The Harrying of the North

Durham’s History

Durham has a long and varied history. It rose to prominence in the eleventh century with the construction of the Norman Cathedral, built to honour St Cuthbert who had helped spread Christianity across the region some 400 years earlier.

The Cathedral and the Castle represented the enormous power of the medieval Prince-Bishops. Even after the Reformation in the sixteenth century, Durham remained the political, spiritual and governmental centre of the North East until well into the nineteenth century. Its wealth owed much to the development of a mining industry, based on coal and lead. By the end of the twentieth century the University had become the City’s major employer.

A state within a state, ruled by Prince Bishops — discover the intriguing history of Durham.