About Us

© 2014-18 Cornforth Parish Council. Proudly created by Cornforth Partnership

Join us at Google+

What we do.

About Us.



Cornforth is a village in County Durham, England. It is situated a short distance to the north-east of Ferryhill.

Before the middle part of the Victorian era, when coal mining was at its height in County Durham, Cornforth was in the parish of Bishop Middleham.


The small parish of Cornforth was formed in 1868 out of the larger parish of Bishop Middleham. The first record of the village dates to 1196, when it was recorded as Corneford, which probably comes from the Old English for 'Ford of the Cranes'. The village stood on the site of a ford crossing the river close to a fulling mill owned by the Bishop of Durham. There are few surviving remains from this period, though historic documents record that there was a limestone quarry, a cornmill and a fulling mill. It is even possible that a pele tower stood here in the 15th century, as an area of ground known as Le Peile is recorded, though the evidence is far from certain. Of slightly later date,Brandon House, dating to the 16th or 17th century, is still visible. However, 17th century Thrislington Hall was demolished in the 1980s and now only a few earthworks are visible. 

However, the nearby village of West Cornforth only dates to 1857, as it was built to provide homes for miners working in the nearby collieries. Although the earliest known coal mine in Cornforth dates to the medieval period.The first of the modern collieries was opened in 1835, but was closed down in 1851. An ironworks opened in 1859 and the famous Thrislington Colliery opened in 1867. This led to the population exploding from 1040 in 1851 to 3416 in 1871. Some relics of Cornforth's industrial past can still be seen. The tracks of a waggonway are visible, as are the remains of some Limekilns. 

Cornforth has a war memorial cross dedicated to the commemoration of members of the village who fought in the First World War and WW2. A number of other memorial features can be found in the church of the Holy Trinityincluding plaques, windows, ornaments and items of furniture, some of which were transferred here from the Wesleyan Methodist Church when it closed.

Where we are.

A parish council is a type of local authority found in England which is the lowest, or first, tier of local government.They are elected bodies and have variable tax raising powers. Parish councils are responsible for areas known as civil parishes.


Parish councils have the power to precept (tax) their residents to support their operations and to carry out local projects. Although there is no limit to the amount that can be precepted, the money can only be raised for a limited number of purposes, defined in the 1894 Act and subsequent legislation. 


Parish councils have powers to provide some facilities themselves, or they can contribute towards their provision by others. There are large variations in the services provided by parishes, but they can include the following

  • Allotments

  • Support and encouragement of arts and crafts

  • Provision of village halls

  • Recreation grounds, parks, children's play areas, playing fields and swimming baths

  • Cemeteries and crematoria

  • Maintenance of closed churchyards

  • Cleaning and drainage of ponds etc.

  • Control of litter

  • Public conveniences

  • Creation and maintenance of footpaths and bridleways

  • Provision of cycle and motorcycle parking

  • Acquisition and maintenance of rights of way

  • Public clocks

  • War memorials

  • Encouragement of tourism


They may also provide the following subject to the consent of the county council or unitary authority of the area in which they lie:

  • Bus shelters

  • Signposting of footpaths

  • Lighting of footpaths

  • Off-street car parks

  • Provision, maintenance and protection of roadside verges



  • Parish councils must be notified by the district or county council of:

  • All planning applications in their areas

  • Intention to provide a burial ground in the parish

  • Proposals to carry out sewerage works

  • Footpath and bridleway (more generally, 'rights of way') surveys

  • Intention to make bye laws in relation to hackney carriages, music and dancing, promenades, sea shore and street naming