History of Darlington

Photograph of Old Town Hall

The Old Town Hall and Clocktower

Darlington currently enjoys unitary status and is also a Borough; it sits within the southern part of the County of Durham, covering an area of approximately 76.2 square miles (19,745 hectares).  It has changed its name five times since its conception and it is suggested that its original name was Deathingtun.

Joseph Pease [external link], who was born in 1799, built the Old Town Hall in 1853 as a gift to the Town and later added the Clock Tower and Covered Market in 1864.  The current Town Hall was opened by Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, in 1970.

Photograph of current Town Hall

The Pease family also provided the money to build the Library in Crown Street in 1885, which was originally known as 'The Edward Pease Free Library' located next to the family's Mill.

The Town was granted a Royal Charter on 1st October, 1867, and the first elections were held in December of that year, and the first Mayor was Henry Pease.  The population of Darlington were then given the opportunity to take a more active part in the election of a Council of local administration.

Clara Curtis Lucas [pdf document] was the first Lady to become a Councillor for Darlington County Borough (Cockerton Ward) in 1915.

The Charter of Incorporation [pdf document, 311kb]

More information on the history of the Town [pdf document]

Resurgence - the sculpture outside the Town Hall [external link]