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MARSKE BY THE SEA: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.

Wapentake of Langbaurgh (East Division) - Petty Sessional Division of Langbaurgh East - Electoral Division of Marske-by-the Sea - Poor Law Union of Guisborough - County Court District and Rural Deanery of Middlesbrough - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

This parish stretches along the coast from Redcar to Saltburn, and for all civil purposes includes the latter village. The surface is low and flat, scarcely 30 feet above the sea level, and appears from the name Marske, to have been at some distant period a marshy tract. The soil in some places is of a fine sandy kind, and in others a strong fertile clay. Ironstone is abundant, and is extensively worked by Messrs. Pease and Partners.

The parish of Marske comprises 3,970 acres, exclusive of strand, and is valued for rating purposes at £29,726. The inhabitants in 1881 numbered 5,113. The manor belonged to Tostig, brother of the last Saxon king, and Earl of Northumberland, who gave his church of Marske, and certain lands here to the Prior and Convent of Durham. At the Conquest, this manor was given to William de Percy, who had accompanied the Conqueror to England. Marske subsequently came into the possession of Robert de Brus, Lord of Skelton, and it continued in this family until the death of Peter de Brus in 1271, without issue, when his inheritance was divided among his four sisters. This manor fell to the share of Agnes, wife of Walter de Fauconberg, and after seven descents was carried by the marriage of Joan, sister and heiress of John de Fauconberg, to Sir Wm. Neville. Sir William leaving no male issue, Marske passed in marriage with one of his daughters to Sir John Conyers, Bart., and from this family to John Atherton, Esq., whose only daughter, Ann, married Sir William Pennyman. There being no issue by the marriage, Sir William sold the manor to the Lowthers, from whom it was subsequently purchased by Thos. Dundas, Esq., ancestor of the Earl of Zetland, the present owner.

Marske Hall, the residence of R. C. Yeoman, Esq., J.P., is an ancient structure, built by Sir Wm. Pennyman during the reign of Charles I., in the heavy massive style of the period, In the front are two shields of arms, Pennyman and Atherton, but those of the latter with the motto are now illegible.

The village is situated on the coast, 2½ miles S.E. of Redcar, and 6 miles N. from Guisborough. Since the opening of the neighbouring iron mines the population has greatly increased, and the village has assumed the proportions of a small town. There formerly stood in the centre of the village the shaft of an ancient stone cross, which, if we may believe a local tradition, was erected more than two centuries ago, when the plague having nearly depopulated the town of Guisborough, the market was consequently removed hither. A lamp post now stands on the site.

Marske, as we have seen, had its church before the Conquest, but this Saxon structure gave place to an Early Norman one, which, after standing some six or seven hundred years, was taken down in 1821, and a spacious but plain lob-sided edifice erected in its stead. The old Norman font, which had belonged to this church, was recovered from a farmyard in the parish some years ago, and is now preserved within the vicarage grounds. In 1867, a handsome new church, dedicated to St. Mark, was built in Redcar road, at a cost of nearly £7,000. Of this sum about £1,000 was contributed by the congregation and friends, and the remainder by the late Earl of Zetland. The style is Norman French, and the plan comprises chancel, nave, north and south aisles, and massive tower, in which are six bells and a clock, presented by Joseph Pease, Esq. The east window, depicting the Ascension, is a memorial to the late Countess of Zetland, erected by her tenants and friends. Above the door leading from the chancel into the vestry is a beautiful piece of stone carving, representing in ecclesiastical emblem the four evangelists with our Saviour in the centre. On a tablet of Caen stone are inscribed the Decalogue, the Creed, and the Lord's Prayer. This was presented by the congregation in 1871, as a thanksgiving offering for the recovery of the Prince of Wales. The west end is embellished by a rose window of ornamental glass, a memorial of the late Earl of Zetland and H. W. Yeoman, Esq. All the stone used in the building, and also for the pulpit, reading desk, and font was obtained from the quarries which rise above the village.

The old church (St. Germain), which stands near the brink of the sea cliff, is now disused except for burial services.

The living is a vicarage in the gift of the Earl of Zetland, worth £200 per annum, having been augmented by the late Earl and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners with £3,000. The present incumbent, the Rev. Thos. Robson, B.A., is the thirty-first vicar whose name has been recorded since A.D. 1295, when Stephen de North Alverton held the living.

In order to meet the increased demand for church accommodation, a chapel-of-ease was erected at New Marske in 1873, capable of seating 300 persons. It is a cruciform structure, built from the designs of the vicar, at a cost of £1,300, solely contributed by the present Earl of Zetland.

A handsome vicarage house was erected in 1859, at a cost of £1,700, which was raised by sale of the old vicarage, and by public subscription.

There are chapels in the village belonging to the Wesleyans and the Primitive Methodists, and likewise a Gospel Hall. A Cottage Hospital for the accommodation of six patients is supported by Messrs. Pease and Partners.

The educational and intellectual wants are well supplied by large and excellent schools, built by the late earl in 1873, and endowed with £60 per annum; and by a well appointed Literary Institute and Reading Room.

NEW MARSKE is a village about one mile south of Old Marske, chiefly inhabited by miners and other employees of Messrs. Pease and Partners The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each chapels here; that belonging to the latter body is a neat brick building erected in 1875, at a cost of £940. Excellent schools were erected by Joseph Pease, Esq., in 1868, and are mainly supported by the firm. The Miners' Institute is a very handsome brick building, with stone facings, built in 1875, at a cost of £3,000, by Messrs. Pease and Partners. It contains lecture hall, library and reading, class, and recreation rooms. Science classes are held in the winter months.

SALTBURN BY THE SEA is a thriving watering-place in this parish. It is situated on a cliff overlooking a tiny bay, in which the waters lie 150 feet below. Away to the east lies the bluff headland of Huntcliffe, "the Teneriffe of the Yorkshire coast," its wave-washed rocks clothed with a forest of sea-weed, and to the west-by-north a stretch of sands eight miles in length, the firmest and finest in the kingdom. This seaside resort is wholly the creation of recent years, and its projectors and founders, Messrs. Pease & Partners, untrammelled by the ill-arranged streets and houses of an existing village, have conceived and carried out its plans with the most improved taste of modern times.

In 1861, mainly through the influence of Henry Pease, Esq., Stanhope Castle, Durham, the railway was extended from Redcar to Saltburn; three years later the railway company built the Zetland Hotel, a magnificent structure in the Italian style, on the crest of the cliff. Since that time streets and terraces of elegant houses have been erected, promenades constructed, the beauties and natural advantages of the situation fully developed, and Saltburn has now become an attractive and fashionable watering-place. Space permits us to mention only a few of its most interesting features.

A promenade pier, 1,250 feet in length, crosses the sands at a height of 42 feet to low water. The pier-head, which is 120 feet long by 66 feet wide, is provided with ornamental covered shelters and wind screens, so arranged as to afford protection from the breeze in whatever direction it may blow. Down the face of the cliff leading to the pier is a hydraulic tramway, affording an easy and rapid means of communication between the top of the cliff and the strand below. On the east side of the town the cliff sinks into a deep glen, which art has converted into a paradise of beauty. At the bottom flows the Skelton beck, rippling over its rocky bed, whilst the steep and sheltered sides are laid out in ornamental pleasure grounds and gardens, with devious walks, and lawns for tennis, croquet, &c. Beyond the gardens the sides of the glen for several miles are thickly clothed with wood; gravelled walks traverse the whole length; and by the kind permission of the Earl of Zetland, the owner, the public may wander beneath the leafy shade. At the lower end of the gardens are the Assembly Rooms, for theatrical performances, concerts, balls, &c. An iron girder bridge, 790 feet in length, crosses the glen over the pleasure grounds at a height of 141 feet above the stream, connecting Saltburn with Skelton estate, the property of J. T. Wharton, Esq. At the upper end of the gardens, in a lovely nook, is a chalybeate spring, very similar in taste to those which have rendered Harrogate so famous. The following are the fixed constituents contained in one gallon of the water, according to the analysis of Newton Samuelson, Esq., F.C.S., Liverpool:-

Grains per Gallon.
Precipitated on boiling Carbonate of Lime 11.900
" " " Carbonate of Magnesia 0.360
" " " Carbonate of Iron 0.810
Sulphate of Lime 0.649
Chloride of Magnesium 0.547
Alumina 0.590
Silica 1.540
Chloride of Sodium 27.780
Chloride of Potassium A trace.

Total 43.476

The Promenade Pier and the Pleasure Gardens in the Glen are illuminated by the electric light, and are the property of the Middlesbrough Estate Co., Limited; to whom also belong the hydraulic tram and the bathing machines.

At the west end of the town, overlooking Hazel-grove Ravine, is the Convalescent Home, erected by Messrs. Pease, at a cost of £12,000, for the benefit of their own workpeople, but recently opened to others at a small charge. Seventy patients can be accommodated.

The drainage of the town has been completed on the most approved system; and the water supply is abundant, and of the finest quality. The Cleveland Water Co. was formed in 1868, with a capital of £12,000, in shares of £10 each. Subsequently the capital was increased to £80,000, and the mains extended to the neighbouring parishes of Marske, Skelton, Brotton, Upleatham, and Loftus. The works comprise one large storage reservoir at Lockwood, on the moors, holding 140 million gallons, two reserve reservoirs, and three filter beds.

The spiritual wants of the inhabitants were not overlooked. In 1863 a temporary church was opened, and in 1868 the nave and north aisle of the present Church of Emmanuel were erected (see Churches for photograph). Five years later a separate ecclesiastical district was assigned to it, and in 1879, at a cost of £5,000, the church was enlarged by the addition of the chancel, transepts, south aisle, and belfry. On the south side of the chancel was built at the same time a small but well-proportioned chapel for week-day services, &c., but at present used as a vestry until the completion of the tower, the base of which is designed for that purpose. It is a handsome cruciform structure in the decorated style, capable of seating about 1,000 persons, all seats being free and unappropriated. The living is a perpetual curacy in the gift of the Earl of Zetland, who, in addition to the £3,000 he contributed to the enlargement of the church, gave £3,000 towards the endowment, which was met by an additional £3,000 from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, producing an annual income of £200, which is considerably increased by grant from the weekly offertory.

The Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1865, at a cost of £1,200, exclusive of the purchase of the site. In 1872 it was found necessary to enlarge it, in order to accommodate the increased number of worshippers, and a gallery running round three sides was put in at the same time, the cost of both being £400; and two years later an organ was added at an expense of £200. The Primitive Methodists and the Plymouth Brethren have also places of worship here, and the Friends a Meeting House. The British School was built by Joseph Pease, Esq., in 1869; it was enlarged by the addition of an infants' room in 1886; and is attended by nearly 400 children. The Parochial Hall, recently opened and held in trust by the vicar and churchwardens for the time being, is used for Sunday school and parish meetings. The Workman's Club and Institute, opened in 1888, contains reading and recreation rooms, and visitors may obtain season tickets of admission from the secretary.

The town is under the government of a Local Board, formed in 1880, who have carried out all the sanitary arrangements on the most improved principle. The Earl of Zetland is lord of the manor, and the Middlesbrough Estate Co., Limited, are the principal landowners.

[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.