Stanley is a former colliery town and civil parish in County Durham, England. Centered on a hilltop between Chester-le-Street and Consett, the town lies south west of Gateshead. The town now stretches into what were formerly neighbouring villages and towns such as Annfield Plain to the west and Beamish and Pelton to the east.
The town's main shopping area, Front Street, is pedestrianised, housing independent shops alongside larger chains. Stanley market is held on Front Street on Thursdays and Saturdays. Refurbishment of Stanley town centre in recent years has seen the opening of a new solar-powered bus interchange, new health centre and a Sure Start children's centre. The Louisa Centre leisure facility incorporates a large swimming pool.
A History of Stanley
Stanley as a small settlement is of ancient origin and was first mentioned in 1211 as 'Stanlegh' and is derived from Old English, 'Staenig-leah', meaning stony clearing or stanig and hlaw, meaning stone hill and was probably an Anglo-Saxon settlement.
Visit our history pages to read further information on Stanley and its coal mining past.
Mr Jack Hair, an acclaimed local historian, has also provided a brief account of the main settlements in Stanley Town council's area explaining how each has been formed and developed through time.