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Brandon, County Durham facts for kids

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Brandon is located in County Durham
OS grid reference NZ240396
Civil parish
  • Brandon and Byshottles
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town DURHAM
Postcode district DH7
Police Durham
Fire County Durham and Darlington
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
  • City of Durham
List of places
County Durham
54°45′00″N 1°37′41″W / 54.75°N 1.628°W / 54.75; -1.628

Brandon is a village in County Durham, England. It is situated a short distance to the southwest of Durham. Brandon was originally one of the seven townships within the ancient parish of Brancepeth. It grew from a sparsely populated agricultural area into a populous mining district after the establishment of collieries and later coke and fireclay works. Until the 19th century Brandon village, formerly known as East Brandon, was one of the larger settlements in Brancepeth Parish.


Brandon was also a manor of the medieval lordship of Brancepeth and as such was possessed by the Neville family, the Earls of Westmoreland, while Holywell, Langley, Littleburn and other such localities were the sites of large freehold gentry houses.

The Northern Rising

After the Northern Rising of 1569, Elizabeth I confiscated Brancepeth Castle and its territories. These were administered as Crown Lands until the 1620s and plundered by a series of courtiers and Royal lessees. In 1628-29 these lands were conveyed to the City of London, when Charles I was forced to redeem his debts to the city. The Brancepeth lands were broken up in a series of sales to London merchants and financiers who in turn resold to local buyers at high profits. The one exception to this fate was Brandon manor, which remained in the hands of its London buyer. A silk merchant, Edward Cropley, bought the whole estate of Brandon manor for £1,700 in 1630, and his family held onto the property till 1710. It was then conveyed to the Earl of Shaftesbury and remained in his family until the 1800s.

William Russell

In 1796 William Russell, a coal owner, retired from mining the Durham Coalfield and spent part of his fortune on buying and restructuring Brancepeth Castle. He set about repurchasing as much as possible of the old lordship broken up in the sales of the 1630s.

In 1806 he purchased the Brandon estate from the then Earl of Shaftesbury for £105,000. Russell's granddaughter married into the Irish peerage, and the name Hamilton-Russell and title Viscount Boyne became connected with the district.


In 1801 the Brandon and Byshottles population was 522; in 1811, 435; in 1851, 525; by 1881 it had risen to 10,850; and in 1891, it was 14,240. There had been a decline in population during the 1830s owing to the removal of workmen who had been engaged on the rebuilding and enlargement of Brancepeth Castle, with the population falling to 427. The stone for this building work had been quarried in Brandon village, and Sawmills Lane is thought to have been constructed as a more direct route for the carting of stone to Brancepeth.

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