Welcome to Our History Page

Welcome to the history of the village of Bowburn, County Durham, a former mining community, less than 4 miles to the South of Durham City in the North East of England.

A warm welcome to our Internet community wherever you may be from.

Some of the early content of this website has been archived.  That can be checked out by following these links: 

2006 Archive 2007 Archive 2008 Archive 2009 Archive 2010 Archive
2011-12 Archive 2013 Archive

Below is a very short summary of the history of our village.

Please check out our Local History Society for loads more history

Bowburn Village

Built around the 'bow' in the 'burn', Bowburn lies within the historic landscape of east Durham. Prior to the opening of the colliery in the 1840's Bowburn comprised a hamlet of farms. The original Bowburn pit (NZ31853675) was one of several sunk in the Quarrington and Coxhoe areas. It was close to the terminus of the Durham Branch of the Clarence Railway. The pit was a small concern, worked first by Robson and Jackson and then the West Hetton Coal Company. It closed in the 1850's.

The second Bowburn Colliery (NZ 304 379) was sunk in 1906 by the Bell Bros., with the first coal drawn in 1908. It merged with Tursdale colliery in 1931 and grew to be one of the largest in the Durham coalfield, with about 2950 employees in 1958. Nothing remains of the colliery complex which closed in 1967. The colliery yard is now the site of the Bowburn South Industrial Estate. All that remains is the pit housing (most of it in the village conservation area) to the east of the Durham Road and the buildings currently occupied by Mabey plant hire.

Following the closure of the colliery and latterly the Cape Minerals Works, Bowburn declined. More recently the location of the village close to the A1(M) has meant that the village has become a prime site for new commuter housing.