Place:Etherley, Durham, England

Alt namesEtherley Denesource: from redirect
Low Etherleysource: from redirect
West Aucklandsource: modern name for civil parish
TypeTownship, Chapelry, Civil parish
Coordinates54.65°N 1.704°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
Auckland Rural, Durham, Englandrural district of which it was part 1894-1937
Barnard Castle Rural, Durham, Englandrural district of which it was part 1937-1939
Wear Valley District, Durham, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area 1974-2009
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

NOTE: Etherley and West Auckland both existed as western townships of Auckland St. Andrew ancient parish with Etherley situated north of West Auckland. Over time, perhaps due to the location of working collieries, they vied for importance, so that from the late 19th century until 1939 Etherley was the civil parish but West Auckland has held the position since that date. Auckland St. Helen (to the east of West Auckland) was absorbed into the parish in 1939.

A Vision of Britain through Time is not as clear on the position of Etherley and West Auckland as it usually is in providing the administrative history of places.

Users are reminded that there is also a West Auckland in New Zealand.

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

"ETHERLEY, a chapelry in Auckland-St. Andrew parish, Durham; near the Northern Counties Union railway, 3¼ miles WSW of Bishop-Auckland. It has a station, jointly with Witton-Park, on the railway; and its post town is Witton-Park, under Darlington. It was constituted in 1833. Rated property: £2,539. Population: 1,712. Houses: 352. The property is much subdivided. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Durham. Value: £300. Patron: the Bishop of Manchester. The church is very good."

Etherley was originally a chapelry in the ancient parish of Auckland St. Andrew in County Durham. It became a separate civil parish in 1866. From 1894 until 1937 it was part of Auckland Rural District. In 1937 it was transferred to the rural district of Barnard Castle.

In 1939 Etherley's name was changed to West Auckland and it absorbed the civil parish of Auckland St. Helen. A portion of West Auckland became part of Bishop Auckland Urban Distict. Between 1974 and 2009 the whole area became part of the larger Wear Valley non-metropolitan district. Since 2009 County Durham has been a unitary authority.

West Auckland

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

West Auckland is a village in County Durham, England, in the northeast of England, to the west of Bishop Auckland on the A688 road. It is not known exactly when West Auckland was first inhabited, but there is evidence of Auckland West in the history of St. Cuthbert in the 11th century. The Bolden Book in 1183 showed that at that time West Auckland was inhabited by a number of serfs who were part of the tenantry of the Bishop of Durham, Hugh de Puset, the first of the Prince Bishops. The creation of a church dedicated to St. Helen in the 13th century in Auckland West heralded the beginning of a separate community in what later became known as Auckland St. Helen or St. Helen Auckland. After the opening of the Stockton and Darlington railway in 1825, the search for coal escalated dramatically in the West Auckland area and the population increased as a consequence with the promise of employment. By the turn of the century, West Auckland colliery employed 620 men. The colliery closed in July 1967. The village of West Auckland is reputed to have one of the largest village greens in the country, lined with 17th and 18th century buildings.

end of Wikipedia contribution

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