The historic City of Durham is now over 1,000 years old. With its magnificent Norman cathedral and castle it has become a world-famous tourist attraction, the outstanding importance of which was recognised in 1987 when it was designated by Unesco as a World Heritage Site. Martin Dufferwiel's book is a celebration of this unique city and of the country that has grown up around it, from the day in AD 995 when a group of monks carrying the coffin of St Cuthbert settled on what was then known as 'the Dunholm' to the present time. From the original site on the high, wooded rock, a settlement began to take shape. It was one which would be swelled by pilgrims and made wealthy by their offerings, and which would eventually become one of the most important sites of religious pilgrimage and military power in England. Many events and people have, throughout the last millennium, lit up the long story of Durham, in both fact and fable. This book recalls some of them. Wars, saints, kings and mythical beasts are all included in this tale of over 1,000 years, as are surveyors, locomotive engineers and miners.
It is all here from the long sagas of the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War, to the legendary Lampton Worm; from Canute the Great, Viking Emperor, to murder most foul at Gutty Throat Farm; and from the ravages of William the Conqueror, to the bizarre plan to turn Durham City into a port. Steam locomotives for the Tsar of Russia and Dixieland in the USA both had their origins here in Durham, and both feature in this book.
A native of Durham, Martin Dufferveil works for Durham City Council in the Legal Services Section of the Town Clerk and Chief Executive's Department. He lives with his wife and two children in Durham.