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About Durham

Located prominently on a headland high above the River Wear, planned and begun by Bishop Carileph in the eleventh century, Durham Cathedral has recently again been acclaimed as the nation’s favourite building. Durham itself has been voted top city in England and tourism here is worth £650million to the county’s economy. The city’s popularity owes much to its picturesque beauty and that its historical centre and medieval street plan remains intact.

Many of the buildings including the cathedral were constructed from the low main post sandstones quarried locally. Some of these buildings have been subject to wind erosion and as the original source is no longer available, for the restoration of the cathedral a more resilient 'Dunhouse Buff Sandstone' a fine grained creamy buff sandstone has been chosen.

The city's 630 Listed Buildings and a Conservation Area which covers the whole city centre is testament to the fact that Durham should be described as a beautiful city rather than a city with some beautiful buildings. The Conservation Area status helps to preserve and enhance the historical and architectural integrity of the city, with additional planning restrictions placed on demolition of buildings as well as increased control over minor developments such as cladding, dormer windows, satellite dishes, masts, antennae and the display of advertisements.