A blue plaque has been unveiled at the former County Durham home of a legendary North East climber.

Bentley Beetham, born in 1886, spent much of his life living in Cotherstone, near Barnard Castle, where a plaque honouring him has been fixed onto the house where he used to live -  number 3 Balder View Cottages.

Beetham was a keen climber from a young age, starting with peaks in Teesdale, the Lake District and then in the Alps.

His exploits gained him recognition in the field and he was included in the 1924 Everest expedition.

Bentley Beetham was a member of the ill-fated 1924 attempt to climb Everest. He returned, but George Mallory and Andrew Irvine died near the summit (Image: Bentley Beetham Trust)

On the trip his brief was to take pictures chronicling the trip. 

During the ill-fated trip Beetham suffered from dysentery and sciatica - and he never made it high on the mountain.

It was on the 1924 trip that famous mountaineers George Leigh-Mallory and Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine died.

Bentley Beetham, bottom right, with other members of the 1924 expedition (Image: Bentley Beetham Trust)

Watch the unveiling here:

Grahame Ratcliffe, chair of the Bentley Beetham Trust, unveiled the blue plaque in front of a crowd of people. 

Mr Ratcliffe is the first British mountaineer to reach the summit of Everest twice from the Nepal and Tibetan side.

Villagers watch the plaque being unveiled in Cotherstone, near Barnard Castle (Image: Northern Echo)

He said: "We're unveiling three plaques today, one for Bentley Beetham, one for George Mallory and one for Sandy Irvine.

"Beetham, Irvine, Mallory and John Hazard set sail from Liverpool together on the TSS California on the 29th of February 1924. 

"Of the four in the picture only Hazard and Beetham returned.

The Bentley Beetham Blue Plaque was unveiled on the front of the house in Cotherstone, County Durham, where he used to live (Image: Northern Echo)

"The 1924 expedition has to be one of the iconic expeditions of the early 20th century.

"The only one I can match it to is the South Pole. At the time it was the equivalent to a moon landing.

"Nobody knew if you got anywhere near the summit of Everest, would the human body exerting itself actually survive. 

(Image: Northern Echo)

"They were climbing into the unknown, nobody had done it before.

"There was only eight climbers. There was fierce competition to be a climber on the trip.

"It was a big first to take part in if it was possible. Beetham was one of the eight chosen and that was a huge honour.

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"The blue plaque, possibly a bit overdue, continues the honouring we should do for people like Beetham, Mallory and Irvine for what they undertook back in 1924."

There is an exhibition at Durham University's Oriental Museum called the Eternal Ascent Bentley Beetham and the 1924 Everest expedition. 

It is running until September 15 and displays all of Beetham's photographs.