Building » Redcar (Dormanstown) – St William

Redcar (Dormanstown) – St William

South Avenue, Dormanstown, Redcar TS10

An example of the widespread use of red-brick, round-arched architecture for Catholic churches between the wars, in this case with simple Lombardic features. The tower is something of a local landmark. The interior is well-proportioned, light and has good clean lines. 

On 14 October 1933, The Tablet reported that ‘a temporary church has been opened to provide for the spiritual needs of Catholics in the garden city village of Dormanstown, near Redcar’. This was an adapted former school building. The foundation stone for its more permanent replacement was laid on 28 September 1938 and the new church, seating 400, was opened on 24 May the following year. The architect has not been established, but similarities with the design for Sacred Heart, Northallerton suggest that this might be another of Bishop Shine and F. Spink of Bridlington’s collaborations.


The church has an unaisled nave, lower sanctuary, northwest tower (doubling as a porch), north vestry, and north and south transepts all under slated roofs. It is built of red brick with three courses of stretchers to one of headers and has some buff sandstone dressings. The fenestration consists of single-light round-headed windows apart from three-grouped lights in the west façade. There are slight hints of Lombardic churches in the arches under the western eaves of the nave and the row of small arches forming a band in the centre of the west façade. The tower forms a prominent feature, rising sheer without offsets in two stages: the lower one has a tall recessed panel and the belfry stage has a further recessed panel with two square-headed openings. Both the tower and nave west wall have small pinnacles at their corners.

Internally the church is light with whitened, plastered walls. The round-arch style is maintained in the arches of all the openings. The chancel arch is broad, and the transepts (north: Sacred Heart chapel; south: Lady Chapel) both pairs of arches from the nave. At the west end there is a gallery. The ceiling is three-sided with prominently visible roof trusses.

Amended by AHP 14.01.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established, possibly Spink/Shine

Original Date: 1938

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed