The City of Durham Parish Council has set up a blue plaques scheme to commemorate important people, buildings and events in the parish.
5 blue plaques have already been awarded:
Daisy Edis, the pioneering female photographer – 142 Gilesgate
Former site of Harrison & Harrison organ builders – Harrison House, Hawthorn Terrace
Mary Gibson, Dora Heslop and Winifred Hindmarch, the three first female graduates of Durham University – Chapel, St. Hild and St. Bede’s College
The Market Hall, established in 1851 by an Act of Parliament, and one of very few privately owned markets in the UK – outside the Market Hall
The Railway Cottages, part of the former Durham Elvet Railway Station – Green Lane
and more will be awarded in the future.
This scheme is based loosely on the English Heritage scheme for blue plaques in London, and aims to encourage residents to celebrate their heritage and to engender civic pride. Members of the public nominate suggestions for a blue plaque, these are then considered by the Parish Councillors and winning nominations agreed. Nominations have then to be submitted to the County Council for planning approval. Commemoration of women in these awards is to be commended as very few of the plaques in existence focus on women.
Site of house of John Gully MP, Jevons House – Bailey
John Meade Falkner – Music School, Palace Green
Site of house of Sir John Duck – 39 Silver Street
Site of the fifteenth century town house of the Neville family – Market Place
Moatside Lane – Sadler Street
Cathedral Grammar School – Music School, Palace Green
Bishop Cosin’s Almshouses – Almshouses, Palace Green
Bishop Cosin’s Library – University Library, Palace Green
Former Exchequer and Chancery of the Palatinate –University Library, Palace Green
Site of the North Gate – Sadler Street
Tithe Barne – Hallgarth Street
Other organisations’ plaques:
Ruth First – Ruth First House, Providence Row
Dame Elizabeth Bowes – Bowes House, St John’s College
Durham Railway Station
The City of Durham Parish Council’s criteria for granting a heritage plaque are:
In the case of a single person
If the person was eminent in his or her field and is listed in appropriate general national biographical sources for the period; for instance, the Dictionary/New Dictionary of National Biography, Who’s Who/Who Was Who, Men and Women of the Time, the Times Obituary, or recognised specialist biographical sources, and had a significant connection with one or more places in the City of Durham Parish area, such as a residence of five years, place of birth, place of business etc., OR
If the person made a definite contribution to the history of Durham City, does not appear in the relevant national sources but had a significant connection with one or more places in Durham City, such as a residence of five years, place of birth, place of business etc.
Proposals will not be considered for the commemoration of individuals unless more than 20 years has elapsed since their passing.
In the case of an event
If it was of considerable importance in the history or development of the City.
In the case of a building
If, unconnected with an important person, the building was significant in the history or development of Durham City, or is of great antiquity, or of particular architectural importance. There is a similarity between this criteria and the City of Durham Trust’s Architectural Awards