Durham is a maritime county in northeast England, bounced on the north by the Tyne River and Northumberland, on the east by the North Sea, on the south by the Tees River and Yorkshire, on the west by Westmorland and Cumberland. It covers an area of 1015 square miles.
The western part comprises tracts of elevated moorland at an altitude of about 2000 feet. Fertile sections are located in the east and south. In addition to the Tees and Tyne boundary, the rivers inland are the Wear, Skene, and Derwent. A large part of the county is occupied by an extension of the great northern coal field. A great portion of the county is in grasslands. Durham is the county seat and a noted religious center. South Shields, Sunderland, and East and West Hartlepool are important ports.
The county contains relics of Roman occupation and between 547 and 827, it was part of Northumbria. The apalatinate privileges of the prince-bishops of Durham were not abolished until the 19th century.