© Darrington Parish Council 2013
Clerk: Cllr Kelvin Wilkins.
Chair: Cllr Michael Britton
Up to the 1960’s Darrington remained a sparsely populated rural backwater reliant on farming and associated trades for its survival; the 1970’s saw expansion on a large scale, an area of parkland by the Old Vicarage was developed; the houses which were erected were high quality buildings with large gardens. The old trees that were in the park are still there today thanks to sympathetic planning which ensured their preservation. Though a relatively modern development this area retains an opulent rural character. Further developments throughout the village at this time seem to have taken the old park as a standard and all were built with land, one of the main features of the village is the predominance of large well kept gardens. This is reflected in the annual Village Garden Competition organised by the Parish Council.
Unfortunately the 1970’s saw destruction as well as development. J S Fletcher, in his book “Darrington A Yorkshire Parish“ describes the central part of the village which encompasses the Church, Old School, Dove Cote and Tythe Barn as “unique in England, all being in one tight group in the heart of the village”. In a move which would seem incredible today the medieval Tythe Barn, (one of very few left in the country), was allowed to be destroyed. Though a campaign was mounted to save the ancient building, it eventually failed and an important piece of English History was destroyed.
Though the site in which the old barn stood has now been turned into a tranquil seating area inside the remaining stone walls of the barn, this kind of destruction must never be allowed to happen again. Many buildings of historical interest remain in the village and any future developments must take into account the need to preserve the remarkable and precious history of the village.
In more recent years further ‘in fill’ development has taken place, to such an extent that there remain few areas of green space; the Village Field Trust maintains a sports field and play area which hosts the popular village Bonfire and annual Feast and Fayre;
The school has a green playing area but if the village continues to expand, the school may have to use the existing playing field to build more classrooms.
The Parish Council are committed to preserving green areas in the centre of the village and are actively trying to increase the land available for public use. It is council policy that green spaces within the village are to be preserved.
We are not opposed to sympathetic development of existing buildings; a number of examples may be seen throughout Darrington.
The Old Dove Cote has been transformed into a private house, now one of the most picturesque buildings in the village.
The Old School has been tastefully
converted into private dwellings.
The Old Chapel has recently been converted into apartments.
This type of development should be encouraged, where old buildings which make up the essential character of the village are preserved by sympathetic restoration or conversion.
No building should be replaced, without fully investigating the potential for restoration or conversion.
Virtually the whole of the main (Estcourt) road is bounded by magnificent old stone walls and many other walls border the older areas throughout the village.
In only one area of Estcourt Road has the old wall been removed; this was in order to accommodate the Spread Eagle car park development, the old wall was destroyed and a modern one erected in its place; this new wall is out of character and the same mistake should not be replicated elsewhere. In the same development beautiful mature trees were cut down to allow denser building, It would have been preferable to have retained one or two in order to break up the stark vista of a new housing development.
The village has expanded over the last 50 yrs and the building style has diversified. Traditional old stone and brick buildings of the past are now mixed amongst more modern houses; to date, the essential rural quality has been preserved by the predominance of solid stone walls and mature trees, and this must continue to be encouraged.