In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Durham like this:
Durham, capital of the co., parliamentary and municipal bor., episcopal city, and market town, 12 miles S. of Newcastle, 60 N. of York, and 256 N. of London by rail -- parl. bor., 967 ac., pop. 15,372; mun. bor., 880 ac., pop. 14,932; 2 Banks, 2 newspapers. Market-day, Sat. Durl am is situated on a rocky eminence ("Dunholme," "Duresme," "Durham,") nearly surrounded by the river Wear. It dates from the 10th century, when the monks of Lindisfarne, after the ravaging of Holy Island by the Danes, rested there with the body of St Cuthbert, and built a chapel for its reception. ...
The present cathedral dates from 1093. The castle, said to have been erected by William the Conqueror, became the chief residence of the bishops of Durham; it is now appropriated to the uses of the university. The university, founded by Cromwell in 1646, and dissolved after the Restoration, was re-established by Act of Parliament in 1833. Besides the university, the educational institutions comprise a grammar-school founded by Henry VIII., a diocesan training-school for schoolmistresses, blue-coat, and other schools. The only industries of any importance are a carpet factory, and a large mill for the mfr. of "Durham mustard." In the vicinity are coal. mines. Butler (1692-1752), author of The Analogy, was bishop. The bor. returns 1 member to Parliament.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Durham has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Durham. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Durham and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Durham in County Durham | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th June 2013
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