Darlington


Darlington is a large town located in the south of County Durham close to the River Tees and the border with North Yorkshire. The River Skerne pass through the town. Originally known as 'Dearthington' the settlent at Darlington can be dated back to Anglo-Saxon times. During the Victorian era Darington grew rapidly under the influence of local Quaker families and the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the world's first passenger steam railway, in 1825. In 1997 the unitary authority of Darlinton was formed, including the town itself and numerous surrounding villiages.

Early history

Darlington started life as an Anglo-Saxon settlement. The name Darlington derives from the Anglo-Saxon Dearthington, which seemingly meant 'the settlement of Deornoth's people' but by Norman times the name had changed to Derlinton. During the 17th and 18th centuries the town was generally known by the name of Darnton.

Darlington has a historic market area in the town centre. Built in 1183, the Grade I listed St Cuthbert's Church is one of the most important early English churches in the north of England. However the oldest church in the town happens to be that of St Andrew's Church built around 1125 and presides in the Haughton area of Darlington.

Visiting during the 18th century, Daniel Defoe noted that the town was eminent for "good bleaching of linen, so that I have known cloth brought from Scotland to be bleached here". However he also disparaged the town, writing that it had "nothing remarkable but dirt" (the roads would typically be unpaved at the time).

The Durham Ox came from Darlington.

19th-century industry

During the early 19th century, Darlington remained a small market town. As the century progressed, powerful Quaker families such as the Pease and Backhouse families were prominent employers and philanthropists in the area. Darlington's most famous landmark, the clock tower, was a gift to the town by the industrialist Joseph Pease in 1864. The clock's face was produced by T. Cooke & Sons of York, and the tower bells were cast by John Warner & Sons of nearby Norton-on-Tees. These bells were in fact the sister bells to those which are inside the Elizabeth Tower at the Houses of Parliament in London, the most famous of which is called Big Ben. The Darlington Mechanics Institute was opened in 1854 by Elizabeth Pease Nichol, who had made the largest donation towards its building costs. The 91-acre South Park was redeveloped into its current form in 1853, with financial backing from the Backhouse family. Alfred Waterhouse, responsible for London's Natural History Museum and Manchester Town Hall, designed the Grade II listed Victorian Market Hall in 1860, and also the Backhouse's Bank building, now a branch of Barclays, in 1864, the latter taking three years to complete. George Gordon Hoskins was responsible for much of the town's architecture in this period, such as The King's Hotel. The Darlington Free Library was built with funding from Edward Pease, and opened in 1884.

Railways

Darlington is known for its associations with the birth of railways. This is celebrated in the town at Darlington Railway Centre and Museum. The world's first passenger rail journey was between Shildon and Stockton-on-Tees via Darlington, on the Stockton and Darlington Railway in 1825.

The town later became an important centre for railway manufacturing. An early railway works was the Hopetown Carriage Works (est.1853) which supplied carriages and locomotives to the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The engineering firm of William and Alfred Kitching also manufactured locomotives in the 19th century. The town developed to have three significant works; the largest of these was the main line Darlington Works, whose main works were known as the North Road Shops which opened in 1863 and closed in 1966. Another was Robert Stephenson & Co. (colloquially: "Stivvies"), who moved to Darlington from Newcastle upon Tyne in 1902, became Robert Stephensons & Hawthorns in 1937, were absorbed by English Electric around 1960, and closed by 1964. The third was Faverdale Wagon Works, established in 1923 and closed in 1962, which in the 1950s was a UK pioneer in the application of mass-production techniques to the manufacture of railway goods wagons.

To commemorate the town's contribution to the railways, David Mach's 1997 work "Train" is located alongside the A66, close to the original Stockton–Darlington railway. It is a life-size brick sculpture of a steaming locomotive emerging from a tunnel, made from 185,000 "Accrington Nori" bricks. The work had a budget of £760,000.

For 19 years, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust built a 50th member of the long withdrawn LNER Peppercorn Class A1 engine, called 'Tornado' and numbered 60163, from scratch in the 1853 former Stockton and Darlington Railway Carriage Works at Hopetown. Many of the original fleet had been built at Darlington locomotive works in the late 1940s.

Engineering

Darlington has long been a centre for engineering, particularly bridge building. Bridges built in Darlington are found as far away as the River Nile and the River Amazon. The large engineering firm Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company still has its headquarters in the town. The firm built the Tyne Bridge, Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge and the Humber Bridge, as well as the Sydney Harbour Bridge. One of the leading engine building firms, Cummins, has major premises in Darlington, and it houses the industrial headquarters of AMEC. The engineering companies Darlington Forge Company (cl.1967) and Whessoe also originated in Darlington.

Other

In 1870, The Northern Echo newspaper was launched. It is based in Priestgate and is a long-standing part of life in the North East. Although a regional paper, it is a full-bodied newspaper in its own right and includes national and international news in its scope, as well as having a well-maintained website and active social media presence. William Thomas Stead was a notable editor of The Northern Echo who died in 1912 on the Titanic. Opposite The Northern Echo building is The William Stead public house, restaurant and beer garden.

Recent history

In 1939, Darlington had the most cinema seats per head of population in the United Kingdom.

The town centre has undergone a full refurbishment entitled The Pedestrian Heart, which has seen the majority of the town centre pedestrianised. Initially, the project received criticism surrounding changes to public transport, and removal of Victorian features along High Row. There is now growing evidence, however, that the now-completed changes are meeting with local approval. Then in 2014, the town saw the revamp of one of its old cinemas, The Majestic, from a failing Bingo Hall into what it is now, fully restored to its former glory. The space features a soft-play area downstairs and will feature a restaurant and theatre in the upper floor.

In August 2008 the King's Hotel in the town centre was devastated by fire, severely damaging the roof and 100 bedrooms. Several shops, including Woolworths, were damaged and had to close for weeks afterwards. No one was killed in the blaze. The hotel was carefully restored to its former glory and re-opened in 2012.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 19/05/2016).
Visit the page: Darlington for references and further details. You can contribute to this article on Wikipedia.
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Darlington

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Darlington 030

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King Alphonso (1928)

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Prince George (1933)

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A Century Of Progress - In Locomotion Orange Tint (1925)

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An Awkward Load (1928)

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A Record Load By Road (1930)

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Duke Of York The Royal Show (1920)

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Marionettes (1943)

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The History and Antiquities of the Parish of Darlington, in the Bishoprick. William Hylton Dyer Longstaffe, 1854
- Digitised book from 1854 digitised and available as a free Google eBook.

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Stockton and Darlington Railway
- Summary Early History The Stockton and Darlington Railway was the world's first public railway to use steam locomotives. The railway was primarily built to transport coal from colleries around Shildon, ...
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Talking up Darlington

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Darlington

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Great-great grandfather Alexander McIntosh

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Doric House

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Former Imperial Hotel

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BRIDGE HOUSE

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Clock tower

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NORTHERN ECHO

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Binns

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Church Row

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Former Midland Bank

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Hole in the Wall

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Hopetown Carriage Works, including NELPG & DRPS locos, Darlington 30.06.2009 P6300105

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Day 160 - Open Day

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High Row

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Darlington Civic Theatre

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Darlington: St Cuthbert's

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Former Technical College

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Hopetown Carriage Works, Darlington 30.06.2009 P6300124

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Former Lloyds Bank

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SKERNE

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3-7 Crown Street

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Market and Former Town Hall

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New Teesside University building

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South Park, Darlington - Bands' photocall

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East Row

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SKINNERGATE

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DOWN STREAM SKERNE

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St Cuthbert

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Darlington

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The King's Head Hotel

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TITANIC MEMORY STILL LIVES ON

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Darlington Post Office

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The Greyhound

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The Black Swan

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St Hilda's Church

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Great-great grandmother Catherine McIntosh

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King's Head fire - the aftermath

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Ketton Hall

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Darlington RFC, Blackwell Meadows, Darlington, May 2014

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St. Cuthbert's Church

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William Thomas Stead (1849-1912)
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Great Fire of Darlington, 1585
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Northern Echo
- The Northern Echo is a regional daily newspaper, based in Darlington, which covers both regional and national news. The paper was founded by John Hyslop Bell and published its first ...
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Hurworth-on-Tees
- Hurworth-on-Tees is a village in the borough of Darlington in County Durham. It is located on the banks of the River Tees, close to its meeting point with the River ...
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St Herbert's Church
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Great Stainton
- Overview Map Street View Great Stainton is a small rural village in the borough of Darlington in the ceremonial county of County Durham, and to the west of Stockton-on-Tees. The village ...
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Darlington Corporation 1964 Daimler Double-Decker (Roker Pier in background)

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Image taken from page 309 of 'Local Records; or, Historical Register of remarkable events which have occurred in Northumberland and Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Berwick-upon-Tweed, with biographical notices of deceased persons ... 1833 to ... 1866, bei

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Image taken from page 635 of 'The Local Historian's Table Book of remarkable occurrences, historical facts, traditions, legendary and descriptive ballads, connected with the Counties of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, and Durham. Historical Division.

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Darlington

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Darlington Market Hall

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Darlington Market Hall and Clock Tower

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