Wingate is a former pit village with a mixture of 19th-century, post-war, and more recent housing developments. It was originally enhabited by around 30 farmers before 1839 when coal was discovered. It is located in the East of County Durham, three miles south west of Peterlee, and seven miles north west of Hartlepool. As with most villages in the area, it grew rapidly with the development of coal-mining in the region.
The name Wingate is said to derive from the Anglo-Saxon words windig (windy) and geat (road) meaning windy road. Like all County Durham villages, residents are known to speak the pitmatic dialect although new housing developments have brought many middle-class residents to the village.