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A view of Durham by Girtin

Durham is the name of both a county in the north east of England and a city, founded some thousand years ago by monks searching for a place to rest the bones of their great leader, St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. The city has a castle and a fine cathedral. The countryside amidst which this ancient town is situate may perhaps strike the southern visitor as a little harsh and gloomy in character, but it is animated by the windings of the noble River Wear, which the town overlooks.

Along with Newcastle, which he made into his capital, Durham was one of the first cities to fall into the hands of John Uskglass when he invaded the Northern England late in 1110[45].