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Newton Aycliffe is a town in County Durham, Englandmarker. Founded in 1947 under the New Towns Act of 1946, it is the oldest new town in the north of England. It has a population of 29,000 people (source: Great Aycliffe Town Council, 2007), other reports put the population between 23,000 and 25,000. It is the largest town within the Sedgefieldmarker constituency.


Prior to the Newtown development, Aycliffe (originally 'Acley') was the site of a Saxon settlement. The name Acley came from the Saxon words: 'Ac', meaning oak, and 'ley', meaning 'a clearing'. Aycliffe was the location of a church synods in AD 782 and AD 789. Another old name was 'Yacley'. The town's motto is Latin for "Not the Least, but the Greatest we seek".

To the south of the town is the village of Aycliffe. Newton comes from 'New Town'. On the edge of the town is the Bishop Auckland to Darlington railway branch line which is part of the 1825 Stockton and Darlington Railway. George Stephenson's steam locomotive Locomotion No 1marker was placed on the rails close to Newton Aycliffe near to where Heighington station is. Within a 10 mile radius are several towns and villages including Darlingtonmarker, Bishop Aucklandmarker, Shildonmarker and Heighingtonmarker.

In more recent times Aycliffe was a key element in World War II ammunitions manufacturing. The marshy land was ideal cover against the Luftwaffe as it was almost continually shrouded in fog and mist. Huge grass covered munitions factories were built and serviced by the nearby railway lines. The factories were largely staffed by women (in their thousands); these ladies were dubbed the "Aycliffe Angels", who braved incredible dangers inside the factories.

The factories were eventually replaced by manufacturing buildings that became the industrial district of Aycliffe. After the war many companies moved onto the industrial estate including Eaton Axles, and B.I.P. who where to become two of the largest employers of the town until the early 1980s. One other company was Union Carbide. Eaton Axles closed down and shipped itself to Polandmarker, B.I.P. is now Hydro Polymers, Union Carbide was taken over by Sanyo for several years, but this has now closed. Businesses currently located in the town include Flymo, 3M and Ineos (who've taken over Hydro Polymers) with many more small factory units.

From its start Newton Aycliffe kept expanding in size until 1980 when the council stopped building council homes. Since then private houses and housing associations have been building the towns homes. From c.1983 an entire area called Woodham Village was built totally of private housing.

Another summary of the town's history is on the Great Aycliffe Town Council's website.

Street Names

There is no street in Newton Aycliffe which ends in 'Street', just the usual Roads, Close, Place etc. The oldest parts of the town are named after the Bishops of Durham.


Currently Newton Aycliffe has three councils. Durham County Council, Sedgefield Borough Council and Aycliffe Town Council. Local Government changes will have the County Council taking over the role of the Borough Council as of the 1st April 2009. The Boundary are currently reviewing the electoral divisions for the "New" Durham County Council Unitary Authority.


Schools in the area are

  • Aycliffe Village Primary School - Website
  • Byerley Park Primary School - Website
  • Elmfield Primary School - This has now closed because attendances fell to just 34 pupils. This school has now merged with Stephenson Way.
  • Greenfield School Community and Arts Collegemarker - Website
  • Heighington Church Of England Primary School
  • Horndale Infant School
  • St Francis Church Of England Junior School
  • St Joseph's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School
  • St Mary's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School - Website
  • Stephenson Way Community Primary School - Website
  • Sugar Hill Primary School
  • Vane Road Primary Schoolmarker - Website
  • Woodham Burn Infant School
  • Woodham Burn Junior School - Website
  • Woodham Community Technology Collegemarker - Website
  • Milton and Marlow Hall's were two adjacent secondary schools which origanally served the town. They merged in 1971 to create the Avenue Comprehensive. The Avenue was closed in 1992. It was later demolished and the area stood as wasteland for around ten years. The site is now occupied by a Tesco store, argos and the betting shop.


By road, the A167 is the main road to the town, it runs to Durham and Newcastle upon Tynemarker (30 Miles) in the north and Darlington (8 Miles) and Northallerton in the south.

The A1marker is near to the town and runs to Edinburgh in the north and London to the south, it provides as an alternative route to Durham and Newcastle in the north. The A689 is also near the town and it runs to Bishop Auckland in the west and Hartlepoolmarker and Teessidemarker in the east.

By rail, the Newton Aycliffe railway stationmarker, which is on the Tees Valley Line, has train services provided by Northern Rail to Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Saltburn, and connecting services to Edinburgh and London.

By bus, the town has bus services provided by Arriva to Bishop Auckland, Durham, Darlington, Ferryhillmarker, Peterleemarker, Sedgefieldmarker, and Sunderlandmarker. There is the X61 express to Whitbymarker and Scarboroughmarker which runs only during early spring to late summer which is also provided by Arriva.


Aycliffe Stadium

A speedway track was built in 1952, which was used for training purposes. There is some evidence that the site was used as a greyhound track in the late 1940s. In 1954 the speedway training track was used for the 1st time to host stock car racing. Stock car racing took place at Aycliffe Stadium from 1954 through to November 19 1989, when it was closed to make way for factory units on the expanding Industrial Estate.

Newton Aycliffe FC

Northern League Division two football team recently promoted and play their home games at Moore Lane Park.


There are two nearby Accident and Emergency departments in the area.Bishop Auckland General Hospitalmarker and Darlington Memorial Hospitalmarker. Both hospitals are well equipped to dealing with chest pain, shortness of breath, headaches, convulsions, diabetes and general ill health and will liaise with the regional psychiatric teams in the event of mental health cases or for referral to the West Park Mental Health Hospital. Mental Health teams operate from the Pioneering Care Centre also in the case of Child and Adolescent Mental to the new centre in Burn Lane. Darlington is more equipped for injuries such as broken bones, severe abdominal pain which may require surgery, eye conditions and maternity and baby cases although Bishop Auckland may look at these cases and refer to Darlington if necessary.For Cancer treatments such as Radio & Chemo therapy then a visit many miles away to the James Cook University Hospitalmarker in Middlesbroughmarker is required.The trust which runs these two hospitals was rated as 'good' for its overall quality and use of services by the HealthCare Commission Standards.


During the 1970s/1980s Aycliffe was twinned with the town of Perstorpmarker in Sweden. This twinning operation was made possible by the partnership between the two Mayors.

Notable People

Ross Turnbull, goalkeeper who now plays for Chelsea F.C..

Scott Mann, director of the The Tournament featuring Robert Carlyle, Ving Rhames and Kelly Hu is from Newton Aycliffe.


External links

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