"The Lang Village"
'The Village of Dipton, which lies about 12 miles south west of Newcastle, between the mining and steel making towns of Stanley and Consett, is much older than its name. It was not until 12 September 1883 that the Parish of Dipton was formed. It consisted of the straggle of houses making up the hamlets of Dipton, Collierley (note spelling not colliery) Dykes and Pontop which themselves had grown out of the ancient townships of Collierley and Pontop.
A hundred years ago 'Dipton' was the name given only to the part of the village lying in the little Dene below the Bute Arms pub. The middle of the village, around the Red Lion, was called Collierley Dykes, and the part of the village to the west of St Johns Church was called Pontop. The township of Pontop from High Stables to the Church) was originally a strip of wasteland, which the Bishop of Durham rented out. The first recorded tenant was Lawrence of Ponthope. In 1246 he was paying a rent of 2 shillings. In 1603 its then owners sold the property to Anthony Meaburn of Lanchester who owned it until 1732. The Meaburns lived on their land and built the fine house known as Pontop Hall.
At the point where Dipton Church now stands Pontop Township ended and Collierley began. Sir John Guildford held the township in return for his service to the Bishop of Durham and to King Henry 111 at the battle of Lewes in 1264. The Guildford family kept the township until the 15th century when it began to be divided by sale and inheritance. By the 18th century when Pontop was still in the hands of one owner, Collierley was divided between nine owners.
The Bishop of Durham's records show that in 1339 the tenants of Collierley rented a wood called the 'Smethystrother' and a pasture called 'Depeden', held by a sixpence per year rent. This is the first reference to the place name which was to become Dipton. It is probable that the sixpenny pasture which gave its name to Dipton lay somewhere near the deep dene near the present sewerage works.
It was about 1333 that the first coal mine was recorded at Collierley and from that year until 1980 coal was the main reason for Dipton 's existence '.
Visit the following site for a personal account of Dipton and the surrounding areas By Joe Walker