North East history book and reference list

Books and published works about North East England

A list of books featuring North East England. The bulk of this list (it is far from exhaustive) was compiled some years ago but I have added some more recent publications where time has allowed. At the end there are three recommended bookshops which are great sources for finding second-hand books.

North East books
North East books.

Some books may be out of print but it’s possible to find old copies on the internet or reference copies in local libraries. Some of the classic histories may be available in pdf format online for research purposes. A few books feature in more than one category where appropriate.


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County Histories

  • History of Northumberland, (7 volumes 1820-58), Hodgson, Rev John. The classic county history of Northumberland.
  • A History of Northumberland, (15 volumes 1893-1940). Northumberland County History Committee. Meticulous, very readable and in depth coverage of the county’s history, so successful in its scope that Northumberland is omitted from the Victoria County History series.
  • History of Northumberland, Bates, Cadwallader John, 1895.
  • An Historical, Topographical, and Descriptive View of the County of Northumberland, McKenzie, Eneas, 1825.
  • The History of Newcastle upon Tyne, Bourne, Henry, 1736.
  • The History and Antiquities of the Town and County of Newcastle upon Tyne, Brand, John, 1789.
  • A Descriptive and Historical Account of the Town and County of Newcastle upon Tyne, Mckenzie, Eneas, 1827. Includes the Borough of Gateshead.
  • The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, (3 volumes), Hutchinson, William, 1785.
  • History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham, (4 volumes  1816-1823), Surtees, Robert. The classic county history of Durham, with featured pedigrees of prominent families.
  • An Historical, Topographical and Descriptive View of the County Palatine of Durham, McKenzie, Eneas and Ross, M, 1834.
  • History of the County Palatine of Durham, (2 volumes  1857), Fordyce, William. Accessible and readable county history without the family pedigrees that are a feature of Surtees. The emphasis is more on the history of places, including detailed histories of towns, villages and the numerous emerging colliery settlements.
  • Victoria County History of Durham, (3 volumes 1905-1928), Page, William (Editor). Academic well-researched resource but far from complete in its coverage. Covers general history along with detailed coverage of the Durham City and Stockton wards of the historic county.
  • Victoria County History of Durham, (volumes 4 and 5), Cookson, Gillian (Editor). Covering Darlington (vol 4, 2005) and Sunderland (vol 5, 2015). Long-awaited editions to the County Durham VCH series.
Nathaniel Buck's view of Newcastle 1745
Detail from Nathaniel Buck’s view of Newcastle 1745.

Original Sources

  • Boldon Buke, Published by Phillimore in 1982. Durham’s ‘Domesday Book’ of 1183 including outlying parts of Durham such as Bedlingtonshire and Norhamshire.
  • A History of the Church of Durham, Symeon of Durham 1096, Published by Llanerch, 1988.
  • A History of the English Church and People, Bede (AD 731), Penguin Classics, 1968.
  • The Lives of The Abbots of Wearmouth, Bede, republished by Frank Graham.
Grey Street in the nineteenth century
Grey Street, Newcastle in the nineteenth century as depicted in the Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore and Legend.

Victorian Publications and Sources

  • The Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore and Legend, (5 annual volumes 1887-1891), Walter Scott Publishing. Full of fascinating history, legends, biographies and charming Victorian illustrations, primarily focusing on Newcastle and Northumberland.
  • Local Records (2 volumes), Sykes, John, 1866. Covers Northumberland and Durham.
  • The Local Historian’s Table Book of Remarkable Occurrences, (8 volumes 1745-1844), Richardson, M.A. Covers Northumberland and Durham.
  • Comprehensive Guide to Durham, Boyle, J.R, 1892, Walter Scott Publishing. Useful resource, though not as comprehensive as its Northumberland counterpart. Almost half the book dedicated to Durham City and Cathedral.
  • Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland, Tomlinson, William Weaver, 1888. A delightful Victorian guidebook to Northumberland, full of history, legends and topographical observations.



Books about the Kingdom of Northumbria
Books about the Kingdom of Northumbria.

Kingdom of Northumbria: Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Early Christian 

  • Northumbria, 500 – 1100, Creation and Destruction of a Kingdom, Rollason, David, 2003. Deeply researched account of the history of the Kingdom of Northumbria, investigating its origins, heartlands and reasons for its subsequent downfall.
  • The Kingdom of Northumbria AD 350 – 1100, Higham, N.J, 1993, Alan Sutton. The most accessible, yet knowledgeable and comprehensive account of the history of the Kingdom of Northumbria, illustrated throughout with excellent photographs and helpful explanatory maps.
  • Anglo-Saxon Northumbria, Rowland, T.H, 1973, Frank Graham.
  • Neither England nor Scotland: Middle Britain c850-1150, McGuigan, Neil, 2015 University of St. Andrews PhD thesis. A very important, substantial and extensive work that returns to source material. It challenges the reliability of many post 1100 sources and a number of assumptions regarding the fate of Northumbria’s political institutions in the period from 850. Notably, it rewrites the chronology relating to the foundation of Durham, examining its links to Norham-on-Tweed and Lindisfarne and challenging the role (if any) played by Chester-le-Street as a possible bishopric at which St Cuthbert’s remains supposedly rested.
  • The Battle of Carham: A Thousand Years On : Mcguigan, Neil (author, editor), Woolf, Alex (editor) 2018, John Donald.
  • Bloodfeud, Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England, Fletcher Richard, 2004, Penguin Press. A fascinating, thoroughly researched true account of a long-running blood feud in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria.
  • Viking Age Yorkshire, Townend, Matthew, 2014, Phillimore. Detailed, fascinating and enlightening account of the southern part of Northumbria settled by the Vikings that developed into the County of Yorkshire. An essential read to understanding the big picture of early Northumbrian history.
  • The Northern Counties to AD 1000, Higham, Nick, Longman, 1986. Part of the Longman regional history series.
  • Great Northern Saints, Proud, Keith, 1983, Discovery Guides.
  • Northumbria in the Days of Bede, Hunter-Blair, Peter, 1976, Gollancz.
  • St Pauls Church Jarrow, Hickmore, M.A.S, 1979, Frank Graham.
  • St Peters Church Monkwearmouth, Hickmore, M.A.S, 1973, Frank Graham.
  • Discover Northumbria Christian Pilgrimage, Trasler, 1977, Frank Graham.
  • The Illustrated Bede, Marsden, John, 1989, Macmillan. Bede’s historic accounts brought to life with beautiful accompanying photographs. 
  • The Viking Century in East Yorkshire Binns, A.L, 1963, East Yorkshire Local History Society.
  • Fire of the North: The Illustrated Life of St Cuthbert, Adam, David, 1993, SPCK.

See also publications relating to place-names below

General Histories

  • The Northumbrians : North East England and its People, A New History, Jackson, Dan, 2019, Hurst Publishing. Probably the best history of North East England in modern times. Focusing on Tyneside, Northumberland, Wearside and coalfield Durham. Full of fabulous facts, witty observations, in-depth research and a sharp insight into the ways in which history has shaped the North East character.
  • North England, Smailes, A.E, 1960. A comprehensive study of the history and geography of the North East and Cumbria, featuring a number of excellent  maps.
  • Northern Counties From AD 1000, McCord, Norman and Thompson, Richard, 1998, Longman. Part of the Longman regional history series.
  • Northumbria History and Identity 547 – 2000, Colls, Robert (Ed), 2000, Phillimore. A comprehensive, thoroughly researched and thought-provoking insight into the development of North East history and culture with contributions from numerous experts in specific fields.
  • Regional Identities in North-East England, 1300-2000, Green Adrian, Pollard, AJ, 2007, Boydell.
  • History of Northumberland and Durham From the Earliest Times to 1714, Harrison, John Murray, 1944, Chancellor.
  • Border Liberties and Loyalties North-East England, c. 1200–c. 1400, Holford M.L and Stringer K.J, 2010 Edinburgh University Press Covers the peculiar political status of the Liberties of Durham (and Sadberge), Hexhamshire, Tynemouthshire, Tynedale and Redesdale.
  • The Millennium History of North East England, Simpson, David, 1999, Leighton and The Northern Echo. A chronological timeline of North East history.
  • Eyewitness: The North East in Early Times, 69 – 1464, Miller, Edwin, 1970, Harold Hill.
  • Eyewitness: The North East in the Early Nineteenth Century, Miller, Edwin, 1968, Harold Hill.
  • Flashback: The Story of the North East, Northern Heritage Consultancy, 1990.
  • Northern Folk, People who shaped the history of our region, McCormick, Bernard, 2005, Business Education Publishers Ltd.
  • When Paddy Met Geordie, The Irish in County Durham and Newcastle 1840-1880, Cooter, Roger, 2005, University of Sunderland Press.

Left: Frank Graham (1913-2006), a prolific writer and publisher of hundreds of titles featuring the history of North East England, ranging from guides to Northumbrian castles to Scott Dobson’s tongue-in-cheek ‘Larn Yersel’ Geordie.

Northern England and England in General

  • Northerners : A History From the Ice Age to the Present Day , Groom, Brian, 2022, Harper North. A definitive history of the North as told through the lives of its inhabitants. An extraordinary work in its scope and detail with features including early history, migration, northern women, the industrial revolution and much more. Covers the whole northern region of England including the north east.
  • The North of England A History, Musgrove, Frank, 1990, Blackwell. Introductory general history of Northern England.
  • The Shortest History of England, Hawes, James, 2020, Old Street. Presents a profound and enlightening insight into English history and particularly the deeply rooted divide between the north and south.
  • The North Country, Wood, Bernard, 1973, Robert Hale. A readable portrait and guide covering all the northern counties of England.
Northerners by Brian Groom
Northerners by Brian Groom

Guide Books, Portraits, General History

  • The Companion Guide to Northumbria, Grierson, Edward, 1976, Collins. Engaging, knowledgeable and beautifully written guide book to the historic counties of Northumberland and Durham.
  • Complete Northumbria (Red Guide), Godfrey, Leslie (Ed), Turnbull, Hilda and Noel, 1979, Ward Lock. A handy introductory guide book to the region covering all the land from Staithes on the Cleveland coast right up to Berwick upon Tweed.
  • Ordnance Survey Leisure Guide Northumbria, Snelling, Rebecca and Wenham, Valerie (Eds), various authors, 1987, Ordnance Survey. Attractive A-Z guide to Northumberland and Durham. Includes introductory features on landscape, Border history, Christian heritage, dialect, music and several maps featuring driving tours and walks.
  • Northumbria, Fraser, Constance and Emsley, Kenneth, 1978. Informative introductory history and guide to North East England.
  • The Companion Guide to the Coast of North East England, John, Seymour, 1974, Collins.
  • The New Shell Guide to North East England, Spencer, Brian, 1988, Michael Joseph. A-Z colour guide to the North East region.
  • The Visitor’s Guide to Northumbria, Spencer, Brian, 1990, Moorland.
  • Customs and Traditions of Northumbria, Sandhill Press, 1991.
  • Exploring Northumbria, Collard, George, 1988.
  • Holiday Guide to North East England, 1950.
  • Northumberland and Durham, Sharp, Thomas, 1950.
  • Northumbria a Collection and Recollection, Bell, Brian, 1987.
  • Northumbria In Colour, Arthur, Carol, 1987.
  • Northumbria In Pictures, Scott, Beryl, 1986.
  • Shore of the Saints: The North East Coast, Simpson, David, 1991, North Pennine Publishing.
  • Old Inns and Taverns of Northumberland and Durham, Graham, Frank, 1966.
  • The Bridges of Northumberland and Durham, Graham, Frank, 1975.
  • North East England: Places, People, History and Legends Simpson, David, 2003, Business Education Publishers Ltd.
  • View of Northumbria, Wright, Geoffrey, 1981, Hale.
The Medieval bridge at Newcastle
The Medieval bridge at Newcastle.

Legends, Ghosts, Folklore, Ballads, Tales

  • Ghosts and Legends of Northumbria, Sandhill Press, 1989.
  • Ghosts of The North Country, Tegner, Henry, 1974, Butler Publishing.
  • Great Northern Writers, Proud, Keith, 1983.
  • Grisly Trails and Ghostly Tales, Robson, Alan, 1992, Virgin Books.
  • North Countrie Ballads, Whittaker W.G (Ed).
  • More Ghosts and Legends of Northumbria, Sandhill Press, 1989.
  • Tales of The North Country, Carter, Eva, 1947.
  • The Body In The Bank Famous Northern Murders, Sandhill Press, 1990.
  • The Long Pack, Crawhall, Joseph, 1883, republished by Frank Graham.


  • In Search of Early Man in the North, Charlton, Beryl, 1980, Gateshead MBC.
  • The Northern Counties to AD 1000, Higham, Nick, 1986, Longman. Everything from the Stone Age period up to the Viking age. Covers Cumbria and the North East. Part of the Longman regional history series.
A nineteenth century view of Hetton Colliery in County Durham.

Social and Industrial History

  • Industrial Archaeology of North East England Volume 1, Atkinson, Frank, 1974, David & Charles.
  • Industrial Archaeology of North East England Volume 2 : The Sites, Atkinson, Frank, 1974, David & Charles. Two fascinating volumes covering the industrial archaeology of North East England authored by the founder of Beamish Museum.
  • King Coal, Turnbull, L, 1990s, Tyne and Wear Museums.
  • Life and Tradition In Northumberland and Durham, Atkinson, Frank, 1977, Dalesman.
  • Northumberland and Durham: A Social and Political Miscellany, Graham, Frank, 1979. Nicely illustrated with archive images. A coffee table book from the prolific North East history author.
  • Northumberland and Durham A Social Miscellany, Dougan, David, 1969 Frank Graham.  Another splendidly illustrated book from Frank Graham.
  • North East History From The Air, Mccord, Norman, 1991. An aerial photographic record of North East heritage and archaeological sites.
  • Myers’ Literary Guide The North East, Myers, Alan, 1995, Carcanet.
  • The Newspapers of Northumberland and Durham, Milne, Maurice, Frank Graham, 1970.
  • The North East at Work: An Historical Introduction to the North East, McCord, Norman, 1990. Large format booklet. An accessible introduction to North East history, aimed at younger readers, illustrated throughout.
  • The North East Ports, White, James, North East Centre For Education on Europe, 1988.
  • The Historic Towns of Northumberland and Durham, Burgess, John, 1988.
  • The Great Northern Coalfield 1700-1900, Atkinson, Frank, 1966, Frank Graham. A handy, informative introductory guide to the history of coal mining in North East England.
  • Victorian Britain: The North East Atkinson, Frank, 1989, David & Charles.
Victorian Britain : The North East bu Frank Atkinson
Victorian Britain : The North East bu Frank Atkinson
  • The History of North East Shipbuilding, Dougan, David, 1967, George Allen and Unwin.
  • The Land of the Three Rivers, Bowling, Helen, 1958, Macmillan.  An accessible geographical study of the history of North East England.
  • The Miners of Northumberland and Durham, Fynes, Richard, 1873, republished by Davis Books. Classic title covering the early history of the miners’ movement in the North East.
  • Durham Miners’ Association Centenary Gala, Souvenir Brochure.
  • Durham Miners’ Association Fatal Accidents 1920-1950, Hall, Edward, 1995, Turnstone Ventures.
  • Durham Miners’ Banners, Jones, David, 1986, Durham NUM.
  • The Bonny Pit Laddie, Grice, Frederick, 1960, Oxford University Press. Fictional work for children about a boy growing up in the Durham coalfield.
  • The Durham Miners 1919-1960, Garside, R, 1971, George Allen and Unwin.
  • The Coalminers of Durham, Emery, Norman, 1992, Alan Sutton. The best general work on the history of Durham mining.
  • Coal in County Durham, Moyes, W.A, 1972, Frank Graham. Interesting collection of maps, fact sheets and a booklet brought together in a presentation folder.
  • Coal Mining in County Durham, The Northern Echo, 1993.
  • The Lead Miners of the Northern Pennines, Hunt, J, 1970, Davis Books.
  • The History of Lead Mining in the  North East of England, Turnbull, Les, Sandhill Press, 1975.
  • The Pitmen of the Northern Coalfield, Work, Culture and Protest 1790-1850, Colls, Robert, 1987, Manchester University Press.
  • The Far Corner: A Mazy Dribble Through North East Football, Pearson, Harry, 1994.
Aal Aboot Geordie
Aal Aboot Geordie.


  • Northumberland Words : A Glossary of Words used in the County of Northumberland and on the Tyneside, (2 volumes), Heslop, 1892, Richard Oliver. Set the standard for North East dialect studies and a prominent source for all ‘Geordie’ dictionaries that followed. A thoroughly researched and informative work.
  • Northumberland and Durham Words, Geeson, Cecil, Harold Hill, 1969.
  • A Dictionary of North East Dialect, Griffiths, Bill, 2004, Northumbria University Press. A modern up-to-date, thoroughly researched academic study of North East dialect words.
  • North East Dialect: Survey and Word List, Griffiths, Bill, 1999, The Centre for Northern Studies, University of Northumbria.
  • North East Dialect: The Texts, Griffiths, Bill, 1999, The Centre for Northern Studies, University of Northumbria. Source texts featuring examples of North East dialect.
  • Wright’s English Dialect Dictionary, (6 volumes) 1898.
  • Aal Aboot Geordie, Simpson, David, My World, 2012. Combines a Geordie dictionary with explanations of how the dialect developed from various European influences.
  • Alnwick and North Northumbrian Language As She Is Spoke, Ions, Adrian, 1990.
  • A Glossary of North Country Words, Brockett, John Trotter, 1829.
  • Yorkshireman’s Dictionary Wright, Peter, 1990, Dalesman.
  • Yorkshire Dialect Waddington-Feather, John, 1977, Dalesman. Historic development and examples from texts.
  • The Yorkshire Dictionary of Dialect Tradition and Folklore, Kellett, Arnold, 1994, Smith Settle.
  • Basic Broad Yorkshire, Kellett, Arnold, 1992, Smith Settle.
  • Larn Yersel’ Geordie, Dobson, Scott, 1969, Frank Graham.
  • Northern Roots: Who we are, where we came from, why we speak the way we do Simpson, David, 2002, Business Education Publishers Ltd. Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, place-names, dialect origins.

Geology and Geography

  • The Geology of North East England, Robson, D.A, 1980.
  • England’s Landscapes, the North East, Aalen, Fred (Ed), 2006. English Heritage. Illustrated with beautiful photographs and maps, this is a thorough investigation of the human forces and history that have shaped the landscape of Yorkshire and the North East.
  • Durham Rocks, 50 Extraordinary places that tell the story of the Durham landscape Jackson, Ian 2023 Northern Heritage. Covering the historic county between the Tyne and Tees, the fifty chosen geological sites are illustrated with stunning colour photographs and accompanying paragraphs that explain in endearing, succinct detail how the features were formed. 
  • Northumberland Rocks 50 Extraordinary places that tell the story of the Northumberland landscape Jackson, Ian, 2021, Northern Heritage.
  • Cumbria Rocks 60 Extraordinary places that tell the story of the Cumbrian landscape Jackson, Ian 2022, Northern Heritage.
  • From Tweed to Tees: A Short Geography, Coulthard, E.M, and  Johnston A.K, 1934.
The River Till, Milfield Plain and the Cheviots
The River Till, Milfield Plain and the Cheviots © David Simpson.


Northumberland General

  • Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland, Tomlinson, William Weaver, 1888. Probably the best Victorian guidebook to the county. Brimming with history, legends, rhymes and topographical observations.
  • Discovering Northumberland, Rowland, T.H, 1973.
  • A Northumbrian at Large, Ridley, Nancy, 1975. Ridley was a member of an established Northumbrian family and a prolific writer on her home county’s history and culture. Her personality and character shines through the prose.
  • A Northumbrian Remembers, Ridley, Nancy, 1970.
  • Northumberland Then and Now, Ridley, Nancy, 1978.
  • Northumbrian Heritage, Ridley, Nancy, 1968.
  • Portrait of Northumberland, Ridley, Nancy, 1973.
  • Historic Northumberland, Graham, Frank, 1975.
  • Northumberland National Park, Bleay, Janet, 1986.
  • Northumberland National Park, Hopkins, Tony, 1987.
  • Northumberland Villages, Watson, Godfrey, 1976.
  • Northumberland West Borderland, Moat, D, 1973.
  • Northumberland, Morris, J.E, 1916.
  • History of Northumberland, Grundy, John, 2022. City of Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle Libraries, Tyne Bridge Publishing.
John Grundy : History of Northumberland
John Grundy : History of Northumberland
  • Miscellany of Newcastle Northumberland the Borders and Sea, T.H.Rowland, 1986.
  • Shire Guide to Northumberland, Boniface, Priscilla, 1989.
  • The Border County, Northumberland, Simpson, David, North Pennine Publishing, 1991.
  • The County Books: Northumberland, Honeyman, H.L, 1949.
  • The Northumbrian Uplands, Wright, Geoffrey, 1989. Exploration of Northumberland’s hill country with beautiful full colour photographs.
  • The Old Halls and Houses of Northumberland, Graham, Frank, 1977.
  • The Buildings of England Northumberland, Pevsner, Nikolaus and Richmond, Ian. First published, 1957. Revised by John Grundy, Grace McCombie, Peter Ryder and Humphrey Welfare, Yale University Press, 2002. The ‘Bible’ for all things architectural in Northumberland.
The Northumberland and County Durham editions of Pevsner's The Buildings of England series
The Northumberland and County Durham editions of Pevsner’s The Buildings of England series
  • Highways and Byways in Northumberland, Graham, Anderson, 1920. Endearing early twentieth century guide to the county with delightful illustrations.
  • The King’s England, Northumberland, Mee, Arthur, 1952. One of a popular pre and post-war series of A-Z place-by-place guides to the history of English counties.
  • Goodwife Hot and Other Places, Watson, Godfrey, 1970. Thematic exploration of the meaning of Northumberland place-names.
  • A History of Northumberland and Newcastle upon Tyne, Hepple, W, 1976, Phillimore. Darwen County History series. A concise, introductory county history.
  • Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, White, Roger, 2005, English Heritage.
Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle © David Simpson.

Northumberland Castles

  • Bamburgh Castle Iconic Fortress of the North, Heritage House, 2010.
  • Castles of Northumberland, Graham, Frank (various), 1972-1987.
  • Medieval Castles, Bastles and Peles of Northumberland, Rowland, T.H, 1987.

Hexham, Tyne Valley, Tynedale, Redesdale

  • Hexham Abbey 674 1967, Taylor, T.
  • Hexham and Corbridge, Graham, Frank.
  • A Guide To Hexham Abbey, Slatcher, Lewis.
  • Hadrian’s Vale and Geordieland The River Tyne, Simpson, David, 1991, North Pennine Publishing.
  • History of Hexham, Wright, B, 1823.
  • Blanchland: A Short History, Addleshaw, G.W.O, 1954.
  • Bewick Wood Engravings, Hicklin, Frances.
  • Ovingham Prudhoe Bywell Wylam and Riding Mill, Graham, Frank, 1975.
  • Tynedale from Blanchland to Carter Bar, Graham, Frank, 1978. Hardback publication. One of Graham’s more substantial works. A prolific writer and publisher, Graham mostly specialised in booklets crammed with detailed information and accompanying illustrations.

Northumberland Coast

  • Bamburgh, Seahouses, Beadnell and the Farnes, Graham, Frank, 1987.
  • Birds of the Farnes, Embleton, Ronald, 1973.
  • Coquet Island, Morrison, G, 1989.
  • Druridge Bay, Rylance, Tony, 1989.
  • Historic Holy Island, Graham, Frank, 1975.
  • Lindisfarne Priory and Holy Island, Cambridge, Eric, 1988.
  • Lindisfarne Priory, HMSO, 1949.
  • Lindisfarne Priory, Story, Joanna, 2005, English Heritage.
  • Lindisfarne: The Holy Island, Robley, Alma, Discovery Publishing.
  • Northumberland Coast, Smith, Ian, 1988.
  • Lindisfarne: The Cradle Island, Magnusson, Magnus, 1984.  Lovingly written account of the history and natural history of the island by the noted TV personality. Illustrated with the charming artwork of Sheila Mackie.
  • Holy Island, Graham, Frank.
  • Holy Island, Weightman, Scott, 1983.
  • The Farne Islands, Watt, Grace, 1951.
  • The Farne Islands, Weightman, Scott, 1988.
  • Dorothy and The Forsters of Bamburgh, Bird, John, 1982.
  • English Heritage Lindisfarne Holy Island, O’ Sullivan, Deirdre, 1995, Batsford.
  • Grace Darling, Weightman, Scott, 1974.
Old postcard showing Berwick
Old postcard showing Berwick.


  • The Life and Times of Berwick upon Tweed, Lamont, Raymond, John Donald, 1988.
  • There’s No Town Like Berwick, McNaughton, Donald, 1986.

Alnwick, Rothbury, Wooler and North Northumberland

  • Alnwick and North Northumbrian Language As She Is Spoke, Ions, Adrian, 1990.
  • Alwinton, Gale, Joan, 1988.
  • Cragside, Guide 1985.
  • Rothbury and Coquetdale, Graham, Frank, 1982.
  • Rothbury, Gale, Joan, 1988.
  • Upper Coquetdale, Dippie Dixon, David, 1903.
  • Whittingham Vale, Dippie Dixon, David, 1895.

Hadrian’s Wall and Roman History

  • Chesters Roman Fort, Birley, Eric, 1960.
  • Hadrian’s Wall and the Northumberland National Park, Grant, Pamela, 1987.
  • Hadrian’s Wall in the  Days of the Romans, Graham, Frank, 1984. Extensive hardback publication by Frank Graham featuring stunning ‘brought to life’ recreations of the wall created by artist Ronald Embleton.
  • Hadrian’s Wall, 1984.
  • Hadrian’s Wall, Breeze, David, 1987. Detailed explanation of the wall’s history and archaeology.
  • Hadrian’s Wall, Johnson, S, 1989.
  • Handbook To The Roman Wall, Collingwood Bruce, J., Harold Hill and Son, 1863. The classic Victorian guidebook to Hadrian’s Wall.
  • Short Guide to the Roman Wall, Rowland, T.H, 1991.
  • The Best of Hadrian’s Wall, Birley, Robin.
  • The Eleventh Pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall, Daniels, Charles, 1989.
  • Dere Street Roman Road North, Rowland, T.H, 1974.
Milecastle 39 Hadrian's Wall
Milecastle 39, Hadrian’s Wall © David Simpson.

Battles, Border Reivers and the Border Country 

  • From Border to Middle Shire: Northumberland 1586-1625, Watts, S.J, Leicester University Press, 1975.
  • Famous Northern Battles, Graham, Frank.
  • Battle for Northumbria, Sadler, John, Bridge Studios, 1988.
  • The Illustrated Portrait of the Border Country, Tranter, Nigel, 1972, Robert Hale.
  • The River Tweed, Thackrah, J.R, 1980, Terence Dalton.
  • The Steel Bonnets, Macdonald-Fraser, George, 1971, Collins. Harvill. The classic and most colourful account of the history of Border Reiving.
The Steel Bonnets
The Steel Bonnets
  • The Border Reivers, Watson, Godfrey, Sandhill Press, 1974.
  • The Battle of Otterburn, Redesdale Society, 1985.
  • Rogues and Reivers of the North Country, Sandhill Press, 1990.
  • Scottish Border Country, Banks, F.R, Batsford, 1951.
  • The Illustrated Border Ballads, Marsden, John, 1990, Macmillan. Examples of some of the best-known border ballads and the stories behind them accompanied by colour photographs of Border locations.
  • The Last Years of a Frontier: A History of the Borders During the Reign of Elizabeth, Tough, DLW, 1928, Oxford University Press.
  • Portrait of the Country, Lochead, Marion, 1968, Robert Hale.
Sandhill 17th century merchants houses Newcastle
Seventeenth century merchants’ houses, Sandhill © David Simpson 2015.



  • Charleton’s History of Newcastle upon Tyne, Charleton, R.J, 1882, Harold Hill and Son.
  • Newcastle: A Short History and Guide, Graham, Frank, 1978.
  • Newcastle and Gateshead, Pevsner Architectural Guides, McCombie, Grace, 2009, Yale. A special city guide edition of the Pevsner Buildings of England publications.
  • Newcastle Now, 1987.
  • Newcastle upon Tyne: A Modern History, Colls, Robert and Lancaster, Bill, 2001, Phillimore.
  • Historic Newcastle, Graham, Frank, Frank Graham, 1976.
  • Historic Newcastle, Graham, Frank, Frank Graham, 1970.
  • Newcastle Past and Present, Dougan, David, 1971, Frank Graham.
  • Newcastle upon Tyne Its Growth and Achievement, Middlebrook, Sydney, 1968.
  • Newcastle upon Tyne Sixty Views, Graham, Frank, 1984,
  • Newcastle upon Tyne A Pictorial History, Foster, Joan, 1995,  Phillimore.
  • Newcastle and Gateshead before 1700, Newton, Diana and Pollard AJ (Eds), 2009, Phillimore.
Newcastle and Gateshead : Edited by Diana Newton and A.J Pollard
Newcastle and Gateshead : Edited by Diana Newton and A.J Pollard
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, Winter, Peter; Milne, David; Brown, Jonathan; Rushworth, Alan 1989 Northern Heritage. Full-colour, easy-read history of the city.
  • Dark Tales of  Old Newcastle, Armstrong, Pamela, 1990.
  •  The History of Newcastle Through the Names of its Streets, O’Donnell, Desmond, 1990.
  • The Little Book of Newcastle, Sadler, John and Serdville Rose, 2011, History Press.
  • The History of Newcastle upon Tyne, Bourne, Henry, 1736.
  • Aal Aboot Newcastle, Simpson, David, 2012, My World.


  • Hero of The North, Clasper, David, 1990. Biography of the famous rower, Harry Clasper.
  • National Garden Festival and Historic Kingdom of Northumbria, 1990.
  • Gateshead Perambulations, O’Donnell, Desmond, 1990.
  • A History of Gateshead, Manders, D, 1973. The classic reference work for the history of the town.
  • Aal Aboot Gateshead, Simpson, David, 2013, My World.
  • Aal Aboot the Angel of the North, Simpson, David, 2013. My World.
  • A Pictorial Essay Produced to Commemorate National Garden Festival, Gateshead, Shaw, Sue, 1990. Large format booklet. A good introduction to the history (particularly the industrial history) of the Gateshead area with a special focus on the Dunston area – site of the 1990 National Garden Festival.
Bridges on the Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead,

Tyneside General

  • Crossing the Tyne, Manders, Frank and Potts, Richard, 2001, Tyne Bridge Publishing. History of bridges and ferries across the River Tyne on Tyneside, illustrated with colour and black and white photographs as well as historic prints.
  • Spanning the Tyne: The Building of the Tyne Bridge 1925-1929 Linsley, Stafford M, 1998, City of Newcastle.
  • Spirit of Tyneside, Gibson, John, 1990. Biographies of Tyneside celebrities including Sting, Catherine Cookson and Rowan Atkinson.
  • George Stephenson, Davies, Hunter, 1975. Biography of the famed engineer.
  • W.G. Armstrong: The Life and Times of Sir William George ArmstrongBaron Armstrong of Cragside, McKenzie, Peter 1983. Biography of the famed engineer and industrialist.
  • Mr Greathead’s Lifeboats, Osler, Adrian, 1990.
  • Allan’s Tyneside Songs, Allan, Thomas, 1862, republished by Frank Graham.
  • The Great Metro Guide to Tyne and Wear, Abbott, Vernon, 1990.
  • Tyneside: a Biography, Bean, David, 1978, Macmillan. A history and portrait of Tyneside.
  • City and County Histories: Tyneside, Fraser, C.M and Emsley, K, 1973, David & Charles. An introductory history of Tyneside with a focus on the development of specific major industries along the Tyne.
  • Tyneside: A History of Newcastle and Gateshead from Earliest Times, Moffat Alistair and Rosie, George, 2005, Mainstream Publishing.
  • The Origin of North Shields, Garson, S, 1992.
  • Tynemouth Priory and Castle, McCombie, Grace, 2008, English Heritage.
  • The Geordie Bible, Elliott, Andrew, 1986.
  • The Geordie Cook Book, Howey, Peggy, 1988, Butler Publishing.
  • The Geordie Netty, Graham, Frank, 1986.
  • Histry O’ The Geordies Book One, Dobson, Scott, 1970, Frank Graham.
  • Larn Yersel’ Geordie, Dobson, Scott, 1969, Frank Graham.
  • Geordie Song Book, Graham, Frank, 1971, Butler Publishing
  • The New Geordie Dictionary, Graham, Frank, 1987.
Low Street Sunderland
Detail from Rain’s Eye Plan of Sunderland, late eighteenth century.


  • A History of Sunderland, Cranmer Mitchell, William, 1919.
  • A History of Sunderland, Dodds, Glen Lyndon, 1995, Albion Press.
  • A Visitors’ Guide to Wearside, Sunderland BC, 1990.
  • Penshaw Monument, Hind, L, 1978.
  • Radical Jack, Cooper, Leonard, 1959, The Cresset Press. Biography of John George Lambton, First Earl of Durham.
  • Those Lambtons, Colville, Sir John, 1987, Hodder & Stoughton Biography and history of the Lambton family.
  • My Sunderland, Simpson, David and Callaghan, Richard, 2011. My World. Light-hearted, informative and occasionally irreverent book featuring 366 stories about the history and culture of Sunderland.
  • Harry Watts: The Forgotten Hero, Callaghan, Richard and Simpson, David, 2013, My World.
  • Sunderland and its Origins Monks to Mariners, Meikle, Maureen and Newman, Christine, 2007, Phillimore. Academic yet readable, in-depth study of the early history of Sunderland. Part of the Victoria County History series of publications.
  • Sunderland Building a City, Cookson, Gillian, 2010, Phillimore 2010. Academic yet readable in depth study of the later history of Sunderland. Part of the Victoria County History series of publications.
Sunderland books part of the Victoria County History series published by Phillimore
Sunderland books part of the Victoria County History series published by Phillimore
  • The Amazing World of Sunderland, Brett, Alan, 1994, Black Cat Publications,
  • Characters of Old Sunderland, Kirtlin, Norman (Writer and illustrator).
  • Washington Official Guide, Banks, F.R (1950s).
  • Wearmouth Heritage Corfe, Tom, Sunderland Civic Society.
  • Old Monkwearmouth in the 1820s, Kirtlin, Norman (Ed).
  • Old Hendon Before 1900, Kirtlin, Norman.
  • The Lambton Worm, Henderson, (Illust), 1989, Newcastle Libraries.
Escomb Anglo-Saxon church.
Escomb Anglo-Saxon church, near Bishop Auckland, County Durham © David Simpson.


General Histories and Guide Books (See also Classic County Histories)

  • A Guide to County Durham, Durham County Council, 1990.
  • A History of County Durham, Pocock, Douglas and Norris, Roger, 1990, Phillimore, Darwen County History series. A concise, introductory county history.
  • An Historical Atlas of County Durham, 1992, Durham County Local History Society. Large format booklet with a fascinating and informative collection of maps put together to illustrate various periods and features of County Durham history, from parishes, place-names and politics, to medieval landholdings and industrial developments. 
  • A School History of The County Palatine of Durham, Eden, F.S, 1909, Clarendon Press.
  • Castles of Durham, Hugill, Robert, 1979.
  • Companion Into Durham, Morris, 1951, J.E, Methuen.
  • Country Walks in County Durham, Durham County Council, 1984.
  • County Durham: A Shell Guide, Thorold, Henry, 1980, Faber/Shell. Extensive gazetteer type guide book covering places in County Durham – pit villages and all – with numerous black and white photographs.
  • County Durham Through The Ages, Adey, Tony, 1990, Durham Books. History and archaeology of the county.
  • Durham Company Some Portrait Studies, Pope-Hennessy, Una, Chatto and Windus, 1941. Biographies of County Durham notables.
  • Cycling In County Durham, Durham County Council, 1993.
  • Durham County and City With Teesside, Dewdney, C (Ed), 1970. Important geographical study of the Durham and Teesside region with a collection of expert contributions compiled by the British Association on its visit to the region.
  • Durham Tales, Proud, Keith, Discovery, 1984.
  • Durham Villages, Thompson, Harry, 1976, Robert Hale. A delightful, readable portrait and discovery of County Durham villages from Teesside to Tyneside.
  • Portrait of County Durham, White, Peter, 1967, Robert Hale.  Another delightful read, covering the old county from Tyne to Tees.
  • Explore Durham by Car, Hanmer, Jack, 1987, Dalesman.
  • Great Men of Durham, Cooper, Leonard, 1956, Bodley Head.
  • Lost Houses of  County Durham, Meadows, Peter and Waterson, Edward, 1993, Jill Raines.
  • Policing The Land of The Prince Bishops, Watson, S, 1990, Durham Books.
  • Prince Bishop Country County Durham and the River Wear, Simpson, David, 1991, North Pennine Publishing.
  • More Country Walks in County Durham, Durham County Council, 1986.
  • Rural Durham, Chapman, Vera, 1977, Durham County Library.
  • The Bishoprick Garland, Sharpe, Cuthbert, 1834, republished by Frank Graham. A small booklet but a classic work on the legends and folklore of the county.
  • The Green Villages of County Durham, Robert, Brian K, 1977, Durham County Council. A geographical study of the morphology and development of Green villages in County Durham.
  • The King’s England Durham, Mee, Arthur, 1953, Hodder and Stoughton. One of a series of pre and post-war books covering the counties of England with an A-Z covering the history of places within each county.
  • The Buildings of England County Durham, Pevsner, Nikolaus; Williamson, Elizabeth and Roberts, Martin. First published, 1953. Revised by Elizabeth Williamson 1983 new material by Martin Roberts 2021 , Yale University Press, 2021. The ‘Bible’ for all things architectural in Northumberland.
  • The County Books Durham (Volume 1 and 2), Eden, Timothy, 1948, Robert Hale. Delightful read and comprehensive potted history, considered to be the best in this series of post war ‘county books’ covering the English counties.
  • The County Durham Book, Durham County Council, 1992 Splendid photographs showing off the best of the county.
  • Exploring Durham History, Dunlop, Dennis and Nixon, Philip, 1998, Breedon Books. History and stunning full-colour photography. 
  • The Durham Light Infantry in Europe, Jarvis, David, 1988, North East Centre for Education on Europe.
  • The Durham Village Book, D.F.W.I, 1992. Guide to the county’s villages put together by knowledgeable locals from the various Women’s Institute groups across the county.
  • The Comprehensive Guide to Durham, Boyle, J.R, 1892, Walter Scott Publishing.
  • England’s Last Wilderness, Bellamy, David and Quayle Brendan, 1989. About the North Pennines, primarily the Durham dales.
  • Legend and Lore of County Durham, Federation of Women’s Institutes.
  • The Prince Bishops of Durham, Proud, Keith, 1990, Keybar.
  • Railway Walks in County Durham, Durham County Council, 1983.
  • Roman Durham, Graham, Frank, Frank Graham, 1979.
  • The Old Halls and Manor Houses of Durham, Whittaker, Neville, 1975, Frank Graham.
Durham viewed from Gilesgate
Durham Cathedral and Castle ©  David Simpson.

Durham City and Durham Cathedral

  • A Short Guide to the  Cathedral Church of Durham, Wild, John.
  • A Short History of Durham, Gibby, C.W, 1971, University Bookshop, SPCK.
  • A Short Tour of Durham, Colgrave, C.W, 1947, University Bookshop, SPCK.
  • City Beautiful: A Vision of Durham, Rushford, F.H, 1944, Durham County Press.
  • Corners of Durham, Simpson, David, 1992, North Pennine Publishing.
  • Durham As It Was, Nelson, Ian, 1974, Hendon Publishing.
  • Durham at Work, Richardson, Michael, 1995.
  • Durham Castle: Fortress, Palace, College, Brickstock, Richard, 2007.
  • Durham Castle University College Durham, Bythell, Duncan, 1985, Jarrold.
  • Durham City, Proud, Keith, 1992, Phillimore.
  • Durham Castle, Colgrave, Bertram, 1956, English Life.
  • Building Durham Cathedral, Roberts, Brian K, 2023, History Press. Brimming with explanatory plans, panels, measurements and photographs explaining with great insight the building of Durham Cathedral as well as highlighting the individuals involved in its construction – the faces of some of whom are perhaps immortalised in the cathedral stonework.
Building Durham Cathedral by Brian K Roberts
Building Durham Cathedral by Brian K Roberts
  • Durham Cathedral: Light of the North, Field, John, 2007. Substantial, detailed history of the cathedral and bishops of Durham, accompanied by stunning photographs.
  • Durham Cathedral The Story of a Thousand Years, Allington, Cyril, 1948, Dean and Chapter Durham.
  • Durham Cathedral, Stranks, C.J, 1970, Pitkin Pictorials.
  • Travel to Landmarks: Durham Cathedral, Sharples, Debra, 1990. History and archaeological study, photographs by Angelo Hornak.
  • Durham City in Focus, Evening Chronicle.
  • Durham City: The 1851 Census, Butler, David J, 1992, Durham Historical Enterprises. A great snapshot listing the people of the city and their trades in 1851.
  • Durham City, Bowen, H, Durham City.
  • Durham City, David Simpson, 2006, Business Education Publishers Ltd and The Northern Echo. Based on a weekly feature in The Northern Echo, covers the history of the suburbs as well as the central areas with numerous photographs and maps.
  • Durham Historic and University City, Johnson, Margot, 1997, Turnstone.
  • Durham In Old Photographs, Crosby, June, 1990, Alan Sutton.
  • Durham In Old Picture Postcards, Crosby, June, 1985, European Library.
  • Durham Millennium – A Thousand Years of Durham City, Simpson, David, The Northern Echo, 1995. History of the city with additional timeline noting the major events.
  • Durham People, Richardson, Michael, 1994.
  • Durham Place-Names, Beckensall, Stan, 1979.
  • Durham, Portrait of a Cathedral City, Pocock, Douglas, 1983, City of Durham Trust.
  • The Durham Villages, David Simpson, 2006, Business Education Publishers Ltd and The Northern Echo. Based on a weekly feature in The Northern Echo, specifically covers the villages in and around the Durham City area.
  • Historic Durham City, Souvenir Picture History, Graham, Frank, 1976.
  • Durham The People and the Place 1914-1939, Richardson, Michael, 1994.
  • In and Around Durham, Rushford, F.H, 1946, Durham County Press.
  • Kepier Hospital, Meade, M, 1995, Turnstone Ventures.
  • Portrait of Durham Cathedral, Cook, G.H, 1948, Phoenix House.
  • English Heritage Durham, Roberts, Martin, 1994, Batsford. Excellent investigation of the history, archaeological features and historic buildings of the city.
  • A Portrait of Durham, Nixon, Philip, 2006, Halsgrove. Photographic portrait.
  • Finchale Priory, Peers, Charles, 1968, HMSO.
  • Life in a Medieval Monastery, Boyd, Anne, 1975, Cambridge University Press. This general guide to the structure and organisation of life in a medieval monastery specifically uses the example of Durham Cathedral priory. 
  • The Book of Durham City, Clack, Peter, 1985, Barracuda Books.
  • The City of Durham and its Town Hall, Morris R.J.B.
  • The Heraldry of Durham Cathedral, Orchard, R, 1976, Frank Graham.
  • The Stained Glass of Durham Cathedral, Norris, Roger, 1984, Dean and Chapter Durham.
  • The Life of Durham Cathedral, Wignall, Peter, 1979, Jarrold.
  • The Little Count Joseph Borruwlaski, Heron, Tom, 1986, City of Durham.
  • The Pictorial History of Durham Cathedral, Stranks, C.J, Pitkin Pictorials, 1966.
  • The Story of Sanctuary At Durham, Smith, Douglas, 1971, Frank Graham.
  • St Cuthbert and Durham Cathedral, A Celebration, Pocock, Douglas, 1995, City of Durham Trust.
  • Old Durham Gardens, Mcmillan, J.R, 1991, City of Durham.
  • Saint Cuthbert of Durham, Colgrave, Hilda, 1947, Bailes and Son.

Towns and Districts in County Durham

South Durham

  • A History of Spennymoor, Dodd, James, 1897.
  • A Short Guide to Raby Castle, Teesdale Mercury.
  • Auckland Castle Co Durham, Edwards, G.F.
  • Sedgefield A New Style District, Sedgefield District, 1991.
Chester-le-Street viewed from Great Lumley
Chester-le-Street viewed from Great Lumley © David Simpson

North Durham

  • Chester-le-Street and District, Purdon, Gavin, 1992, Chester-le-Street DC.
  • Chester-le-Street, Harbottle, H.W, 1976, Graham, Frank.
  • Chester-le-Street and Washington, David Simpson, 2008, Business Education Publishers Ltd and The Northern Echo.
  • Consett: A Town in the Making, Moore, Tommy, 1992, County Durham Books.
  • Polisses and Candymen: The Complete Works of Tommy Armstrong, Forbes, Ross, 1987, Tommy Armstrong Memorial Trust. The works of the pitman poet.
  • The Anker’s House, Chester-le-Street, Souvenir Handbook.
  • The Parish Church Chester-Le-Street, Souvenir Handbook.
High Force
High Force waterfall, Teesdale.

Durham Dales

  • Barnard Castle, Tallentire, W. Lorne, 1988, Discovery Guides.
  • Cotherstone Village Past and Present, Chapman, Vera, 1986, High Force.
  • England’s Last Wilderness, Bellamy, David and Quayle, Brendan, 1989. Beautiful book with numerous colour photographs exploring the landscape and culture of the North Pennines: Teesdale, Weardale, Derwentdale, Allendales, South Tynedale and the Eden Valley.
  • Gainford In Teesdale A Little History and Guide, McCrickard, Janet, 1987, Fieldfare.
  • Lartington: A Teesdale Village Walk, Chapman, Vera, 1985, High Force.
  • Life and Times In Weardale 1840-1910, Milburn, T.A, 1987, Weardale Museum.
  • Charles Dickens In Teesdale, Proud, Keith, 1983, Discovery Guides.
  • John Bowes and The Bowes Museum, Hardy, E, 1970, Friends of Bowes Museum.
  • Middleton In Teesdale, Tallentire, W.Lorne, 1988, Discovery Guides.
  • Raby Its Castle and Its Lords, Scott, Stanley, 1936.
  • Raby Castle The Home of Lord Barnard, Heritage House, 2001.
  • St Marys Staindrop, 1987.
  • Streatlam and Gibside The Bowes and Strathmore Families, 1980, Durham County Council.
  • Teesdale and The North Pennines, Parker, Malcolm, 1987, Discovery Guides.
  • Teesdale, Ramsden, M, 1947, Museum Press.
  • Old Cotherstone A Teesdale Village Walk, Chapman, Vera, 1984, High Force.



  • The History and Antiquities of Darlington, Longstaffe, H.D, 1854, republished by Patrick and Shotton. An extensive, history in the classic Victorian county history style, covering a single town and the surrounding area.
  • A History of Darlington, Sunderland, Norman, 1972, E.J.Morten.
  • Darlington Birthplace of the Railways, Chapman, Vera, Discovery Publishing.
  • Darlington Newspapers, Page, Robert, 1972, Darlington Corporation.
  • Darlington Railway Museum, Official Guide, 1982.
  • Historic Darlington, Wooler, Edward, Isaac Pitman and Son, 1913.
  • Memories of Darlington, Lloyd, Chris, The Northern Echo. One of a series of books based on The Northern Echo’s ‘Memories’ feature, demonstrate Chris Lloyd’s extraordinarily extensive and engaging knowledge of this historic south Durham town.
  • The Old Yards of Darlington, Smith, Irene, 1980, Durham County Library.
  • The Tender Years Lewis Carroll Around The North, Matheson, Dane, 1984.
  • The Legend of the Sockburn Worm or Dragon of the Tees, Telfer, Paul, Iron Chest.
  • Attacking the Devil: 130 Years of The Northern Echo, Lloyd, Chris 1999
Historic view of Darlington showing the Skerne and St. Cuthbert's church
Historic view of Darlington showing the Skerne and St. Cuthbert’s church.


  • A History of the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge, Dowson, G, 1986.
  • A Short History of Middlesbrough, Carson, Robert, 1977
  • Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, 1982.
  • Middlesbrough: A Pictorial History, Woodhouse, Robert, 1990.
  • Middlesbrough As It Was, Moorsom, Norman, 1976.
  • Middlesbrough Its History Environs and Trade, Postgate, Charles, 1899.
  • Middlesbrough’s Heritage Echoes of the Past, Whyman, Mark, Middlesbrough Borough Council.
  • The History of Middlesbrough, Lillie, William, 1968. Middlesbrough County Borough. The classic history of Middlesbrough.
Transporter Bridge from Port Clarence looking towards Middlesbrough
Transporter Bridge, Middlesbrough © David Simpson.

Teesside and Cleveland General

  • The History and Antiquities of Cleveland, Ord, Walker, 1846. Classic Victorian history covering the real Cleveland – the district of North East Yorkshire entirely south of Tees stretching from Yarm and the Cleveland Hills in the west along the River Tees to the Cleveland coast and south to the River Esk just north of Whitby.
  • The History of Cleveland, in the North Riding of the County of York, Graves, John, 1808.
  • The History of the River Tees In Maps, 1990. Collection of maps featuring the industrial history of the River Tees.
  • The Cleveland Village Book, Cleveland Women’s Institute, 1991. Written by knowledgeable locals from the short-lived ‘county of Cleveland’ on both sides of the Tees.
  • Captain James Cook Master of Endeavour, Hillery, Caroline, 1989.
  • Discovering Cleveland, Woodhouse, Robert.
  • Highlights In The History of Cleveland, Moorson, Norman, 1995, Cleveland County Council. Timeline.
  • History of The Stockton and Darlington Railway, Jeans, S, 1875, republished by Frank Graham. History of the railway that had such a profound effect on the growth and industrial development of Teesside.
  • Teesside’s Economic Heritage, North, G.A, 1975, Cleveland County Council. Useful, must read account of Teesside’s economic and industrial development.
  • The River Tees, Woodhouse, Robert, 1991. The story of the River Tees from source to Tees with particular emphasis on the history of Teesside.
  • The Stockton and Darlington Railway, McDougall, A, 1975, Durham County Council.
  • The Origins and Early Development of Shorthorn Cattle, Proud, Keith, 1985, Discovery Print. Account of the development of shorthorn cattle, particularly in the Darlington area of County Durham.
  • Exploring the Stockton and Darlington Railway, Semmens, P.W.B, 1975, Frank Graham.
  • Stockton and Darlington Rail Anniversary Souvenir Programme, Official, Guide, 1975.
  • Steel River: The River Tees, Simpson, David, 1996, The Northern Echo. History of the river from source to sea with additional chronological timeline of events.

Stockton and Yarm

  • A History of the Town and Borough of Stockton-on-Tees, Sowler, Tom, 1972, Teesside Museums/Galleries. The classic reference history of the town.
  • Excavations at Stockton Castle, Aberg, A, 1988.
  • Preston Hall Museum, 1987.
  • Yarm Guide, Parish Council, 1990, Priory Publishing.
  • Prospect of Yarm, Race, Malcolm, 1980.
  • A History of Yarm : An Ancient North Riding Town, Wardell, John Wilford, 1957, Thomas Reed, Sunderland.
  • Stockton-on-Tees Birthplace of The Railways, 1989.
  • Stockton Past, Woodhouse, Robert, 1994, Phillimore.
  • Stockton-on-Tees A Pictorial History, Woodhouse, Robert, 1989, Phillimore.
  • Strike a Light John Walker 1781-1859, Thomas, Doreen, 1990. Biography of the Stockton man who invented friction matches.
  • The Parish Church of Stockton-on-Tees, Sowler, Tom.
Church of St Hilda, Old Hartlepool
Church of St Hilda, Old Hartlepool © David Simpson


  • A History of Hartlepool, Sharp, Cuthbert, 1851. Classic history of Hartlepool – specifically Old Hartlepool, known as ‘the headland’.
  • The Hartlepool Story (8000 B.C – 1988), Gill, Walter, 1990. Excellent jam-packed substantial booklet presenting a very readable account of Hartlepool’s extraordinary history.
  • West Hartlepool: The Rise and Development of a Victorian New Town, Wood, Robert, 1967.
  • The Life of Billy Purvis, Frank Graham Facsimile, 1875. Biography of the famed North East music hall performer.


  • A History of Yorkshire, Singleton, F.B and Rawnsley, S.R, 1986, Phillimore. Darwen County History series. A concise, introductory county history.
  • A History of Yorkshire, Hey, David, 2005, Carnegie.
  • A Picturesque History of Yorkshire (3 volumes), Fletcher, J.S, 1899, Dent, Delightfully illustrated late Victorian guide to the county.
  • A Walk Around the Snickleways of York, Jones, Mark and Ann, 1983.
  • Black’s Guide to Yorkshire, Black, Charles and Adam, 1885.
  • Basic Broad Yorkshire, Kellett, Arnold, 1992, Smith Settle.
  • Cleveland An A-Z Guide, Wright, Alec, 1972, Dalesman.
  • Cleveland Way, Sampson, Ian, 1989.
  • Fountains Abbey, (Guide Book), 1986.
  • Haunted York, Matthews, Rupert, 1992.
  • Highways and Byways In Yorkshire, Norway, H, 1932.
  • Historic City of York (With Wolds and East Yorkshire), Parker, Malcolm, 1989.
  • In and Around York, 1991.
  • North Yorkshire Coast and Moors, Parker, Malcolm, 1989.
  • Portrait of Yorkshire, Scott, Harry J, 1965, Hale.
  • Portrait of North Yorkshire, Sepakman, Colin, 1986, Hale.
  • Shire County Guide North Yorkshire, Bainbridge, Cyril, 1974, Shire.
  • The Buildings of England York and The East Riding, Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1972, Penguin.
  • The Buildings of England Yorkshire North Riding, Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1966, Penguin. Includes Middlesbrough, Yarm and other places in the Cleveland area.
  • The Buildings of England Yorkshire West Riding, Pevsner, Nikolaus 1959, Penguin.
  • Striding through Yorkshire, Brown, A.J, 1938, Country Life.
  • The King’s England Yorkshire North Riding, Mee, Arthur, 1947. One of a popular post and pre-war series of A-Z place-by-place guides to the history of English counties.
  • The King’s England Yorkshire East  Riding with York, Mee, Arthur, 1947.
  • The King’s England Yorkshire West Riding, Mee, Arthur, 1941.
  • The Time Travellers Guide To York, Kemp, L, 1992, York Archaeological Trust.
  • Portrait of York, Willis, Ronald, 1992, Hale.
  • York, Rodgers, John, 1951, Batsford.
  • York, Hall, Richard, 1996, English Heritage. Archaeological history of the city.
Bainbridge, Yorkshire
Bainbridge, Yorkshire © David Simpson.


  • The County Books Cumberland and Westmorland, Nicholson, Norman, 1949, Robert Hale.
  • A History of Cumberland and Westmorland, Rollinson, William, 1978, Phillimore. Darwen County History series. A concise, introductory county history.
  • The Lake Counties, Arthur Mee (1937). Paperback version by Bracken 1994.
  • Carlisle the Border City, Drake, Jane, 1992, Pitkin.
  • Lake District Place Names, Gambles, Robert, 1980, Dalesman.
  • The Buildings of Cumberland and Westmorland, Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1967, Penguin.
  • Portrait of Cumbria, Marshall, J.D, 1981, Robert Hale.
  • Cumbrian Chat, Wright, Peter, 1995, Dalesman. Glossary and explanation of the historical development of Cumbrian words and dialect.


  • Discovering Place- Names, Field, John, 1989.
  • Goodwife Hot and Other Places, Watson, Godfrey, 1970. Thematic exploration of the meaning of Northumberland place-names.
  • A Dictionary of County Durham Place-Names Watts, Victor, 2002, English Place-Name Society. Best scholarly resource for the origins of historic County of Durham place-names.
  • Scandinavian Settlement-Names in County Durham (Publication from ‘Nomina’ XII), Watts, Victor.
  • The Place-Names of County Durham Part One Stockton Ward, Watts, Victor, 2007. English Place-Name Society. First and so far only published work of an depth series covering the origins of Durham place-names (including field-names). 
  • Place-Names of the Yorkshire Dales, Metcalfe, Peter, Nym, 1992.
  • The Place-Names of Northumberland and Durham, Mawer, Allen, 1920.
  • The Place-Names of The East Riding of Yorkshire, Smith, A.H, 1937, Cambridge University Press.
  • The Place-Names of The North Riding of Yorkshire, Smith, A.H, 1928, Cambridge University Press.
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names, Ekwall, Ellert, 1936.

Lancashire and Cheshire

  • A History of Lancashire, Bagley, J.T, 1982, Phillimore. Darwen County History series. A concise, introductory county history.
  • The King’s England, Cheshire, Mee, Arthur, 1949.
  • The King’s England,  Lancashire, Mee, Arthur, 1960.
  • All About Liverpool, Simpson, David, 2013, My World.
  • All About Scouse, Simpson, David, 2013, My World.


  • Keel Row Books, Formerly in North Shields, now based in Whitley Bay, second-hand bookshop with extensive local history collection. Website:
  • Barter Books, Based in Alnwick, Northumberland, second-hand bookshop with extensive local history collection. Website:
  • AbeBooks, Extensive online second-hand book search and store. Website:


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