Wearhead is a village in County Durham, in England. It is situated at the top of Weardale between Cowshill and Ireshopeburn. It is named after the nearby source of the River Wear which runs eastwards for approx 40 miles to Sunderland.
The first settlement at Wearhead may have been a farmstead, possibly a summer base for the Bishop's cattle which would have been taken to lower ground in winter. East of the village lies a steep hillside, which has evidence of shallow shafts and hushes which were the early methods used to extract lead and iron. In County Durham there were rich deposits of lead lying within a circle of about 10 miles radius drawn around Wearhead, hence the lead-mining industry of Weardale and Teesdale.
In 1858 the Post Office Directory listed - Beer Retailer, Grocer / Draper, Tailor / Draper, Grocer, Joiner / Postmaster, Grocer and Drapers / Joiner. In 1915 the Post Office Directory listed - The Bank of Liverpool. In 1971 Barclays Bank (formerly Martins Bank) was sold and the property became a Butcher shop, which has since closed.
Wearhead stands 1,104 feet above sea level and has some of the highest peaks in County Durham, Killhope Law (673m) and Burnhope Seat 2,452 feet (747 m). Burnhope Reservoir is approx 1 mile from Wearhead. In the construction six farms were submerged when water rose to fill the man-made reservoir in 1937.