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Welcome to the Gaunless Valley. The River Gaunless which heads east from Woodland through the villages of Copley, Butterknowle, Cockfield and Evenwood, to join the River Wear in the grounds of the Bishops Palace at Bishop Auckland.

The Gaunless Valley has been a centre for industry from pre – Domesday until early in the 20th Century.

This website is not intended as a heavy history of the parishs of “Lynesack and Softley” and “Woodland” which make up the Upper Gaunless Valley.  But more a record of the transition made by the valley from the latter part of the 19th century to the present day with the emphasis on the first half of the 20th century as illustrated in the photographs which can be viewed in our archive.