Sockburn

Sockburn

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Sockburn

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Sockburn is a village in County Durham, in England. It is situated at the bottom of a loop of the River Tees, south of Darlington, known locally as the Sockburn Peninsula. Today, there is not much there apart from an early nineteenth-century mansion, a ruined church and a farmhouse built in the late eighteenth century.

Sockburn is a site of great antiquity, Higbald, Bishop of Lindisfarne having been crowned there in 780 or 781 and Eanwald, Archbishop of York, in 796. For many centuries the estate was in the hands of the Conyers family. In medieval times a Sir John Conyers is said to have slain a dragon or "worm" that was terrorising the district. The stone under which the Sockburn Worm was reputedly buried is (or at least until recently was) still visible, and the falchion with which it was said to have been slain is in Durham Cathedral Treasury. As Sockburn was the most southerly point in the Durham diocese, the sword was ceremonially presented by the Lord of the Manor to each new Bishop of Durham when he entered his diocese for the first time at the local ford or the nearby Croft-on-Tees bridge. This custom died out in the early nineteenth century, but was revived by Bishop Jenkins in 1984, the Mayor of Darlington doing the honours. The Conyers family died out in the seventeenth century, and their manor house fell into ruin. The estate came into the hands of the Blackett family, industrialists from Newcastle. A new farmhouse was built in the late eighteenth...
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