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Rediscover the River Wear through historic maps

Published November 12, 2019 12.21pm

The River Wear's exciting past will be mapped out in an archivist led history talk.

River Wear maps (DCRO Reference: D/XP 66)

River Wear maps drawn up by Francis Giles in 1819 (DCRO Reference: D/XP 66)

'Wonders of the River Wear' will focus on two very different but fascinating aspects of the river in the late Georgian and early Victorian period.

Gill Parkes, archivist at Durham County Record Office, said: "We will start by celebrating the 200th anniversary of seven stunning River Wear maps produced by the surveyor Francis Giles (1787-1847), working under the direction of famous civil engineer John Rennie."

Attendees will be able to find out why the maps were made, admire the colours and cartographic detail, and discover why they have been forgotten for so long.

Secondly, the talk will explore a natural phenomenon that drew huge crowds to Durham's Framwellgate Bridge each evening in the summer of 1845. Gill added: "People came to watch a spectacle not far removed from the Lumiere experience now enjoyed more than 170 years later."

The talk runs Thursday 5 December from 6.30pm to 8pm at Durham County Record Office, as part of the Record Office's Third Thursday Talk series.

This is a free event, but places must be booked in advance.

Book online at Durham County Record Office or call 03000 267 619.

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