Durham


Durham
/derr"euhm, dur"-/, n.
1. a county in NE England. 607,600; 940 sq. mi. (2435 sq. km).
2. a city in this county. 86,500.
3. a city in N North Carolina. 100,831.
4. a town in SE New Hampshire. 10,652.
5. Animal Husb. Shorthorn.

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I
Administrative (pop., 2001: 493,470), geographic, and historic county, northeastern England.

Adjacent to the North Sea coast, it includes the city of Durham. The northern part of the county is cut by the valleys of the Rivers Wear and Tees; the Tees lowlands extend across the south. Under the Romans the region was a military outpost associated with Hadrian's Wall. Durham was later incorporated into the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. It was unimportant economically until the 19th century, when exploitation of its coalfields, now exhausted, made it a key area of industrial growth in Britain. The area is now a centre of light industry.
II
Saxon Dunholme

City (pop., 2001: district, 87,725), administrative and historic county of Durham, northeastern England.

It is on a peninsula in the River Wear. This natural defensive site, fortified by William I (the Conqueror) against the Scots, became a seat of the feudal prince-bishops of Durham. Medieval Durham was a place of pilgrimage, holding the remains of St. Cuthbert in its cathedral (begun in 1093). The bishops of Durham helped establish the city as an educational centre. It is the site of the Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental Art and Archaeology, part of the University of Durham.

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      urban area and city (district), administrative and historic county of Durham, northeastern England.

      The historic core of the city is located on a peninsula in a bend of the River Wear (Wear, River). This natural defensive site, chosen by William the Conqueror (reigned 1066–87) as a fortress and bulwark against the Scots to the north, soon became a seat of the feudal prince-bishops of Durham, entrusted with the defense of northern England. The castle, built to protect the narrow neck of the peninsula on its northern side, was until 1836 one of the palaces of the bishop. Early in the 12th century the peninsula was fortified by a wall, much of which has been preserved. Besides its defensive role, medieval Durham was also a place of pilgrimage, because it held the remains of St. Cuthbert, a 7th-century ecclesiastic, in the Romanesque cathedral (begun in 1093 and dedicated to Christ and Blessed Mary the Virgin). The historic city centre has been designated a World Heritage Site.

      The strong ecclesiastical hold on the city during the Middle Ages reflected the wide secular powers of the bishopric. The fortified part on the peninsula was in early times governed by the constable (law officer) of the bishops' castle. On the east side of the river, Elvet was held by a Benedictine monastery established at Durham in 1083 (suppressed in 1540). The bishops controlled nearby St. Nicholas and Framwellgate. To the north, St. Giles was created a borough in the 12th century.

      The bishops of Durham played an important part in establishing the city as an educational centre. Durham School was founded in the 15th century; and a bishop was associated with the creation of the University of Durham in 1832 and the appropriation of the castle to the university's use in 1836. Originally compactly situated on the peninsula, the university has expanded across the river to a site south of it as well. The Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental Art and Archaeology, part of the university's School of Oriental Studies (opened 1960), contains important collections of Far Eastern material.

      Modern Durham, reflecting its history, remains a religious and educational centre but also serves as the county town (seat). Development of marketing and service sectors in the local economy has been impeded by the proximity of the city to the metropolitan areas of Tyne and Wear and Teesside. Durham has several small factories specializing in organ construction and carpet manufacture. It has never been an industrial city, however; instead it has always served as an administrative and cultural centre for the region. Surrounding the historic urban area at the centre of the city are suburban areas and open countryside. Area city (district) 72 square miles (187 sq km). Pop. (2001) Durham urban area, 42,939; city (district), 87,725.

      town (township), Strafford county, southeastern New Hampshire, U.S., on the Oyster River just southwest of Dover. Settled in 1635, it was known as the parish of Oyster River until it was incorporated in 1732 and named for Durham, England. A series of savage Indian attacks began in 1675; in 1694 the town was burned, and more than 100 residents were killed or captured. During the American Revolution a large supply of gunpowder and weapons seized from the British in New Castle was hidden in the Durham Meetinghouse; a tablet now marks the site. The town is an agricultural trade centre and the seat of the University of New Hampshire (New Hampshire, University of) (founded 1866). The home (built c. 1740) of John Sullivan (Sullivan, John), Revolutionary general and the state's chief executive in 1786, 1787, and 1789, still stands on the riverbank. Area 22 square miles (58 square km). Pop. (1990) 11,818; (2000) 12,664.

      city, seat (1881) of Durham county, north-central North Carolina, U.S. It is situated about 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Chapel Hill and 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Raleigh, the three cities forming one of the state's major urban areas—the Research Triangle. The first settlement (about 1750) in what is now Durham was called Prattsburg for William Pratt, a landowner. When Pratt refused to give land for a North Carolina Railroad station, Bartlett Durham donated a plot about 2 miles (3 km) to the west. The town that grew up there was known as Durhamville, Durham Station, and Durham's before its name was shortened to Durham. It was the site of the surrender on April 26, 1865, of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston (Johnston, Joseph E) to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman (Sherman, William Tecumseh), which effectively ended the American Civil War. It was incorporated in 1866 and again in 1869, the first charter having been invalidated by Congress since North Carolina had not yet been readmitted to the Union.

      The tobacco industry, which transformed Durham into a flourishing manufacturing centre by 1900, was pioneered by Robert Morris in 1858; John R. Green began making his famous Bull Durham blend after the Civil War. The leading role in the industry's development, however, was played by the Duke family after their factory opened there in 1874. Durham also developed an important textile industry. Both of these activities are now secondary to high technology such as the manufacture of electronic and precision equipment.

      Durham became an educational, medical, and research centre in large part through the philanthropy of the Duke family. Duke University, which was established by James Buchanan Duke (Duke, James Buchanan) in 1924, was constructed around Trinity College. North Carolina Central University (1910), part of the University of North Carolina (North Carolina, University of) system, and Durham Technical Community College (1961) are in the city as well. Durham is a national leader in health-related activities, which are focused on the renowned Duke University Medical Center and many private companies. It is a cornerstone of North Carolina's Research Triangle, the regional metropolitan area that embraces a range of cultural, scientific, and educational activities; central to this is Research Triangle Park, just south of Durham, which encompasses 11 square miles (28 square km) and is devoted entirely to research facilities.

      Duke University is at the centre of Durham's cultural life; other institutions in the city include the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science and Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum. Bennett Place State Historic Site, about 5 miles (8 km) northwest, commemorates the location where Johnston surrendered to Sherman. Also nearby are Eno River State Park (northwest), Falls Lake State Recreation Area (east), and Historic Stagville (north), which preserves portions of an antebellum plantation. Pop. (1990) city, 136,611; Raleigh–Durham–Chapel Hill MSA, 855,545; (2000) city, 187,035; Raleigh–Durham–Chapel Hill MSA, 1,187,941.

      administrative, geographic, and historic county of northeastern England, on the North Sea coast. The administrative, geographic, and historic counties cover somewhat different areas. The administrative county comprises seven districts: Chester-le-Street, Derwentside, the city of Durham, Easington, the borough of Sedgefield, Teesdale, and Wear Valley. The geographic county includes the entire administrative county, the unitary authorities of Darlington and Hartlepool, and the portion of the unitary authority of Stockton-on-Tees (including the historic core of Stockton) north of the River Tees. The historic county includes the entire geographic county except for the part of the Teesdale district south of the River Tees, which belongs to the historic county of Yorkshire. The metropolitan boroughs of Gateshead, South Tyneside, and Sunderland in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear also belong to the historic county of Durham.

      There are two upland regions in the geographic county of Durham. In the west the limestones of the Pennines—reaching an elevation of 2,452 feet (747 metres) at Burnhope Seat—dip gently eastward and are dissected by the valleys of the Rivers Wear and Tees. Basaltic rocks are exposed at High Force waterfall and near Stanhope. In the east the limestone East Durham Plateau—which reaches an elevation of more than 700 feet (213 metres) at its southwestern edge—forms a gently rolling landscape. Separating these upland areas are the glacial drift-covered lowlands of the Wear valley. The Tees lowlands extend across the south of the county. The topography supports varied forms of agriculture. In the western uplands, thin soils and ill-drained peat permit only sheep grazing, but stock raising is possible in the valleys. In the lower eastern region, mixed farming, especially dairying, predominates.

      A number of sites provide evidence of the region's occupation by agricultural peoples from Neolithic times through the Iron Age. In the Roman period Durham was a military outpost supporting the defense of Hadrian's Wall, which was erected to contain the peoples of what, in large part, became Scotland. The Romans withdrew in the 5th century, and the future county of Durham became part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Bernicia by the end of the 6th century. During the 7th century Bernicia became part of the kingdom of Northumbria, which was in turn conquered by the Danes in the 9th century. In the later Middle Ages Durham's marginal position between Scotland and England made it susceptible to invasions and rebellions. In return for leading the defense of northern England, the bishop-princes of the Durham county palatine, residing in the fortified cathedral city of Durham, enjoyed kingly powers that gave them complete control of the area. During the 16th century Durham participated in armed rebellions against the Reformation, including the Pilgrimage of Grace.

      The historical county of Durham was relatively unimportant economically until the 19th century, when the Industrial Revolution prompted exploitation of its extensive coalfield and made it one of the key areas of industrial growth in Britain. The county was the site of the world's first passenger railway, which began operation in 1825 and ran between Stockton and Darlington. Darlington became a centre of locomotive production and railway engineering. Other Durham cities—including Gateshead, Hartlepool, Jarrow, South Shields, and Sunderland—developed as centres of heavy industry, particularly iron and steel production and shipbuilding.

      Economic depression between World Wars I and II, followed by a steady decline of the traditional heavy industries, demonstrated the need for diversification. Durham was designated a “special area” and in 1945 became part of the North East Development Area. Two new towns, Newton-Aycliffe and Peterlee, were established to absorb population from declining mining areas. By the end of the 20th century, coal mining had ceased in the geographic county of Durham. Financial concessions and the establishment of industrial and business parks have encouraged the expansion of new, lighter industries, such as electronics. The city of Durham serves as the county town (seat) and is the educational centre of the county, with one of Britain's most prestigious universities. Area administrative county, 859 square miles (2,226 square km); geographic county (including the entire unitary authority of Stockton-on-Tees), 1,054 square miles (2,731 square km). Pop. (2005 est.) administrative county, 499,800; geographic county (including the entire unitary authority of Stockton-on-Tees), 875,700.

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Universalium. 2010.

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