The earliest recording of Sherburn is in the charter of 671, where the settlement is referred to as “Scireburn” which means bright stream.
Although no settlements or burials of Neolithic date have been found, the remains of a Bronze Age stone-lines grave was discovered at Sherburn Grange which could have been by a simple earth mound. Two stone axes of that period have been found in the Parish, one at Sherburn Hall, now demolished, and the other at Sherburn Hospital. It is believed that these axes may have been used by early farmers in the area to clear trees to make simple fields.
Originally a village relying on farming, the Industrial Revolution had a marked impact on the development of Sherburn. The village rested upon rich deposits and was quickly surrounded by mines. The first pit was sunk in the 1830’s. Stone Colliery houses were built to house the new workforce and their families, and the village expanded rapidly.
Between 1801 and 1841, the population rose from 252 to 1946 residents, and continued to increase steadily throughout the reminder of the 19th century. The present population is over 2500.
The railway arrived at Sherburn Village in 1844. Branch lines for the transposrt of coal were constructed from the pits to the main line, which lay to the west of the village. Within a century the pits began to disappear from the vicinity of Sherburn. The Lady Durham pit, which had been sunk in 1873, closed in 1919. The remaining pits had all closed by the end of the 1960’s and because the railway lines no longer served the purpose, they too disappeared.
Sherburn underwent a further period of grown at the beginning of the 20th century but by the 1940’s the majority of the colliery houses were pulled down to make way for modern houses. Following the decline of its traditional industries, Sherburn has become a community village due to its proximity to the A1(M) and the City of Durham.