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Cockfield, County Durham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Church of St Mary the Virgin, Cockfield, County Durham.jpg

St Mary the Virgin church, Cockfield
Cockfield is located in County Durham
Location within County Durham
Population1,531 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceNZ126242
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBishop Auckland
Postcode districtDL13
Dialling code01388
FireCounty Durham and Darlington
AmbulanceNorth East
UK Parliament
List of places
County Durham
54°36′47″N 1°48′22″W / 54.61292°N 1.80616°W / 54.61292; -1.80616

Cockfield is a village on the edge of Teesdale, County Durham, England. It is situated 8 miles to the south-west of Bishop Auckland, 15 miles (24 km) north-west of Darlington and 40 miles (64 km) south-west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Remains found on Cockfield Fell suggest there was a settlement in the area during the Iron Age. The parish church, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, probably dates from the late 12th century.

Coal mining began in the area in the medieval period. When the South West Durham coalfield was opened in the 19th and 20th centuries the population of the village grew significantly. The last coal mine closed in 1962.

Notable residents

One of the more illustrious families to hail from Cockfield was the Martindale family. George Dixon (1731–1785) owned coal mines and was a keen inventor, and was probably the first to use coal gas for illumination.[2] His brother Jeremiah Dixon (1733–1779), an astronomer, went to America with Charles Mason in 1763 to survey the boundaries of Maryland and Pennsylvania thereby creating the 'Mason–Dixon line'.

Local amenities

Public houses

There are three public houses in the village, the Queen's Head, the King's Head, and the Cockfield Working Men's Club.


There are three stores in the village of Cockfield, a Co-operative, newsagents, and also a general store, which incorporates as coffee shop. The village also has a Pharmacy, which also contains the Post Office.


The local primary school is Cockfield County Primary School.


The two churches that can be found in Cockfield are the CofE Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and the Cockfield Methodist Church.


Whilst Cockfield once had a railway, this was closed to passengers in 1958, before its complete closure in 1962.[3][circular reference] It is now served by bus services from Arriva North East and Scarlet Band with links to Darlington, Bishop Auckland, Barnard Castle, Durham and the retail park at Tindale crescent.

Cockfield Fell

Cockfield Fell is described as "one of the most important early industrial landscapes in Britain". In addition to four Iron Age (or Romano-British) settlement enclosures, there is evidence within the landscape of early coal mines (the Bishop of Durham licensed mining here at least as early as 1303), medieval agricultural field patterns, centuries of quarrying activity, a railway line established in the 1830s and several earlier tramways.[4] All together, Cockfield Fell constitutes England's largest Scheduled Ancient Monument, described as 'an incomparable association of field monuments relating to the Iron settlement history and industrial evolution of a northern English County'. One reason for its preservation - unusual for a lowland fell - is that it was not subject to enclosure in the 18th or 19th centuries, perhaps due to its highly industrialised past.[5]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  2. ^ "From star-gazing to canal digging". The Northern Echo. Newsquest Media Group. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  3. ^ Cockfield Fell railway station
  4. ^ Pevsner, Buildings of England: County Durham, Penguin 1983h.
  5. ^ Guy & Atkinson, West Durham: the archaeology of industry, Phillimore 2008

External links

Media related to Cockfield, County Durham at Wikimedia Commons

This page was last edited on 21 January 2021, at 22:09
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