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Signpost in Sadberge

Sadberge is a village in the borough of Darlington and ceremonial county of County Durham, Englandmarker. It is situated between Darlingtonmarker and Stockton-on-Teesmarker. The village of Sadberge was once the Wapentake (capital) of the Viking settled area north of the Tees known as the Earldom of Sadberge which stretched from Hartlepoolmarker to Teesdalemarker. Wapentakes were found in parts of England settled by Danes and continued to be important administrative centres through to medieval times. The word wapentake literally translated means `Weapon Taking' and refers to the way in which land was held in return for military service to a chief.

Sadberge is a name of Viking origin deriving from Setberg, meaning `flat topped hill', - an accurate description of the location of the village from where good views of the surrounding countryside can be obtained. The place name Setberg from which Sadberge derives also occurs in Norwaymarker and in Viking settled Icelandmarker. Closer to home in Norse settled Cumbriamarker we may find the village of Sedberghmarker near Kendalmarker which has the same meaning.

In Norman times the Earldom of Sadberge, though north of the River Teesmarker, was not part of Durhammarker and was not initially under the rule of Durham's Prince Bishops. Instead, it formed an outlying part of the county of Northumberlandmarker by virtue of the fact that it had been part of the old Kingdom of Northumbriamarker.

In 1139 Northumberlandmarker was given to Scotlandmarker by England's King Stephen and the River Tees became the southern boundary of the kingdom of Scotland. This situation continued until 1157 when Northumberland was reclaimed by Henry II.

Hugh de Puiset, was largely responsible for the decline in importance of Sadberge. He added the earldom to Durham in 1189 and from then on Sadberge was ruled from Durham. Sadberge retained some independence and continued to be administered as an almost separate county until 1576. Until their abolition in 1971 the Palatine courts were a part of the "County Palatine of Durham and Sadberge".

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Sadberge is a small rural village conveniently situated for fast commuting to Teesside. The village has a church, pub and village shop.

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