Building » Harrington – St Mary

Harrington – St Mary

22 Church Road, Harrington, CA14 5QA

A late nineteenth-century Gothic Revival church, forming a good group with the contemporary presbytery and school. The simple interior with its elaborate hammerbeam roof is typical of several of the smaller nineteenth century Catholic town churches of West Cumberland.

Harrington is one of the West Cumberland small ports which was used for the coal trade and had a large Irish population. The church is a Benedictine foundation, built by public subscription in 1893 and replacing a school-chapel of 1874. The architect was Charles Walker of Newcastle (info.ex Dr Rory O’Donnell), and the cost was £2,300.


The church consists of a wide aisleless nave with a western porch and a small lower apsidal chancel with canted sides. It is built of coursed red St Bees sandstone with roof coverings of Westmorland slate. The west gable has an elaborate traceried rose window and two bands of ashlar in the gable head. The central porch is single-storey, with a central doorway under a pointed arch with a small rose in the tympanum; the doorway is flanked by two small lancets in each side. The side walls have paired lancet windows. The apse has single traceried lights high in the wall.

The nave has a hammerbeam roof. From vertical posts on the hammerbeams rise heavy curved braces supporting a boarded wagon roof. Immediately in front of the chancel arch is a first floor gallery, perhaps originally the organ gallery but now empty. The stone chancel arch rests on colonettes. Most of the nave fittings are modern; the windows are plain-glazed. The apse has late-nineteenth-century stained glass.

The church is part of a group of buildings which includes the attached presbytery, the adjacent former school (now the church hall) and the school-keeper’s cottage attached to it.  All are built of the same stone, appear contemporary, and are probably by the same architect.

Entry amended by AHP 18.12.2020

Heritage Details

Architect: Charles Walker

Original Date: 1893

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed