About the Parish

-Scroll to the bottom of the page to download the text as a PDF file.

-Link to video (local interest/nostalgia): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIo5knt45qk

Geography

The civil parish of Kimblesworth and Plawsworth is located approximately four miles to the north of Durham City.  The old route of the A1 (now the A167) passes through it from north to south.  In area, the parish measures 3 miles (east to west) by around 1-1.5 miles (north to south), bordering the B6532 to the west and the River Wear to the East.  The parish contains the villages of Nettlesworth, Kimblesworth, Plawsworth and the hamlet of Plawsworth Gate, as well as a significant chunk of the larger village of Sacriston, situated approximately one mile to the west.  

 

Government

Administratively the parish is part of North Durham parliamentary constituency and Durham County, where it is part of Sacriston ward, represented by two county councillors.  The civil parish itself is split into three wards: Kimblesworth, which has two representatives, Plawsworth, which includes Nettlesworth, and has seven representatives, and West Nettlesworth (which is physically part of Sacriston, but lies within the parish) which has two representatives.  Kimblesworth ecclesiastical parish is represented separately by a parochial church council (PCC) of around ten members. 

 

History

While the existing village of Kimblesworth grew in the late 1800s around a colliery which closed in 1967, there was an earlier settlement, understood to have been a “plague village”, also called Kimblesworth, situated to the south of the existing village on land which currently is part of Witton Gilbert civil parish.  It is also perhaps worth mentioning here that, to the far east of the parish, there is evidence of a Bronze Age settlement [1].  More recently, residents of West Nettlesworth opted to become part of Kimblesworth and Plawsworth parish allegedly because its precept was lower than that of Sacriston parish!  A more detailed history of the parish can be found by following the link: 

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/3848765.Kimblesworth_of_today_maintains_a__link_with_the_past/ 

 

Demography and Social

The total population of the parish is roughly 1100 [2].  The influences of both the mining community and a rural past are clear in terms of the personal experiences and outlook of many of the individuals and families living here, as well as the tangible differences in wealth between the different villages.  

The most recent available indices of deprivation (2010) indicate that the parish as a whole scores within the top 26% in the Multiple Deprivation Index [3].  However, this figure does not do justice to the true scale of the problems facing the parish.  Firstly, these figures include the rural village of Plawsworth and also the rural area to the East.  While relatively small in terms of their population, both are very affluent.

In terms of particular measures of deprivation, the parish still fares quite badly.  Within England, it scored in the top 9% of employment deprivation and the top 12% of health and disability deprivation.  Moreover, since 2010, the economy of the region has shrunk slightly, both in absolute terms and relative to that of the UK as a whole [4], so the real picture is likely to be worse than this.  Predictions for population based on the 2001 Census [2] indicated a population demographic in 2010 as being slightly older than that of the UK as a whole, with 18% of residents aged over 65, displacing the middle/working aged population rather than younger people.

Since the closure of the mines, the villages have largely become dormitories in terms of employment and a gradual, but clear, diminishing of local facilities.  While not overly endowed in this respect, the parish does manage to hold on to a primary school, a village store with a post-office, community centre, Anglican parish church, hairdresser’s shop, cricket club and, lately, an embroiderer and a tattoo parlour and a community cafe.  There is still one pub next to the A167 and also a filling station.  The parish is also home to three institutions concerned with social care, as well as a few light industrial works (a roofing contractor and automotive spray shop) in the old colliery area.

 

References

[1]   Sherlock, S. (2010) “An Examination of Late Prehistoric Settlement in North East England with Specific Emphasis on the Settlements of the Tees Valley”, PhD thesis, University of Leicester.

[2]   Office of National Statistics (2001) 'Urban Areas: Mid 2010 estimates'

[3]   Department for Communities and Local Government (2011) 'The English Indices of Deprivation, 2010'.

[4]   Harari, D. (2014) 'Regional and local economic growth statistics' House of Commons Library/Economic Policy and Statistics.

 

Related links:

http://kimblesworth.durhamnorthteam.org/  (church)

http://www.nettlesworth.durham.sch.uk   

http://kimblesworth.ecbstaging.net/home/home.asp (cricket club)



Understood to date from the sixteenth century, the hairdresser's shop is one of the oldest buildings in the parish

One of the oldest buildings in the parish has been a hairdresser's shop for about 40 years



Kimblesworth Parish Church in the snow




The old Kimblesworth Colliery yard in 2014




Plawsworth House






Railway Viaduct at Mill Lane




The Lodge at Southill Hall



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