The parish of Shincliffe was created in 1831 from part of St. Oswald's in Durham. With the sinking of the colliery in the late 1830s there evolved two main communities; the old village of Shincliffe with its agricultural associations and Shincliffe Colliery.
Today Shincliffe nestles quietly among wooded hills bordering the river Wear while the more recently developed High Shincliffe spreads itself beyond the confines of the old colliery village with distant views of the Cathedral City to the west and the magnesian limestone escarpment to the east. On the eastern boundary of the parish is Sherburn House with its 12th century hospital.
In 1998 a group of people with an interest in the history of Shincliffe met with a view to promoting research and creating a picture of the way in which the community has developed. This group became the Shincliffe Local History Society and now has a membership of some 70 people from the village and surrounding area. The Society holds regular meetings to deal with its business, to discuss matters of local interest, and to hear speakers on a variety of subjects.