Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County Durham (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NZ 32881 43579


PITTINGTON PITTINGTON LANE NZ 34 SW (East side, off) 7/35 (inset) Church of 10/5/67 St. Laurence


Parish church. C11 or early C12; circa 1180-1195 addition of north aisle and chancel; late C12/early C13 tower; c.1225-1250 south aisle added and nave extended eastwards by one bay; C14 porch; C15 belfry stage of tower; aisles rebuilt and nave extended eastwards, chancel and porch rebuilt 1846-7 by I. Bonomi with J.A. Cory; 1897-9 chancel aisles added by W.S. Hicks; 1905 chancel lengthened and raised. Coursed squared sandstone with plinth and ashlar dressings; Welsh slate roof with stone gable copings. Aisled 6-bay nave with west tower and south porch; 3-bay chancel with 2-bay north aisle vestry, and one-bay south aisle. Gabled porch has old boarded double doors with wrought iron hinges in moulded 2-centred-arched surround under dripmould. Sundial in gable peak; diagonal buttresses. South aisle has sill string to 2-centred- arched windows, with varied tracery, under dripmoulds. North aisle has one similar window at east and 4 other round-headed windows in roll-moulded surrounds under dripstring. Similar round-headed window to chancel south aisle. Set-back chancel has lancets, paired on south and stepped group of 3 on east; 2 on north, which has also 2 ogee-headed lights in small square windows flanking vestry door.

Tower has long west lancet under dripmould; small lancet in set-back second stage; clock above; paired cusped lights in set-back belfry are deeply recessed in round-headed openings, under embattled parapet with corner pinnacles. Canted north stair turret has 3 rectangular lights. Massive irregular clasping buttresses, one said to be C17; changes in south elevation suggest earlier tower of different proportions. Offset buttresses at ends of aisles and marking extent of older parts (one on south at east of third bay with semicircular sundial above said to be from the earlier church). Clasping buttresses to chancel.

Interior: nave plaster, with some wall paintings; aisles and chancel rubble; ashlar dressings and arcades; nave roof C19 stone-corbelled arch-braced tie beams; chancel roof panelled; tower has massive first floor beams. Early 4-bay nave has north arcade of zig-zag-moulded segmental arches, with plain square inner arches, on octagonal central pier and responds, and round intermediate piers. Octagonal piers and responds have deeply-cut corner roll moulding; round piers have high relief roll-moulded spiral decoration, reminiscent of the incised decoration in Durham Cathedral; scallop and water- leaf capitals, the central also with beaded decoration. East respond in fourth bay has small cusped niche at top of south-west face. 2 east arches of 1846 in similar style. South arcade has chamfered 2-centred arches, on round piers with moulded capitals and bases, under head-stopped dripstring. Sixth arch from west is resited from fifth bay of north arcade. Blocked early door in west wall at high level on north side. Above north arcade are 2 small, deeply-splayed, round-headed windows, the west with C12 paintings in splay showing consecration of St. Cuthbert by Archbishop Theodore, and his vision at the table of Abbess Aelflede; 2 similar windows in south wall; all intersected by and unrelated to arcades; external faces, now within aisles, show slight chamfers, monolith heads, and irregular-block jambs.

Irregular elliptical tower arch on keeled responds. Transverse arch at east end of north aisle rests on crocket capitals transferred in 1846 from north chancel chapel, now demolished. High 2-centred chancel arch rebuilt 1846. Arcaded east windows have ringed shafts. Trefoil-headed C13 piscina.

Monuments include 3 fine-grained dark grey stones in chancel floor: the northern large, with carved coat of arms and well-cut Latin inscription, to Sir Thomas Hall of Elemore Hall, died 1680, his wife and daugher; plainer central slab, to George Baker of Elemore Hall, died 1774; to south a high- quality carved coat of arms and Latin inscription to Sir Ralph Shipperdson, died 1719. Other C19 memorials in east end of chancel to members of Pemberton, Shipperdson and Baker families. In north aisle, c.1280 effigy of knight; in south aisle, a Frosterly 'marble' tapered block with re-cut inscription in Latin, to one named Christ. At west end of north aisle several medieval grave covers and carved fragments. In tower, plain bowl font, on restored pedestal, said to have been sold early C19 and recovered from Broomside farm in 1885. C17 font cover in 'Cosin' style. 1893 chancel screen by W.S. Hicks.

Sources: Peter Clack, St. Lawrence Pittington Church Guide, Pittington 1978; H. Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary Of British Architects 1600-1840, 1978; C.A. Smith, Sunderland Echo, October 1983. C. Hunter Blair 'Renaissance Heraldry of the Co. Palatinate of Durham, in Archaeologia Aeliana, 4 XII, for 1935, pp. xvii-81.

Listing NGR: NZ3288443582


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Clack, P, St Lawrence Pittington Church Guide, (1978)
Colvin, H M, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, (1978)
'Sunderland Echo' in Sunderland Echo, (1983)
'Archaeologia Aeliana' in Archaeologia Aeliana, , Vol. 12, (1935), xvii-81


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 12 Mar 2005
Reference: IOE01/13210/10
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Bob Cottrell. Source Historic England Archive
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