Durham is a small county, rich in archaeology and history. At its heart is the renowned cathedral city of Durham, founded in AD995 by monks from Lindisfarne as the final resting place of St. Cuthbert. There is evidence of Bronze Age occupation in the county and there are extensive Roman remains too, owing to the county’s proximity to Hadrian’s Wall. Important archaeological sites include:
- Crawley Edge Cairns, home to 42 Bronze Age barrows and cairns, and Heathery Burn Cave in which a Bronze Age metalwork hoard was discovered.
- Roman forts at Lavatae (Bowes), Longovicium (Lanchester), Vindomora (Ebchester), Vinovia (Binchester) and the Roman bridge and fort at Piercebridge.
- Escomb Saxon church, one of the oldest Anglo-Saxon churches in England.
- The UNESCO World Heritage sites of Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral, the resting place of two of the region’s most important saints, St. Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede.
- A host of castles including Bowes Castle, Barnard Castle, Raby Castle and Auckland Castle.
- The ecclesiastical remains of Finchale Priory and Egglestone Abbey.
- The North of England Lead Mining Museum at Killhope which illustrates the more recent industrial history of the county.
The Finds Liaison Officer for Durham is Ben Westwood who is also responsible for finds in Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockton-On-Tees, Redcar and Cleveland. Contact him about any finds you might like to share and discuss.
Our area’s rich history is constantly being extended thanks to the wealth of information the PAS database provides. You can explore artefacts and coins found in Durham and recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database. There’s even more about Durham finds and volunteering on our blog where there will be regular posts about interesting finds and current research across the county, as well as information about upcoming events and volunteering opportunities with PAS.