Cemetery keeper's house


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 keeper’s house, 1874 to designs of G G Hoskins.

Reasons for Designation

This cemetery keeper's house, of 1874 by G G Hoskins, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a handsome Gothic domestic building that is well-crafted in local stone; * a well-detailed exterior incorporating pointed arched windows in polychrome surrounds, tall moulded chimneystacks and decorative stone finials; * the interior retains its original plan-form and some original fittings, which help to preserve its historic character; * designed by the regionally significant 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, it benefits from an historic association with a figure of national importance and therefore has historic interest.

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 Keeper’s House, 1874 to designs of G G Hoskins.

MATERIALS: tooled and snecked Horton bank sandstone with Dunhouse stone dressings; Welsh slate roofs, with areas of slates missing to both pitches.

PLAN: a rectangular north-south gabled range, with a shallow, rectangular east-west range attached to the east side.

EXTERIOR: two storeys and three bays with quoins, beneath pitched roofs of fishtail slates with stone verges and tall moulded chimneystacks to the right gable and to the main ridge; the latter is cruciform in plan. There is a moulded eaves cornice and carved stone triangular finials with round-lobed trefoil heads to the various gables. Where visible there are kneelers to the gables and the stone verges have similar stone finials to the gable apexes. Window and door openings are mostly pointed arches set into polychrome surrounds, with mostly square-headed windows to the rear elevation.

The main (south) elevation has a full-height gabled left end bay with a ground floor canted bay window. The central entrance bay has a buttressed entrance porch and the entrance has a hoodmould with floriated stops. There is a two-light first floor window, and a circular window to the apex. The right end bay has a two-light ground floor window and a half-dormer to the first floor, also with a two-light window. The left return has a pair of windows to the ground floor and a pointed-arched yard entrance and is blind above. The gable chimneystack is rectangular and the ridge chimneystack is of cruciform plan, they echo those of the chapels and the chapel spire. The right return has a blocked ground floor pointed-arched entrance to the left of a shallow external chimney. The rear (north) elevation is partially obscured by vegetation and a yard wall: it has a two-light window to the right gabled bay, with a circular window to the apex, a Gothic cross window to the first floor of the central bay and a later, full-height flat-roofed extension to the left bay.

INTERIOR: there is a central entrance hall with the site of the former stair to the rear (mostly removed) and openings to three ground floor rooms. Original four-panel doors have been removed, but their simple moulded architraves remain along with some skirting boards and built-in cupboards; Gothic windows and doors retain original timber frames. The first floor could not be inspected, but viewed from the ground floor; some rectangular architraves are visible, as is a section of the original staircase balustrade with simple moulded newel posts, carved drops and a moulded handrail.

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 08-08-2019 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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