What was Durham Market Place like in the past?


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Why did the Marquess of Londonderry's statue disappear?


Photograph showing the statue of the Marquess of Londonderry

Photograph of the statue of the Marquis of Londonderry in the Market Place, late 1860s. (DCRO ref: D/Ph 156/1)




If you live in or near Durham you will probably recognise this statue. The man on the horse is the Marquess of Londonderry, whose full name was Charles William Vane Tempest Stewart. He was born in 1778. Londonderry was a soldier and he fought in many famous battles, so the statue shows him on a horse and wearing a military uniform. He also owned many of the coal mines in County Durham and spent lots of money to make them run better. He commissioned the building of Seaham Harbour so that the coal could be taken away and sold more cheaply and easily. He died in 1854.

The statue was unveiled in 1861, which means that it has been in Durham Market Place for nearly 150 years! This photograph was taken soon after the statue was put up. If you look closely, you can see that there are no inscriptions on the base. They hadn't had time!

Something unpleasant happened to the statue about 100 years after this photograph was taken. Let's investigate and see what it was!

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