Keys to the Past

Local History

Wingate (County Durham)

Wingate is a village lying to the west of the A19 near Trimdon.

There is little evidence for prehistoric occupation in the parish. This does not mean though that there were no early settlers. It is likely that the first people to settle in this area arrived here during the Mesolithic. They would have survived by hunting wild animals and gathering plants, roots, fruit and nuts. It was in the Neolithic period that the first farmers entered the area and began to clear ground to make simple fields.

There may have been Roman settlement in this area. It has been suggested that a rectangular depression to west of Mordon village. It has been identified as a Roman barge basin. However, examination of the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map shows this to be a rectangular gravel pit. Further workings are present to the east on later editions.

The village of Wingate had probably been formed by the end of the Anglo-Saoxn period. It was not the only settlement to have stood in this area during the medieval period. As well as the settlement at Wingate there was also a medieval village at Old Wingate, where the earthwork remains of the early buildings can still be seen. A village also probably stood at Black Hurworth. Large areas of ridge and furrow can also be seen in the area around Wingate, showing that the area had been ploughed in the medieval period. A Grange of Durham Priory is mentioned at Wingate. The present Wingate Grange is in ruins. It is a building of stone and brick with no distinctive features. It is not thought to include any material dating before 1599.

In the 18th and 19th century, although agriculture remained an important part of local society, mining became increasingly dominant in this part of County Durham. Wingate Grange Colliery opened in 1839 and closed in 1962. At its height nearly 1500 men and boys worked at the site. The coal was taken by train to Hartlepool where it was shipped to London. The workers mainly lived at the pit village of Wingate Grange, where the mine owners had helped build a library and lecture hall for the welfare of their workers.

The parish church of the Holy Trinity is known to contain a number of war memorials that attest to the contributions made by inhabitants of the parish to the war efforts of the First World War and WW2. Memorials range from simple plaques dedicated to each of the wars, to WW1 stained glass windows and memorial clocks and an altar dedicated to lost servicemen in WW2.

Reference number:D6905
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.