Murton Parish Council was established by the Local Government Act 1894, and held its first ever Meeting in a classroom at Murton Colliery School, on Tuesday 4th December 1894. Its original title was East Murton Parish Council, taken from the area surrounding the Colliery where the bulk of the population lived and worked.
The west area of Murton at that time comprised of a small number of landed properties, farms and the village pub (The Village Inn). As the population increased over the years and more properties were developed in the west ward, it was decided by the Council to drop ‘East’ from its title in order to encompass the whole village. This was formally approved just prior to The Local Government Act 1972.
Our office is located in the Glebe Centre and we are one of the seven Councils in the Durham and Darlington area to have achieved Quality Parish Status in 2004. This status demonstrates to the community that we are an effective, active and properly managed parish council with a qualified Clerk in place. We went for quality status so we could portray a professional image to funders so we can embark on various projects planned and achieve more by partnership working.
Our successes to date are: Achieving Investors in People Award in March 2005, Successful Partnership Working with Principle Authorities and Community Sector. Successful Funding Bids and Partnership Work with Groundwork East Durham has resulted in our Village Green Improvement Scheme, Murton Youth Project and our newly opened Multi Purpose Community Sports Facility, Park View Pavillion.
The place name, Murton, which is the same as Morton or Moreton, depending upon how it was translated, is a very common Old English place name consisting of two elements, the Old English word meaning fen or marsh, from which we get the word ‘moor’, and the Old English ‘tun’ meaning an enclosure around a house, so a homestead, farmstead or often a village or a town, thus it can also be interpreted as ‘the farmstead on the moor’. Murton was one of four townships within the ecclesiastical parish of Dalton-le Dale. The settlement is marked as Morton on an 18th century map.
Previous names for the village have been Morton-in -the-Whinns, East Morton and Murton Colliery.
The village has seen considerable change in the last few years, with the closure of Murton Colliery in 1991, the refurbishment of the ‘Old Miners Welfare Hall’ now called the Glebe Centre, in 2001 and the Dalton Park Retail Outlet Shopping Centre now fully open.
The Colliery closed in 1991 and the Glebe Centre was named to honour the memory of the men, women and boys who worked in the colliery during the 153 years of its existence.
One of the outstanding features of the Village, however, remains the newly refurbished war memorial and village green, set in the heart of the old village this is now a focal point for residents to visit.