Keys to the Past

Local History

Coundon (County Durham)

The parish of Coundon lies a couple of miles to the east of Bishop Auckland. As well as the main village itself, there is also the 19th century industrial village of New Coundon, Coundon Grange and Coundongate. The name of the village comes from the Old English for 'Cow's Hill'. The houses were originally arranged in two rows along the main village street.

The area has long been dominated by the coal mining industry, and the first record of a colliery dates back to the 14th century, when the use of ropes and a windless was mentioned.

However, it was not until the 19th century that the two main coal mines, Black Boy and Auckland Park were built - they both stood to the south of the main village at Coundon Grange. At Black Boy the stone and earth remains of the wooden huts used by the men who built the pit can still be seen. A series of smaller colliery villages grew up at Auckland Park, Brickyard, Black Boy and Close House. A school was built by the mine owners in 1859, and a house of the school master was built next to it. In 1868 a reading room and a library was added

Although the collieries have now all closed, the remains of many parts of the mining industry can still be seen, including the courses of an incline at Etty and the site of the nearby steam-powered engine.




Reference number:D6772

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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.