The medieval estate of Beaurepaire was created by the Priory and Convent of Durham and was the Prior Bertram de Middleton's favourite country retreat, Beaurepaire, French meaning “Beautiful Retreat”.

It is set on a knoll over looking the Browney Valley. In time the name became corrupted to Bearpark, and was then transferred to the nearby pit village in the late 1800s.

Beaurepaire was visited by Kings Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III from 1296 to 1335


Beaurepaire was wrecked by the Scots during the troubles of the early-14th century, but was restored afterwards and a wall was built to protect it. The wall, started in 1311 when the north east boundary, originally timber fence, was rebuilt with a stone wall. Some parts of the wall were built approx 1500 and on completion surrounded a 1300 acre park. The park supplied the cathedral priory with much of its wood, coal and building materials. It even had a stud farm for the prior's horses. Evidence can be found of an upgrade in the sanitation when the toilets were upgraded from cess pit to flushing toilet in the late 13th century.
The school logo is an abstract interpretation, of Beaurepaire as it was, until the late seventies when only a few of the highest parts of what can be seen now, were showing above the earth. Archiologists dug alot of it up in the seventies. I remember visiting dig with the school, but all I can remember them saying they had found was that it was used by a farmer as a cow shed for a few years until the roof colapsed. They worked this out from a a cows skull that they found, which must have died when the roof colapsed.

• A Mining World - The Story of Bearpark, County Durham - Douglas Pocock - 1985
• Banners of the Durham Coalfield - Norman Emery - 1998
Copyright 2002© Gary Taylor