North Road, Darlington, Co. Durham DL1
A 1920s suburban, red brick church in a sub-Gothic style, which has been much altered.
The church was built in 1926-27 to serve the needs of Catholics in the expanding interwar northern suburbs of Darlington. Originally a satellite of St William’s, St Thomas Aquinas became a separate parish in 1929. The identity of the architect for the church has not been established, but the builders are recorded as Dunn & Dunwell.
The original parish hall was burnt down in 1970 and subsequently replaced with a new parish centre.
The church is built of red brick with stone dressings under a slate roof. It has a long, six-bay nave, a three-sided sanctuary, north porch, southeast sacristy, and a small (added) rectangular, Sacred Heart chapel on the south side of the nave. At the east end of the sanctuary a small projection was added c.1960 to accommodate an internal wall-mounted statue of the Risen Christ, framed by a pointed arch cut in the east wall of the original sanctuary. The most prominent detail is the use of large three-light windows in the nave and sanctuary: these have three graded, round-headed lights punched through buff stonework which, in turn, is set within a pointed arch.
The interior is plastered and coloured cream. It has been much altered, most prominently by the alteration of the original roof with the installation of a ceiling and continuous bands of strip lights on either side. The arch to the sanctuary is broad and squat. As mentioned above, an arch has been punched in the east wall of the sanctuary (rather crudely it has to be said) to accommodate a statue of the Risen Christ against a background of mosaic. At the west end is a gallery housing the organ, and, beneath it, a glazed-in-narthex.
There are five stained glass windows (three of them in the nave): one is signed by Hardmans and all seem to be of the same provenance.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1927
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed