Elvet is an area of the city of Durham, in County Durham, in England. It is situated on the opposite side of the River Wear from Durham Cathedral and forms the southeastern part of central Durham. Elvet is currently unparished. Historically, the word 'elvet' is a word meaning 'swan' or 'swan-stream' from the Old English elfetu or ilfetu. The public house 'The Swan and Three Cygnets' on Elvet Bridge, is a reminder of the historical name given to this part of Durham City.
Elvet grew up from two medieval settlements based around Old Elvet and St Oswald's Church and includes Church Street, Hallgarth Street, Whinney Hill and much of Durham University's science site and the Roman Catholic chaplaincy at St Cuthbert's Church. Elvet is home to Durham Prison and Durham's Crown Court (Court Lane), County Court (New Elvet) and Magistrates' Court (Old Elvet).
A 19th century description
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Elvet from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:
The barony section of Elvet is the more rural part of the parish.
Elvet was absorbed into the City of Durham in 1916.