ESTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake of Langbaurgh, East Division - Petty Sessional Division of Langbaurgh North - Poor Law Union, County Court District, and Rural Deanery of Middlesbrough Electoral Divisions of Eston North, Eston South, and Normanby - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

This parish, formerly a chapelry under Ormesby, comprises the townships of Eston and Normanby, covering a total area of 3,950 acres, exclusive of water surface. It is situated on the south bank of the river Tees, and is bounded on the other sides by the Cleveland hills, and the parishes of Wilton and Ormesby. The soil is alluvial and productive, but the inhabitants are, for the most part, employed in mining operations, and at the steel and iron works of Bolckow, Vaughan, & Co., Limited. Previous to the year 1850, the district was purely rural, and the inhabitants of the whole parish did not number more than three or four hundred. Its prosperity began with the discovery of ironstone in the neighbourhood that year; and so great has been the development of its mineral resources since that time, that there are now concentrated within the limits of the parish a population exceeding 20,000. The existence of ironstone in various parts of the district had long been known, and between 1811 and 1845 several cargoes were shipped to the furnaces on the Tyne for trial, but the results obtained were discouraging. In June, 1850, the late Mr. John Vaughan and Mr. John Marley, C.E., whilst prospecting for a suitable place for boring, discovered indications of ironstone in an old quarry, and at a little distance they found the untouched rock lying bare. This proved to be the main seam of the Cleveland ironstone, which varies from 8 to 16 feet in thickness. The royalty was secured by Messrs. Bolckow & Vaughan, and preparations were forthwith commenced for opening out mines, In the following September, thirteen weeks after the discovery of the bed, the first lot of ironstone, about seven tons, was forwarded to the Witton Park Iron Works for trial. The result was satisfactory, and in the course of four or five years the average weekly output had risen to 11,000 tons. Further developments have since taken place, and at present about 26,000 tons of ironstone are obtained per week, giving employment in and about the works of the company to 1,800 men and boys. This stone yields, according to the analysis of Mr. A. Dick, 33.62 per cent, of metallic iron.

Under the Local Government Act, which came into operation on the 1st of April, 1889, the parish is divided into three Electoral divisions, each of which sends one member to the County Council. Eston North comprises all that portion of the Eston Urban Sanitary District that lies within the parliamentary borough of Middlesbrongh. Eston South, all that portion of the Eston Urban Sanitary District that lies without the parliamentary borough of Middlesbrough; and Normanby, that part of the township embraced in the Normanby Urban Sanitary District.

The township of Eston comprises 2,252 acres of land, exclusive of foreshore, and includes Eston, Grangetown, and Eston Junction, the rateable value of the whole being £65,361. This estate was granted at an early period to the Meynells, of Whorlton Castle, and from them it passed successively by marriage to the D'Arcys and Conyers. The descendants of the latter family sold the manor and about two-thirds of the estate to the Stapyltons, of Myton Hall, and Major Henry Miles Stapylton, D.L., J.P., is the present owner. The other portion of the estate belongs to the trustees of Lady Hewley's charity.

The village is situated at the foot of Eston Nab, which forms the peak of a hill of considerable altitude, called Barnaby or Eston Moor. This peak is about 800 feet in height, and on the summit are the remains of an ancient British camp. A watch tower or beacon was erected here during the French war, by Thomas Jackson, Esq., of Lackenby, and is now converted into a dwelling.

The Parish Church, or Christ Church, was erected in 1884, at a cost of £5,000, on land given by Major Stapylton. It is a neat brick edifice, with stone dressings, and consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, north and south aisles, and unfinished tower. It is seated for 500 persons. The living is a vicarage, worth £300, including 11 acres of glebe, in the gift of the Archbishop of York, and held by the Rev. E. F. Seymour Besley, M.A. (Note: I am informed by his great-grandaughter that this is Edward Frederick Seymour BESLY i.e. no second "e" in the name - CH April 2001) The registers contain entries previous to the year 1590, but they are illegible. The old church of St. Helena is now used as a Mortuary chapel. It was one of the many churches belonging to Guisbro' priory, and comprises chancel, nave, and embattled tower. In the latter was a pre-reformation bell, bearing the inscription in florid lettering "Sancta Helena ora pro nobis," which was unfortunately sold for old metal, and broken up. The churchyard is included in the Cemetery, which was formed and laid out in 1863, and enlarged in 1882, at a total cost of £3,000.

The Congregational Church, erected in 1858, is a substantial stone building in the Gothic style of architecture, having accommodation for 300 persons. The Wesleyan Chapel is a neat and elegant structure of brick, built in 1871, at a cost of £3,300. The foundation stone was laid by the late John Vaughan, Esq., then Mayor of Middlesbrough. There is accommodation for 500. The Primitive Methodists have a large and commodious chapel in Jubilee road, which was erected in 1867, mainly through the instrumentality and energy of Mr. Elisha Beacham. It will seat 700 persons, and cost about £2,000. Adjoining are spacious Sunday Schools, subsequently added at a further cost of £1,050. The chapel of the Bible Christians is a small structure built in 1884, and will accommodate 150.

The educational affairs of the township are managed by a School Board of seven members, formed in 1871, and commodious and substantial schools were erected in 1874 for 280 boys, a like number of girls, and 380 infants. They are built of brick with stone dressings; spacious playgrounds are attached.

A Hospital was built in 1884 at the sole expense of Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., from the designs of Mr. W. H. Blessley, architect, Middlesbrough. It is intended for the benefit of such of their employees as may unfortunately receive injuries at their works. There are beds for eighteen patients.

The Oddfellows' Hall is a capacious brick building erected in 1856, in which the society holds its meetings; and the Temperance Hall is a temporary structure of corrugated iron, with accommodation for 250.

Eston is under the government of a Local Board, formed in 1884, whose jurisdiction extends over the whole township.

ESTON JUNCTION is a rising place in the north of the township, situated between Grangetown and South Bank, 4 miles from Middlesbrough, but for parliamentary purposes included in that borough. It owes its prosperity to the iron and steel manufacture, which was first established here by Messrs. Bolckow & Vaughan, in 1852 or 3, whose works are now the most extensive of the kind in the world. Adjoining these are the works of the Clay Lane Iron Co., Limited, commenced in 1858. A temporary iron church has been erected; there are also large Board Schools and a Welsh Baptist Chapel.

GRANGETOWN is another rapidly increasing place in this township, but included for parliamentary purposes in the borough of Middlesbrough. Almost the entire population is employed in and about the extensive works of Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., Limited. Here are the offices of the Eston District Local Board, erected in 1885-6, from the designs of Mr. T. W. Stainthorpe, C.E., the district surveyor. The Mechanics' Institute is a handsome red brick building with stone dressings, situated at the east corner of the spacious market square. The site was presented by Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., and the entire cost of the building (£1,200) has been generously borne by James Eadie, Esq., who has likewise undertaken to defray the whole expense of furnishing and fitting up the interior.

The church of St. Matthew is a temporary iron structure attached to the parish church, and served by the Rev. R. Bee, who is the curate in charge. The Catholics have a school chapel in Bolckow road; but contemplate the erection of a suitable edifice on the adjoining plot of land, which has been secured for the purpose. The Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists have also chapels here. The Board Schools form a plain but useful block of buildings, with accommodation for 900 scholars. Mr. John Moss, master; Miss Duncan, mistress; Miss Alexander, infants' mistress.

NORMANBY is a township in this parish, comprising the populous districts of Normanby and South Bank. Its total area, including foreshore, is about 1,700 acres; rateable value, £27,083; and population, 7,714. Normanby forms an Electoral Division under the new Local Government Act, and for parliamentary purposes the South Bank portion of the township is included in the borough of Middlesbrough.

The manor of Normanby was held at an early period by the De Brus family, of Skelton Castle; and subsequently it passed, by the marriage of a co-heiress, to Marmaduke de Thweng. It afterwards came into the possession of the Percys, and later, of the Moneys. In the beginning of the eighteenth century, the estate belonged to William Pennyman, Esq., whose two daughters and heiresses married the Rev. William Consett and Capt. Consett, R.N., sons of William Consett, Esq., of Linthorpe. The Hall with a moiety of the estate was purchased in 1748. by Ralph Jackson, Esq, from whom it has descended to C. L. A. Ward-Jackson, Esq., the present owner, and lord of the manor.

The village is situated about 2 miles from South Bank station on the North Eastern railway. It is under the government of a Local Board, whose jurisdiction extends over a portion of South Bank. A School Board was formed in 1876, who took over the National School in 1881, The Methodists have a Free Church here. On the south side of the village, at the foot of the Cleveland Hills, are the extensive iron mines of the Cargo Fleet Iron Co., Limited, where about 300 hands are employed. The weekly output averages 3,000 tons. In close proximity are the works of the Normanby Brick & Tile Co., which were established in 1883. The latest and most improved machinery has been introduced, and the Company carry on, on an extensive scale, the manufacture of all kinds of glazed sanitary bricks and tiles.

SOUTH BANK, formerly called Tees Tilery, is a rapidly increasing and populous market town in this township, having a station on the Darlington and Saltburn line of the North Eastern railway, and is distant three miles from Middlesbrough. It is entirely a recent creation, which has sprung into existence since the establishment of the steel works of Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan, & Co., Limited, and the works of the Clay Lane Iron Co., Limited. Another industry of the place which gives employment to a large number of the inhabitants is the manufacture of bricks and tiles, which is carried on extensively by Messrs. Johnson & Maw, the North Eastern Brick and Tile Co., and the Cleveland Brick and Tile Co. For parliamentary purposes, South Bank is included in the borough of Middlesbrough, but the remainder of the township is in the Cleveland division of the Riding. A large portion of the place is under the jurisdiction of the Normanby Local Board of Health, formed in 1865; and the following year gas works were erected by a limited company. The Town Hall, with Covered Market, was erected in 1878, at a cost of £5,500. It is an imposing structure of white brick, built from the designs of W. Duncan, Esq., Middlesbrough. The main room, which is used for public entertainments, will accommodate 800 persons. The Local Board and also the School Board have their offices in this building. The market is held weekly on Fridays, and is well patronised.

St. John's Church is a temporary iron structure, served from Eston, The Catholic Church, in Middlesbrough Road, is a neat brick structure, in the Gothic style, capable of seating 250 persons. There is a handsome presbytery attached. The mission was formed in 1874, and is under the charge of the Very Rev. Canon Doud. The Primitive Methodist Chapel, in Normanby Road, is a plain substantial brick building, erected in 1878, and capable of seating 700 persons. The Chapel of the Wesleyan Methodists is an ornate building of brick, erected in 1882, at a cost of £3,000. Commodious Sunday Schools are attached. There are also Chapels belonging to the United Methodist Free Church, the Baptists, and Welsh Independents.

The Board Schools, consisting of three departments, were built in 1878, for the accommodation of 900 children. The Catholic Schools, two departments (mixed and infants), were erected in 1881; accommodation, 400.

[Description(s) from Bulmer's History and Directory of North Yorkshire (1890)]


  • Transcript of the entry for the Post Office, professions and trades in Bulmer's Directory of 1890.

Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.