About Neville’s Cross

History of Neville’s Cross

Neville’s Cross is part of the City of Durham. For centuries, a stone cross here on top of the hill provided a final waymark on the main pilgrim route into Durham from the west; its remains can still be seen across the road from the Church.

Battle of Neville's CrossThe Battle of Neville’s Cross (17th October 1346) was fought between the Scots and the English on a narrow stretch of high ground less half a mile to the north of the Church. In the course of the Hundred Years War, it proved to be a decisive victory for the English over their neighbours to the North (see the Battlefields Trust for more information). Not long afterwards, Lord Ralph Neville (one of the English generals) erected a new cross on the site of the old in commemoration of the victory; it and the surrounding area have borne his name ever since.

It remained a substantially rural area until the 1850s, when a deep cutting was excavated for the railway to run through. The earliest houses date from around this time; many more followed in a series of housing developments through the twentieth century.

Neville’s Cross today

Our parish includes within its boundaries the odd pub, restaurant and shop, a commercial laundry and a farm or two; however the majority of the area is made up of housing. Neville’s Cross Primary School is not far from St John’s; the School visits the Church for annual Christmas and Easter services. Durham Johnston School is also nearby, as is St Cuthbert’s Hospice, which serves people from a wide area around Durham. The former Neville’s Cross College building (which later housed New College Durham) is due to be reopened as a student housing complex in the not too distant future.