Keys to the Past

Local History

Cleatlam (County Durham)

The small parish of Cleatlam lies in the south of County Durham, close to Staindrop, which it was once part of.

There was much Roman settlement in South Durham, and a 4th century coin was found on the village green in 1987. This may have been lost by a passing Roman soldier, or it could possibly be an indicator of a Roman settlement in the area. There is little evidence for Anglo-Saxon settlement in the area, though the name of the village comes from the Old English word 'cleat-leah', which means 'clearing where burdock grows'.

Cleatlam Hall was probably built in the 16th or 17th centuries, and it was the family home of the Ward family. Few other remains of this period can still be seen, though the surviving traces of a stone wayside cross can still be seen.

Cleatlam has remained an agricultural area, and unlike many areas of County Durham there was little increase in industries in the 19th century. The only real industrial site of this period is the Bowes Dunn House Qaurry, which was worked in the mid-19th century to provide stone for the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle.

Reference number:D6763

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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.