Durham, a maritime county in the north-east of England, between the Tyne and Tees. It has 32 miles of coast, generally low, and an area of 1012 sq. m., two-thirds being arable. The surface is hilly, and slopes to the east. In the west, which is waste but rich in minerals, are branches of the Pennine chain, rising in Kilhope Law (2196 feet), Collier Law (1678), and Pontop Pike (1018). The chief rivers are the Wear, Tyne, and Tees, navigable respectively for 12, 15, and 10 miles. The valuable Durham coalfield measures 25 by 10 miles. Other mineral products are limestone, black marble, freestone, ironstone, firestone, slate, millstone, grindstone, iron pyrites, fluor-spar, zinc, and lead. The principal lead-mines are in Teesdale and Weardale; and there are many large iron-furnaces. Durham has the largest coal production of any county in England, the annual output being nearly 30,000,000 tons, and the number of persons employed above or below ground at the mines being over 100,000. The chief shipping ports are Stockton-on-Tees, South Shields, Sunderland, and Hartlepool. The Teeswater or Holderness breed of cattle and the Durham horses are alike famed. Many sheep are pastured on the hills. There are manufactures of iron, coke, pottery, glass, alkalies and chemicals, and salt, and much shipbuilding at Jarrow, Sunderland, South Shields, Hartlepool, and Stockton. Coal is the chief export. Durham is one of the three counties palatine, the other two being Lancaster and Chester. It is divided into four wards and 269 civil parishes, and is entirely in the diocese of Durham. Pop. (1801) 149,384; (1841) 307,963; (1881) 867,576; (1901) 1,187,324. The chief towns are Durham, the county town, Sunderland, Darlington, Gateshead, South Shields, Stockton, and Hartlepool. The county includes eight parliamentary divisions, each returning one member; and the following parliamentary boroughs; Sunderland (2 members) and Darlington, Durham, Gateshead, Hartlepool, South Shields, and Stockton (each 1). There are extensive remains of Roman stations at Lanches-ter, Binchester, and Ebchester. Durham formed part of the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria (547-827). Subsequently it suffered severely from the incursions of the Scots. See works by R. Surtees (4 vols. 1S16-40), Fordyce (2 vols. 1855-57), W. H. Smith (1885), Boyle (1892), and Lapsley (1900).
Durham, a parliamentary and municipal borough, near the middle of Durham county, 12 miles S. of Newcastle, is built around a steep rocky hill 86 feet high, nearly encircled by the Wear, and crowned by the cathedral and castle. Ancient walls partly enclose the hill, from which are fine views of the fertile wooded country around, and of the suburbs across the river. The chief manufactures are mustard, carpets, and iron. In the vicinity are coal-mines and coke-ovens. Since 1885 Durham has returned only one member. Pop. (1841) 14,151; (1901) 14,679. Durham arose about 995, when Bishop Aldhun brought hither St Cuthbert's bones from Ripon, and built a church to enshrine them. On the site of this church, Bishop William de Carilef in 1093 began the present cathedral, one of the noblest specimens of Norman architecture, alike from situation and from structure, that massive pile - 'half church of God, half castle 'gainst the Scot.' Added to at various periods up till 1500, it has an extreme length of 510 feet, and a breadth across the transepts of 175 feet; whilst the height of the central tower is 214 feet, and of the two western towers 138 feet. The cathedral contains the tombs of St Cuthbert and Bede. The castle, formerly the residence of the bishops of Durham, but now occupied by the university, was founded about 1072, by the Conqueror, but has received many alterations and additions. The dormitory of the monastery, now the new library of the cathedral, is one of the finest in England. The see extends over the county of Durham (Northumberland having been detached in 1882 to form the diocese of Newcastle); among its bishops have been Bek, Aungerville, Wolsey, Cosin, Butler, and Lightfoot. The university of Durham was opened for students in 1833; and a royal charter in 1837 empowered it to bestow degrees. It has two collegiate establishments - University College and Bishop Hatfield's Hall. The Colleges of Medicine and of Physical Science at Newcastle-on-Tyne are affiliated with Durham.