Blanchland was formed out of the medieval Blanchland Abbey property by Nathaniel Crew, 3rd Baron Crew, the Bishop of Durham, (1674-1722). It is a conservation village, largely built of stone from the remains of the 12th-century Abbey. It features picturesque houses, set against a backdrop of deep woods and open moors. Located near the Derwent Reservoir, it provides facilities for sailing and fishing.
Blanchland was the main village of the township and parish of Blanchland, which was also know as Shotley High Quarter. It was originally a township (and a chapelry) in the ancient parish of Bywell St. Andrew. It became a separate civil parish in 1866 and remains as such.
A Vision of Britain through Time provides a description of Blanchland from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72.