It borders onto Sunderland[?] and Gateshead[?] in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Darlington, and Stockton on Tees[?] and Hartlepool[?] in the former county of Cleveland. The east of the county between Ryhope[?], Sunderland[?] and Seaton Carew[?], Hartlepool[?] is the coastline of the North Sea. The county town is Durham.
There are seven district councils[?] in the county. They are:
The above description is of the present administrative county. Historically, County Durham was roughly bounded by the watershed of the Pennines in the west, the River Tees in the south, the North Sea in the east and the River Tyne/River Derwent in the north. Durham County Council was established along with all the other English county councils[?] in 1888. Major local government reorganisation on 1 April 1974 took the metropolitan boroughs of Sunderland[?], South Tyneside[?] and Gateshead[?] out of County Durham into the newly established county of Tyne and Wear. At the same time, the new county of Cleveland took out Stockton on Tees[?] and Hartlepool[?]. The County Councils of Tyne and Wear and Cleveland have since been abolished but the county names live on in postal addresses. County Durham did however gain the rural district of Startforth[?] south of the River Tees near to Barnard Castle.
On 1 April 1997, the town of Darlington with its population of 100,000 became a unitary authority and thus separate from County Durham although its postal address remains County Durham. It also shares a police and fire service with the county.
Towns and villages
Places of interest