The Bailey

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The Bailey, or The Peninsula, is an historic area in the centre of Durham, England. It is shaped like a peninsula thanks to a sharp meander in the River Wear, formed by isostatic adjustment of the land. The name 'The Bailey' derives from it being the 'outer bailey' of the Norman motte and bailey-style castle nearby. Access to the area is restricted by the Durham City congestion charge, which started in 2002 and is the UK's oldest such scheme.

The exact area that this term refers to is a little vague. The peninsula is usually taken to mean the entire area within the bend of the river, that is, the historic Durham Cathedral and Castle, Palace Green, North Bailey, South Bailey and Durham Market Square. Bailey is often used to refer to this whole area - the colleges of Durham University in this area, that is, University College, Hatfield College, St Chad's College, St John's College and St Cuthbert's Society, are often labelled 'Bailey Colleges'. However, Bailey often refers more precisely to two streets, North Bailey and South Bailey, that run along the peninsula.

South Bailey begins close to St Cuthbert's, near to Prebends Bridge at the southern tip of the peninsula. It is cobbled and flanked by numerous old buildings, many of which are owned by the Cathedral and University. Running northwards, South Bailey becomes North Bailey at the gate into "The College", an enclosed square containing the houses of the Cathedral's Dean and Canons as well as the Chorister School. ...
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