Keys to the Past

Local History

Hutton Henry (County Durham)

The village of Hutton Henry lies in east Durham, just to the south of Peterlee and not far from the North Sea coast.

Although we know little about the early history of the village it is likely that there was a settlement here by the end of the Anglo-Saxon period, as the village name comes from the Old English for 'high farm'. The element 'Henry' was added in the 14th century- it shows that the Lord of the Manor was Henry de Eshe, and distinguished it from Hutton Magna.

The plan of the medieval village had a wide central street, almost a village green, surrounded by houses. This kind of plan is a feature of villages dating to the 12th and 13th century. This suggests that the earlier village had been removed and the village was relaid out, perhaps after it was destroyed by Scottish raids.

During the medieval period and later, Hutton Henry was a farming village. The tithe map of the area shows the field plans which may have been laid out in the medieval period. It also shows the location of areas of woodland. The map also shows an area called 'Brick field' - this may have been the site of a brick factory, although a factory does not seem to appear on the map.

As in much of eastern County Durham coal mining became an increasingly important part of local society in the mid-19th century. Hutton Henry colliery was probably founded in the 1870s. Like in many other villages the mine was some distance from the old village and a new settlement (known as Station Town) grew up around it. Hutton Henry itself remained an agricultural community - much of the corn grown in the area was probably ground at the nearby Windmill.

There was no church here until 1867 when the Anglican church of St. Francis was built. It provided a place to worship, not only for Hutton Henry, but the nearby villages of Sheraton and Hulam.

The church contains a number of features dedicated as war memorials commemortaing the efforts of local men and women from Hutton Henry and Sheraton district in the First World War and WW2. Large plaques and rolls of honour can be found that display the names of all those who served, whilst other plaques can be found in the church that were commissioned by families of the fallen. The porch on the south wall of the church was built as a WW2 memorial after 1945.

Reference number:D6840
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.