Gilesgate Moor is an extensive eastern suburb of Durham and has much in common with its northern counterpart at Framwellgate Moor.

Both were named from ancient Durham streets and both encompassed open moorland until enclosure in the early 19th Century. Most importantly, both owed their initial population growth to mining settlement in the 1800s.

However, while Framwellgate Moor was the name of a mining village, Gilesgate Moor developed from a dispersed collection of 19th Century terraces built for local miners. These terraces clustered around Gilesgate Moor's principal thoroughfares of Sunderland Road, Sherburn Road and Rennys Lane.

Historians of the 1800s seem to have considered Gilesgate Moor terraces such as Ernest Place, Teasdale Terrace and Marshall Terrace to be tiny mining villages in their own right.

Some terraces even aspired to village status, with names including Bell's Villa, Dragon Villa and Carr Villa - although they all now generally use the word "ville". The largest was and still is Carrville, clustered along a high street but although Carrville is closely connected to Gilesgate Moor's history, it is really a separate place and we will leave it for another week.

Dragon Villa was a 19th Century settlement, probably named from a pub. There was a Dragon Villa pub in the 19th Century and also a George and Dragon. Dragon Villa was smaller than Carr Villa but merged with an older farming hamlet called West Sherburn, where there was a pub called the Bay Horse.

This pub, thought to be 300 years old, still exists today. Despite several name changes over the years - the Coal Hole and Tavern being examples - it is once again the Bay Horse. It is tucked between Sherburn Road and Dragonville Industrial Estate near the Autumn Leaves Guest House (the former George and Dragon) just before the road crosses the A1(M).

A little west of Dragon Villa and adjoining Sherburn Road stood the largest mining village in Gilesgate Moor. Called New Durham, it was home to 700 people and consisted of pit terraces such as Love Street, John Street, Cottage Street and Dike Street. Love was the name of a local coal owner and New Durham was probably chosen as the village name because it looked across the countryside to Old Durham Farm, a site with Roman connections.

Most of New Durham's inhabitants were miners, probably working at several different mines, but some residents may have worked at the adjoining New Durham Corn Mill. Shown on the 1850s map, it stood, not surprisingly, on Mill Lane, approximately where New Durham Workingmen's Club stands today, opposite St Joseph's Church. The club is a relatively modern structure but the name is a reminder of the old village.

Most of New Durham was demolished before the end of the 19th Century due to the closure of surrounding mines.

A few buildings in John Street survived into the mid-20th Century but the most notable survivors of New Durham were Victorian pubs called Whitwell Inn and The Rising Sun, in Sherburn Road Front Street.

The Rising Sun was destroyed by fire in 1996 and was subsequently demolished, but the former Whitwell Inn survives as a private house.

The Whitwell Inn was probably named after Whitwell Colliery, a mile to the south, near Shincliffe village. It seems likely that some New Durham residents worked in this colliery.

Whitwell Colliery opened in 1836 and was owned by a man called Abraham Teasdale. It seems reasonable to assume he gave his name to Teasdale's (now Teasdale) Terrace, at the junction of Rennys Lane and Dragon Lane. It could be that Bell's Villa (now Bells Ville) on Mill Lane was named after William Bell, the owner of Belmont Colliery that also opened in 1836 two miles to the north-east.

There were however other collieries in the Gilesgate Moor area. One, owned by the Marquis of Londonderry, was located at Old Durham from 1848 to 1894.

Another was Kepier Grange Colliery (1834-1924), a mile north of New Durham, where Belmont Industrial Estate is now located.

Right in the heart of the Gilesgate Moor area was the Kepier Colliery that opened briefly in 1818, before reopening more permanently in 1822.

A short wagonway linked this pit with the branch of the North Eastern Railway that is now the A690 dual carriageway, just to the north.

Although Kepier Colliery closed in 1876, the colliery waste heap remained for many years and was long known to locals as the duff heap. Houses have recently sprung up on this site in a new street called Mackintosh Court. Next door, stands a medical practice where a building called Glue Garth once stood. Marked on maps from the 1850s to the 1950s it was probably the site of a glue factory, manufacturing glue from horse hooves.

Until the mid-20th Century, most land north of the duff heap was empty farmland. High Grange Farm tended much of this land and had done so since medieval times, but the farm has now gone. It stood about where Willowtree Avenue and Alder Lea Close now stand in the High Grange housing estate.

The other main farm was Kepier farm, a former medieval hospital near the river. A brickworks stood near here in the mid-1800s and no doubt employed Gilesgate Moor folk.

By 1890, only a water-logged clay pit called Harpers Pond (after the farmer) remained but this had gone by the late 1960s. Another Victorian brickworks stood near Sunderland Road, where a street called the Moorlands now stands. This had also closed by the 1890s.

Other than terraces and farmhouses, there were a few scattered halls and cottages in the area in the 1850s. These included Laverick Hall and the intriguingly named Surprise Cottage, in Sherburn Road. Many are surprised to discover that the cottage can still be seen overlooking Sherburn Road.