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NORTH ROAD, MILLBURNGATE AND FRAMWELLGATE

The boroughs of Framwellgate and Millburngate are situated next to one another and were on the route north out of the city. This route north was used by the Pack Trains so many shops and trades existed in this area.

The Fram Wellhead was built in the 15th century and restored in the 19th century. It is a long stone structure with a slender buttress at each corner (now buried nearly to the top) and a pyramidical stone roof. A stone slab inside it records "This spring was given for the use of the inhabitants of the City of Durham for ever by Thomas Billingham, Esq by deed dated the 30 March 1450" and also records that it was rebuilt on the same site and of the original erection in 1847. Surtees view shows a second structure with a spout (a pant) a little lower down the hill, but this has disappeared [20].

A drinking fountain between Atherton street and the pier of the viaduct was 12' high and 8' wide and had a gargoyle from whose mouth the water flowed. The fountain is in the early French Gothic style, and was erected in 1833 on the site given by the North Eastern Railway Co. It had been moved to its present site in the course of alterations. The water is obtained from Flass Well Spring at the foot of Red Hills, sited in Ainsley Street adjacent to the Miners Hall [1, 5].

There are many streams in this area which are underground These caused a marshy area and are due to overflows from the wells in Crossgate. Millburn runs in a conduit below North Road 1, (possibly comes out under Framwellgate bridge). This stream used to drive mills, namely Clock Mill in Millburngate and a mill-race at Tenters Hill (it was reported to be 15’ - 20' in width)

In olden days, the residencies of the North Country nobility were situated here before modern transport enabled them to live in London mansions. The modern road north from Millburngate is called North Road and was built in 1840. After its building the north part of the city expanded.

Durham at that time was the county's focal point with regards to travelling. Due to the large number of Public Houses (estimated 120), the Shakespeare Hall was built in North Road to aid the spirit of temperance. Framwellgate was once a prosperous merchant area but became slums over time and most of the buildings were demolished. A 18th century house along Castle Chare with beautiful plasterwork was however saved. This house overlooks the new bypass roundabout and was once the Wheatsheaf Inn, it became a Convent and an Arts Centre at one time.

The Ford to Walkergate from Millburngate was known as 'Horse Hole'. Albany Theatre once stood on the hillside overlooking the river in the Millburngate area.


Crook Hall looks over the river where the ferry and ford crossed the river to the Sands [19].

North Road: About
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North Road: Image


The Five Ways Inn was situated at the corner of North Road, Framwellgate, Millburngate and Crossgate. Public houses around this area but no longer here are:


  • Wheatsheaf Inn (was an Arts centre) [19].

  • the Woolpack Inn, former coaching inn was close by, and

  • the Tanners Arms up Framwellgate.


Mustard was originally ground in 1720 and there was at one time 3 power driven mills in Durham, namely:

  • Ainsley's at corner of Waddington Street [5] (the last one and sold to Colemans in 1897),

  • John Balmbrough at the foot of Silver Street, and

  • Simpson and William at Station Lane, Gilesgate [41].

The Globe Cinema was the first in Durham and was on the north side of North Road.

St Godric’s church was built for the Irish workers who moved here in the 19th century [19] and it was opened on 15th November 1864 [5].

In 1875, the Miners Hall was built on the site of the Monks Building in North Road. Statues of four of the leaders were placed in front of the first-floor windows; Alexander MacDonald, William Crawford, W.H. Patterson, and John Forman. A new Durham Miners Hall was opened on the Redhills on 23rd October 1915.

There was a small Jewish community in Durham from 1888. In the late 1890's a small place of worship was established in John Street, when there was 72 members drawn from about 15 families. Numbers increased and by 1909, the congregation was too large for the John Street premises. A permanent synagogue was built and opened close by in Laburnum Avenue in 1910, when there was 107 in the Durham community. The community soon started to fall and was already struggling to survive by 1918. The synagogue was closed and sold in 1955.

List of businesses as listed in 1923 [6] and the current businesses 100 years later in 2023. 


The Public Houses and Hotel that are no longer functioning can be seen at reference [33]

Blue Bell Inn, Public House, closed 1950s in Framwellgate


Woolpack, at 11 Framwellgate

Tanners Arms at 47 Framwellgate

Three Horseshoes at 64 Framwellgate

Team Valley Inn at 90 Framwellgate

BG Robinson , Grocer and provision merchants at 94 Framwellgate

Lambton Arms ,Public House, closed 1911 at 101 Framwellgate

Barley Sheaf Inn at 122 Framwellgate

Five Ways Inn at 130 Framwellgate

Puncheon Inn at 134 Framwellgate

Half Moon Inn at Millburngate

Adam Williamson , Family grocer at 127 Millburngate

Bell’s Cafe , Cafe in North Road

Bowen & Son , Baker and confectioners in North Road

Durham Motor Transport Co , Cars, petrol and hire in North Road

G A Greenwell , Painter and decorator

in 1923

Head of Steam, public House in 2023 at Reform Place, North Road

Hewitts, Tailors in North Road

J J Mc Gregor, General draper at

Station Bank, off North Road

J.W. Wood, Auctioneer and Valuer in North Road

T Matheson, Seed merchant in North Road

J.H. Veitch & Sons, Stationers in 1923

Age UK, charity shop in 2023 at 24-25 North Road

Pearl Assurance in 1923

Re-located to Bridge House, but no longer at 1 North Road

S Hume , Watchmaker and jeweler in 1923

Halifax Bank in 2023 in new building at 

1 North Road

John Oliver, Fishmonger in 1923

Specsaver in 2023 in new building at 2 North Road

BG Robinson, Grocer and provision merchants in 1923

Hays Travel in 2023 in new building at 4 North Road

W L Jennings, Record Shop in 1923

Pawsome Cat Cafe in 2023 at 7 North Road

G H Leatham, Ironmonger and gunsmith in 1923

Leeds Building Society in 2023 at 9 North Road

Neville Hotel in 1923

Bunty Chipshops in 2023 at 18 North Road

J A Mason, General draper at 34a North Road

BG Robinson, Grocer and provision merchants in 1923

Pizzaco, takeaway in 2023 at 37 North Road

Geo Gradon & Sons, Builders at 42 North Road

Walsh’s , Cafe in 1923

Domano's Pizza, takeaway in 2023 at 43 North Road

Wm Olivers Tobacconists at 56 North Road

J Tuke and Son, Music instruments in 1923

ST News in 2023 at 71 North Road

H Ingham, Butcher in 1923

Marmaris Barbers in 2023 at 73 North Road

Wm Olivers, Tobacconists at 82 North Road

W Vickers, Hatter, Hosier and Glover in 1923

Santander bank in new building in 2023 at 87 North Road

J Slack and Son , Booksellers at 88 North Road

King William IV Public House in 1923 (closed 1965) in North Road.

North Road: About
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