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|State of South Durham|
Black: South Durham
Blue: North Durham
Orange: Democratic Republic of Filostonia
Green: People's Republic of Bowburn
Rose: East Sorrenian Confederacy
| National Anthem:|
The Motherland is Calling!
The Motherland Is Calling
One nation, for the good of the people
|Government||Federal Presidential Republic|
|–President|| Miles of Sorrenia (USWP)|
|–Prime Minister|| Harry of Sorrenia (NDLP)|
|–Governor|| Trystan Cline (PFD)|
|Area controlled||11.76 km2|
|Population (active and knowing)||6|
|Population (claimed) est.||40,000|
|Currency||Sorrenian Dollar ($)|
|Drives on the||left|
|Military||Revolutionary Army, Conflicts|
|Date formats|| Gregorian calendar|
South Durham is a Micronation located in the Sorrenian Federation. It is one of 6 states that are semi-autonomous.
The name "Durham" comes from the Old English "dun", meaning hill, and the Old Norse "holme", which translates to island. The Lord Bishop of Durham takes a Latin variation of the city's name in his official signature, which is signed "N. Dunelm".
As South Durham is located in the South, it was coined "South Durham".
The flag is a simple red background with a white circle in the center, which includes an image of the national animal, the Lion. The red represents the socialist values, while the white represents the purity centered in the nations goals.
South Durham began as a joint state with North Durham in Kozlova, a now deceased micronation. Durham quickly became the capital of Sorrenia, due to the large number of Sorrenian's living in the city, as well as it's cultural heritage. The Sorrenian government officially declared South Durham a state of Sorrenia on the 28th of May, 2014, after months of being de facto controlled by Sorrenia, without having any lawful representation. It was decided that the city of Durham should be split into two equal states, due to the high population. This allowed for the city of Durham to have two representatives rather than one. The two states were coined the "Mainland Sorrenia", along with Eurania and Filistonia to the north.
Archeological evidence suggests a history of settlement in the area since roughly 2000 BC. The present city can clearly be traced back to AD 995, when a group of monks from Lindisfarne chose the strategic high peninsula as a place to settle with the body of Saint Cuthbert, that had previously lain in Chester-le-Street (Eurania), founding a church there.
Legend of the Dun Cow and city origins
Local legend states that the city was founded in A.D. 995 by divine intervention. The 12th century chronicler, Symeon of Durham, recounts that after wandering in the north, Saint Cuthbert’s bier miraculously came to a halt at the hill of Warden Law and, despite the effort of the congregation, would not move. Aldhun, Bishop of Chester-le-Street and leader of the order, decreed a holy fast of three days, accompanied by prayers to the saint. Saint Bede recounts that during this fast, Saint Cuthbert appeared to the monk Eadmer with instructions that the coffin should be taken to Dun Holm.
After Eadmer’s revelation, Aldhun found that he was able to move the bier, but did not know where Dun Holm was. By chance later that day, the monks came across a milkmaid at Mount Joy (southeast of present-day Durham). She stated that she was seeking her lost dun cow, which she had last seen at Dun Holm. The monks, realising that this was a sign from the saint, followed her. They settled at a "wooded hill-island formed by a tight gorge-like meander of the River Wear." After arriving at their destination, they erected the vestiges of Durham Cathedral, which was a "modest building." Symeon states that this was the first building in the city and, unfortunately, does not remain today having been supplanted by the Norman structure.
The legend is interpreted by a Victorian relief stone carving on the south face of the cathedral and, more recently, by the bronze sculpture 'Durham Cow' (1997, Andrew Burton), which reclines by the River Wear in view of the cathedral.
During the medieval period the city gained spiritual prominence because it was the final resting place of Saint Cuthbert and Saint Bede the Venerable. The shrine of Saint Cuthbert, situated behind the High Altar of Durham Cathedral, was the most important religious site in England until the martyrdom of St Thomas Becket at Canterbury.
Saint Cuthbert was famed for two reasons: Firstly, the miraculous healing powers he had displayed in life extended into death with many stories of those visiting the saint’s shrine being cured of all manner of diseases. This led to him being known as the "wonder worker of England". Secondly, after the first translation of his relics in 698 AD, his body was found to be incorruptible. Despite a brief translation back to Holy Island during the Norman Invasion the saint's relics remain enshrined to the present day. Saint Bede's bones are also entombed in the cathedral, and these also drew the mediaeval pilgrim to the city.
Durham’s geographical position has always given it an important place in the defence of England against the Scots. The city has played an important part in the defence of the north and Durham Castle is the only Norman castle keep never to have suffered a breach. The Battle of Neville's Cross which took place near the city on 17 October 1346 between the English and Scots is the most famous battle of the age.
The city suffered from plague outbreaks in 1544, 1589 and 1598.
Civil War and Commonwealth (1640 to 1660)
The city remained loyal to King Charles I throughout the English Civil War. Charles I came to Durham twice during his reign. Firstly, he came to the cathedral for a majestic service in which he was entertained by the Chapter and Bishop at great expense at the start of his reign. His second visitation to the city came towards the end of the civil war, escaping from the city as Oliver Cromwell’s forces got closer. Local legend stated he escaped down the Bailey and through Old Elvet. Another local legend has it that Cromwell stayed in a room in the present Royal County Hotel on Old Elvet during the civil war. The room is reputed to be haunted by his ghost. Durham suffered greatly during the civil war and Commonwealth. This was not due to direct assault by Cromwell but the abolition of the Church of England and the closure of religious institutions pertaining to it. The city has always relied upon the Dean and Chapter and cathedral as an economic force.
The castle suffered considerable damage and dilapidation during the Commonwealth due to the abolition of the office of bishop whose residence it was. Cromwell confiscated the castle and sold it to the Lord Mayor of London shortly after taking it from the bishop. A similar fate befell the cathedral, it being closed in 1650 and used to incarcerate 3,000 Scottish prisoners. Graffiti left by them can still be seen today etched into the interior stone.
At the Restoration in 1660, John Cosin (a former canon) was appointed bishop and set about a major restoration project. This included the commissioning of the famous elaborate woodwork in the cathedral choir, the font cover and the Black Staircase in the castle. Other renovations were carried out to both the city and cathedral by his successor Bishop Lord Nathaniel Crewe.
The Great Reform Act 1832 saw the removal of the Prince Bishop’s powers, although he still has the right to a seat in the House of Lords and is regarded as the second most senior bishop and fourth most senior clergyman in the Church of England. The Court of Claims of 1953 granted the traditional right of the bishop to accompany the sovereign at the coronation, reflecting his seniority.
The first census, conducted in 1801, states that Durham City had a population of 7,100. The Industrial Revolution mostly passed the city by. However, the city was well known for carpet making and weaving. Although most of the mediaeval weavers who thrived in the city had left by the 19th century, the city was the home of Hugh MacKay Carpets’ factory, which produced the famous brands of axminster and tufted carpets until the factory was forced into administration in April 2005. Other important industries were the manufacture of mustard and coal extraction.
The Industrial Revolution also placed the city at the heart of the coalfields, the county’s main industry until the 1970s. Practically every village around the city boasted a coal mine and, although these have since disappeared as part of the regional decline in heavy industry, the proud traditions, heritage and community spirit are still evident. The city also saw the creation of the world’s first passenger railway in 1825.
The 19th century also saw the founding of Durham University thanks to the benevolence of Bishop William Van Mildert and the Chapter in 1832. Durham Castle became the first college (University College, Durham) and the Bishop moved to Auckland Castle as his only residence in the county.
The first Durham Miners' Gala was held in 1871 and remains the largest socialist trade union event in the world.