Barmpton (County Durham)
The village of Barmpton just to the north of Darlington, stands in a deep valley on the left bank of the River Skerne. It was once part of the larger parish of Haughton-le-Skerne.
The earliest evidence for occupation in the area comes in the form of a number of cropmarks seen on aerial photographs of the area. These show the remains of at least one settlement, probably of Iron Age (800BC to AD43) or Roman (AD43 to 410) date.
Little is known of the area in the Anglo-Saxon period. The village name, Barmpton, was first recorded in 1090, though it is probably older. It is thought to come from the Old English words for "Beornmar's Farm". Barmpton was not the only settlement in the parish at this time, and the site of the now deserted medieval village of Skerningham is known, although few remains can be seen today.
In the 18th century it was the home of the agriculturalist and cattle breeder, Robert Colling (1749-1820). Together with his brother he was famous for the improvement of the shorthorn breed of cattle. The famous artist Thomas Bewick was asked to make engravings of his Collings cattle, but he refused as Colling wanted him to make them look fatter than they really were.
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