Place:Bishop Auckland, Durham, England

NameBishop Auckland
Alt namesBishop Auckland and Pollards Landssource: short lived 1888-1894 civil parish
Bishop-Aucklandsource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeTownship, Chapelry, Civil parish, Urban district
Coordinates54.667°N 1.667°W
Located inDurham, England
See alsoAuckland St. Andrew, Durham, Englandancient parish in which it was a township
Darlington Ward, Durham, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Wear Valley District, Durham, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area 1974-2009
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Bishop Auckland is a market town and civil parish in County Durham in northeast England. It is located 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Darlington and 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Durham at the confluence of the River Wear with its tributary the River Gaunless. According to the UK census of 2001, Bishop Auckland had a population of 24,392. Subsequently, census areas were altered and in the 2011 census its population was recorded as 16,296.

Much of the town's early history surrounds the bishops of Durham and the establishment of a hunting lodge, which later became the main residence of the Bishops of Durham.[1][2] This link with the Bishops of Durham is reflected in the first part of the town's name.[3]

During the Industrial Revolution, the town grew rapidly as coal mining took hold as an important industry.[4] The subsequent decline of the coal mining industry in the late twentieth century has been blamed for a fall in the town's fortunes in other sectors.[5] Today, the largest sector of employment in the town is manufacturing.[6]

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Bishop Auckland was made an urban district in 1894 replacing a short-lived civil parish named Bishop Auckland and Pollards Lands. In 1937 the urban district was expanded by absorbing part or all of the following surrounding civil parishes:

Since 1 April 2009, the town's local government has come from the Durham County Council Unitary Authority. The unitary authority replaced the previous Wear Valley District Council and Durham County Council.

A nineteenth century description

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Bishop Auckland from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"BISHOP-AUCKLAND, a town, a township, and a [registration] subdistrict, in the [registration] district of Auckland, Durham. The town stands on an eminence about 140 feet high, between the rivers Wear and Gaunless, near their point of confluence, and adjacent to the Weardale railway, 10¾ miles NNW of Darlington. It took its name from the vicinity of the Bishop of Durham's palace, conjoined with ancient abundance of oak woods; and it was formerly a borough by prescription. It has pleasant environs; and is well-built and neat. It has a post office under Darlington, a railway station, two banking offices, two chief inns, a spacious town hall, a church, seven non-established chapels, a grammar school, two other endowed schools, a workhouse, and alms-houses; is a seat of petty sessions and a polling-place; and publishes two weekly newspapers. The town hall stands in the centre of the town, adjoining the church; was built in 1862, at a cost of about £8,500; has a groined principal entrance, surmounted by a neat stone balcony; is crowned by angle-roofs with iron pallisading, and with a spire 100 feet high; and contains a large music-hall, and offices for the Board of Health. The church is modern, and ranks as a chapel to the charge of Auckland-St. Andrew. A Wesleyan chapel, in modified Italian style, was built in 1866. The other non-established chapels are for Independents, Presbyterians, Quakers, two Methodist bodies, and Roman Catholics. The grammar school was founded by James I., and has £38 from endowment; and one of the other endowed schools was founded by Bishop Barrington, and has £367.
"The episcopal palace stands on the NE side of the town, in a fine park of 800 acres, on the river Gaunless, with charming views; was built by Bishop Cousins, on the site of a previous one by Bishop Beck; underwent restoration and extension, with fine entrance Gothic gateway and screen, by Bishop Barrington, after designs by Wyatt; and contains several valuable old paintings, by the Italian masters. Newtoncap bridge, in the vicinity, over the river Wear, was built in 1390, and has two arches, the one circular and 101 feet in span, the other pointed and 91 feet in span.
"A weekly market is held in the town on Thursday, and fairs on Holy Thursday and the following day, on 1 June, and on the Thursday before 11 Oct. Population: 6,480. Houses: 1,186.
"The township includes most of the town, extends into the country, and is in the parish of St. Andrew-Auckland. Acres: 1,919. Real property: £18,061, of which £2,300 are in mines. Population: 7,279. Houses: 1,333. Coal and limestone are worked, and cotton manufactures are carried on. Extensive engineering and edge-tool works were established in 1862, and have branches at Bedburn.
"The [registration] subdistrict comprises twenty-three townships and a parochial chapelry. Acres: 23,545. Population: 34,878. Houses: 6,612.

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