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Local History

‘Stanhope’ means ‘stony sided valley’ and was the name originally given to the very valley in which the caravan park now resides. First mentions of Stanhope and the valley can be found as far back as the 12th Century!

'Burn' is the local term for the stream or river that helped carve that same valley into the Pennines!

It wasn’t until the 15th Century that Stanhope became a market village. As the Bishop of Durham granted mining rights to the rich mineral reserves that lay beneath the area, jobs became available and the population grew, encouraging the market trade along the main road. Quarrying for limestone also took place locally. The ‘Stanhope and Tyne’ railway served the town and its industry from the mid 1800’s.

Over the years, two amazing ancient discoveries have been made in Stanhope. A 250 million year old fossilised tree stump which is now found in the churchyard and, in 1859, the Heathery Burn Cave. This is one of the greatest Bronze Age finds in the north of England. A huge collection of items and skeletons were found – along with evidence of the some very early wheeled vehicles – All dating back over 3000 years.

Why not stop in at the Durham Dales Centre and Castle Gardens when you visit? The Centre offers lots more about the history of Stanhope and the site of Stanhope Burn Caravan Park – along with some fabulous homemade food!

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