Darlington is a town in the
ceremonial county of County Durham, England, UK, and the main population centre in the Borough of Darlington.
Darlington has a resident population
97,838 as of 1997. On 1 April 1997
, the Borough of Darlington became a unitary authority area
separated it from the non-metropolitan county
for administrative purposes. The town
is home to the football
, known as The
because of the contributions made to the town by men
such as Edward
of the Religious Society of
. Darlington's leading Rugby Union club is Darlington Mowden Park RFC
is located in the Tees
Valley, and is often slated as 'The gateway to the Tees
Although the Tees Valley is often known for its
industry, comparatively little in the way of industry exists in
is close to The Pennines, the Yorkshire
Dales and Cleveland Hills; the
Moors are also within easy reach of the town.
Tees and River
Skerne pass through the town, the River Skerne later
joining the River Tees which then flows into the North Sea.
railway station (Bank Top) lies on the East Coast Main Line.
also local services from the historic North Road
railway station and associated Darlington
Railway Centre and Museum.
started life as a Saxon settlement on
It has an attractive historic market area
in the town centre. St Cuthbert
is one of the most important and impressive Early English
churches in the north of
Darlington is known for its associations with the birth of railways
. This is celebrated in the town at Darlington
Railway Centre and Museum. The world's first passenger rail journey was
between Shildon and Stockton-on-Tees via Darlington, on the Darlington and Stockton
Railway in 1825.
The town later became an important centre for railway
manufacturing, with three significant works. The largest of these
was the main line locomotive works, known as North Road Shops, opened in 1863 and
closed in 1966.
Another was Robert Stephenson
& Co. (colloquially:
"Stivvies"), who moved to Darlington from Newcastle
upon Tyne in 1902, became Robert Stephensons & Hawthorns
in 1937, were absorbed by English
Electric around 1960, and closed by 1964.
The third was
Faverdale Wagon Works, established in 1923 and closed in 1962,
which in the 1950s was a UK pioneer in the application of
mass-production techniques to the manufacture of railway goods
To commemorate the town's contribution to the railways, David Mach
's 1997 work "Train" is located
alongside the A66, close to the original Stockton-Darlington
railway. It is a life-size brick sculpture of a steaming locomotive
emerging from a tunnel, made from 185,000 "Accrington Nori" bricks.
The work had a budget of £760,000.
In 1870, The Northern
newspaper was launched. It is based in Priestgate and
is a long-standing part of life in the North East. Although a local
paper, it is a full-bodied newspaper in its own right and includes
national and international news in its scope. William Thomas Stead
was the first
editor of the Northern Echo
- opposite of the Northern
Echo building is the 'The William Stead' public house
The town centre has undergone a full refurbishment entitled The
, which has seen the majority of the town
centre pedestrianised. Initially, the project received criticism
surrounding changes to public transport, and removal of Victorian
features along High Row. There is now growing evidence, however,
that the now-completed changes are meeting with local
In 2007 planning permission was granted for a new shopping centre
to replace the dated and unsuccessful Queen Street shopping centre.
Debenhams is to be the anchor store for the retail and leisure
development. It is due to open in 2010.
In August 2008 the King's Hotel in the town centre was devastated
by fire, severely damaging the roof and 100 bedrooms. Several
shops, including Woolworths
were damaged and had to close for weeks afterwards. No one was
killed in the blaze.
In November 2009 the town appointed an official 'Twitterer in
residence', the first of its kind in the UK. Mike McTimoney (known
is a local regular Twitter user who has been officially charged
with tweeting for and about Darlington, and to help promote
The Darlington Experiment
, the town's social media
It is twinned
North Road, now known as the A1, used to run directly through the centre of
The road has since been diverted to the west of
the town; the original route is now the A167
via North Road in the town centre. The £5.9 m
five-mile (8 km) A66
Eastern Bypass opened on November 25, 1985 and is currently
undergoing major reconstruction in an effort to reduce congestion
at rush hour. The Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor, linking
Central Park (Haughton Road) north-east of the town centre to a new
roundabout on the A66, was opened in the summer of 2008. The A1(M)
Darlington Bypass opened in May 1965.
Darlington is served by Darlington
railway station (or Darlington Bank Top railway station) which is
on the East Coast Mainline and
has regular services to London Kings Cross, Leeds City Station, Wakefield Westgate, Edinburgh Waverley, Manchester Picadilly, Manchester Airport and Newcastle. North Road railway station is situated just outside of Darlington town
centre. Darlington Bank Top railway station also
serves as the mainline interchange for Middlesbrough railway station, which itself has few intercity services.
Darlington railway station boasts a large Victorian
clock tower, which in the relitively
low rise town centre can be seen throughout large areas of the
Arriva buses in Darlington.
Bus transport in the town is provided by Arriva North East
and Scarlet Band.
Darlington lost out on considerable public receipts when the
municipal bus operator Darlingon Transport Company
placed into administration during an attempted privatisation
, due to continuing financial
difficulties and the Darlington Bus
Arriva run most of the bus services in the town, and Scarlet Band
operate five routes, primarily the services with fewer passengers.
Arriva used to run the routes now operated by Scarlet Band but
Darlington Council re-tendered them due to financial trouble in
early 2009 after the re-shuffle of the Bus system. Arriva began
trials of articulated buses
August 2009 with a view to future use within the town.
Stagecoach used to operate in the town (since the Bus War) until
2007, when they sold their operations to Arriva. Arriva therefore
became the main bus operator, operating nearly all routes in the
town, until Scarlet Band became present in early 2009.
Darlington was chosen by the Department for Transport as one of
three national Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns (together
with Peterborough and Worcester) in 2004, and has successfully
delivered a three year research and marketing programme to promote
sustainable travel choices under the brand name 'Local Motion'. It
was also chosen as one of six cycling demonstration towns in
October 2005, receiving £3 million worth of funding from the
government and local authority money. The money has been spent over
the course of three years on improving cycling facilities and
routes, and linking the town to the national cycle route network.
Darlington is the only place to win both sustainable travel and
cycling demonstration town status.
miles east of the town centre is Durham Tees
Valley Airport, which has flights to many domestic locations
across the UK and international flights to places across the EU,
North Africa and North America.
has the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form
College (former grammar
school), which gets the best A level results in North East
England. There are many other schools including:
Branksome Science College Hummersknott School, Carmel RC Technology College, Hurworth
School and Longfield
School. Darlington College is the newly built FE College.
The town has
other schools that have become Academies
, this includes Eastbourne
Comprehensive School, which has now become Eastbourne Church Of
England Academy, soon to be St. Aidan's Church Of England Academy.
is also home to three independent
schools - Yarm at Raventhorpe (formally Raventhorpe Preparatory
House School in the neighbouring village of Hurworth-on-Tees, and Polam Hall School which caters for girls aged
three to eighteen and boys in the nursery
school and sixth form.
Darlington, including the town
Darlington memorial hospital
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of
Darlington at current basic prices published
(pp. 240–253) by Office for
with figures in millions of British Pounds
||Regional Gross Value Added
Darlington is historically a market town with a well established
weekly outdoor market and a thriving indoor market located
underneath the town clock on Prebend Row. Also located on Prebend
Row is the Cornmill Shopping centre which is the main retail area
Darlington attracts people from a wide area to its newly
pedestrianised town centre. The retail is remaining strong even
through the economic downturn of 2009. House of Fraser
and Marks & Spencer
both have outlets in
the town centre with Debenhams
a few years time as part of the new Commercial Street Shopping and
Lesiure Complex, or 'The Oval' which is to relpace the existing
Queen Street Shopping Mall. The new shopping centre will include 30
retail units, 5 restaurant units, a multiscreen cinema and 'The
Winter Garden Convention Centre'.
The Civic Theatre is a popular arts venue in the town, hosting a
mix of musicals, dramas, plays and pantomimes
. The smaller but well-used Arts Centre,
founded in 1982, features smaller events, film screenings and more
Rhythm'n'Brews festival is a music and real ale festival normally held in early autumn,
with many rock, blues and jazz acts playing at various venues
around Darlington, as well as a Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) run bar at the Arts Centre.
The Forum Music Centre, opened in 2004, hosts regular live music
events, from Ska and Punk to Indie and Classic Rock. Also runs a
popular comedy club. As well as live music, the facility houses a
state of the art recording studio and several rehearsal rooms. The
Carmel Rhythm Club is another place for music. Held at Carmel
College in the Hummersknott end of town.
A charitable organisation for
the Carmel PTA (Parents and Teachers Association) attracts many
large bands in the genre of rhythm and
Darlington town centre has built a strong focus on independent
shopping, giving a breathing space from the usually high street
national stores and introducing a varied and popular shopping
experience. Grange Road has a number of expensive and attractive
designer stores, Duke Street houses art galleries and restaurants
and nestled between the two is Skinnergate, which holds the
greatest variety of interesting and original stores.
Darlington Dog Show has been a championship event since 1969.
normally held in September on the showground in South Park,
although in more recent years it has moved to Ripon.
Football teams in the town are Darlington
, a team in the Football League Two
; and Darlington Railway Athletic
team in the Northern
. The Rugby teams are Darlington Mowden Park
play in National League Three and Darlington RFC
. Cricket clubs are Darlington Cricket Club
and Darlington Railway
Athletic Cricket Club
. The Darlington 10K road run is held
every August, and attracts several thousand competitors.
Dolphin Centre, which provides a wide range of sporting facilities,
was opened by Roger Bannister in
1982, and received a £5 m refurbishment in 2006 and was later
given a new official opening by Redcar athlete
Darlington is home to the regional daily paper The Northern Echo
and its sister
weekly paper Darlington & Stockton
. A radio station of the TLRC
network, Star Radio, broadcasts
from the town.
Famous natives and residents
There are several suburbs of Darlington. In the north are
Harrowgate Hill, Harrowgate
Village and Beaumont
Hill and to the northeast are Whinfield, Haughton-le-Skerne and Red Hall.
Eastbourne with Firth
Moor and Skerne
Park to the south and situated in the west end are
Hummersknott, Mowden and
Blackwell. Finally, to the northwest are Branksome, Cockerton, Faverdale, The
Denes, West Park, High Grange
somewhat parallel to Woodland Road from Cockerton village towards the centre of Darlington is the
area called The
Denes which is mainly semi-detached and terraced housing
surrounding valley areas of public park and recreation land.
Memorial Hospital on Hollyhurst Road, lies in the corridor between
Woodlands Road and The Denes.
References and notes
- Census 2001 - Population Pyramids - Darlington
- Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
- includes hunting and forestry
- includes energy and construction
- includes financial intermediation services indirectly