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West Kyo (also known locally as Old Kyo) is a small village in County Durham, England, United Kingdom. The name 'kyo' is derived from an old word for 'cow'. It is situated a very short distance to the north of Annfield Plain and to the east of Catchgate. Close by are New Kyo, 15 minutes walk to the south at the other side of local land mark The Bogs, the C2C and Kyo Pond. East Kyo is 15 minutes walk to the east. Harperley is 15 minutes walk to the north. The nearest large town is Stanley. The skyline is dominated by the Pontop Pike Television Transmitter to the northwest.
Ye Olde Earl Grey Inn
The main landmark of the village is the 200 year old Ye Olde Earl Grey Inn public house, with an internal decor of wooden beams and whitewash walls (though much has been removed due to renovation). This pub is reputed to be haunted by a ghost called The Grey Lady, a former landlady who died in the 19th century. Another former landlord also placed five and ten pence pieces in gaps within the wooden beams during the 1990s, some of which are still being found to this day. The pub is known locally for Sunday lunches, karaoke and other intermittent entertainment on Saturdays, though since the COVID-19 pandemic the Thursday night quiz is no longer run.
Elton John is rumoured to have visited the Earl Grey for a meal back in 1978, though this is unconfirmed as is the alleged presence of his signature on the wall behind the southern end of the bar. Also, a copy (not an original) of a Banksy artwork was installed in the men's toilets in 2014 by a previous landlady. The current landlord is known for his robust banter and sarcasm.
The village developed during former periods of heavy coal mining in the area during the 19th century and a gas works used to be situated on its northern edge. A period of substantial decline followed during the 20th century, during which the village lost a school, a local shop and a second public house called The Rose Cottage, which had an 'ale only' licence (otherwise known as a jerry - now converted to a private house). New developments starting in the late 1980s onwards have, however, seen a recent expansion in the village in terms of size and population.
West Kyo was the birthplace of John Buddle (1773), the famous colliery viewer and mining engineer, who later went on to work with Charles Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry in the development of Seaham Harbour.
Kyo Village was the birthplace of Hugh Simpson Rodham (on 16th Aug 1879), Hillary Clinton's grandfather who emigrated to the United States.
- John Buddle; Anne Orde (2013). Letters of John Buddle to Lord Londonderry, 1820-1843. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. pp. 12–. ISBN 978-0-85444-072-6.
Media related to West Kyo at Wikimedia Commons