HOUGHTON-LE-SPRING, an urban district in the Houghtonle-Spring parliamentary division of Durham, England, 6 m. N.E. of the city of Durham. Pop. (1901) 7858. It is well situated at the head of a small valley branching from that of the Wear. St Michael's church is a cruciform Early English and Decorated building, with a picturesque embattled rectory adjoining. Bernard Gilpin, " the Apostle of the North," was rector of this parish from 1556 to 1583, and the founder of the grammar school. The principal public buildings are a town hall, market house and church institute. Houghton Hall is a fine mansion of the late 16th century. In the orchard stands a tomb, that of the puritan Sir Robert Hutton (d. 1680), of whom a curious tradition states that he desired burial beside his war-horse, the body of which was denied interment in consecrated ground. The main road from Durham to Sunderland here passes through a remarkable cutting in the limestone 80 ft. deep. The district affords frequent evidence of ice activity in the glacial period. The town is the centre of a large system of electric tramways. The population is mainly dependent on the neighbouring collieries, but limestone quarrying is carried on to some extent.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)