Craghead; where Hollywood meets County Durham: 3rd March 2019


That intriguing title has worked as clickbait hasn’t it?

This walk, around the Stanley area of County Durham, passed by a local character who went on to become a big cheese in Hollywood so read on for more!

We started out from the home of one of our walking group and followed a route that threaded its way through houses that now sit where industry was once dominant. We were quickly walking into neighbouring countryside that skirts the area around Stanley. Still slowly waking from Winter slumber, the area was a sea of dun coloured grasses overlaid by a pale grey sky – typical March weather!

This first section of the walk headed up to the small hamlet of Craghead overlooking Stanley. Once a bigger mining village, it is still a thriving community and you can still see the footprint of the wagon way that once ran through here, taking coal to nearby distribution yards and on to coastal ports. The coal industry has made way for modern wind turbines that stand tall and skeletal against the skyline.


Craghead was the birthplace of David Horsley who emigrated to America in 1884 with his extended family to start a new life. Here he set up a bicycle making business and ran a pool hall before setting up the Centaur Film Company with Charles Gorman and his brother William Horsley. They eventually moved their film company to California in order to take advantage of the sunny, dry weather and the rest is history.


Sculpture commemorating mining heritage

From Craghead we headed South East down a quiet local road called Wagtail Lane before heading North again and completing our five mile loop back in South Moor.


6 miles

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