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MIDDLESBROUGH:
Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.

"MIDDLESBROUGH, a parish, seaport, and market town, and municipal borough, in the W. division of the liberty of Langbaurgh, in the North Riding county York, 3 miles N.E. of Stockton and 7 from Redcar. It is a principal station on the Stockton and Darlington railway, being connected with the main line by a short branch of 4 miles, which terminates in a spacious depot and a harbour for shipping coal. It is situated at the river Tees' mouth, and is bounded by the North Sea, with a view eastward of the range of hills, including Roseberry Topping. The parish contains the township of Linthorpe, with the hamlets of Airsholme and Newport, also the Port of Cleveland. It had formerly St. Hilda's Benedictine Cell to Whitby Abbey, founded by Robert de Bruce in the reign of Henry I. In 1801 the town of Middlesborough had but a population of twenty-five, which, in 1831, had increased to one hundred and fifty-four, and from that period it has so rapidly increased, that the population at the present time is over 14,000. The discovery of the iron-stone in the Cleveland district by Mr. Vaughan in 1850, and the completion of the railway into Middlesborough, have made this place one of the moat important manufacturing centres in the kingdom. The total number of blast furnaces erected in the N. of England in the first forty-five years of the present century, was only thirty-seven, but since the iron of Cleveland was worked, thirty-six blast furnaces have been built in and around Middlesborough alone. From this great manufacturing centre, the very air of which is a mere dilution of soot, the Stockton and Darlington railway runs to Saltburn, passing en route through such a succession of iron works and iron factories as no other spot of the same size probably in all the world can show the equal of The most remarkable fact, however, is, that notwithstanding the evidences of ancient mining operations, from the heaps of scoria scattered around in some places, as at Grosmont, grown over with oaks, the growth of centuries, which testified to the richness of the ore-all practical men united in condemning the ore as useless, till Mr. Vaughan, in 1850, stumbled over a boulder of pure iron, which led him to look for the ironstone, and then it was found to be everywhere. Since that time the iron has been sent to every known part of the world; and it is now admitted, that this hitherto despised bed of ironstone is fine in quality and boundless in quantity. The bed, in fact, extends from the Tees to the Humber, and is fifty or sixty miles broad. In 1863, while sinking a well for the supply of their immense ironworks, the Messrs. Bolckow and Vaughan struck on a new salt bed at a depth of 1,300 feet below the surface, and the vein, as far as at present worked, is 112 feet in thickness. It has not yet been wrought as a source of profit, but may eventually prove a valuable addition to the mineral wealth of this district. A new dock of great magnitude was completed in 1842, in which are several staiths communicating with a platform and the railway, by which means vessels can be loaded and unloaded independent of the fluctuation of the tide. The quantity of coals shipped during the year is considerable. There are extensive building yards for sailing and steam-ships, also other works for the manufacture of dock-gates, bridges, iron sleepers, &c. On the river are saw and flour-mills, breweries, maltings, a tannery, pottery, and other manufactories. The town, which has recently been created a borough, is governed by a mayor elected annually. It is well paved, lighted with gas, and abundantly supplied with water, under an Act passed in 1841. It contains several good streets, the chief of which run N., S., E., and W. at right angles. There is also a market square, with the townhall in the centre. There are two banks, a savings-bank, literary institution, custom house, and Corporation Hall, where the magistrates hold their meetings. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of York, value 34. The church, dedicated to St. Hilda, is a neat structure with a spire, containing one bell. The church was erected in 1839. The Wesleyans, Independents, Roman Catholics, and Primitive Methodists have places of worship, and the Friends a meetinghouse. The cemetery of the old Benedictine Priory is still used, but all vestiges of the chapel have disappeared. Market day is Saturday."


"AIRSHOLME, a hamlet in the township of Linthorpe, and parish of Middlesbrough, and liberty of Langbaurgh, in the North Riding of the county of York, 3 miles to the E. of Stockton. The river Tees passes within a short distance of the hamlet."


"LINTHORPE, a township in the parish of Middlesbrough, W. division of Langbaurgh liberty, North Riding county York, 1 mile from Middlesbrough and 3 miles S.E. of Stockton. It is a small, irregularly built, but prosperous village, situated on the river Tees. The township includes the village of Newport and the hamlet of Airsholme. Thomas Hustler, Esq., is lord of the manor and principal landowner."


"NEWPORT, a hamlet in the parish of Middlesbrough, liberty of West Langbaurgh, North Riding county York, 2 miles from Middlesbrough, and 5 N.E. of Stockton. It is a station on the Stockton and Darlington section of the North-Eastern railway. It is situated near the mouth of the river Tees, in a district abounding in collieries, iron-foundries, and potteries."

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson 2003


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