STOKESLEY, a parish in the wapentake and liberty of Langbargh; 9 miles from Guisborough; 9 from Yarm; and 16 from Northallerton. A small market town of Cleveland, consisting chiefly of one broad street, running east and west, and washed on the south by a principal branch of the river Leven, which is a remarkably fine trout stream. The buildings are neat, and for the most part in the modern style.
The market is held on Saturday (2005 - now held on Friday), and is plentifully supplied with provisions on reasonable terms. Of the fairs which are held here, an account will be found appended to the first volume. The lands near the town are chiefly in grass, and occupied in small allotments. The surrounding lands are rich and fertile, and being a fine sporting country, the situation possesses all the advantages of rural sports and agreeable retirement. The beautiful and majestic chain of mountains, called the Cleveland hills, including Roseberry Topping, range at a distance of from four to six miles from the town, with a peculiarly bold and romantic outline, and form a sort of semi-circular amphitheatre, of which Stokesley is the centre. A considerable manufacture of linen is carried on here, and that trade is likely to be extended, by a mill, which Messrs Thomas and John Meale, are now erecting, to be worked by the power of steam. In the year 1818, a Society for the promotion of Christian knowledge was established here, under the patronage of the Archdeacon of Cleveland, when a depository of books was formed in the vestry of the parish church, and from which 6000 volumes have already been dispensed. The establishment of a Savings' Bank is also in contemplation. The parish church is a rectory, dedicated to St. Peter (see Churches for photograph), in the patronage of the Archbishop of York. There are also three chapels, one for the Methodists, another for the Independents, and a third, on a small scale, for the Primitive Methodists. Here are also two schools, one for boys, and another for girls, in connexion with the diocesan schools, and where Dr. Bell's system is adopted. The parish is of considerable extent, and comprehends an area of about 7 square miles. The population of the town amounts to 1897.
[Description(s) edited mainly from various 19th century sources by Colin Hinson. ©2010]