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Witton Gilbert

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Witton Gilbert is a village and civil parish in County Durham, England. It is situated to the north-west of Durham.The village once had a railway station on the Lanchester Valley Line, but this was closed in the early 1960s, with passenger service withdrawn in the late 1930s. However, the station building survives as a private residence, along with one of the platforms.Witton Gilbert is a medieval town originally Saxon. Witton was originally spelled Witun (Wit meaning white house and Tun meaning fortified place). Gilbert was added later and could be derived from the Norman lord Gilbert de la Ley or a later lord Gilbert de la Latone. In medieval times Witton Gilbert was very central being important to churchmen of Durham and contains a retreat where the great Churchmen resided. Other occupants who visited included royalty such as King Edward III and queen Phillipa also Edward I.Notable people Birthplace of former England national football team manager Bobby Robson. The 1980s pop band Prefab Sprout were based around Witton Gilbert.Beau RepaireIt was a retreat for the great churchmen of Durham built around 1170AD. The land was given by the Norman lord Gilbert de la Ley. The name Beau Repaire is French and means 'beautiful retreat'. During the following centuries the mansion fell in and out of repair. For example Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries or the Scottish - English war of Neville's Cross which involved destroying the retreat and its animals. The vast lands were consumed with game and tenants with huge walls due to deer. in modern times the mansion is now a ruin with crumbling walls next to the old railway line now turned public footpath.
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