Locomotion - National Railway Museum  opened in Shildon in September 2004 and links with the existing Timothy Hackworth Museum. The new Museum houses in excess of 60 exhibits and for the first three years admission will be free. The Museum provides an opportunity to view the history of the railways and amongst the exhibits on show will be Sans Pareil - the pioneering locomotive built by Hackworth in Shildon in 1829.’

Two of the town’s most interesting religious buildings are the Churches of St. John and All Saints.

Locomotion - National Railway Museum.

St. John’s Parish Church, at the end of Main Street was opened on Sunday, 29th June, 1834. On the foundation stone, laid during 1833, is the following inscription, now almost obliterated: ‘Mine house shall be called an house of prayer’.

The Church when completed, was a Gothic Structure, consisting of chancel, nave and a square tower containing two bells. The re-building of the Church. was completed in 1882, when amongst other changes, a new organ was installed.

The Church surrounded by trees, consists of nave, two aisles, chancel and handsome west tower, an addition completed in 1902. Of stone in the Early English manner, the tower has two sets of Lancet windows and is capped by a short conical steeple.

St John's ChurchSt John's War Memorial

Close outside the parish church, at the end of Main Street is the War Memorial, a stone plinth surmounted by a model soldier and with plaques bearing the names of Shildon men who fell in two world wars and in the Korean campaign. The unveiling and Dedication took place on Sunday, 2nd June, 1957.

The Church of All Saints, off Redworth Road on the Town’s southern edge, dates from 1869, consists of nave and chancel and is also in the Early English style. The chancel has an apsidal east end. The Church was enlarged in 1925 when three vestries were added.

Surrounding Country
County Durham is a County of contrasts. Its eastern half is frankly industrial, with grim pitheads and giant works and chimneys proclaiming the fact. But to the west lies mile upon mile of unspoilt country, characterised by far-spreading heathery commons, Shildon lies at the edge of the green belt. Although the town is industrial in character, a journey of only a few miles brings some of England's finest hill scenery within range. Teesdale, Weardale and the Derwent Valley offer some of the highest, wildest and finest scenery in England with attractive North Pennine villages like St. John’s Chapel, Stanhope, Wolsingham, Middleton in Teesdale and Romaldkirk. There are more waterfalls on the River Tees and its tributaries than any other river in England and just to the west of Middleton in Teesdale, High Force is the most majestic. Moreover, only twenty miles or so to the east is the Durham Coast, with several attractive resorts within comparatively easy reach.

Barnard Castle
A pleasant and typically Northern market town, built of grey stone and almost on the County border. Interesting Church; ruins of historical twelfth century Norman castle on the cliff above the river Tees, reached from the Market Place and, on the edge of the town, the splendid Bowes Museum, a french style chateau set in attractive gardens, Built in the late nineteenth century to display the works of art collected by John Bowes and his wife, this museum is one of the finest in the County.

Binchester Roman Fort
Interesting for the remains, of the Roman fort and village of Vinovia. The house of the Fort Commander includes the best example of a Roman military bath-suite in Britain. Finds from the excavation are displayed in the Bowes Museum.

Bishop Auckland
Lively old market town, the older part of the town had a large market place that leads to the gates of the splendid palace of the Bishops of Durham, Auckland Castle with its magnificent private Chapel built in 1665.

The nearest ‘big town’ to Shildon and a major industrial centre but with pleasant facets to its nature that include a fine shopping centre and market; beautiful parish church and some of the most colourful and well cared for parks in the County. Also of interest are several museums, Darlington Museum, devoted to local social and natural history; and Darlington Railway Museum, with several historic engines Locomotionand Derwent and rolling stock.

The County town and a very fine city that was prominent in history as a ‘buffer’ against Scottish raids and as a stronghold of the princely Palatine Bishops. The older part of the city is set on a great loop of the Wear which here is in a deep chasm spanned by several bridges. The old streets are full of interest, and the magnificent Norman Cathedral is regarded as one of the finest in the world. The twelfth century north doorway is dominated by a brass sanctuary knocker, an evil head with a giant ring in its mouth. Also of interest are several museums, D.L.I. Museum Arts Centre which has a display of the history and traditions of the County Regiment from 1758 to 1968, whilst the Durham University Oriental Museum contains collections of oriental art of international importance covering all cultures and periods of the East from Ancient Egypt through India, Tibet and China to Japan.


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