History of the Teesdale Mercury
On 7th June 1854, the first edition of the fore-runner of the Teesdale Mercury, the Teesdale Advertiser and Monthly Chronicle was published by printers Reginald and John Atkinson in Barnard Castle. The paper consisted mainly of advertisements and was issued free of charge. A year later, on the 4th July 1855, the Atkinsons expanded their publication into a fully fledged newspaper, price one penny, renamed the Teesdale Mercury and Barnard Castle Advertiser. As the newspaper’s circulation expanded, the name was changed twice to reflect the wider distribution; first, to the Teesdale Mercury and Barnard Castle, Middleton, Staindrop and Gainford Advertiser in January 1856 and then to the Teesdale Mercury, South Durham, North York and Westmorland Advertiser in December 1866. In 1907 the company was incorporated as the “Teesdale Mercury Ltd.” with Lord Barnard as Chairman and Managing Director. Today, the company remains independent and is still locally owned. The current premises of the newspaper, 24, Market Place, Barnard Castle, has been the headquarters of the paper since 1880.
(Extracted from “History of Newspapers in the North East” by A. Braddy; Teesdale Record Society Journal, 2011, pp.11-24. The author has recently updated this article; to read the revised version of the full article, click here).