|Shincliffe is a village standing close to the River Wear just to the south of Durham.
The village name comes from the Old English word 'Scinna', meaning ghost or demon and seems to mean haunted cliff. Shincliffe was first recorded in AD 1085 as 'Scinneclif', when Bishop Carileph gave the area to the Prior and Convent of Durham.
However, there has been evidence for occupation before the medieval period. The earliest object to be found is a simple flint knife discovered near Manor Farm. It probably dates to the Bronze Age. However, there is little else known about Shincliffe in prehistory.
There is some evidence for a Roman presence in the area of Shincliffe. The course of a Roman road between the Tees and the Tyne suggested in the 18th century by 'John Cade Edq. of Durham' may have run close by, and a Roman villa may have stood nearby at Old Durham. Although all we can do is speculate because of lack of evidence.
Shincliffe seems to have always been an important area in relation to river crossings. There have been bridges at this site since the end of the 12th century. Many of the bridges here stand for a long time! The present bridge has stood for over 180 years, this is evidence that the North East has some of the best engineers in the UK.
One of the oldest standing buildings in the area is Shincliffe Mill which dates from 1303, corn was ground here until 1900. A number of 18th century buildings also remain: Shincliffe Hall, Old House, The Rectory, The Manor House,and a number of cottages. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution Bank Top colliery was opened in 1839 , together with two railway stations; one of which was County Durham's first