Annfield Plain is a village in County Durham, in England. It is situated on a plateau between the towns of Stanley, to the north-east, and Consett, to the west. According to the 2001 census, Annfield Plain has a population of 3,569. Along with much of the surrounding area, Annfield Plain's history lies in coal mining. While the industry collapsed in the 1980s and 90s, its effects are still apparent both in the landscape and in folk memory.
Much of the surrounding landscape is rough moorland, dominated by the nearby Pontop Pike television mast. Not far from semi-rural Derwentside, however, is the Tyneside–Wearside conurbation, with Newcastle away, and Sunderland a similar distance. The cathedral city of Durham is away and offers quite a contrast to the former pit villages in the area of Annfield Plain.
The earliest hard evidence of habitation in the area comes from the 16th century, when the main economic activity was sheep farming. The village's association with mining begins in the late 17th century when many shallow mines were dug. The Stanhope and Tyne Railway, laid in 1834, assisted the transportation of coal. Several limekilns were built at this time and were fuelled by local coal, with limestone being brought in by rail.
Demand for coal increased with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and a number of deep pits were sunk over the course of the 19th century. The village grew substantially and light industry increased, including the construction of a brewery, mill, and candle factory; as well as various services for the population, including a school, church, at least two nonconformist chapels, and a variety of shops.