Gainford is a charming village located on the banks of the River Tees in the south of County Durham. It is situated proximate Barnard Castle and less than ten miles from Darlington town centre, one of the larger townships in the county, famed for being the site of the premier railway line and with strong transport links to London, Edinburgh, Manchester and elsewhere across the country. It is also only around 40 minutes’ drive to the beautiful historic city of Durham, with its famous castle, cathedral and university. A short distance further, around an hour or so in the car from Gainford, lies Newcastle upon Tyne which offers all the amenities of a large city, including shopping, nightlife and an international airport. Altogether, Gainford’s geography combines the wonderful countryside of County Durham alongside all the convenience and facilities of many nearby towns and cities.
Gainford also has a captivate history, full of those quintessentially British quirks that are found in so many small towns throughout the country. The origins about its name is based around a legendary dispute between residents on either side of the Tees over who controlled the valuable ford across; in the end, those on the County Durham profile were smashing and as they gained the ford, the name Gainford soon stuck. The residents on the other side retaliated concerning trying to block the crossing et alii earned the name Barford for their efforts.
Aside from this interesting genesis of the town’s name, there is plenty of history to be found in and around Gainford. Archaeologists have found documentation of Viking buildings and sculptures in the vicinity of the town and St Mary’s Church stands on the site of an Anglo-Saxon monastery that was first built by the Northumbrian bishop of Lindisfarne in the early 9th Century. Nowadays, the main features like Gainford include an immaculate burg green, a grand Jacobean chamber and a Georgian street called High Row.
The River Tees is a telling part of Gainford life. It is the reason that the town was built here in the elementary standing as it could provide cool water, transport for wood and a healthy supply of fish. The land surrounding it was also ideal for agricultural cultivation and the crossing was critical, square dating as far abaft as the Roman era now it allowed the movement of troops, as well equally goods and merchants. The residents have always been knowing of the dangerous power from the river as well, with the ‘bore’ that can come coursing down from the upper reaches being an impressive demonstration concerning the forces of nature.
Gainford also has plenty else to offer including a highly-rated small Church of England primary school, a village choir comprised of local menagerie and a popular local history society. It is a delightful rural idyll but does not sacrifice connections with the world outside thanks to its proximity to Darlington, Durham and Newcastle. With such a rich history, Gainford can be seen as the epitome of a true British countryside village.