Cemetery commemorative column


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:


Commemorative column, 1874 to designs of G G Hoskins, in Gothic style. The contractor was Robert Borrowdale.

Reasons for Designation

This commemorative column of 1874 by G G Hoskins is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* a well-detailed piece of Victorian public sculpture sited prominently in a public cemetery; * it is executed in good quality local sandstone and demonstrates a high level of craftsmanship; * 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:

* part of the gift of Joseph Pease and his sons to the town of Darlington, which also records the laying of the foundation stone of the chapels by Arthur Pease, it benefits from an historic association with a figure of national importance.

Group value:

* designed and constructed as part of a cemetery ensemble, it benefits from a spatial, historic and functional group value with the other buildings.


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.

Historic photographs indicate that two steps of the base have been encased within later tarmac, and that the top of the acorn finial is missing. The plaques are understood to be replacements.


Comemmorative column, 1874 to designs of G G Hoskins, in Gothic style. The contractor was Robert Borrowdale.

MATERIALS: sandstone; granite plaques.

PLAN: octagonal on a square plinth and base.

DESCRIPTION: set at the intersection of the cruciform paths of North Cemetery, it has a square, double-chamfered base carrying a square plinth with folded chamfered shoulders, terminating in an upper blind Gothic arcade. There are pointed-arched moulded recess to all faces, three of which contain inscriptions in black lettering on granite panels. Above the plinth, a moulded cornice carries the tapering octagonal base which is detailed with a gothic arcade incorporating triangular and round-lobed forms to the lower parts. The column rises in the form of a straight, eight-sided, clustered column with a moulded base and capital and an intermediary moulded band. It is surmounted by an octagonal, truncated cone finial with triangular detailing.

The inscription to the south face reads: CEMETERY COMMITTEE/followed by nine names including three members of the Pease family, Theodore Fry and the committee chairman Alderman Edward Kipling. The inscription on the north face reads: THE/ FOUNDATION STONE/ THE CHAPELS WAS LAID BY/ARTHUR PEASE, ESQ. MAYOR/ON THE 8TH DAY OF APRIL 1874/THEY WERE OPENED FOR PUBLIC USE AD1877/G G HOSKINS F.R.I.B.A ARCHITECT/ROBERT BORROWDALE/BATES AND CUTLER. CONTRACTORS.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 05/04/2020


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 09-08-2019 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 09-08-2019 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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