A Perfect Paradise: Eryholme from 1066 to the Present by A. J. Pollard
Elizabeth Montagu, the lady of the manor in 1775, described Eryholme as a `perfect paradise'. Today, though but three miles south of Darlington as the crow flies, it is a small and secluded community untouched by modern industry and urban development: `a haven of peace'. Yet it has had an eventful history. Sacked by Normans in 1069 and Scots in 1319; ravaged by famine and plague in the fourteenth century and almost abandoned in the fifteenth, Eryholme was involved in rebellion in 1569 and divided by civil war in 1642. Life became more tranquil in the eighteenth century when it became a cradle of the agricultural revolution, famed for its cattle breeding. Until then, a main branch of the Great North Road, which forded the Tees to Neasham, passed through. After the building of the turnpike from York to Durham, the village was bypassed and gradually became the `rural dot' it is today. The book tells the story of the landowners, the villagers, their changing fortunes, their religion and their engagement with the wider world over almost thirty generations.