Keys to the Past

Local History

Burnhope (Weardale) (County Durham)

Burnhope lies in upper reaches of Weardale due west of Wearhead. The area runs from the main road along Burnhope Burn up to Burnhope Moor. This is quite a remote upland area dominated today by hill sheep farming.

The only remains to be recorded in this area are of late medieval date or later. The first lead mines known in this area date to the 15th century, Curiously a sword found in this area dated to the early 16th century. The small village of Burnhope itself may have been of Anglo-Saxon origin as the name come from the Old English for "stream valley". This proved to be a good name as in the early 20th century it was identified as the site for a dam and reservoir. This was built in 1930 drowning the site of the village. It is reported that the buildings of the village were at this time demolished and ground up to be used as lime mortar for the dam construction.

The village of Burnhope has a First World War memorial garden dedicated to those of the area who sreved and died in the conflict whilst the parish church of St. John the Evangelist contains numerous memorial features including plaques commemorating both World Wars, carved chancel panels, a book of remembrance, a WW2 memorial pulpit and other items of furniture. The number of memorial features might reflect a heightened sense of community in such a small parish in the aftermath of the conflict.

Reference number:D6753
Event(s):The identification of Historic Landscapes in Durham Project; Chris Blandford Associates

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Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.