Building » Trimdon – St William

Trimdon – St William

Front Street South, Trimdon, Co. Durham TS29

A simple brick mission church of 1864 in lancet Gothic style, occupying a prominent position in the Trimdon Conservation Area. The external appearance and setting of the church have been marred by a flat-roofed addition at the front. 

The mission at Trimdon was founded in 1861, to serve the workers in Trimdon colliery. The present building was built in 1864, on land donated by Mr William Beckwith. It originally served as a dual-purpose church and school, and opened on 17 January 1864. A new presbytery was built in 1953 alongside the church, the old one becoming a parish club before eventually being demolished. Subsequently the sanctuary was enlarged, a new sacristy added, and a gallery at the back of the church removed. More recently, a flat-roofed annex has been built in front of the church.  The parish history does not give dates for these changes; the annex at the front appears to be of 1980s date. The sanctuary was reordered in 1992.


The church is orientated roughly north-south, but this description follows conventional liturgical orientation, i.e. as if the altar was at the east end.

A simple red brick mission church of 1864, with a slate roof, in lancet Gothic style. The west front has a modern flat-roofed annexe with a front door and entrance lobby built across it. Above this, a triple lancet window with flat rendered surrounds. There is a stone cross on the gable at each end. The flank elevations have single lancet window openings, now with uPVC glazing. The bay divisions are marked by stepped brick buttresses. The 1950s extended sanctuary and flat-roofed sacristy are in a different, slightly purple brick. The east wall also has triple lancets, probably repeating the original design, and two lean-to structures providing recesses off the sanctuary.

The interior is a single space, with a curious hybrid king-post, hammerbeam and arch braced roof over the nave and a simpler roof over the more recent sanctuary. The walls are plastered and painted. There was once a gallery at the west end, but this has been removed.  The sanctuary walls are timber panelled at the lower level, with panelled recesses housing a statue and the timber octagonal font. The tabernacle is placed on a shelf against the east wall, with six candles and a small crucifix. There is a forward altar and ambo, both stone, c1992. The seating consists of plain benches, possibly 1950s. The chief furnishings of note are the large framed Stations of the Cross, donated in 1922-3, the re-set central lancet in the east window, to William Beckwith, the donor of the site (d. 23 February 1871), and representations of Our Lady, St Cuthbert and St William of York in the west lancets, which look to be the work of the Hardman firm, c1950.

Heritage Details

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1864

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed