The Story

Discover the past, celebrate the present and create the future of County Durham.

Because this is our story – and we’re all part of it.

What’s On?

Rory’s Summer Activities

30 July – 28 August | Free | Bookings required

A large banner with a black and white images and text. The top heading says "Celebrating and commemorating".

The Forgotten Battle

14 June – October 2024 | Free exhibition

Group of people at an exhibition. Three of them are visitors being guided by a host.

Spotlight Tours

Friday – Saturday | 11:00 and 14:00 | Free | Drop in

Three young children are sitting on a bright green mat on the floor. They seem to be inside a large tent, attentively watching a male artist in character.

Family Events
(Under 5s)

Every Thursday | Bookings required


The Story offers a gateway to the history of County Durham and its people. Bringing together our diverse collections of records and objects for the first time, The Story charts thousands of years of everyday life in the county. Visit us to explore history from a new perspective with free permanent and temporary exhibitions or join us to research your own story in our state-of-the-art research facilities. You can even create a new story by getting married or registering the birth of your new one here. And when it’s time to take a break, our café offers the perfect place to grab a cuppa and enjoy our beautiful grounds..
Here, fact is more amazing than fiction.

The team of The Story in front of the buildings. The original building is on the lefthand side and the recently built one is on the righthand side.
An old map showing the area of Dunham.

Our collections

The Story brings together five different collections of historic records, documents and objects. Together these collections reveal fascinating glimpses into the lives of people throughout County Durham’s history.

Registration services

As the new home of the County Registration Service, The Story is where the most important life events of our residents will be recorded for the future. It will provide the central point for the statutory registration of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, as well as becoming a stunning venue for hosting marriages and civil partnerships.

Prior to the opening of The Story, all county registration services can still be found at:

Three women are standing next to each other on a flight of stairs. They are friendly and looking at the camera.
Child looking at a black object in a green specimen tray

Learning at The Story

Drawing on our combined collections and the many fascinating treasures they hold, our workshops are designed and delivered with the aim of educating and inspiring.

Get involved

Volunteers are key to unlocking and sharing Durham’s stories, supporting people to discover the past, celebrate the present, and creating the future of Durham.

The photo captures a celebratory moment of a large group of people outdoors, with trees in the background. Most of them have their arms raised in the air.