Hunwick is a semi-rural village in County Durham, England. There are actually two villages that are often referred to collectively as Hunwick, Hunwick and New Hunwick although it is generally accepted that the two villages are now as one. In the 2001 census Hunwick had a population of 952.
Hunwick is an ancient village dating from Saxon times when it belonged to the Cathedral church of Durham. Hunwick stands between Bishop Auckland and Crook. It was later given to the Earls of Northumberland, but it returned to the ownership of the church when Henry VIII re-endowed Durham cathedral. The village itself was probably destroyed during the Harrying of the North in the late 11th century, and was rebuilt with two rows of houses arranged around the village green.
Hunwick was originally a township and chapelry in the ancient parish of Auckland St. Andrew in County Durham. It became a separate civil parish in 1866. From 1894 it was part of Auckland Rural District. Between 1974 and 2009 it became part of the larger Wear Valley non-metropolitan district. Since 2009 County Durham has been a unitary authority.
At some point the name of the civil parish changed to Hunwick and Helmington, noting the existence of the village of Helmington within the parish. However, Helmington Row was a separate parish based on a separate village to the north and was a township in Brancepeth ancient parish.
A nineteenth century description
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Hunwick from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72: