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  • Stockton
Stockton-on-Tees (32665049094).jpg
Stockton-on-Tees Town Hall and town centre
Stockton-on-Tees is located in County Durham
Population 85,000 
OS grid reference NZ440200
• London 217 mi (349 km)
Unitary authority
  • Stockton-on-Tees
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TS16–TS21
Dialling code 01642
Police Durham
Fire County Durham and Darlington
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament
  • Stockton North
  • Stockton South
List of places
County Durham
54°34′N 1°19′W / 54.57°N 1.32°W / 54.57; -1.32

Stockton-on-Tees, often referred to as simply Stockton, is a market town in the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, England. It is between the towns of Darlington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough; to the west, north-east and east respectively.

An unparished collective of wards form the town, with a combined population of 85,000, which is part of the Teesside built-up area. The borough is part of the Tees Valley mayoralty and had a population of approximately 197,348, at the ONS 2005 est.

It is a former port town, the River Tees was straightened in the early 1800s for larger ships to access the town. The ports have since relocated closer to the North Sea and ships are no longer able to sail from the sea to the town due to the Tees Barrage, which was installed to manage tidal flooding.

The Stockton and Darlington Railway, on which coal was ferried to the town for shipment, served the port during early part of the Industrial Revolution. The railway was also the world's first permanent steam-locomotive-powered passenger railway, though in recent times Stockton station's importance has declined.



Stockton is an Anglo-Saxon name with the typical Anglo-Saxon place name ending 'ton' meaning farm, or homestead.

The name is thought by some to derive from the Anglo-Saxon word Stocc meaning log, tree trunk or wooden post. 'Stockton' could therefore mean a farm built of logs. This is disputed, because when the word Stocc forms the first part of a place name it usually indicates a derivation from the similar word Stoc, meaning cell, monastery or place. 'Stoc' names along with places called Stoke or Stow, usually indicate farms which belonged to a manor or religious house. It is thought that Stockton fell into this category and perhaps the name is an indication that Stockton was an outpost of Durham or Norton which were both important Anglo-Saxon centres. This is a matter of dispute, but Stockton was only a part of Norton until the eighteenth century, when it became an independent parish in its own right. Today the roles have been reversed and Norton has been demoted to a part of Stockton.

Early history

Stockton Town Hall (or Town House) 1735
Stockton Town Hall (or Town House) 1735

Stockton began as an Anglo-Saxon settlement on high ground close to the northern bank of the River Tees.

The manor of Stockton was created around 1138 and was purchased by Bishop Pudsey of Durham in 1189. During the 13th century, the bishop turned the village of Stockton into a borough. When the bishop freed the serfs of Stockton, craftsmen came to live in the new town. The bishop had a residence in Stockton Castle, which was just a fortified manor house. The first recorded reference to the castle was in 1376.

Stockton's market can trace its history to 1310, when Bishop Bek of Durham granted a market charter – to our town of Stockton a market upon every Wednesday for ever. The town grew into a busy little port, exporting wool and importing wine which was demanded by the upper class. However even by the standards of the time, medieval Stockton-on-Tees was a small town with a population of only around 1,000, and did not grow any larger for centuries.

The Scots captured Stockton Castle in 1644 and occupied it until 1646. It was destroyed at the order of Oliver Cromwell at the end of the Civil War. A shopping centre, the Castlegate Centre, now occupies the castle area. No known accurate depictions of the castle exist.

The Town House was built in 1735 and the first theatre in Stockton opened in 1766. In 1771 a five arch stone bridge was built replacing the nearby Bishop's Ferry. Until the opening of the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge in 1911, this was the lowest bridging point on the Tees. From the end of the 18th century the Industrial Revolution changed Stockton from a small and quiet market town into a flourishing centre of heavy industry.

Industrial history

Shipbuilding in Stockton, which had begun in the 15th century, prospered in the 17th and 18th centuries. Smaller-scale industries began developing around this time, such as brick, sail and rope making, the latter reflected in road names such as Ropery Street in the town centre. Stockton became the major port for County Durham, the North Riding of Yorkshire and Westmorland during this period, exporting mainly rope made in the town, agricultural produce and lead from the Yorkshire Dales.

The town grew rapidly as the Industrial Revolution progressed, with iron making and engineering beginning in the town in the 18th century. The town's population grew from 10,000 in 1851 to over 50,000 in 1901 as workers moved in. The discovery of iron ore in the Eston Hills resulted in blast furnaces lining the River Tees from Stockton to the river's mouth. In 1820 an Act set up the Commissioners, a body with responsibility for lighting and cleaning the streets. From 1822 Stockton-on-Tees was lit by gas.

Locomotion (1925 cavalcade)
Locomotion No 1 of the Stockton & Darlington Railway at the 1925 100th anniversary cavalcade.

In 1822, Stockton witnessed an event which changed the face of the world forever and heralded the dawn of a new era in trade, industry and travel. The first rail of George Stephenson's Stockton and Darlington Railway was laid near St. John's crossing on Bridge Road. Hauled by Locomotion No 1, the great engineer himself manned the engine on its first journey on 27 September 1825. Fellow engineer and friend, Timothy Hackworth acted as guard. This was the world's first passenger railway, connecting Stockton with Shildon. The opening of the railway greatly boosted Stockton, making it easier to bring coal to the factories; however the port declined as business had moved down river to Middlesbrough.

Stockton witnessed another discovery in 1827. Local chemist John Walker invented the friction match in his shop at 59 High Street. The first sale of the matches was recorded in his sales-book on 7 April 1827, to a Mr. Hixon, a solicitor in the town. Since he did not obtain a patent, Walker received neither fame nor wealth for his invention, but he was able to retire some years before his death. He died in 1859 at the age of 78 and is buried in the parish churchyard in Norton village.

The first bell for Big Ben was cast by John Warner and Sons in Norton on 6 August 1856, but became damaged beyond repair while being tested on site and had to be replaced by a foundry more local to Westminster. A hospital opened in Stockton in 1862 and a public library opened in 1877.

Steam trams began running in the streets in 1881 and were replaced by electric trams in 1897. Buses replaced the trams in 1931. In the 1930s slums were cleared and the first council houses were built. At this time, Stockton was still dominated by the engineering industry and there was also a chemicals industry in the town. In the late 20th century manufacturing industry severely declined, although the service industries grew, and today are the town's main employers.

On 10 September 1933 the Battle of Stockton took place, in which between 200 and 300 supporters of the British Union of Fascists were taken to Stockton and attempted to hold a rally in the town, but they were driven out by up to 2,000 anti-fascist demonstrators.

It became a unitary authority on 1 April 1996 and part of the Tees Valley region. For ceremonial purposes the borough is split between County Durham and North Yorkshire, along the line of the River Tees as shown in the map (left) with County Durham to the north and North Yorkshire to the south. It is the only council area in England or Wales to be split between two ceremonial counties.


Stockton is located on the north bank of the River Tees. The town's extreme northern and western areas are located on slightly higher ground than the town centre, which is located directly on the north bank of the Tees. These offer views of the town with its relatively mid-rise centre and the surrounding Tees Valley area.

The town has many suburbs with individual identities: Fairfield, Grangefield, Hardwick, Hartburn, Elm Tree Farm, Norton, Roseworth, Newtown, Bishopsgarth and Oxbridge to name a few. Within the borough, but distinct settlements from the town of Stockton, are Thornaby-on-Tees, Ingleby Barwick, Billingham and Yarm, with Thornaby-on-Tees, Yarm-on-Tees and Ingleby Barwick being within the boundaries of the North Riding of Yorkshire until 1 April 1974.


Stockton-on-Tees has an oceanic climate typical for the United Kingdom. Being sheltered by both the Lake District and Pennines to the west, Stockton is in one of the relatively drier parts of the country, receiving on average 25 inches (643 millimetres) of rain a year. It has more of a continental climate than other parts of the UK, with above average summer temperatures, and below average winter temperatures. Summer highs typically reach around 20 °C (68 °F), while winter lows can fall to several degrees below 0 °C (32 °F). The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate).

Climate data for Stockton-on-Tees
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7
Average low °C (°F) 2
Precipitation mm (inches) 47.2

Town centre

Finkle Street, Stockton on Tees
Row of historic buildings in Finkle Street.

Stockton town centre is the main centre within the borough. High Street, which is the widest in the UK heads north through the town centre, from the junction of Bridge Road and Yarm Lane, culminating at Maxwells Corner, where Norton Road and Bishopton Lane begin. Dovecot Street runs west from the midway point of High Street and further north, Church Road extends east toward Northshore and the River Tees. At the heart of High Street stands the town hall, which dates from 1735 and the Georgian-style Shambles Market Hall. Around the town hall, the largest outdoor market in the north east of England, which has been in existence since the 1300s, is held every Wednesday and Saturday.

From High Street, the town spreads outwards to the west as far as Leeds Street and Prince Regent Street, and to the east as far as Riverside, with the River Tees beyond. Most of the town centre has a Georgian and late medieval influence, with a number of listed buildings as well as a variety of architectural types, which help to define the town’s identity. The shops predominantly have narrow frontages stretching back to gain floorspace. This burgage plot style is particularly evident around the marketplace and on side streets such as Silver Street, Finkle Street and Ramsgate.

The town centre retail is largely concentrated within two shopping centres, Castlegate and Wellington Square. The Castlegate Centre occupies the area where Stockton Castle once stood. Opened in 1972, it incorporates a multi-storey car park and an indoor market. Its façade is a dominant feature along the south east of High Street and is bounded by Finkle Street, Bridge Road and Tower Street. Riverside and the River Tees run almost parallel to the rear of the centre. The Teesquay Millennium Footbridge links the rear of the Castlegate Centre to Castlegate Quay on the north side of the river and then onto Teesdale Business Park and the Durham University - Queen's Campus on the south side in the Ceremonial County of North Yorkshire. Situated at the north west end of the town centre is Wellington Square shopping centre, built upon the old Wellington Street area of the town centre. Opened in 2001 at a cost of £43m, it provides 46 shop units, anchored by Marks & Spencer and Debenham's and car parking.

The town centre has retained a number of the original yards such as Wasp Nest Yard, Hambletonian Yard and Ship Inn Yard that would have historically been a feature. Most interesting is Green Dragon Yard, a courtyard of restored historic warehouses within a series of alleyways. Considered the cultural quarter of the town, it houses the Green Dragon pub, the Green Dragon Studios (recording studios) and the Georgian Theatre – Britain’s oldest surviving Georgian theatre.

As well as providing commercial retail facilities, Stockton town centre also provides a variety of services including national banks and building societies, travel agents, a central post office, hairdressers and beauticians, cafes and restaurants. The refurbishment of some period buildings has provided space for small firms including solicitors, recruitment agencies and accountants.


Since the construction of the Tees Barrage in 1995, the level of the River Tees through the town is permanently held at high tide, creating a backdrop for riverside events and making it useful for a number of water sport activities such as rowing, canoeing, jet skiing and dragon boat racing. Stockton town centre is elevated high above the river and is separated from the riverside by the A1305 Riverside Road, a dual carriageway which runs parallel to the river from Northshore to Chandlers Wharf.

Riverside, Stockton-on-Tees
Aeolian Motion wind sculpture and view of the riverside at Stockton-on-Tees

From the town centre, Bishop Street, Silver Street, Calverts Lane and Thistle Green offer views of the river where it meanders around Teesdale Business Park. Durham University Queens Campus can be seen on the opposite side, as well as the skyline of Middlesbrough in the middle distance and Roseberry Topping in the Cleveland Hills, approximately fifteen miles south east in the far distance. The 11-metre Aeolian Motion wind sculpture stands above the grassy slope which overlooks the riverside and becomes an amphitheatre during large events.

Chandlers Wharf is situated at the north side of the river, where Bridge Road approaches Victoria Bridge. The area is characterised by a mixture of office and residential accommodation, including the colourful twelve-storey Mezzino student apartments at Rialto Court, a Mecca Bingo hall, Burger King and the two-storey Grosvenor Casino which opened in September 2011. Adjacent to the wharf is Castlegate Quay which was once the towns main dock. The quayside is still occupied by Georgian warehouses which have been converted into a number of business units, restaurants and a gym. A full-size replica of local-born Captain James Cook's ship HM Bark Endeavour is moored at the quayside and provides entertainment and educational functions. The Teesside Princess, a two-deck river boat, docks alongside and offers river cruises to Yarm, via Preston Park all year round.

Castlegate Quay, Stockton on Tees
Replica of HM Bark Endeavour and Teesside Princess at Castlegate Quay

Both the north and south banks of the river are retained by steel sheet pile walls and have footpaths along the river edge. The Tees Walkway on the north bank of the river can be accessed from the town centre by the Teesquay Millennium Footbridge or the Riverside Footbridge and provides a walk along the embankment, as well as a cycle path which forms part of the National Cycle Network. From Castlegate Quay, the tree-lined path along the waterfront toward the Princess of Wales Bridge opens into green space for events and a car parking area. Beyond the Princess of Wales Bridge, the slipway at the River Tees Watersports Centre is situated at the western area of Northshore, which is currently development and leads up to the Tees Barrage.



The town is served by two main arterial roads: the transpennine A66 (east/west) and the A19 (north/south). The A19 connects Stockton with York in the south, and extends to Peterlee and Sunderland, to the north. East of the town centre is the A1046, a mostly dual carriageway which runs through Portrack as Portrack Lane, a major retail zone, particularly for home furnishings and DIY. From Portrack, the A1046 continues to its northern terminus at Port Clarence. The A139 connects the town centre with the northern suburb of Norton. This was the original route for the A19 before a bypass was built to the east of the town.

The A177 runs from Stockton town centre to Durham. Known as Durham Road, it passes Sedgefield en route, and is a major route in to and out of Stockton.

The A66 connects Stockton directly to Middlesbrough (8 miles (13 km) to the east) and Darlington (10 miles (16 km) to the west). Beyond Darlington lies the A1(M). The A66 is connected to Stockton centre by the A135. The old A135 was renumbered A1027, and this continues through the town to Billingham. The A135 is named '1825 Way' to commemorate the former Stockton and Darlington Railway's opening; the 1825 Way's northern end is St John's Crossing, adjacent to the old Stockton Railway Station buildings.

Stockton-on-Tees map
Stockton town centre on the north bank of the Tees (to the left)

A number of bus services operate in Stockton, and most services pass through the High Street. The services cover large areas of the region including Middlesbrough, Teesside Park, Thornaby-on-Tees, Billingham, Sedgefield, Durham, Sunderland, Peterlee, and Newcastle upon Tyne. Stagecoach on Teesside and Arriva North East are the major service providers, while six smaller companies also operate in the area.


Stockton Station serves the town; however, more regular and long-distance services run from nearby Thornaby.


Teesside International Airport is partially located within the borough, several miles west of the town. The airport offers domestic flights and services international festival destinations, especially in the EU.

Culture and leisure

There are a number of nightclubs and bars in the town centre, particularly at the southern end of High Street. Stockton also provides a number of restaurants, amusement arcades, a bingo hall, a snooker club, and health and fitness facilities.

Active leisure

The towns main active leisure facility is 'Splash', a large wet and dry facility situated on Church Road which has recently undergone major developments. The complex includes a 25-metre pool with wave machine and flumes, a learner pool and a spa pool, a two-storey fitness facility, dry multi-activity spaces, café and Sportwall & Dance facilities. The proximity of the River Tees affords a number of other active leisure opportunities, particularly centred on the Castlegate Quay Watersports Centre and the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre, a nationally recognised water sport and leisure destination. During 2010 and 2011, the facility underwent a £4.6m upgrade which made it the first sustainable white water course, and one of the best in the world. It offers kayaking, whitewater slalom, play boating, power boating, sailing and white water rafting plus surfing on the 'surf wave'. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, visited Stockton on 18 July 2012 to officially reopen the International White Water Course as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour of the United Kingdom.


Theatres in the town include the ARC Theatre on Dovecot Street, the Globe Theatre (currently under restoration) at the north western end of High Street and the Georgian Theatre, situated in the Green Dragon Yard.

The ARC Theatre & Arts Centre, built in 1999 comprises a multi-purpose arts centre embracing cinema, theatre, dance and music. It has three floors offering four venues: a 260-seat theatre, a 100-seat studio theatre, the point/music area accommodating 550 standing, and the cinema, seating 130. It also has exhibition spaces, meeting rooms, a café and two bars.

The Globe Theatre was expected to reopen in September 2013, following a lengthy, careful restoration project. A Grade II listed theatre built in 1936 on the same site as two previous theatres, it has hosted many famous acts such as Buddy Holly, the Platters, Guy Mitchell, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Cilla Black, Carl Perkins, Cliff Richard, the Shadows and Chuck Berry. The Beatles famously played the Globe on Friday 22 November 1963, the day U. S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

The Georgian Theatre at Green Dragon Yard is also Grade II listed and is the oldest Georgian theatre in the country. Originally opened in 1766, it fell into disrepair during the 19th century but later became used as a sweet factory and a community building. Eventually, in 2007/08 the building was given a full makeover along with its neighbour Green Dragon Studios and now serves as an intimate venue for live entertainment, with a capacity of 200.


The town centre also benefits from one of Europe’s largest open air festivals, the Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF), which takes over the town once a year. This event used to be totally free. Although the events in the town centre are still free the Stockton Weekender Festival held on Riverside has become a paid for ticket only event. Spread over a five-day period, it attracts over 250,000 visitors and features a variety of acts from a circus, comedy, music, dance and street theatre.

Additionally, the Stockton Weekender Festival - an independently produced music event - brings thousands of pop and rock music fans into town each summer.

A range of other events and entertainment are organised throughout the year on High Street and the riverside. Major annual events include the Stockton Riverside Firework Display, which attracts around 100,000 spectators from all around the region, with fairground atractions and also the Stockton Sparkles Christmas Festival, with live choir and christmas markets.

Public parks

South Lodge, Ropner Park, Stockton on Tees
Ropner Park Lodge

Stockton has a number of public parks and nature reserves. Most notable is Ropner Park, a Victorian-style park, located on the outskirts of the town, near Hartburn village. Opened in 1893 and renovated in 2007, the park has tree-lined avenues approaching an ornate water fountain, surrounded by rockeries and floral displays. Overlooking the lake, the bandstand provides live band music on Sunday afternoons, during the summer months. Seasonal fairs and occasional organised events are staged at the park throughout the year.

Further upstream is Preston Park, a 100-acre (0.40 km2) public park located next to the River Tees. The park hosts many events each year that attract people from across Teesside and further afield. Preston Hall, once the home of Sir Robert Ropner, is situated within the grounds and is now a museum. The park also houses 'Butterfly World' an artificial tropical environment, housing various species of exotic butterflies and reptiles.

Downstream on the River Tees is Portrack Marsh Nature Reserve, a 50 acres (20 ha) nature reserve by the northern bank of the river between the Tees Barrage and the Tees Viaduct near Portrack housing estate. It is the last remaining wetland on the lower Tees. Ownership of the reserve is split between Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and Northumbrian Water, but the reserve is managed by Tees Valley Wildlife Trust. The west and north part of the reserve is mature marsh while there are a series of man – made ponds in the remainder.


Stockton Football Club existed from 1882 until it folded 1975. The clubs assets were transferred to Norton Cricket Club, who subsequently founded the Norton & Stockton Ancients, who folded in December 2016. There are two other football clubs in the town. Stockton Town F.C. currently play in the STL Northern League and Stockton West End who currently play in the Teesside Football League Division One.

Stockton Cricket Club was established in 1816, and has been located at the Grangefield Cricket Ground, Grangefield since 1891. The club currently fields three senior teams at weekends in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions of the Dukes North East Premier League.

Stockton Rugby Club is the local Rugby Union side, established in 1873. Home games are now played at the Grangefield Ground following a historic community partnership agreement with Stockton Cricket club and Grangefield Academy in 2015.

Image gallery


Stockton is famous as the home of the friction match and the Stockton and Darlington Railway, which operated the world's first steam-hauled passenger train in 1825. The town also has the world's oldest passenger railway station building. Industry and engineering remained central to Stockton's economy over many years, and major industries have included shipbuilding and repair, heavy engineering, steel, and chemicals manufacturing. However, during the twentieth century, Teesside's heavy industry declined dramatically.


Since the 1980s, Stockton has seen an increase in service industries. The development of Teesdale Business Park on the south bank of the River Tees has created commercial space with many large service providers opening call centres and offices in the area. Durham University's Queen's Campus is also situated within the Teesdale development, which is linked to the town centre by the Teesquay Millennium Footbridge, Princess of Wales Bridge, and Infinity Bridge. In 1995, after four years' construction, the Tees Barrage was commissioned, permanently holding the upstream river waters at the level of an average high tide.

Future development

Work is under way to develop the north bank of the River Tees in Stockton with the £300 million Northshore scheme, which will include new offices, leisure facilities, housing, a 150-bedroom hotel, and a new campus for Durham University.

In 2012, a long-term scheme aimed at transforming the town centre area was announced, with investment of approximately £38 million, just over £20 million being contributed by Stockton Borough Council, and the remainder coming from the private sector and grants. The investment programme aimed to attract more retailers, businesses, and shoppers to the town by opening up new spaces and links to the River Tees, providing easier access and parking, and capitalising on the town's heritage and cultural assets.

Plans include the introduction of an expansive plaza area 'Infinity View' that will open up the pedestrian area to dramatic views of the award-winning Infinity Bridge. Under the scheme, the banks of the River Tees will be transformed with a series of impressive light installations which will stretch along the waterfront, from the Princess of Wales Bridge to the Millennium Bridge. This permanent colourful illumination is intended to add value to the riverside businesses and restaurants and play an important part in the council's events programme throughout the year.[needs update]

Stockton is one of 12 towns in England to share in £1.2 million of funding, support from retail guru Mary Portas and her own team, as part of the Portas Pilot scheme. Selected from over 370 applications, Stockton's Town Team Consortium, comprising Stockton Council, Tees Music Alliance, Durham University Queen's Campus, town centre retailers, A Way Out and Stockton Heritage in Partnership, will have the opportunity to share in expert advice and guidance from a range of retail experts.

Stockton on Tees 2018
the High Street, Castlegate shops in the background are planned for demolition

The Stockton-Middlesbrough Initiative is a 20-year vision for regenerating the urban core of the Tees Valley, the main focus being the 30 km2 (12 sq mi) area along the banks of the River Tees between the two centres of Stockton and Middlesbrough. The master plan has been drawn up by environmental design specialists Gillespies, the eventual aim being to bring distinctive high-quality city-scale assets to the centre of the Tees Valley, including the town centres of Stockton and Middlesbrough. The project will include the existing developments at North Shore, Stockton and Middlesbrough, with many others over a 15- to 20-year period.

In February 2020 it was announced that the Castlegate Shopping Centre is set to be demolished in 2022.


The mean weekly income for Stockton residents was £522.70 in 2017. This is below the U.K. mean of £538.70. In some parts of Stockton, most households' income is below the poverty threshold. The mean privately rented house in Stockton cost £525 per month in 2017, compared with a mean of £480 across North East England.[needs update]


Stockton Cricket Club was established in 1816, and has been located at the Grangefield Cricket Ground since 1891. The club currently fields three senior teams at weekends in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Divisions of the Dukes North East Premier League.

Stockton Football Club existed from 1882 until it folded in 1975. They played at the Victoria Ground which also held greyhound racing (one of two venues in the town to do so along with Belle Vue Park). The club's assets were transferred to Norton Cricket Club, who subsequently founded the Norton & Stockton Ancients Football Club. There are two other football clubs in the town. Stockton Town F.C. play in the Northern League Division One after consecutive promotions winning the Wearside League in 2016 and Northern League Division 2 in 2017. Meanwhile, Stockton West End currently play in the North Riding Football League Premier Division.

Stockton Rugby Club, established in 1873, is the local Rugby Union team. Home games are now played at the Grangefield Ground following a community partnership agreement with Stockton Cricket club and Grangefield Academy in 2015.


Notable people

People born in Stockton include:

  • Francis Arthur Bainbridge, physiologist
  • Jamie Bell, actor
  • Neal Bishop, footballer
  • C. J. Bolland, electronic music producer in Belgium
  • Daniel Casey, actor
  • Ivy Close, actress
  • Edward Cooper, soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross.
  • Brass Crosby, Lord Mayor of London
  • Freddie Dixon, motorcycle and car racing driver
  • Lesley Duncan, pop singer-songwriter
  • Maurice Elvey, film director
  • Charles Foulkes, Canadian Army officer who served in the Second World War and became a four-star general
  • James Gaddas, actor
  • Martin Gray, footballer
  • Will Hay, comic actor
  • Frank Hawley, Japanologist (1906-1961.
  • Richard Anthony Hewson, jazz-funk music producer
  • Thomas Hornby, cricketer
  • Robert Icke, director and writer
  • David Ingman, engineer, Chairman of the British Waterways Board 1987–1993
  • Heather Ingman, Professor of English, novelist and journalist
  • Jimmy James, comedian
  • Richard Kilty, sprinter
  • Jordan Nobbs, footballer
  • Geoff Parling, England and British and Irish Lions rugby player
  • Luke Pearson, cartoonist
  • Colin Renfrew, archaeologist
  • Joseph Ritson, literary critic and editor
  • Franc Roddam, film director/producer
  • Graham Rowntree, England rugby player
  • Thomas Sheraton, furniture designer
  • Michael Short, Professor of Engineering and author
  • Paul Smith, singer in rock band Maximo Park
  • Peter Smithson, architect
  • Calvert Spensley, American politician
  • Bill Steer, co-founder and lead guitarist of extreme metal band Carcass.
  • Jeremy Swift, actor
  • Bruce Thomas, new wave bass guitar backing musician
  • Stephen Tompkinson, actor
  • John Walker, inventor of the friction match

Other notable residents include:

  • Duncan Bannatyne, entrepreneur, moved to Stockton when he was 30, before he made his fortune.
  • Matthew Bates, footballer
  • Lee Cattermole, footballer
  • William Christopher, Hudson's Bay Company captain and explorer
  • Alan Davey, CBE, former civil servant, council administrator and BBC Radio 3 controller
  • Elizabeth Estensen, actress
  • Jonathan Franks, footballer
  • Don Heath, footballer, winner of the League Cup in 1969, when his Swindon team beat Arsenal 3–1
  • Harold Macmillan, MP for Stockton (1924–29, 1931–45), later Prime Minister (1957–63), invested as Earl of Stockton (1984)
  • Michael Marks, founder of Marks & Spencer, started his business career in Stockton in 1883.
  • George Orwell, author, resided for a year (1944–45) in Greystones, near Carlton, a village in the borough.
  • Bill Rodgers, Baron Rodgers of Quarry Bank, MP for the town (1962–83), co-founder of the SDP
  • Ridley Scott and Tony Scott, film directors, both lived in Stockton during their youth.
  • Lee Turnbull, footballer

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