contributed by Dudley Wheeler

The modern estate of Friars Pardon stands in the grounds of the original old rectory of Hurworth. It was built by the Reverend Faber and given to the Church Commissioners, so that his son could live there. The Reverend Piper was the last Hurworth rector to live in this house.

In 1946, the church commissioners sold the property and its land and the present Hurworth rectory came into use. It was bought by a Darlington solicitor who lived there with his wife and ran a smallholding. The house was very elegant with ornately carved door lintels and fireplace, and a panelled hall and magnificent staircase.

Old Rectory

There was a fine building at the rear with a pan-tiled roof and open archways on either side. This was used as a rubbish store when the house was first built as rubbish was only collected twice a year in the days before dustbin men! When the local sweep cleared all the chimneys he filled the old rubbish store with twigs and sticks which then provided kindling for the fires for about five years.

Eventually the solicitor sold the house and land to Shepherd's the builders. His wife was allowed to choose the name of the new estate which they intended to build there. She settled on Friars Pardon from a story by Rudyard Kipling in a book called "Actions and Reactions", about an American couple who discover an old run-down house in England called Friars Pardon. They eventually buy it and farm the land on which it stands. The solicitor's wife felt this mirrored her own story and chose it as a suitable name for the new housing, so Friars Pardon as we know it came into being.

(This article appeared in "The Two Hurworth's" a Village Miscellany, edited by Jean Kendall in 1998).