Parish Information


The civil parish of Kimblesworth and Plawsworth is located approximately four miles to the north of Durham City.  The old route of the A1 (now the A167) passes through it from north to south.  In area, the parish measures 3 miles (east to west) by around 1-1.5 miles (north to south), bordering the B6532 to the west and the River Wear to the East.  The parish contains the villages of Nettlesworth, Kimblesworth, Plawsworth and the hamlet of Plawsworth Gate, as well as a few streets in Sacriston - Daleside, Westhills Close and the new development at Monkswood, Cross Lane - all situated approximately one mile to the west of Nettlesworth. 

Hairdressers in Nettlesworth

Understood to date from the sixteenth century, the hairdresser's shop is one of the oldest buildings in the parish 


While the existing village of Kimblesworth grew in the late 1800s around a colliery which closed in 1967, there was an earlier settlement, understood to have been a “plague village”, also called Kimblesworth, situated to the south of the existing village on land which currently is part of Witton Gilbert civil parish.  It is also perhaps worth mentioning here that, to the far east of the parish, there is evidence of a Bronze Age settlement [1].  More recently, residents of West Nettlesworth opted to become part of Kimblesworth and Plawsworth parish allegedly because its precept was lower than that of Sacriston parish!  A more detailed history of the parish can be found by following the link:



Administratively the parish is part of North Durham parliamentary constituency and Durham County, where it is part of Sacriston ward, represented by two county councillors.  The civil parish itself is split into three wards: Kimblesworth, which has two representatives, Plawsworth, which includes Nettlesworth, and has seven representatives, and West Nettlesworth (which is physically part of Sacriston, but lies within the parish) which has two representatives.  Kimblesworth ecclesiastical parish is represented separately by a parochial church council (PCC) of around ten members.  

Kimblesworth Parish Church

Kimblesworth Parish Church

It is thought that Plawsworth is likely to be Anglo-Saxon in origin. Plawsworth (also referred to as Plausworth) is noted in the Boldon Book of 1183 as being the property of Simon Vitulus. Vitulus was himself noted as attending the great hunt with two hunting dogs.


Historic accounts provide details of later medieval owners of land in the area including a family that took the name, Plawsworth, and Richard Kellow, one of the Prince Bishops. Historic accounts detail other landowners in the later medieval period. On 16 February 1769, articles of agreement were settled for the dividing and enclosing of the town fields of Plawsworth. 


By the mid-20th Century great development had occurred in Plawsworth, with the building of new dwellings to the south of Plawsworth Grove and the construction of two dwellings to the west of the village; Whitegates and Thorne. The alteration of the main road, by now designated as the A1, avoiding the now Blacksmiths Cottages (formerly the Smithy), provided the scope for the development of Darley Court.

Demography and Social

The total population of the parish is roughly 1700 [2] living in around 1100 homes.  The influences of both the mining community and a rural past are clear in terms of the personal experiences and outlook of many of the individuals and families living here, as well as the tangible differences in wealth between the different villages.  

Since the closure of the mines, the villages have largely become dormitories in terms of employment and a gradual, but clear, diminishing of local facilities.  While not overly endowed in this respect, the parish does manage to hold on to a primary school, a village store with a post-office, community centre, Anglican parish church, hairdresser’s shop, cricket club and, lately, an embroiderer and a tattoo parlour and a community cafe.  There is still one pub next to the A167 and also a filling station.  The parish is also home to three institutions concerned with social care, as well as a few light industrial works (a roofing contractor and automotive spray shop) in the old colliery area. 

The Lodge at Southill Hall

The Lodge at Southill Hall

Railway Viaduct at Mill Lane

Railway Viaduct at Mill Lane

Plawsworth House

Plawsworth House


[1]   Sherlock, S. (2010) “An Examination of Late Prehistoric Settlement in North East England with Specific Emphasis on the Settlements of the Tees Valley”, PhD thesis, University of Leicester.

[2]   Office of National Statistics (2019) 'Parish population estimates for mid-2001 to mid-2019 based on best-fitting of output areas to parishes.


Related links:  (church) (cricket club)