The Ancient Parish of ORMESBY

[Transcribed information mainly from the early 1820s]

"ORMESBY, a parish in the wapentake and liberty of Langbargh; 6 miles W. of Guisborough. Ormesby hall is a neat modem mansion, situated upon a gentle rising eminence, at a little distance from the village, towards the south, and commands a pleasing prospect of the winding course of the river Tees, with a view of the sea, and the southern part of the county of Durham. The church, dedicated to St. Cuthbert (see Churches for photograph), stands near the mansion, and is a small, and very ancient structure; the living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Archbishop of York. Here is a public school, supported by voluntary contributions. Population, 349.

The family of the Pennymans it is said, came from Saxony, before the conquest, and first settled in Kent. Sir William Pennyman of Marsk, was the first baronet, so created by Charles I. but we don't find them settled at Ormesby till the latter part of the reign of queen Elizabeth, when it appears they were in possession of the manors and principal estates here.

James Pennyman, Esq. was a loyalist in the time of King Charles I. and had a large sum levied upon him for his loyalty, by the sequestrators; to defray which, he was obliged to dispose of a part of his estate, at Ormesby; which was sold to Mr. Elwes, for the sum of £3,500. As a proof of the rapid improvement and advance in the value of landed property in England within 50 years, it may be remarked, that this estate was purchased about the year 1720. by Ralph Robinson, Esq. for the sum of £7,500. and, in the year 1770, was sold by his nephew, Marshall Robinson, Esq. to the late Sir James Pennyman, Bart. for the sum of £47,500.

The hall is a modern mansion, built by Mrs Pennyman, daughter of archbishop Wake. It is situated on an eminence, and commands a pleasing prospect of the mouth of the Tees, and the Sea."

"CARGO FLEET, (or Cleveland Port) in the parish of Ormesby, wapentake and liberty of Langbargh; 2 miles NNW. of Ormesby, 9 miles N. of Stokesley.

From this small port, which is situated upon the River Tees, about two thirds of the produce of Cleveland are shipped and sent coastwise to London, Newcastle, and other markets. The trade carried on here averages nearly 1,000L. per day throughout the year. -Graves."

"EAST UPSALL, (and West Upsall), in the parish of Ormesby, wapentake and liberty of Langbargh; 2 miles SE. of Ormesby, 3¼ miles W. of Guisborough. Pop. 16."

"ESTON, in the parish of Ormesby, wapentake and liberty of Langbargh; 1 mile ENE. of Ormesby, 6 miles NW. of Guisborough. There is here a very ancient chapel, subject to the parish church. The village of Eston is small, and irregularly built, and stands on the skirts of a detached hill of considerable elevation, called Barnaby, or Eston Moor; the summit of which runs out into a bold point of promontory, called Eston Nab, where a telegraphic beacon, or watch house, has been lately erected, commanding a rich and varied prospect of vast extent. On the summit of this promontory, which spreads out to the southward into an extensive plain; there is an ancient encampment, conjectured to be of Saxon origin, also of the date of 492, and coeval with the battle of Badon hill, fought in this neighbourhood. Pop. 272."

"MORTON, two houses (Morton Grange and Morton Carr) in the parish of Ormesby, wapentake and liberty of Langbargh; 2¼ miles SSE. of Ormesby, 4 miles W. of Guisborough. Pop. 26."

"NORMANBY, in the parish of Ormesby, wapentake and liberty of Langbargh; 1 mile NE. of Ormesby, 4½ miles NW. of Guisborough. Population 122."

[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]



Church History


Church Records







  • Between 1823 and 1890, the chapelry of Eston (in this parish) became a parish in its own right. See Eston Parish.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NZ535173 (Lat/Lon: 54.548134, -1.174448), Ormesby which are provided by:


Memorial Inscriptions


Names, Geographical

  • The following places are within the boundaries of this (ancient) parish, but I have no further information on them other than the Ordnance Survey Landranger Grid reference shown:
    • (NZ515183) Berwick Hills
    • (NZ553205) Grangetown
    • (NZ510198) North Ormesby
    • (NZ518193) Pallister
    • (NZ518178) Park End