The village of Kelloe with a name that derives from Caluh Law (Bare Hill) had eight small coal mines in its vicinity during the last century but its history goes back well before the days of mining. Kelloe Law nearby is the site of a cist discovery dating from the Bronze Age where the skeletons of an ancient family were found consisting of a father and mother aged about thirty and three children aged about four, eight and twelve.
A little to the east of Kelloe we are at the site of a deserted medieval village called Church Kelloe. The only remains of the settlement is the Norman church of St Helen, which is noted for the well preserved and beautifully detailed Norman cross dedicated to St Helena. A tablet inside the church is also of interest. It commemorates the birth of Elizabeth Barrett Browning who was born nearby at Coxhoe Hall in 1806. Elizabeth's family of course provided the model for the `Barretts of Wimpole Street' but the hall where she was born was demolished in 1952.
Alexander Kelloe was a benefactor of the Hospital of Serburne (now Sherburn) in 1260. One of the Bishops of Durham, Richard Kellaw (1311) is known to have originated from Kelloe. He was much troubled by Scottish invasions which were fought off by the forces of the bishopric under the leadership of the bishop's brother Patrick.
The Lordship of the Manor of Kelloe was bought by the Tempests of Broughton Hall, North Yorkshire, and bequeathed by Sir Henry Vane-Tempest to his daughter, Lady Frances Vane, who married the third Marquess of Londonderry.
Another less notable resident of Kelloe was John Lively the seventeenth century vicar of Kelloe who was noted for the fact that he had no male heir:
Here lies John Lively, Vicar of Kelloe who had seven daughters but never a fellow.
Nearby is East Hetton or Kelloe colliery where six men were killed by gasses from the Trimdon Grange colliery disaster in 1882.