Middlesbrough St Cuthberts

Name: St Cuthbert's

Date of Temple Moore Work: 1897–1901

Work done: Design and building

Church Description

Despite its chequered recent history, St Cuthbert's retains enough of its original dignity for Temple Moore's architectural vision to come through.

The church is huge, designed as it was to accommodate around 750 worshippers in a town that was then still growing rapidly. Vicar Thomas Enraght Lindsay, whose parishioners numbered an incredible 30,000, was the driving force behind its construction. Having successfully managed such a large-scale building project, he went on to a distinguished later career, eventually becoming archdeacon of Scarborough and of Cleveland.

Opening times: St Cuthberts is now the home of Simply Social School of Social Dance at the Tower Club Ballroom www.simplysocial.org


Recognisable Moore features at St Cuthbert's include the asymmetry at the east end and the divided east window. The wooden vaulting is also typical of his work, as is the spatial appeal deriving from the arches through the wall behind the altar.

Moore was a master of getting the most out of a limited budget. St Cuthbert's cost £8,532. It is built from stone-faced brick, which was cheaper than solid stone and quicker to work with. The stone he used came from Carlton and Swainby, 8 miles away.

By adopting this method of building, Moore not only fulfilled one of the main ecclesiological criteria for what a proper church should look like, he also saved enough money to allow him to be ambitious with the outward appearance of the church. St Cuthbert's has an imposing, fortress-like exterior, its twin towers being among the grandest Moore ever designed.

In 1977 St Cuthbert's was converted into a leisure centre, and the building was divided into two storeys. It has since been a nightclub, and is currently a dance school. The vast space inside now proudly boasts a sprung floor 25m long! You can see what the church used to look like inside and out here.

Things to do nearby

Transporter Bridge

Ferry Road Middlesbrough TS2 1PL

01642 728162

Middlesbrough has suffered more than its fair share of post-industrial decline, and it isn't the obvious place to go sightseeing. Yet it has a certain ruined grandeur that some may find appealing. It was, after all, once one of Britain's industrial powerhouses, and its iron foundries were world-class. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was built here, as was the Tyne Bridge. Middlesbrough's own bridge is only slightly less iconic. The Transporter is a triumph of modernity. Drivers and pedestrians enter a gondola suspended beneath the main span of the bridge and are carried over the Tees from Middlesbrough to Port Clarence over the river, 160 feet in the air. The bridge turned 100 in 2011, but don't assume it's a relic: it's still in daily use.


Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art Centre Square Middlesbroug TS1 2AZ

01642 726720


New York has MoMA, Middlesbrough has MIMA. A stunning contemporary building forming one side of a new public space, MIMA will surprise you if you haven't been to Middlesbrough for a few years. Like the Hepworth, BALTIC, Arnolfini and others it is a partner of Plus Tate. Programming at MIMA is coming into its own with interesting world class exhibitions, art from the collections, and lots of hands-on events and workshops.

Captain Cook Birthplace Museum

Stewart Park Marton Middlesbrough TS7 8AT

01642 311211


One of three museums in the North York Moors that stake a claim to Cook's legacy, but with slightly more justification, since the great explorer was born here, as you may have guessed from the name. Themed displays, temporary exhibitions, associated events and a lively education programme give you a flavour of Cook's world. If you're hooked on Cook, the other two museums are at Staithes, where he was apprenticed, and Great Ayton, where he went to school. Both are easy to reach from Middlesbrough.

Roseberry Topping


01723 870423


Many a budding mountaineer has cut his or her teeth climbing Roseberry Topping, known affectionately as the “Yorkshire Matterhorn” on account of its distinctive profile. This pint-size mini mountain (all 1,049 feet/320 m of it) can be seen from miles around, and the graffiti on the summit is a slightly depressing testament to its popularity. But don't let that put you off: the view is stupendous, the climb is fairly easygoing, the bluebell woods at the foot are gorgeous, and the countryside around about is sublime. National Park car park in Newton-under-Roseberry.


Handsome old Georgian coaching town, which escaped the industrialisation that transformed its Teesside neighbours. Plenty of little shops to wander round.


Near Redcar

Archetypal English seaside town, remarkably unspoilt. Peerless beach, although happily not pierless — and a proper pier it is, too, complete with amusement arcade.

Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum

Great Ayton TS9 6NB

01642 724296


Captain James Cook FRS, RN is everywhere in the North York Moors, but we can't begrudge Great Ayton a share of his legacy, since it was here that the young Cook had many of his formative experiences. The museum is housed in a former charity school founded in 1704 by a local landowner. Cook attended the school from 1736 to 1740. The schoolroom has been reconstructed to give a flavour of those times, and there are interactive displays about Cook's early life and education and his later achievements.


Near Kildale

Secretive dale, virtually landlocked by swelling seas of purple heather. Perfect for walkers who don't particularly want to see other walkers.

Esk Valley Railway

01947 601987

www.eskvalleyrailway.co.uk enquiries@eskvalleyrailway.co.uk

The railway runs from Middlesbrough to Whitby, right through the North York Moors, serving 15 stations along the route. These folk share our enthusiasm for getting out and about in the North York Moors and they have plenty of suggestions for cycling and walking in combination with the train. There are Temple Moore Trail buildings at four of the stops on the line, at Middlesbrough, Nunthorpe, Danby and Lealholm, you can take bikes free of charge and you don't need to book. If you're so minded, they also run the Music and Ale Train in the summer, which sounds fun.

Where to eat and drink

Chadwicks Inn

Maltby Middlesbrough TS8 0BG

01642 590300


Teesside isn't exactly overwhelmed with great places to eat, but this one pulls in the plaudits, having all manner of AA and Michelin gongs to its name. Have a look at the menu and you'll see why: it's adventurous, inventive, and genuinely good value for money.

Whinstone View

Great Ayton Middlesbrough TS9 6QG

01642 723285


We like the no-nonsense pricing policy here: the menu's all in nice round figures, and isn't afraid to call £4.99 a fiver. The food's of the same ilk: straightforward, well-cooked, well-presented and of an excellent quality.

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