Discount Hotels Durham
Historical interest: Durham
Durham can trace its history back a thousand years, to the arrival of a religious
community seeking a permanent resting place for the body of St. Cuthbert. A
shrine was built for the saint on top of a rocky hill, which was protected on
three sides by the River Wear.
Following the Norman conquest of 1066, King William also found this a strategically
appealing site from which to rule Northumbria and defend the region against
the Scots. The existing community of Cuthbert gave way to Benedictine Monks
and a Bishop was appointed by the King. They began building a cathedral to provide
a permanent shrine for St Cuthbert, and the castle, to act as protection for
the cathedral and to provide a palace for the Bishop. Both Durham Castle and
Durham Cathedral are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Bishops of Durham at that time were given the power to govern the North on
the King's behalf and subsequently assumed the title of 'Prince Bishop'. They
were entitled to raise taxes, mint coins, had supreme jurisdiction in both the
civil and military arena, and for centuries occupied the most powerful position
in the region.
The prosperity of Durham developed around the cathedral, with St Cuthbert's
shrine attracting pilgrims from all over England and Durham soon became one
of the richest cities in England. A series of charters granted by the Bishops
conceded trading rights and local government to the local citizens, creating
a thriving market town.
In the 19th century Durham University was founded, thanks to the benevolence
of Bishop Van Mildert and the Cathedral Chapter. Durham Castle became the first
university college, and nearby Auckland Castle was retained as the sole residence
of the Bishop.
The Industrial Age gave prominence to County Durham at the heart of the vital
coal- fields and saw the creation of the world's first passenger railway in
1825. Practically every village around the city boasted a coalmine and, although
these have since disappeared as part of the regional decline in heavy industry,
the proud traditions, heritage and community spirit are still evident.
Selection of hotels in this region:
Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County
Swallow Three Tuns Hotel
Ramside Hall Classic Hotel & Golf Club
Click below for a
full list of hotels and online booking