Wapentake of Langbaurgh (East Division) - Petty Sessional Division of Langbaurgh East - County Court District of Middlesbrough - Poor Law Union of Guisborough - Electoral Division of Redcar and Saltburn - Rural Deanery of Middlesbrough - Archdeaconry of Cleveland - Diocese of York.
Redcar is a township, and consolidated chapelry carved out of the parishes of Marske and Upleatham, and made independently parochial in 1867. Its area, including the beach, is about 870 acres; rateable value £12,877; and population 2,458. The Earl of Zetland is lord of the manor and principal landowner
The village is situated on a rocky bend of the coast a few miles south of the mouth of the Tees. Formerly it was an obscure hamlet inhabited by fishermen, whose avocation was here fraught with more than the usual danger, from the rocky nature of the coast. In recent years it has risen into favour as a seaside resort, and is much frequented by the inhabitants of the North Riding and the neighbouring county of Durham; but, despite the several attractive hotels and lodging houses that have been erected, it retains much of its old-fashioned appearance. It possesses, however, unequalled advantages for sea-bathing; its air is bracing, and the sands, some ten miles in length, are "as smooth as velvet, and yet so firm that neither horse nor man leave their imprint on them as they tread the strand." Beneath these sands were discovered a few years ago the remains of an ancient forest, embedded in peat and blue clay. Several large trees were found, and the peat was carted away for use. A fine esplanade, 30 feet wide and half a mile long, was constructed along the beach a few years ago, at a cost of £2,500, forming a delightful promenade; and more recently two promenade piers have been erected, one in Redcar, and the other in the adjoining village of Coatham. Bathing machines have been plentifully provided, and for those who either from nervousness or debility fear to face the waves, there are hot and cold sea-water baths at moderate charges. From the sands, stretch out about a mile into the sea two ridges of rocks, which are left dry at low water, covered with their wealth of seaweed. A lifeboat station has been established here since 1802, and the first boat, built by Mr Henry Greathead, is still kept in the old boathouse.
The town is well lighted by the Redcar Gas Company, which was first formed in 1857, as a Limited Company, and reconstructed and Incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1876 and 1878. There is excellent hotel and lodging-house accommodation, and many streets of very superior houses have been erected. The town is accessible by rail either from the north or south, and the station, a commodious and convenient structure, presents in the summer season a bustling scene of activity.
Ample church and chapel accommodation has been provided for both residents and visitors. St. Peter's Church is a plain Gothic structure, erected in 1829, at a cost of upwards of £2,000, and restored by subscription in 1887. The church was reseated at the same time and will now accommodate 700 persons. It consists of nave, chancel, and tower with three bells. The living is a new Vicarage, worth £97, in the gift of the Earl of Zetland.
The Congregational Church, a neat edifice with tower and spire, erected in 1858, has accommodation for 350. In connection with it is a Sunday School and Library. The Presbyterian Church, formerly a Wesleyan chapel, is held on a lease from the Earl of Zetland. A New Wesleyan Chapel was built in 1869, with accommodation for 650. Adjoining is an Elementary School belonging to the same body, erected in 1876, the whole cost, including chapel keeper's house, being about £4,000. The Primitive Methodists and the Friends have also chapels here. The Catholic Church, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, is a neat brick structuie, built in 1874 at a cost of £1,100, exclusive of the site which cost £500.
The Zetland Schools, rebuilt by the late Earl in 1859, and endowed with £60 per annum, are neat Gothic buildings, attended by upwards of 300 children.
The Extra-mural Burials Act was put into force here in 1871, when a Burial Board was formed, and a Cemetery covering four acres laid out, and mortuary chapels erected at cost of nearly £5,000. The land was given by the late Earl of Zetland, who also contributed £1,000, which he afterwards supplemented with £300 more.
The Racecourse, the property of the Redcar and Coatham Grand Stand Company, Limited, is situated on the south side of the railway, within the parish of Kirkleatham. The Company was formed in 1875, with a capital of £8,000 in £5 shares. It is a fine level piece of ground covering upwards of 100 acres, giving a straight course of one mile and a "distance" of 240 yards. There are stables for 39 horses, and a spacious refreshment room has been added recently. Races are held twice a year.
CHARITIES. - John Farmer, gentleman, late of Darlington, left the interest of £90 (£5 4s. l0d.) to be distributed among fishermen's widows. The poor also receive 15s. 6d. a year, the interest of money left by a lady named Dudley, and £1 6s. 8d. (Atherton's Dole) paid by the Earl of Zetland.
Scan, OCR and html by Colin Hinson. Checking and correction by Peter Nelson.