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Stanhope, County Durham facts for kids

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Town and civil parish
Stanhope Castle - - 398857.jpg
Stanhope Castle
Stanhope is located in County Durham
Area 98.68 sq mi (255.6 km2)
Population 1,633 (2001 census)
• Density 17/sq mi (6.6/km2)
OS grid reference NY995395
Civil parish
  • Stanhope
  • County Durham
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Bishop Auckland
Postcode district DL13
Dialling code 01388
Police Durham
Fire County Durham and Darlington
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
List of places
County Durham
54°44′50″N 2°00′22″W / 54.7471°N 2.006°W / 54.7471; -2.006

Stanhope is a market town and civil parish in the County Durham district, in the ceremonial county of Durham, England. It lies on the River Wear between Eastgate and Frosterley, in the north-east of Weardale. The main A689 road over the Pennines is crossed by the B6278 between Barnard Castle and Shotley Bridge. In 2001 Stanhope had a population of 1,633, in 2019 an estimate of 1,627, and a figure of 1,602 in the 2011 census for the ONS built-up-area which includes Crawleyside. In 2011 the parish population was 4,581.


The civil parish of Stanhope has a population of 4,519 in 2001, and also includes Rookhope, Westgate, St John's Chapel, Ireshopeburn, Wearhead, Cowshill, Cornriggs, Eastgate, Frosterley all on the A689 road, along with Crawleyside, Hill End and White Kirkley. The parish council area is the largest in England with 221 km². It shares some land in common with the neighbouring Wolsingham civil parish.

Stanhope is surrounded by moorland in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - the second largest of the current 40 AONBs in England and Wales.

Features of interest include

  • a petrified tree stump in the churchyard which was discovered with two others. One of the others resides in the Hancock Museum in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
  • the Durham Dales Centre which incorporates a tea room, tourist information and craft shops
  • a ford with a step-stone bridge for pedestrians
  • the eighteenth century Stanhope Castle in the centre of the town stands on the possible site of a medieval castle.
  • one of only two heated open air swimming pools in the North East.

Stanhope Agricultural Show is held on the second weekend of September each year. It was founded in 1834 and has been held annually since, with the exception of the war years, the foot and mouth crisis and times of bad weather.

Weardale Railway

Stanhope is also the current terminus of the Weardale Railway, a heritage railway operating primarily on weekends from Bishop Auckland with stations at Frosterley, Wolsingham and Witton-le-Wear.

Stanhope gallery

Notable residents

In order of birth:

  • Joseph Butler (1692–1752), theologian and cleric
  • William Greenwell (1820–1918), archaeologist and Anglican cleric, catalogued Late Bronze Age finds at Heathery Burn Cave near Stanhope in 1859–1872.
  • William Percival Crozier (1879–1944), scholar and journalist, edited the Manchester Guardian in 1932–1944.
  • Muriel Young (1923–2001), television continuity announcer, presenter and producer, died in Stanhope.
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