Details of Darlington's Listed Buildings
Borough of Darlington listed buildings [pdf document]
Entries are grouped together by parish, then ordered by address within each parish. For the purpose of these records, Darlington is classed as a parish. Please use the text search facility to find the specific record that you require.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Listed Building?
A listed building is a property or structure, which the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport considers to possess “special architectural or historic interest”.
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 is the main legislation for listed buildings. Government guidance is also found in the National Planning Policy Framework [pdf document]
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has subdivided listed buildings into three categories. These are known as Grades, and are graded I, II* and II. The majority of listed buildings in Darlington Borough Council’s area, around 93%, are Grade II listed. These are buildings defined as possessing “special interest”. Grade II* (pronounced "2-star") listed buildings are buildings defined as being “of more than special interest”, and equate to around 6% of all listed buildings. Grade I listed buildings equate to around 1%. These are described as buildings being of “exceptional interest”. Altogether, the Borough has just over 500 listed buildings within its area.
A listed building can be any kind of structure, such as a signpost, postbox, bridge, or telephone kiosk, for example, and not necessarily a building as we may understand the term.
What sorts of buildings are listed?
All buildings built before 1700, which survive in anything like their original condition, are listed. Most buildings built between 1700 and 1840 are listed, although selection is necessary. Between 1840 and 1914 only buildings of definite quality and character are listed, and the selection is designed to include the principal works of the principal architects. Between 1914 and 1939, selected buildings of high quality or historic interest are listed (these may include Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau or Art Deco-styled properties). After 1939, a few outstanding buildings are listed. In choosing buildings, particular attention is paid to buildings within each genre, which illustrate social, military or industrial history, such as: railway buildings, hospitals, workhouses, hotels, public houses, town halls, almshouses, prisons, mills, and so on.
Technological innovation or originality may also result in listing; for example, early use of cast or wrought iron, prefabrication or even concrete.
Buildings may be listed if associated with well-known people or events.
Some buildings may be listed for their group value, where they form one building in a model village, row or terrace of similar buildings.
What is included in the listing?
- A listed building’s interior and exterior is protected by the 1990 Act (including the ‘curtilage’, which means any historic gardens, outbuildings, walls or other historic structures or features)
- Structures erected in the curtilage after 1 July 1948 are not protected by the listing
- Some features may be mentioned in the list description, such as period sash windows, original doors or porches
- Sometimes, interiors have been inspected and certain features, such as staircases, fireplaces and other architectural fixtures and fittings may be included in the list description. Please note that, regardless of whether a feature is mentioned in the list description, it is still protected. This means that internal walls, staircases, fireplaces, period doors, ceilings and most other historic features are protected
- Any object or fixture attached to the listed building (and has been since before July 1948) is also treated as part of the listed building
What is a Curtilage Listed Building?
Any building that was and is in the curtilage of a Listed Building before 1 July 1948 is curtilage Listed. Buildings that are not described on the statutory List can be Listed Buildings by virtue of their relationship to a Listed Building, under Section 5 (b) of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990:
(5) In this Act "listed building" means a building which is for the time being included in a list compiled or approved by the Secretary of State under this section; and for the purposes of this Act— (a) any object or structure fixed to the building; (b) any object or structure within the curtilage of the building which, although not fixed to the building, forms part of the land and has done so since before 1 July 1948, shall be treated as part of the building.
Whether a building is curtilage Listed or not is decided is decided by Council Officers but requires justification. Legal precedent has established that there are three main criteria to guide that decision, as described in Charles Mynors’ book, 'Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and Monuments':
1. The physical ‘layout’ of the listed building and the structure; 2. their ownership, past and present; and 3. their use or function, past and present. What this means for Listed Building owners is that buildings that have a relationship to a Listed Building may be Listed, meaning previous Listed Building Consent may be required for works to them. Common examples of such buildings include:
- Barns on sites where other barns, the farmhouse or other buildings are Listed Outbuildings on sites where other buildings are Listed
- Stables or coach houses on sites where the main house or other buildings are Listed
- Walls on sites where other buildings are Listed If change is proposed to a building that may be curtilage Listed, Council Officers meet to make a decision, which the owner is then informed of. However, as a result of the number of Listed Buildings in the Borough and number of related buildings, there will be many buildings that meet the above criteria so are curtilage Listed where that decision has not formally been made and the owner not informed. It is therefore in the owner’s interest to enquire when proposing works to an old building on a site where there is one or more Listed Buildings. Legal precedent has shown that an owner not being informed of curtilage Listing is no defence for unauthorised works, when a building is considered the meet the criteria.
If you have any queries about curtilage Listing, or would like a decision about whether a building in your ownership is curtilage Listed, please contact the Council’s Conservation Officer using the contact details at the bottom of the page.
Why are Listed Buildings important?
The Borough of Darlington is fortunate in having a large stock of important listed buildings within its boundary, including those associated with the early railways. Without them, much of our tangible local history and heritage could be lost. Some areas of Darlington have seen modern buildings replacing our older building stock. Modern buildings are the potential heritage for the future, but historic buildings, once demolished cannot be replaced. The iconic listed buildings in and around the Market Place are important to the identity of Darlington. Without such easily recognised “landmark” buildings, Darlington’s individuality and identity would diminish. Many of Darlington’s listed buildings are 18th Century, or older, and all contribute towards our understanding and appreciation of our forefathers and the traditional building techniques and styles they have passed down to us, for us to pass on to future generations.
How can I find out if a building is listed?
An online Index of Listed Buildings in Darlington is available to view or download (see link at top of page). A copy of this index is also available for inspection at the Customer Service Centre in the Town Hall and at the Central Library in Crown Street.
Alternatively, or to get specific advice, you can contact Darlington Borough Council’s Conservation Officer or search the National Heritage List [external link] for England.
How Does Listing Affect Me?
You will be affected if you are the owner or occupant of a listed building and you are intending to make changes, which affect the character or appearance of the building. Any changes affecting the character or appearance of a listed building are likely to require Listed Building Consent. For example historic fabric such as doors, windows, fireplaces and so on are important to the character of the building and consent is likely to be required for their alteration, removal or replacement. It is always advisable to consult the Borough Council’s Planning Services section before proceeding with any changes.
It is a criminal offence to materially alter or affect the character or appearance of a listed building without first obtaining listed building consent.
Section 54 of the 1990 Act allows local authorities to take action where a listed building has deteriorated to the extent where its preservation may be at risk. This can include serving a Repairs Notice requiring the owner to undertake repairs, where the building is currently, wholly or partially occupied or an Urgent Works Notice, which requires the owner to undertake repairs to a property which is unoccupied and in a poor condition, which it considers is urgently necessary. Buildings in need of these works may require a new roof, windows, some re-building or other structural repairs. Alternatively, the local authority can undertake urgent repairs itself. The authority can then take court action to have the costs of the Urgent Works repaid by the owner. It is always advisable to discuss your proposals with Darlington Borough Council at the address below, before proceeding with work.
How do I apply for Listed Building Consent?
Applications for Listed Building Consent are dealt with by the Planning Team, alongside applications for Planning Permission and other planning-related applications.