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Church of St Laurence, Pittington

Description: Church of St Laurence

Grade: I
Date Listed: 10 May 1967
English Heritage Building ID: 110026

OS Grid Reference: NZ3288143579
OS Grid Coordinates: 432881, 543579
Latitude/Longitude: 54.7860, -1.4902

Location: Pittington, Durham DH6 1AB

Locality: Pittington
County: Durham
Country: England
Postcode: DH6 1AB

Incorrect location/postcode? Submit a correction!

There is also a scheduled monument, Prior's Hall, Hallgarth, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.

Listing Text

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

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.