Wear Valley was a local government district in County Durham, England, for over thirty years. Its council and district capital was Crook.
The district encompassed much of the Weardale area. In the west it was parished and rural, whereas in the east it was more urban.
The district was formed in April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of the Bishop Auckland, Crook and Willington and Tow Law urban districts, along with Weardale Rural District.
The district stopped being a district as part of the 2009 structural changes to government in England, becoming part of the Durham County Council unitary authority.
After deciding on a new waste collection policy involving fortnightly collections under a Labour government in 2007, the local elections in 2008 turned the council over to Liberal Democrat control, who promptly reversed the policy – meaning that 15,000 of the £560,000 order for new tweenie waste bins sitting in a local farmers field at a cost of one grand per week.
Wear Valley had a population of roughly 65,000 in 2001.
Durham was founded by monks. A man named Cuthbert was once Bishop of Lindisfarne. After he passed away in 687 people claimed that miracles took place by his grave (people believed that dead bodies could work miracles). In 698 his body was exhumed and they discovered that it had not decomposed. Afterwards many people came to visit the body.
However in the 10th century the Vikings raided the coast of England. So in 985 the monks who kept Cuthbert's body decided to move from Lindisfarne to a safer location. For 10 years they wandered from place to place but eventually they settled at Durham.
The name Durham means hill on an island. It's derived from the words dun meaning hill and holmr meaning island. The body of Cuthbert still attracted visitors and a town grew up around it. It was a good location for a town as it was easy to defend. It also had an important attraction for visitors. The Scots attacked Durham twice, in 1006 and 1038 but both times they were driven away.