"STOKESLEY, is a neat market town, and township, in the parish of its name, in the western division of Langbaurgh liberty, North Riding, 238 miles from London, 98 n.n.e. from Manchester, 42 n. from York, 16 n. by e. from Northallerton, 9 s.w. from Guisborough, and 8 s.e. from Yarm ; situate near the source of the Tees, and on the northern bank of the river Leven, in the centre of a fruitful tract called Allertonshire, which, at the distance of about five miles from the town, is bounded by the Cleveland hills, forming a vast and majestic amphitheatre. The houses are neatly built in a modern style, and form one spacious street, about half a mile in length from east to west. The trade of this town, which for some years has suffered considerable depression, is likely to be materially improved by the institution of a corn company, by the inhabitants ; the object of which is to secure to those who bring their corn to this town, a certain sale for the article at the market price ; suffering none to remain unsold, and thereby presenting to growers and factors an eligible mart for this indispensable commodity. A line of railroad is about to be constructed, under the title of the "Stokesley and Tees Railway," which will open a communication with the Stockton and Darlington line. The manufactures of this town comprise linens, including damask weaving, together with flax dressing and spinning, and the manufacture of patent thread ; the last named branch is carried on extensively at the works of Mr. Thos. Mease ; affording employment to a considerable number of the industrious working class. Lieutenal - Colonel Hildyard is lord of the manor, and holds a court leet annually, and the magistrates hold petty sessions once a fortnight. Stokesley is one of the stations named in the new Boundary Act (an appendage to the Reform Bill) for receiving votes at the election of members for the North Riding of the county.
The places of worship are the parish church, dedicated to St. Peter, and chapels for methodists and calvinists. The living of Stokesley is a rectory, in the patronage of the Archbishop of York. A building for a grammar school has been recently erected, under an endowment by the late John Preston, Esq. in which from fourteen to twenty boys will be educated gratuitously : the Rev. Thomas Todd is appointed to the situation of head master. Here are besides a national school for the instruction of children of both sexes, and a dispensary, for the relief of the sick poor. The market is held on Saturday ; and the fairs on the Saturdays before Trinity and Palm Sundays, and on the Saturday after old Lammas day, for horses, horned cattle, &c. The parish contained, by the census for 1821, 2,290 inhabitants, and in 1831, 2,376 of which last number 1,967 were returned for the township."
[Transcribed by Steve Garton ©2000 from
Pigot's directory (Yorkshire section) 1834]