Brandon and Byshottles was established as a local government unit when it was established as a Local Board District in 1882 and was reconstituted as an urban district through the Local Government Act 1894. The Brandon and Byshottles Urban District Council was abolished in 1974 when the area became part of the (now abolished) City of Durham local government area. The present Brandon & Byshottles Parish is co-terminous with the pre-1974 Urban District Council area. Since 2009 County Durham has been a unitary authority.
Brandon and Byshottles was originally a township in the ancient parish of Brancepeth in County Durham. It became a separate civil parish in 1866. It was a coal mining area.
The parish includes the colliery settlements of Brandon, New Brancepeth, Langley Moor, Meadowfield and Waterhouses which have been redirected here and for which there are brief notes below. Esh Winning and Ushaw Moor have been redirected to Esh with which they have had longer associations. No references to Byshottles outside the title "Brandon and Byshottles" has been found. The former parish of Broom (now known as Broompark) was part transferred to Brandon and Byshottles in 1937 and is considered separately in WeRelate.