Cemetery chapels and porte-cochere


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
North Cemetery, North Road, Darlington, DL1 2JS


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Statutory Address:
North Cemetery, North Road, Darlington, DL1 2JS

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

Darlington (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


Cemetery chapels, porte-cochère, gate piers and gate of 1874 by G G Hoskins in Gothic style. The contractor was R Borrowdale.

Reasons for Designation

These cemetery chapels, porte-cochère, gate piers and gate of 1874 by G G Hoskins are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a handsome Gothic composition with good articulation and a well-handled and striking multi-stage spire; * the north entrance provides an attractive entry to the chapels with ornate gate piers, and an original wrought iron gate; * the chapel interiors retain their original plan-form, roof structures and floors, which preserves their internal historic character; * good examples of the work of the local architect G G Hoskins, who trained under Waterhouse and executed a number of commissions for prominent Quaker families.

Historic interest:

* as part of the gift of Joseph Pease and his sons to the town of Darlington, they benefit from an historic association with a figure of national importance.

Group value:

* designed as part of a cemetery ensemble with a clear design coherence, the individual buildings and structures benefit from a spatial, historic and functional group value.


Joseph Pease had taken a keen interest in the provision of a public cemetery for the northern part of Darlington, and had offered to gift land and supporting funds for the purpose. In 1873, a year after his death, his sons conveyed the 14 acres of land to the town along with a commitment to pay £3,000 towards the costs of fencing and providing the chapels and other structures. A Mr Barningham also presented a strip of land for the provision of an entrance to the cemetery from North Road. The cost of enclosing and draining the land and the provision of the buildings proved to be more expensive, and Messrs Pease met the full cost of £5,000. In April 1874, Joseph Pease's son and Mayor of Darlington, Arthur Pease laid the foundation stone of the chapels; temporary iron chapels were quickly erected at the site for use until completion of the permanent chapels. The cemetery was designed by George Gordon Hoskins, who also designed the cemetery chapels, the entrance walls and gates, the lodge, a cemetery keeper’s house and a commemorative obelisk produced by the Quaker Priestman family of monumental masons who had a workshop in Darlington. The contractor was Mr R Borrowdale. Historic maps show that between 1923 and 1939, the cemetery expanded to the west. The cemetery has an association with North Road railway heritage and includes the graves of many railway workers; there are no graves of figures of national importance.

George Gordon Hoskins was a prominent Darlington architect, who designed a number of buildings in the town and the surrounding region and has several listed buildings to his name including the Grade II*-listed town hall and municipal buildings, Middlesbrough (1883-1889; NHLE: 1136659) and the Grade II-listed Gardeners' Cottage, Darlington (1873; NHLE: 1393710). Hoskins had been clerk to Alfred Waterhouse the renowned architect and Quaker who strongly influenced his building style. He was elected a fellow of the RIBA in 1870.

Joseph Pease (1799–1872) was a Quaker railway company promoter and industrialist who helped his father in the projection of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, in 1819 and 1820 by preparing the company's first prospectus. He emerged as an influential voice in the management of the railway in 1828, when he took the lead in projecting an extension of the line from Stockton to the hamlet of Middlesbrough. He was elected MP for South Durham, and was the first Quaker member to sit in the House of Commons. He devoted himself to philanthropic and educational work and was a frequent speaker on matters of social and political reform and an anti-slavery advocate.


Cemetery chapels, 1874 to designs of G G Hoskins, the contractor was R Borrowdale. Gothic.

MATERIALS: tooled and snecked pink and yellow Horton Bank sandstone with Dunhouse ashlar dressings; Welsh slate roofs.

PLAN: symmetrical, comprising a pair of cruciform chapels linked to a central porte-cochère.

EXTERIOR: set within the northern part of the cemetery where hearses and carriages entered from the north entrance on Thompson Street West. The three-bay chapels are oriented north to south and have high pitched roofs with fish-scale slates, decorative ridge tiles and moulded eaves cornices. All window and door openings have pointed arches with stopped hood moulds (floriated and animal representations) and polychrome surrounds; the tracery is Decorated in style.

The outer chapel elevations have kneelers and stone verges with triangular stone finials with round-lobed trefoil heads. Single windows alternate with stepped buttresses, and there are angled buttresses to the corners. Projecting, buttressed, single-storey porches rise up through the eaves with triangular and trefoil finials to the apex. The porches have eaves cornices and full-height entrances with moulded surrounds; that to the east has double wooden doors with ornate scrolled hinges and that to the west is boarded over. The chapel north and south gables have a large central window, with a circular opening with cruciform tracery to the apex. The inner chapel elevations are similar to the outer elevations, with the addition of an external eaves chimney with polygonal stacks, and the projecting porches link the chapels to the porte-cochère. A later wall has been constructed to the rear of the east chapel, forming an enclosed yard, which we understand was formerly roofed.

The porte-cochère with multi-stage tower and spire, rises to about 30m, each stage separated by a moulded band. It has tall, wide opposing carriage entrances and stepped angled buttresses with triangular finials, that rise to the second stage in the form of two-stage polygonal turrets with blind trefoil-headed arcading, and surmounted by short hexagonal spires. The latter project upwards to the third stage of the tower, which has a battered base, and lancets flanked by paired columns with crocketed, gabled canopies to alternate faces, that rise through to the fourth stage. The latter, most elaborate stage has trefoil-headed openings within crocketed canopies that terminate at an ornate trefoil-headed moulded cornice. Above this is a tall spire with ornate, columned lacunae to alternate faces, and upper double moulded bands, the whole surmounted by an iron cross finial.

INTERIOR: the porte-cochère has a rib-vaulted ceiling with foliated bosses, and side opening to each chapel. The original timber, chapel roof structure with open-work remains in situ and is carried on stone corbels; there are geometric tiled floors, and window and door openings are plain, simple and un-moulded. The porches linking with the porte-cochère retain original openings with double boarded doors.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the north cemetery entrance comprises a pair of square ashlar gate piers with chamfered bases and shafts and large moulded pyramidal caps with octagonal domed finials. One of an original pair of ornate wrought-iron gates remains in situ.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 05/02/2020


Books and journals
'A New Cemetery for Darlington' in The Builder, , Vol. 32, (25 April 1874), 356
'Obituary of Mr G Gordon Hoskins' in The Builder, , Vol. 101, (15 December 1911), 727-728
'Obituary of G G Hoskins' in RIBA Journal, , Vol. 19, (1912), 191
Edward Pease entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed 07-08-2019 from https://www.oxforddnb.com/view/10.1093/ref:odnb/9780198614128.001.0001/odnb-9780198614128-e-21728?result=1&rskey=MWJ3d6#odnb-9780198614128-e-21728-headword-2
GG Hoskin's entry in Dictionary of Scottish Architects, accessed 08-08-2019 from http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=203600
Northern Echo newspaper article, Chris Lloyd, 2nd September 2008, accessed 09-08-2019 from https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/history/3641198.lost-in-a-world-of-belltowers-cloisters-and-crypts/


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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