe the technical issues of abolition and creation of new entities. In this article there is no need to get into that, that I can see - it seems unnecessarily pedantic to insist on explicitly describing the "Administrative County Durham" as being a different entity from the "Non-Metropolitan County Durham" john k (talk) 15:39, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Agree with previous. Get this sorted and get on with more important tasks in the encyclopedia. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:06, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Thank you for your comments. There has been no futher discussion here since the 12th, and the comments posted seem again to be inline with consensus (coupled with source material). I trust this brings closure to this issue. I've removed the tag and closed the RFC with this signature. Thanks again, -- Jza84 · (talk) 02:41, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
    • Sorry, been away for an enternity. I still stand by my logic, but I'm smart enough to realise that I'm not going to win this argument in a hurry, so I guess I'll just have to leave it at that. Logoistic (talk) 21:46, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:EH icon.png[edit]

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Image:EH icon.png is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 05:16, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

"County Durham" to become the official name in 2009?[edit]

I was just reading the order that creates the new unitary structure [2]. In it it says:

This Order implements, without modification, a proposal, submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local
Government under section 2 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007(1),
that there should be a single tier of local government for the county of County Durham.


3.—(1) On and after 1st April 2009 the County Durham council shall be the sole principal authority for County Durham.
(2) For the purposes of enactments relating to local government, there shall be a new district, whose area shall be co-terminous
with that of County Durham; and the name of that new district shall be County Durham.


This Order provides for the establishment, on 1st April 2009, of a single tier of local government in the county of County Durham
(article 3). The area of the county remains unchanged. A new district is created, with the same area as the county.

Note the terminology: County of County Durham, as opposed to County of Durham which has been used heretofore.

Lozleader (talk) 15:33, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Well spotted! Is it subject to change? --Jza84 |  Talk  15:59, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I've added a note about this to the "Etymology" section, without any attempt at interpreting what it means. --bjh21 (talk) 22:07, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Announcement: The 2009 Structural Changes in Local Government in England: A Taskforce[edit]

  1. On 1 April, 2009, a number of changes will occur that will affect a number of counties and districts in England, including some which fall within the remit of your project and/or county.
  2. The changes will necessitate a large number of changes to various articles on wikipedia.
  3. New articles may have to be written, old ones may have to be changed because they will then describe abolished former districts, etc, and numerous changes will have to be made to templates, category names, and articles about individual settlements to update information about local government.
  4. Because of this the Uk Geography Project has set up a specific taskforce to identify the changes to be made and then to coordinate the work of preparing for the changes and then implementing them when the changes occur on 1 April.
  5. The name of the taskforce is Wikipedia:WikiProject UK geography/2009 local government structural changes task force or WP:2009ENGLAND.
  6. You are invited to join this taskforce to help us all improve wikipedia in these areas by making sure the information is kept updated, and accurate.

Many thanks.  DDStretch  (talk) 21:57, 15 January 2009 (UTC) (on behalf of the taskforce)

Moving Durham[edit]

For those who dont have Durham on watch, there is currently a proposal at talk:Durham to move this article. Pit-yacker (talk) 22:00, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Durham Not Moved[edit]

The above alert says a discussion could result in this page being moved. The result was No Consensus but it didn't seem to me that the discussion was about "County Durham" at all, but about how the page named "Durham" which describes the place Durham should be titled if Durham became a disambiguation page.

There is general practice that a place (most often a town) in England will have a separate article from the local government district that covers a wider area. (For example, Lewes, Chichester and Horsham in my home patch of Sussex). There is an article Durham, and another Durham (district) about the LG area recently subsumed into the unitary County Durham. This is in accordance with the above principle.

Should there now be an article about the new local authority area distinct from this one? I don't think there is any other case of a unitary council having (a) the same name and (b) not the same area as a ceremonial county, so treating the new C.D. as a district, it should have a separate article per the above principle, but if we regard it as a county-level authority the practice is to have one article covering all the historical boundaries.

I have left a message here. Sussexonian (talk) 17:16, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

The top Infobox image?[edit]

Hi, is that image in the Infobox really useful? No other County page has a milestone image like that. Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by George2001hi (talkcontribs) 17:37, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

There are several ways in which the image is useful. Firstly it indicates that County Durham has a history, with:
  1. the antique appearance of the 19th century milestone;
  2. the fact that these milestones often represent a past toll road;
  3. the older version of the name (Durham County).
Secondly it allows one of the newest and smallest settlements of County Durham to represent its own county in this modest way. Merrybent was built in the latter half of the 20th century after the A1 road crossed the area. Before that, Merrybent was only a road, a milestone, and 56 glasshouses, most of which had to be destroyed when the A1 was built, but which were important sources of local food during World War II. This tiny settlement has very little history or fame of its own, but has contributed this much to its county. Don't knock it.
Thirdly, perhaps some of the other counties without infobox images would benefit from gaining an image which is equally able to represent the county. Editors have tried and failed here with a copyvio flag image. Perhaps now is the time to permit a free image.
By the way, please sign your comment with four tildes. Thank you.--Storye book (talk) 18:44, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

The Coat of Arms?[edit]

Is the coat of arms on this article actually in the public domain? The license template says the image is ineligible for copyright, but a similar image - File:N Yorks arms.png is under a fair-use policy. I imagine the images are under the same copyright law. I'm most questionable about the image because it was uploaded by a User:Craigy144 who has been blocked forever for copyright issues - [3]
--George2001hi (Discussion) 12:01, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Hmmm. Well the N Yorks image (apparently uploaded by me years ago) was a scan of the image as used by the county council itself (they therefore own the copyright) and is consequently only usable under fair use with a proper rationale for each use (something which needs addressing). The Co Durham one is from [4] who have redrawn the image themselves and therefore own the copyright. Their site states: "Once you purchase a vector clip art design from, you may use it multiple times for multiple projects without paying additional fees." Which doesn't exactly sound like public domain. Also I'm not sure how this applies to Wikipedia and who purchased the image in the first place???
The simplest solution is to redraw the arms ourselves (they aren't that complicated) and upload them to Commons where there will be no doubt as to their PD status. Lozleader (talk) 12:38, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I am not qualified to answer the above question, but a viable alternative to the current depiction of the coat of arms would be a free-use photo, uploaded to Commons, of any existing 3D version of the coat of arms in a public place in Durham. Is there one on the front of the town hall building?--Storye book (talk) 17:55, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

County Durham Demonym[edit]

A person Raised in County Durham is known as a Pit Yakker. Can we edit the article to reflect this? (Wyliecoyote1990 (talk) 23:29, 7 September 2013 (UTC))

Really? By whom? Since it's a generally used as a derogotary term I would think not. Fraggle81 (talk) 01:13, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

I call myself that all the time. I think people use it as a badge of pride now. If i found evidence to support my claim, would you consider editing the article? Wyliecoyote1990 (talk) 14:01, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

They are also known as Durhamites Wyliecoyote1990 (talk) 19:00, 8 September 2013 (UTC) (talk) 19:02, 8 September 2013 (UTC)


Has the new flag of County Durham been officially recognised as representing the modern county with its current boredsr, as well as the area of the historic county's pre-1974 borders? If it hasn't it should go in the history section rather than the infobox as it refers to the historic rather than current entity. Conversely if it has then it should replace the existing flag in the "Counties" section of List of British Flags and List of English flags articles, and the map on the Flag of County Durham should be updated to reflect the current rather than the historic borders. JimmyGuano (talk) 15:05, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

Durham v County Durham[edit]

Further to an earlier section in this talk page, it might be worth having a look at this little snippet from a 2009 Act... [5]... which refers to the county being simply "Durham".

It seems that the 2007 Act referred to "the county of County Durham" by mistake (or was trying to be helpful by not confusing the county with the then-extant city of Durham) - the non-metropolitan county (as established in the 1972 Act) is called "Durham" and its county council was "Durham County Council". (The 2009 Act allows for the unitary council to call itself either The Durham Council or Durham County Council - it has chosen to remain with the latter.) The district that was created in 2007 (to combine with the 1972 county to form a unitary area) however now seems to be "County Durham" thanks to the 2007 Act's slip-up!

In any case, for sure the ceremonial county's name remains simply "Durham" as its entry in the 1997 Act has not been amended. Argovian (talk) 00:46, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

You could have a point, but if any change is made, one needs also to think how to handle the difference between "Durham" as a county and "Durham" as the city. They are certainly not the same in area or meaning, and possibly in other ways too. The name "County Durham", however, seems to be of very long standing and many will refer to that county as "County Durham" perhaps for a long time in the future. Dab pages and redirects need to be thought through along with any proposed name change to the article.  DDStretch  (talk) 03:14, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not arguing for a change in article name - the county is commonly known as County Durham and so that should be what we use on Wikipedia. But the "Etymology" section of this article should be tweaked/expanded and also it should be noted in this article and other articles that the ceremonial county is properly named simply Durham - for example (and this is already in place on Wikipedia) the Lord Lieutenant is "of Durham" not "of County Durham". Argovian (talk) 10:18, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
I have edited the article - would appreciate thoughts on the edits and what can be done further with the article. May I suggest a simple rule regarding the name of the county? Keep it as "County Durham" unless referring specifically to the ceremonial county. Looking around Wikipedia, this doesn't seem to be much of an issue... the only troubling issue is in infoboxes for settlements where the ceremonial county is always written as "County Durham". I'm not going to even attempt changing all those infoboxes! Argovian (talk) 20:09, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

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