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Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough Skyline.jpg
Middlesbrough shown within North Yorkshire
Population 174,700 (2011 Census)
Demonym Smoggie, Teessider
OS grid reference NZ495204
• London 217 mi (349 km) S
Unitary authority
  • Middlesbrough
Ceremonial county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TS1 – TS9
Dialling code 01642
Police Cleveland
Fire Cleveland
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
  • Middlesbrough
List of places
UK
England
Yorkshire

Middlesbrough (Listeni/ˈmɪdəlzbrə/ MID-əlz-brə) is a large industrial town on the south bank of the River Tees in North Yorkshire, north-east England, founded in 1830. The local council, a unitary authority, is Middlesbrough Borough Council. The 2011 Census recorded the borough's total resident population as 138,400 and the wider urban settlement with a population of 174,700. Middlesbrough is part of the larger built-up area of Teesside which had an overall population of 376,333 at the 2011 Census.

Middlesbrough became a county borough within the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1889. In 1968, the borough was merged with a number of others to form the County Borough of Teesside, which was absorbed in 1974 by the county of Cleveland. In 1996, Cleveland was abolished, and Middlesbrough Borough Council became a unitary authority within North Yorkshire. RGs Erimus ("We shall be" in Latin) was chosen as Middlesbrough's motto in 1830. It recalls Fuimus ("We have been") the motto of the Norman/Scottish Bruce family, who were lords of Cleveland in the Middle Ages. The town's coat of arms is an azure lion, from the arms of the Bruce family, a star, from the arms of Captain James Cook, and two ships, representing shipbuilding and maritime trade.

History

Early history

In 686 a monastic cell was consecrated by St. Cuthbert at the request of St. Hilda, Abbess of Whitby and in 1119 Robert Bruce, Lord of Cleveland and Annandale, granted and confirmed the church of St. Hilda of Middleburg to Whitby. Up until its closure on the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1537, the church was maintained by 12 Benedictine monks, many of whom became vicars, or rectors, of various places in Cleveland. The importance of the early church at "Middleburg", later known as Middlesbrough Priory, is indicated by the fact that, in 1452, it possessed four altars.

After the Angles, the area became home to Viking settlers. Names of Viking origin (with the suffix by) are abundant in the area – for example, Ormesby, Stainsby, Maltby and Tollesby were once separate villages that belonged to Vikings called Orm, Steinn, Malti and Toll, but now form suburbs of Middlesbrough. The name Mydilsburgh is the earliest recorded form of Middlesbrough's name and dates from the Anglo-Saxon era (AD 410–1066), while many of the aforementioned villages are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Other links persist in the area, often through school or road names, to now-outgrown or abandoned local settlements, such as the medieval settlement of Stainsby, deserted by 1757, which amounts to little more today than a series of grassy mounds near the A19 road.

Development

Old Middlesbrough Town Hall 2013
Old Town Hall

In 1801, Middlesbrough was a small farm with a population of just 25. During the latter half of the 19th century, however, it experienced rapid growth.

The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) had been developed to transport coal from Witton Park Colliery and Shildon in County Durham, to the River Tees in the east. It had always been assumed by the investors that Stockton as the then lowest bridging point on the River Tees would be suitable to take the largest ships at the required volume. However, as the trade developed, and with competition from the Clarence Railway which had established a new port on the north side of the river at Port Clarence, a better solution was required on the south side of the river.

In 1828 the influential Quaker banker, coal mine owner and S&DR shareholder Joseph Pease sailed up the River Tees to find a suitable new site down river of Stockton on which to place new coal staithes. As a result, in 1829 he and a group of Quaker businessmen bought the Middlesbrough farmstead and associated estate, some 527 acres (213 ha) of land, and established the Middlesbrough Estate Company. Through the company, the investors set about the development of a new coal port on the banks of the Tees nearby, and a suitable town on the site of the farm (the new town of Middlesbrough) to supply the port with labour. By 1830 the S&DR had been extended to Middlesbrough and expansion of the town was assured. The small farmstead became the site of such streets as North Street, South Street, West Street, East Street, Commercial Street, Stockton Street and Cleveland Street, laid out in a grid-iron pattern around a market square, with the first house being built in West Street in April 1830. The town of Middlesbrough was born. New businesses quickly bought up premises and plots of land in the new town and soon shippers, merchants, butchers, innkeepers, joiners, blacksmiths, tailors, builders and painters were moving in. By 1851 Middlesbrough's population had grown from 40 people in 1829 to 7,600.

The first coal shipping staithes at the port (known as "Port Darlington") were constructed just to the west of the site earmarked for the location of Middlesbrough. The port was linked to the S&DR on 27 December 1830 via a branch that extended to an area just north of the current Middlesbrough railway station. The success of the port meant it soon became overwhelmed by the volume of imports and exports, and in 1839 work started on Middlesbrough Dock. Laid out by Sir William Cubitt, the whole infrastructure was built by resident civil engineer George Turnbull. After three years and an expenditure of £122,000 (equivalent to £9.65 million at 2011 prices), first water was let in on 19 March 1842, and the formal opening took place on 12 May 1842. On completion, the docks were bought by the S&DR.

Industrialisation

Further information: Bolckow Vaughan and Dorman Long
Ironopolis wall
A wall celebrating the name Ironopolis

Ironstone was discovered in the Eston Hills in 1850. In 1841, Henry Bolckow, who had come to England in 1827, formed a partnership with John Vaughan, originally of Worcester, and started an iron foundry and rolling mill at Vulcan Street in the town. It was Vaughan who realised the economic potential of local ironstone deposits. Pig iron production rose tenfold between 1851 and 1856. The importance of the area to the developing iron and steel trade gave it the nickname "Ironopolis".

On 21 January 1853, Middlesbrough received its Royal Charter of Incorporation, giving the town the right to have a mayor, aldermen and councillors. Henry Bolckow became mayor, in 1853.

On 15 August 1867, a Reform Bill was passed, making Middlesbrough a new parliamentary borough, Bolckow was elected member for Middlesbrough the following year.

For many years in the 19th century, Teesside set the world price for iron and steel. The steel components of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932) were engineered and fabricated by Dorman Long of Middlesbrough. The company was also responsible for the New Tyne Bridge in Newcastle.

Several large shipyards also lined the Tees, including the Sir Raylton Dixon & Company, which produced hundreds of steam freighters including the infamous SS Mont-Blanc, the steamship which caused the 1917 Halifax Explosion in Canada.

Middlesbrough's rapid expansion continued throughout the second half of the 19th century (fuelled by the iron and steel industry), the population reaching 90,000 by the turn of the century. The population of Middlesbrough as a county borough peaked at almost 165,000 in the late 1960s, but has declined since the early 1980s.

Irish migration to Middlesbrough

The 1871 census of England & Wales showed that Middlesbrough had the second highest percentage of Irish born people in England after Liverpool. This equated to 9.2% of the overall population of the district at the time. Due to the rapid development of the town and its industrialisation there was much need for people to work in the many blast furnaces and steel works along the banks of the Tees. This attracted many people from Ireland, who were in much need of work. As well as people from Ireland, the Scottish, Welsh and overseas inhabitants made up 16% of Middlesbrough's population in 1871.

Geography

OS map Middlesbrough-Stockton area
Map of the Middlesbrough / Stockton-on-Tees area

The following list are the different wards, districts and suburbs that make up the Middlesbrough built-up area. (* areas that form part of built-up area under Redcar & Cleveland council)

  • Acklam
  • Ayresome
  • Beckfield
  • Beechwood
  • Berwick Hills
  • Brambles Farm
  • Brookfield
  • Central Middlesbrough
  • Clairville
  • Coulby Newham
  • Easterside
  • Eston*
  • Grangetown*
  • Gresham
  • Grove Hill
  • Hemlington
  • Kader
  • Ladgate
  • Linthorpe
  • Marton-in-Cleveland
  • Marton Grove
  • Marton West
  • Middlehaven
  • Normanby*
  • North Ormesby
  • Nunthorpe
  • Ormesby
  • Pallister
  • Park End
  • Priestfields
  • Saltersgill
  • South Bank*
  • St. Hilda's
  • Stainton-in-Cleveland
  • Teesville*
  • Thorntree
  • Netherfields
  • Tollesby
  • Town Centre
  • Town Farm
  • West Lane
  • Whinney Banks

Climate

Middlesbrough has an oceanic climate typical for the United Kingdom. Being sheltered by both the Lake District and Pennines to the west, Middlesbrough is in one of the relatively drier parts of the country, receiving on average 574 millimetres (22.6 inches) of rain a year. Temperatures range from mild summer highs in July and August typically around 20 °C (68 °F) to winter lows in December and January falling to around 0 °C (32 °F).

Climate data for Middlesbrough, England
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.8
(44.2)
7.3
(45.1)
9.7
(49.5)
12.0
(53.6)
15.0
(59)
17.8
(64)
20.4
(68.7)
20.1
(68.2)
17.5
(63.5)
13.6
(56.5)
9.6
(49.3)
6.9
(44.4)
13.1
(55.6)
Average low °C (°F) 0.7
(33.3)
1.0
(33.8)
2.1
(35.8)
3.6
(38.5)
5.8
(42.4)
8.6
(47.5)
10.7
(51.3)
10.7
(51.3)
8.5
(47.3)
6.2
(43.2)
3.2
(37.8)
0.7
(33.3)
5.2
(41.4)
Precipitation mm (inches) 41.1
(1.618)
32.9
(1.295)
36.3
(1.429)
41.5
(1.634)
40.8
(1.606)
52.4
(2.063)
52.9
(2.083)
60.6
(2.386)
49.7
(1.957)
57.5
(2.264)
60.2
(2.37)
48.2
(1.898)
574.2
(22.606)
Avg. precipitation days 9.9 8.1 8.4 8.2 9.0 8.7 9.1 9.8 8.0 9.8 11.8 10.6 111.5
Sunshine hours 54.8 71.3 102.7 132.4 174.6 168.3 170.6 160.7 125.9 93.3 59.8 45.5 1,360.0
Source: UK Met Office

Transport

Middlesbrough is served well by public transport. Locally, Arriva North East and Stagecoach provide the majority of bus services, with National Express and Megabus operating long distance coach travel from Middlesbrough bus station.

Train services are operated by Northern and TransPennine Express. Departing from Middlesbrough railway station, Northern operates rail services throughout the north-east region including to Newcastle, Sunderland, Darlington, Redcar and Whitby, whilst TransPennine Express provides direct rail services to cities such as Leeds, York, Liverpool and Manchester.

Middlesbrough is served by a number of major roads including the A19 (north/south), A66 (east/west), A171, A172 and A174.

In the past Middlesbrough has been served by the Middlesbrough, Stockton and Thornaby Electric Tramways Company, Imperial Tramways Company, Middlesbrough Corporation Tramways, Tees-side Railless Traction Board and Teesside Municipal Transport.

Landmarks

AcklamHall Grounds1
Acklam Hall

In the suburb and former village of Acklam, Middlesbrough's oldest domestic building is Acklam Hall of 1678. Built by Sir William Hustler, it is also Middlesbrough's sole Grade I listed building. The Restoration mansion, accessible through an avenue of trees off Acklam Road, has seen progressive updates through the centuries, making a captivating document of varying trends in English architecture.

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge
Transporter Bridge, built in 1911

Via a 1907 Act of Parliament, Sir William Arrol & Co. of Glasgow built the Transporter Bridge (1911) which spans the River Tees between Middlesbrough and Port Clarence. At 850 feet (260 m) long and 225 feet (69 m) high, is one of the largest of its type in the world, and one of only two left in working order in Britain (the other being in Newport). The bridge remains in daily use. It is, a Grade II* listed building.

Another landmark, the Tees Newport Bridge, a vertical lift bridge, opened further along the river in 1934. Newport bridge still stands and is passable by traffic, but it can no longer lift the centre section.

The urban centre of Middlesbrough remains home to a variety of architecture ranging from the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, opened in January 2007 to replace a number of former outlying galleries; and Centre North East, formerly Corporation House, which opened in 1971. Many believe that there is a beauty to be found in the surrounding landscape of industry along the River Tees from Billingham to Wilton. The terraced Victorian streets surrounding the town centre are characterful elements of Middlesbrough's social and historical identity, and the vast streets surrounding Parliament Road and Abingdon Road a reminder of the area's wealth and rapid growth during industrialisation.

Middlesbrough Town Hall Summer 2013
Middlesbrough Town Hall

Middlesbrough Town Hall, designed by George Gordon Hoskins and built between 1883 and 1889 is a Grade II listed building, and a very imposing structure. Of comparable grandeur, is the Empire Palace of Varieties, of 1897, the finest surviving theatre edifice designed by Ernest Runtz in the UK. The first artist to star there in its guise as a music hall was Lillie Langtry. Later it became an early nightclub (1950s), then a bingo hall and is now once again a nightclub. Further afield, in Linthorpe, is the Middlesbrough Theatre opened by Sir John Gielgud in 1957; it was one of the first new theatres built in England after the Second World War.

Boro Central Library 2011
Middlesbrough Central (Public) Library

The town includes England's only public sculpture by Claes Oldenburg, the "Bottle O' Notes" of 1993, which relates to Captain James Cook. Based alongside it today in the town's Central Gardens is the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA). Refurbished in 2006, is the Carnegie library, dating from 1912. The Dorman Long office on Zetland Road, constructed between 1881 and 1891, is the only commercial building ever designed by Philip Webb, the architect who worked for Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell.

Temenos Sculpture, Middlesbrough
Temenos sculpture at Middlehaven.

Away from the town centre, at Middlehaven stands the Temenos sculpture, designed by sculptor Anish Kapoor and designer Cecil Balmond. The steel structure, consisting of a pole, a circular ring and an oval ring, stands approximately 110 m long and 50 m high and is held together by steel wire. It was unveiled in 2010 at a cost of £2.7 million.

Culture and leisure

Dorman Museum 2011
Dorman Museum

The Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art opened its doors in January 2007. It holds works by Frank Auerbach, Tracey Emin and Paula Rego among others. Its considerable arts and crafts collections span from 1900 to the present day.

Middlesbrough also has a healthy musical heritage. A number of bands and musicians hail from the area, including Chris Rea, Paul Rodgers and Micky Moody.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art - MIMA
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima)

Middlesbrough has two major recreational park spaces in Albert Park and Stewart Park, Marton. Albert Park was donated to the town by Henry Bolckow in 1866. It was formally opened by Prince Arthur on 11 August 1868, and comprises a 30 hectares (74 acres) site. The park underwent a considerable period of restoration from 2001 to 2004, during which a number of the park's landmarks, saw either restoration or revival. Stewart Park was donated to the people of Middlesbrough in 1928 by Councillor Thomas Dormand Stewart and encompasses Victorian stable buildings, lakes and animal pens. During 2011 and 2012, the park underwent major refurbishment. Alongside these two parks are two of the town's cultural attractions, the century-old Dorman Memorial Museum and the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum.

Newham Grange Leisure farm in Coulby Newham, one of the most southerly districts of the town, has operated continuously in this spot since the 17th century, becoming a leisure farm with the first residential development of the suburb in the 1970s. It is now a burgeoning tourist attraction: the chance to view its cattle, pigs, sheep and other farm animals is complemented by exhibitions of the farming history of the area.

Middlesbrough is famous for the Parmo, a version of scallopini Parmigiana or schnitzel consisting of deep-fried breaded chicken or pork cutlet, topped with thick béchamel sauce and grilled cheese. It is usually served with chips, salad & garlic sauce, with variations such as hotshot and fungi. Although it can be seen primarily as a takeaway dish, popular with Teessiders after a night out, it is also a popular restaurant dish with many establishments in around Teesside serving restaurant quality versions.

In the Middlehaven ward, is the Transporter Bridge Visitor Centre, opened in 2000 and offering its own exhibitions charting the stirring past of the surrounding industrial powerhouse, as well as that of the singular structure it commemorates.

Sport

MFC Riverside Stadium
Riverside Stadium, 2015

Middlesbrough is home to the Premier League football team, Middlesbrough F.C., owned by local haulage entrepreneur Steve Gibson. The club is based at the Riverside Stadium on the banks of the River Tees, where they have played since moving from Ayresome Park, their home for 92 years until 1995. Founder members of the Premier League in 1992, Middlesbrough won the Football League Cup in 2004, and were beaten finalists in the 2005-06 UEFA Cup. In 1905 they made history with Britain's first £1,000 transfer when they signed Alf Common from local rivals Sunderland. Another league club, Middlesbrough Ironopolis F.C., was briefly based in the town in the late 19th century, but folded within a few years.

Speedway racing was staged at Cleveland Park Stadium from the pioneer days of 1928 until the 1990s. The post-war team, known as The Middlesbrough Bears, and for a time, The Teessiders, the Teesside Tigers and the Middlesbrough Tigers operated at all levels. The track operated for amateur speedway in the 1950s before re-opening in the Provincial League of 1961. The track closed for a spell later in the 1960s but returned in as members of the Second Division as The Teessiders.

Middlesbrough is also represented nationally in Futsal. Middlesbrough Futsal Club play in the FA Futsal League North, the national championship and their home games are played in Thornaby at Thornaby Pavilion.

Athletics is a major sport in Middlesbrough with two local clubs serving Middlesbrough and the surrounding Teesside area, Middlesbrough and Cleveland Harriers and Middlesbrough AC (Mandale). Athletes used to regularly train at Clairville Stadium (1963-2014) until it was closed and subsequently demolished to make way for a housing development. Athletes now train at the recently opened (May 2015) Middlesbrough Sports Village, on Marton Road (A172). Notable athletes to train at both facilities are World & European Indoor Sprint Champion Richard Kilty, British Indoor Long Jump record holder Chris Tomlinson and current British Internationals Matthew Hynes, Jonathon Taylor, Jack Crosby, Rabah Yousif and Amy Carr. The sports village includes a running track with grandstand, an indoor gym and cafe, football pitches, cycle circuit and a velodrome. Adjacent to the sports village is a skateboard plaza and also Middlesbrough Tennis World.

Middlesbrough hosts several road races through the year. In September, the annual Middlesbrough Tees Pride 10k road race is held on a one lap circuit round the southern part of the town. First held in 2005, the race now attracts several thousand competitors, from the serious club athlete to those in fancy dress raising money for local charities. Road races and training are also held regularly at Middlesbrough Cycle Circuit which is at the Middlesbrough Sports Village.

Demography

In 2011, Middlesbrough had a population of 174,700, which makes it the largest town in North East England and largest urban settlement within the non-administrative ceremonial county of North Yorkshire. For comparison, it is about the same size as Bournemouth, the largest town in South West England and Bolton. Middlesbrough town is larger than the borough. The town is made up of the borough, as well as the suburbs which make up the area known as Greater Eston, which is to the east of the borough in Redcar and Cleveland. Greater Eston does not have a very high ethnic minority population, which makes the town less ethnically diverse than the smaller borough.

Middlesbrough compared 2011 Middlesbrough BUASD Middlesbrough (borough)
White British 88.4% 86.0%
Asian 6.4% 7.8%
Black 1.0% 1.3%

In the borough of Middlesbrough, 14.0% of the population were non white British, compared with only 11.6% for the town. This makes the town about as ethnically diverse as Exeter and has a lower white British population compared with Gateshead and South Shields which are further north on the other side of County Durham. The town of Middlesbrough is recognised as a BUASD or Built-up area sub-division of Teesside by the Office for National Statistics.

Religion

Christianity

St John's Church, Middlesbrough-geograph-2129360
St John's Church

Middlesbrough is a deanery of the Archdeaconry of Cleveland, a subdivision of the Church of England Diocese of York in the Province of York. It stretches west from Thirsk, north to Middlesbrough, east to Whitby and south to Pickering.

Middlesbrough is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough, which was created on 20 December 1878 from the Diocese of Beverley. Middlesbrough is home to the Mother-Church of the diocese, St. Mary's Cathedral, which is in the suburb of Coulby Newham and Sacred Heart Church in the centre of the town. The present bishop is the Right Reverend Terence Patrick Drainey, 7th Bishop of Middlesbrough, who was ordained on Friday 25 January 2008.

St Stephen's church, Middlesbrough, near the university campus, is a Church of England parish church, but is also in the Evangelical Connexion.

Lugs Lodge Synagogue - geograph.org.uk - 609300
The synagogue in Park Road South, which opened in 1938 and closed in 1998

Judaism

Ashkenazi Jews started to settle in Middlesbrough from 1862 and formed Middlesbrough Hebrew Congregation in 1870 with a synagogue in Hill Street. The synagogue moved to Brentnall Street in 1874 and then to a new building in Park Road South in 1938.

Editions of the Jewish Year Book record the growth and decline of Middlesbrough's Jewish population. It was about 100 in 1896–97 and peaked at 750 in 1935. It then declined to 30 in 1998, in which year the synagogue in Park Road South was ceremonially closed.

Islam

The Islamic community is represented in several mosques in Middlesbrough. Muslim sailors visited Middlesbrough from about 1890. and, in 1961, Azzam and Younis Din opened the first Halal butcher shop. The first mosque was a house in Grange Road in 1962. The Al-Madina Jamia Mosque, on Waterloo Road, the Dar ul Islam Central Mosque, on Southfield Road, and the Abu Bakr Mosque & Community Centre, which is on Park Road North, are among the best known mosques in Middlesbrough today.

Sikhism

The Sikh community established its first gurdwara (temple) in Milton Street in 1967. After a time in Southfield Road, the centre is now in Lorne Street and was opened in 1990.

Hinduism

There is a Hindu Cultural Centre in Westbourne Road, North Ormesby, which was opened in 1990.

Middlesbrough Tamil Education Community was founded April 2013 and currently operates in Newport Community Centre in Middlesbrough.

Image gallery

Twin towns

Middlesbrough is twinned with:

Images for kids


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