The villages of Bishop Middleham & Mainsforth lie in a valley 9 miles South West of Durham and have a rich history dating back millennia. The area is dominated by beautiful open countryside and rich biodiversity with areas of outstanding beauty and historic sites of national importance. In a recent Parish survey, residents expressed how much they valued the environment and heritage within our community, but also how keen they were to progress with the times. Out of this feedback came our Parish logo and vision statement: Conserving our past : building our future. You will see that there is a lot going on in this vibrant community with everything either helping to conserve or educate about our heritage or to modernise and help build our future. Whether you’re attending events or just getting out and about enjoying one of the many walks, with maybe a nice pub lunch at the end, we hope you enjoy being in and around our community.
A VOLUNTEER who has dedicated more than four decades to a rural County Durham village hall has been recognised for her loyal service. Nora Etherington, 86, became a part of Bishop Middleham Village Hall, in Bishop Middleham, near Sedgefield, in the late 1970s and continues to work there full-time.
In recognition of her commitment, Bishop Middleham and Mainsforth Parish Council has awarded the great-grandmother a certificate of appreciation. Mrs Etherington, who was asked to perform the official village Christmas lights switch on duty last month, said: “I’m a volunteer and if you volunteer to do something you enjoy it all the time.”
Please read on to find out more about the Village hall, the Parish Council and other attractive features of Bishop Middleham.
Bishop Middleham is a Conservation Area based around a village green, but which may have originally grown up around the Bishop’s Castle to the south. The village displays considerable civic pride with new railings along pathways, a welcoming monument, a Millennium Garden and a wildlife park. The conservation area consists of two main character areas, one based around the Church with an agricultural character and another based around the village green.Full Report
Busy Bees, Social Club, Youth Club, Craft Class, Rainbows, Brownies, Happy Days Playgroup (children), BALM (Bereavement and Loss Meetings), Indoor Bowls, Dancersise, Village Hall Association, Women’s Institute, Parish Council, Local History Society & the Book Club.Dates/Times
Your Parish council operates at a level below District and Borough Councils and is the first tier of Local Government. We have a full council of nine elected members who all commit their time on a voluntary basis to support the running of our Parish. We have variable tax raising and fixed penalty fining powers (ie for dog fouling) and are supported by a part time Clerk.
We are responsible for:
- maintenance of public / green spaces (ie the wildlife garden)
- recreational areas (ie the playing field)
- consultation on neighbourhood planning
- maintaining “rights of way”
- local authority liaison (police, transport etc)
many other things (eg Xmas lights etc)
Council meetings take place on the 2nd Wed each month in the village hall at Bishop Middleham. Agendas and minutes of meetings are published on the website and displayed on the village notice boards. There is a standing agenda item for public participation and Parishioners are welcome and encouraged to attend. A yearly Parish meeting is also held and occasional “extraordinary” meetings may be called to address specific issues eg significant building development, or inform parishioners of key policy changes that may affect us.Read More
The Church, dedicated to St. Michael, stands upon the hill south of the village, and is said to have been erected by Bishop Beck, but it is more probably the work of Bishop Poor, and of the date about 1230
It was in 1146 presented to the prior and convent of Durham by Osbert, nephew of Bishop Flambard, but it was soon afterwards annexed to the Priory of Finchale, by Bishop Robert de Insula, and so continued till the dissolution.
It is a venerable structure, in the Early English style, and consists of nave, chancel, and aisles, with a western bell turret.