Keys to the Past

Local Histories

Starting with S - 37 Settlements found.

A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T U W

Sacriston (County Durham)
The village at Sacriston grew into its current form as a mining village; the Victorian terraces where the miner's lived can still be seen. However, before its development as a pit village the name for this area was 'Sacristonheugh'. In 1312, the village of Sacriston was first recorded as 'Segrystenhogh' meaning spur of land (heugh) belonging to the Sacristan. The Sacristan (or Sacrist) was the 'keeper of sacred things' at Durham Cathedral. The remains of the manor house can still be seen. The oldest parts of the building are 13th century in date and lie to the north end of the building, where a doorway of this date can be seen. There are also remains of a stone vaulted room. Other remains include an old stone staircase, a 15th century window and the remains of a garderobe - a kind of simple medieval toilet....


Sadberge (County Durham)
The village of Sadberge stands between Darlington and Stockton on the top of the small hill which gives the village its name - Sadberge = Old Norse for flat-topped hill. Although not impressive today it was once the capital, or 'Wapentake', of the Viking settled area north of the Tees known as the Earldom of Sadberge which stretched from Hartlepool to Teesdale. Wapentakes were found in those parts of England settled by the Danes and continued to be important administrative centres in medieval times. The word wapentake literally means `Weapon Taking' and refers to the way in which land was held in return for military service to a chief....


Sandhoe (Northumberland)
Sandhoe parish lies mainly on the south-facing slopes of the Tyne valley. At the northern end a small stretch of Hadrian's Wall forms the parish boundary and along the east side there is Dere Street....


Satley (County Durham)
The village of Satley lies in a narrow valley between Lanchester and Tow Law. It was for a long time part of the larger parish of Lanchester, but became a parish in its own right in 1868. Steeley Burn flows through a deep, wooded ravine to join the river Browney below the village....


Scargill (County Durham)
Scargill lies in the south of County Durham to the south of the River Tees in what used to be North Yorkshire. The first inhabitants of Scargill were probably Mesolithic hunters, who headed up into the North Pennines in the warm summer months to hunt wild animals. However, they would have only lived in slight, temporary camps, which have left no traces today....


Seaham (County Durham)
Seaham, or Seaham Harbour as it is often known, lies on the North Sea coast of Durham. Although most of the present village developed in the 19th century alongside the growth of the important harbour, it has much older roots....


Seaton (County Durham)
The village of Seaton lies just to the west of Seaham close to the North Sea coast of Durham, close to the modern A19....


Seaton Delaval (Northumberland)
Seaton Delaval lies in south-east Northumberland, close to the North Sea coast....


Seaton Sluice (Northumberland)
Seaton Sluice lies on the south-east Northumberland coast, on the border with North Tyneside. Most of the remains are connected with the industrial periods in post-medieval and modern times. Earlier remains mostly lie north of the Seaton Burn in Seaton Delaval....


Sedgefield (County Durham)
Sedgefield is a small market town to the south-east of Durham. It is surrounded by open country and has a racecourse....


Shadforth (County Durham)
Shadforth was first recorded in the Boldon Book in 1183 as 'Shaldeford' which translates to shallow ford; a nearby stream is locally known as' The Shald'....


Sheraton (County Durham)
Sheraton is a small village to the south-east Durham close to the modern A19. It was first recorded in 1050 under the name 'Scurafaton'. The village has since shrunk in size. The earthwork remains of a number of earthwork enclosures which can still be seen. They are probably all that remains of some of the medieval houses....


Sherburn (County Durham)
The name Sherburn comes from the Old English meaning 'Bright Stream', and was first recorded in 1170. Locals consider the ancient village of Sherburn, with architecture spanning from the 17th century, as being entirely separate from the industrial landscapes of the pit villages that grew up close by to the west and at Sherburn Hill to the east (though this is now within the parish of Shadforth)....


Shilbottle (Northumberland)
Shilbottle parish lies in mid-Northumberland on high ground between the Aln and Coquet rivers, with extensive views over each....


Shildon (County Durham)
Shildon lies about a mile to the south-east of Bishop Auckland. Like many towns in this area it owes its growth to the rise of the East Durham coalfields in the late 18th and early 19th century....


Shincliffe (County Durham)
Shincliffe is a village standing close to the River Wear just to the south of Durham....


Shoreswood (Northumberland)
Shoreswood is a small parish in north Northumberland. Most of the parish is now given over to agriculture but there was once industrial activity based around coal mining....


Shotley Bridge (County Durham)
Shotley is derived from Old English meaning 'Clearing of the Scots' and was first mentioned in 1356 in connection to the name Gilbert de Brendon....


Shotley Low Quarter (Northumberland)
The parish of Shotley Low Quarter lies on the southern edge of Northumberland along its boundary with County Durham. In fact, the main settlement of Shotley Bridge lies on the Durham side of the River Derwent leaving the parish of Shotley Low Quarter largely populated by hamlets and scattered farmsteads. The name Shotley is thought to mean `clearing with the huts.' The parish is bound by the River Derwent on the east and south sides, from where it rises to Kiln Pit Hill and Whittonstall in the north. Whittonstall stands on the summit of a ridge that separates the valleys of the Tyne and Derwent....


Shotton (County Durham)
The village of Shotton is about two miles south from Easington, and twelve from Sunderland. The name of the village comes from the Old English meaning 'of the Scots' and was first recorded in 1165 as 'Sottun'. Old Shotton, the old village, is centered around Shotton Hall, and is now just inside the boundary of Peterlee. The village name has also been used for Shotton Colliery....


Simonburn (Northumberland)
Simonburn used to be one of the largest parishes in England. It was divided into many smaller parishes whilst Greenwich Hospital was lord of the manor. The landscape is one of grassland, deciduous woodland, rough grazing, peat bogs and forestry plantations and most of the parish lies in the Northumberland National Park....


Slaley (Northumberland)
Slaley is a relatively small parish in south Northumberland. Many tributaries of the Tyne flow across the parish and large forestry plantations are planted in the upland parts....


Snitter (Northumberland)
Snitter is a small parish in central Northumberland and lies between the high Fell Sandstones and the Cheviot Hills. The land is generally low by comparison to both of these areas, rising from a small portion of the River Coquet. Most of the parish is given to agriculture and it is through this medium that most of the sites have been found....


Sockburn (County Durham)
The parish of Sockburn lies to the south of Darlington in a peninsula formed by the River Tees. Until the reorganisation of 1974 it formed the most southerly spot of the county....


South Church (County Durham)
The village of Auckland St. Andrew, or South Church, as it is now usually called, is situated on the river Gaunless, which is at this place crossed by a stone bridge of one arch, and is one mile south from Bishop Auckland....


South Hetton (County Durham)
A number of war memorials can be found within South Hetton that go some way toward telling the story of the village's contribution during the First World War and later conflicts. As is the case in a large number of settlements around Durham, and indeed the country, a variety of memorials can be found within churches and religious buildings where remembrance is at the core of the building's purpose. In South Hetton memorials can be found in the Methodist church and the parish church of the Holy Trinity. A more public freestanding WW1 and WW2 memorial can also be found in the churchyard of the parish church in the form of a small cross. This is actually a replacement memorial for the original cross of the churchyard which used to be against the wall of the church.


Spennymoor (County Durham)
The town of Spennymoor is a sprawl of 19th century houses and modern tower blocks lying to the south-east of Bishop Auckland. It grew up in the early 19th century to supply accommodation and services to the many surrounding coal mines in the East Durham coalfield....


Staindrop (County Durham)
Staindrop is an attractive village with stone houses standing around a village green, very close to Raby Castle....


Stainmore (County Durham)
Stainmore is at the highest point of one of the most important passes over the Pennines, joining Yorkshire and Durham with Lancashire and Cumbria. This pass has long been seen as a crucial communication route. Certainly the Romans swiftly built a series of forts to protect this transport link. Military camps stood at Greta Bridge, Bowes (Lavatrae) and even on the very top of the pass itself, where the earthwork remains of the defences can still be seen....


Stainton (County Durham)
Stainton is a village standing to the north-east of Barnard Castle. It was first recorded in 1150 as 'Staynton'. In Old English this means,'Farmstead by a paved road'. The paved road would appear to be the Roman (AD43 to 410) road from Bowes to Binchester which Stainton lies next to....


Stamfordham (Northumberland)
Stamfordham parish lies in south Northumberland. It has a range of archaeological landscapes, from Hadrian's Wall to post-medieval country houses and parkland....


Stanhope (County Durham)
Stanhope was first recorded in 1183 as 'Stanhopa' and is derived from the Old English 'Staen-hop' meaning stoney valley. The wider parish of Stanhope extends to the west up Weardale as far as the Cumbrian border at Nenthead, and to the east as far as Frosterly....


Stanley (County Durham)
Stanley is an industrial town lying on a hilltop between Chester-le-Street and Consett. Much of the surrounding landscape was changed by coal mining, however, the mines are now all shut and the old spoilheaps have been landscaped and grassed over....


Stannington (Northumberland)
Stannington parish lies either side of the A1 Newcastle to Edinburgh road in south-east Northumberland. Most land is under agriculture, with woodland, some parkland and a scattering of small villages and farmsteads....


Startforth (County Durham)
Startforth lies just to the south of Barnard Castle; the two are joined by a bridge over the River Tees....


Streatlam (County Durham)
The impact of the First World War on the parish of Streatlam and Stainton is reflected in the memorials that commemorate the actions of those of the parish who went to serve in the conflict. An obelisk can be found in the village of Stainton in a walled garden area adjacent to the Village Hall. The hall itself contains additional war memorials dedicated to inhabitants of the village....


Summerhouse (County Durham)
The small village of Summerhouse lies to the north-east of Gainford, not far from Darlington....
A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T U W