ORMESBY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.


Wapentake of Langbaurgh (West Division) - Petty Sessional Division of Langbaurgh North - Electoral Division of Ormesby - Poor Law Union and County Court District of Middlesbrough - Rural Deanery of Stokesley - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.

This parish comprises the townships of Ormesby, Morton, and Upsall, containing an aggregate area of 4,403 acres, and, including North Ormesby, a population of 7,774. The soil is loamy and the subsoil clay. An outlier of the great Cleveland bed of ironstone extends into the parish, and is extensively mined by the Cargo Fleet Iron Company, Limited. The township of Ormesby has an area of 2,883 acres, and is valued for rating purposes at £21,695.

The Percys were the earliest owners of Ormesby, of whom we have any record. From this family the estate passed by marriage, about the year 1360, to Sir Robert Conyers, of Hornby; and an heiress of this line marrying a son of Sir James Strangwayes, of Whorlton Castle, Ormesby came into the possession of that family. The next owners were the Pennymans,* who have held the manor since the reign of Elizabeth. Col. James Pennyman was a distinguished officer in the army of Charles I., and received the honour of knighthood from that king. Under the parliamentary regime he was subjected to a heavy fine, to pay which he was obliged to sell part of his estate for £3,500. The portion thus alienated was re-purchased from M. Robinson, Esq., by Sir James Pennyman in 1770 for £47,500. The first Sir James was raised to the baronetage by Charles II. in February, 1663-4. Sir Warton Pennyman, the fifth baronet, assumed his mother's name of Warton as an additional surname, and became Sir Warton Pennyman-Warton. He left at his death, in 1770, six daughters, and the baronetcy consequently descended to his nephew, Sir James Pennyman, M.P. This gentleman married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Henry Grey, Bart., of Howick, Northumberland, by whom he had one son, William Henry, his heir, and four daughters. Sir William Henry succeeded his father in 1808, and dying without issue in 1852, his estates devolved on his cousin, James White Worsley, Esq., but the baronetcy became extinct. Mr. Worsley, who took the surname and arms of Pennyman, married Frances, third daughter of the Rev. James Stovin, D.D., and was succeeded at his death in 1870 by his son, James Stovin Pennyman, Esq., the present owner of the estate and lord of the manor. Miss Brown, of Ormesby House, has also land in the township.

* Burke, in his "Landed Gentry," says the Pennymans claim a Saxon extraction, and that the name was originally written Penna-man, signifying the chief head man; but a more probable etymology is given by the author of "English Surnames," who says the old form of the name was Panyman, an appellation given to persons who hawked or sold bread from the "panier" or bread-basket which they carried.

Ormesby Hall, the seat of J. S. Pennyman, Esq., J.P., is a handsome stone mansion standing in a small but well-wooded park. It was erected about the middle of last century by Dorothy, daughter of Archbishop Wake, and widow of James Pennyman, Esq.

Ormesby, or as it is locally called by way of distinction Old Ormesby, is a pleasant little village, though somewhat scattered, situated on the Middlesbrough and Redcar road, 3 miles S.E. of the former town, 6 miles W. by N. of Guisborough, and about 1 mile from the Ormesby station on the Middlesbrough and Guisborough branch of the North-Eastern Railway. The Parish Church, which is dedicated to St. Cuthbert, is the chief attraction of the village. It is an ancient stone edifice in the Norman style, and its mention in Domesday Book shows that Ormesby was, at that time, a place of some importance. It is simple in plan, comprising only chancel, and nave with porch and small open belfry, in which are two bells. The fabric was repaired in 1820, at a cost of £700; and it was again thoroughly restored in 1871-4, when a new porch was added at the expense of Dr. Hymers. The east window was inserted by Miss Brown in memory of her parents; there are also some stained glass memorial windows and mural tablets to members of the Pennyman family. In the churchyard are the fragments of several ancient stone monuments of recumbent knights, and two stone coffins in excellent preservation, but the inscriptions are entirely obliterated. The register dates from 1590. The great tithe, commuted for a yearly rent-charge of £168, is appropriated to the Archbishop of York, who is also the patron. The living is a vicarage worth £350 a year, with residence, and held by the Rev, Wm. Robert Sharrock, M.A., Cantab. There are sittings for 300 persons, all of which are free.

The school, a small brick structure with accommodation for 60 children, was re-built in 1866, at the expense of the late Capt. Pennyman. The first school was erected in 1744, and re-built in 1773. There is a small reading room, which is used on Sundays for mission purposes.

Cargo Fleet (from the Norse floet, a harbour) called also Cleveland Port, and in ancient records Caldecoates, is a village in this township, 1½ miles east of Middlesbrough. Formerly vessels were loaded and discharged here, but since the deepening of the river and the construction of docks, Middlesbrough has absorbed all the shipping trade.

CHARITIES - A rent-charge of £10 per annum, payable out of an estate at Stokesley, was left to the poor of the parish by - Pennyman in 1659; and another rent-charge of £2 a year, payable out of land at Thornaby, was left by one Bew. There are also two small rent-charges amounting to 20s. paid out of land at Morton.

NORTH ORMESBY is a thriving village in Ormesby township, which has increased rapidly in recent years in consequence of the extension of the iron trade. In 1851 the number of inhabitants was under 500, and in 1881 there were upwards of 7,000. The Church of the Holy Trinity was erected in 1869, solely through the exertions of the Rev. V. H. Moyle, the first resident and missionary curate-in-charge. It is a handsome brick structure in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave with north aisle and porch, and a pinnacled tower containing a clock and one bell. In 1871, the church was made parochial with a district embracing 7,387 inhabitants. The living is a Vicarage worth about £300 a year, with residence, in the gift of the Archbishop of York, and held by the Rev.. William Charles Hawksley, M.A.

The Catholic chapel, dedicated to St. Alphonsus, is a handsome Tudor building of red brick with stone dressings, erected at a cost of £2,500. A handsome altar with reredos, in carved Caen stone, was added in 1885, at a further cost of £200. The chapel is under the ministry of the priests at the cathedral, but it is intended to be made a separate mission with a resident priest.

The Wesleyans have two chapels here; one in King's Road built in 1883-4 is a large and handsome structure, in the Romanesque style, erected from the designs of Mr. B. Moore, architect, Middlesbrough. The material is brick, with dressings of stone. The other, belonging to the Reformed Wesleyans, is a much less pretentious building, in High Street.

The Primitive Methodists have also a chapel in the village, a brick structure with stone dressings, built in 1882, and the Baptists a mission room, and the Salvation Army a barracks. The Church Institute, in High Street, originally established as a Working Man's Club and Assembly Rooms, comprises lecture hall, library, and reading and recreation rooms. The Public Cemetery, covering four acres, was formed at a cost of £3,500, including the erection of two mortuary chapels and caretaker's lodge. In 1887 two acres were added, and a new system of drainage adopted, at a further outlay of £1,500. Adjoining is St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, containing about three acres, opened on the 28th of January, 1884. It is under the charge of the Alexian Brothers, whose residence is at the entrance gates. There is a small mortuary chapel. The total cost was about £3,500.

A School Board, of seven members, was formed in January, 1872, and to this body the National School, built by J. S. Pennyman in 1858, was transferred on condition that it could be used as a Sunday school. The Board built their present schools in 1875 and 1884, they are spacious, well planned, but plain brick buildings, with accommodation for 1,450 children, and an aggregate average attendance of boys, girls, and infants of about 1,200. The Catholics support a school of their own. It was built in 1885 for 320 children, and is under the care of the Sisters of Mercy.

A Cottage Hospital was established in 1859 for the benefit of the workmen employed in the neighbouring works and mines. Since that time very considerable additions have been made to the building, and the original name seems now scarcely applicable to the institution in its present extended scale. The Hospital is supported entirely by subscriptions and contributions,, and is under the care of of the Anglican sisterhood of the Holy Rood, who give their services gratuitously. During the year 1888, there were received into the institution 468 patients, and 1,183 patients were ministered to at their own homes. The average cost per patient per day is about 3s. 1d., and the total expenditure for the year has exceeded the income by £86 6s. 5d. His Grace the Archbishop of York is the visitor; and Mr. R. T. Milner, secretary and collector

The parish is under the government of a Local Board formed in 1865. A Gas Company was established in 1866 with a capital of £5,000 in £5 shares. The capital was subsequently increased to £10,000, which is now held by 61 shareholders. In 1876 considerable additions were made to the works and plant at a cost of £3,000. There are two gas holders with a capacity of 300,000 c. feet, and the total consumption for 1888, was 8,700,000 c. feet.

North Ormesby for parliamentary purposes is included in the Borough of Middlesbrough.

MORTON is a township in this parish comprising 1,006 acres of land, and 62 inhabitants. The principal landowners are the Trustees of the Normanby Settled Estate and Sir J. W. Pease, Bart. The Ayton and Guisborough branch of the North Eastern Railway passes through the township. Morton is in the Eastern Division of Langbaurgh Wapentake, and in the Poor Law Union of Guisborough. There are three farms in the township. Rateable value £3,039.

UPSALL is a small township of 678 acres, the property of the Trustees of the Normanby Settled Estate, who are lords of the manor; and Miss Staveley. It is in the Guisborough Union, and is valued for rating purposes at £1,610. The population in 1881 was 137. A seam of ironstone extends into the township, and is worked by the Cargo Fleet Iron Co., Ltd. There is a School Chapel here, converted out of a dwelling-house in 1884, in which service is held on Sunday afternoons by the Vicar of Ormesby.

Upsall was formerly owned in succession by the Percys, Conyers, and Strangwayes. In 1600 F. Bradshaw, Esq., who married the fourth daughter of Jas. Pennyman, Esq., of Ormesby, lived at the old hall and was possessed of the estate. It afterwards passed in marriage to Wm. Pierson, Esq., whose trustees sold the principal part of it in 1799, to W. Ward Jackson, Esq., whose grandson h the present owner.

Upsall Hall, the seat of John Geo. Swan, Esq., J.P., is a handsome stone mansion in the Gothic style, built in 1870-1. It is pleasantly situated within extensive grounds, and commands some fine prospects of the Cleveland Hills with Roseberry Topping and Capt. Cook's monument in full view.

[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.