SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
IN HISTORY

1857 ~ 1865




1857 - The Ordnance Survey map of this year shows the entrance to the castle was off Guisborough Rd with a lodge at the gateway. Opposite the lodge were the "Spring Gardens". The driveway crossed the Castle moat over a bridge. Two streams from Bag Dale and Lawn Gill ran either side of the Castle and these were dammed to form the moat, the water level of which appears to have been controlled by a sluice gate behind the Castle. The surplus water drained then towards Skelton Beck and helped fill the pond which was driving force for Skelton Corn Mill. The Corn Mill below the Castle was almost certainly the site mentioned way back in the De Brus times. The 1856 map clearly shows a rectangle of buildings there that have since been demolished. The only remaining building today is the Miller's house. The Nazi Germans did their best to destroy that too in the Second World War when it was hit by a bomb. But it still stands, showing its scars. The Mill was also supplied with water by a mill race that was diverted off Skelton Beck below Upleatham and is pictured top right. The water must have passed via a culvert under Marske Lane and driven the Mill wheel before being returned to the Beck.
[The photograph of the Mill Race was contributed, as have many on this site, by Alan Ward.]
The new priest at Skelton All Saints Old Church was John Gardiner.

1858 - Building of the parsonage house and school at Cross Green.

The Skelton extension of the Cleveland Railway enabled the Bell Brothers to obtain an important tract of ironstone on the Skelton estate, Shaft and Park pits.

John Gardiner. LL.D.
Rector of Skelton from 1857 to 1886 and the main mover of the building of the New Church in the High St.

Limestone quarries were also acquired in Weardale.
Ultimately the firm owned all the supplies of raw material required for their Clarence works, which had been started four years earlier with 3 blast furnaces on the North bank of the Tees opposite Middlesbrough.

1859 - John Thomas Wharton of Skelton Castle made the gift of a font of carved Caen Stone to the Old church. This was moved to the new church in the High St in 1884.
It is inscribed:-

"A thank offering from John Thomas Wharton on the birth of his son William Henry Anthony AD 1859"

J T Wharton was especially grateful, as he was aged 51 years of age when his son was born and his wife Charlotte was 42.
Whether or not this was the first time Charlotte had given birth is not known.
To see the font in the new Church click here.

Charles Darwin's Origin of Species is published.

Skelton Story of Forbidden Love. - A new young Curate, the Rev Crawford Townsend Bowen, aged 25, came to Skelton in this year 1859.
He was from an aristocratic Norfolk family, and in these times people thought much of their ancestral position.
His branch of the family had not inherited the land that in those times brought in the wealth, but he enjoyed the patronage of those who had. He had received a privileged education in the Arts, being ,among other things, the composer of Bowen's Te Deum and a lecturer in the Astronomy of the day.
The elder clergyman at Skelton was the Rev John Gardner, who resided in the brand new Parsonage.


Hannah Bowen. [nee Tate].


Rev Crawford Townsend Bowen.

Crawford took lodgings with the Tate family a few houses further up North Terrace.
This was a small sandstone cottage occupied by John Tate, a labourer and carrier, his wife Mary and family.
What the sleeping arrangements were is left to the imagination.
The Tates had a beautiful 17 year old daughter, named Hannah, and for Crawford she proved irresistible.
Despite the social requirements of the time, the opposition of his family and the withdrawal of their patronage, Crawford and Hannah were married at Skelton Church in 1860.
Their first child was born in Skelton in 1861 and they went on to have five children in all. The proximity of this first child's birth to the wedding suggests that the marriage ceremony may have been conducted at the point of Mr Tate's shotgun.
Crawford gained a position in nearby Guisborough and then a "living" at Bolam and Gainford, near Darlington, Co Durham, where the photograph shown here was taken.
He died in 1908 and must have had a strong attachment to Skelton, for his body was brought back here for burial.
Hannah died in 1911 and she too lies in Skelton Churchyard.
[This information and the photographs of Crawford and Hannah, taken in later days, have been kindly contributed by Dr Tony Nicholson, Lecturer in History at the University of Teesside. On moving into an old house in the High St, Brotton, N Yorks he found in the attic a cache of old letters left by Crawford and Hannah's daughter-in-law, Annie. They reveal this and many other fascinating stories and Tony is currently producing a book about them. Annie had married the Bowen's son Augustus, who was seen as a devious and unreliable character even by his own mother. Annie had ended up deserted and renting living space in the attic where the mementoes of her sad life were found.]

August 29th - The London Gazette. Insolvency.
Notice is hereby given, tbat the County Court of Yorkshire, at York, acting in the matter of this Petition, will proceed to make a Final-Order thereon, at the said Court, on the 16th day of May next, at nine of the clock in the forenoon precisely, unless cause be then and there shewn to the contrary. In the Matter of the Petition of Hindson Andrew, heretofore of Skelton, in Cleveland, in the county of York, Labourer, then of Skelton aforesaid, Common Carrier, and now of Skelton aforesaid, Labourer.

1860 - Alum mining in Skelton ceased around this time.

3rd March - FORMATION OF RIFLE VOLUNTEERS.
Pursuant to public notice, a meeting of the inhabitants of Marske and Upleatham townships was held at the Zetland school room Marske on Monday evening last, Thomas Lawrence Yeoman Esq, the clerk of the peace for the North Riding, in the chair.
It was unanimously agreed to form a Company of not less than 60 rifles between the townships of Marske, Upleatham and Skelton. 95 was promised before the meeting closed.
23 men at once enrolled as Volunteers and there is every probability of an efficient Corps being raised as the inhabitants have gone energetically into the movement.

30th May - The 1st Administrative Battalion, of the Yorkshire North Riding Rifle Volunteers was established at Richmond, N Yorks, for Home Defence.
Certain places in the Riding raised a Rifle Volunteer Corps, Local volunteers had formed at the beginning of the century to oppose Napoleon.
The Skelton section was the 18th North Riding Volunteer Corps.

1861 - The national census showed that Skelton including Lingdale, Boosbeck and N Skelton comprised 4623 acres and had a population of 1034 with 517 males and 517 females. Separate figures for each village were not registered until 1911.
There were 221 inhabited houses and one empty.
The national population was 20 million.

Guisborough Workhouse had only one person registered from Skelton, a little boy, Thomas Dunn, entered as a "scholar, aged 11".

Severe Winter. The River Tees was frozen from Christmas Day 1860 until March 1861.


Skelton Parsonage

Skelton Shaft Ironstone Mine
Opening of Skelton Shaft Mine by Bell brothers There was initially just a drift entrance on the hillside and later a 114 ft shaft was dug making it the first shaft mine in Cleveland. It was connected to the railway line which reached the area in this year. After some conflict with the "Stockton and Darlington" railway owners and a Parliamentary inquiry the "Cleveland Railway" was opened. This line ran from the iron works at Middlesbrough via Upsall, Guisborough, Boosbeck and Brotton as far as the ironstone mine at Skinningrove. The line to Skelton Shaft was a spur that branched off at the Spawood ironstone mine and crossed the Guisborough/Whitby moor road by a stone bridge [now demolished]. It would be some years before any passenger trains ran.
For more information on Skelton Shaft Mine, click here.

Remains in 1960 of the Railway spur that connected Park Pit and Shaft with the main line at Spawood Mine.
[Photograph kindly contributed by Brian Hudson, Professor of Urban Development, Brisbane, Australia, a native of Skelton.]

1862 Friday April 18th. AUCTION, (Without Reserve) At Skelton, in Cleveland, at THREE o'Clock, p.m., An 8-HORSE ENGINE and THRASHING MACHINE, with Saw Bench attached, all in good repair, by Hornsby and Son.

- May 9th. FIRST DEATHS IN SKELTON SHAFT MINE. -
"On Tuesday last, Mr Sowerby, coroner, held an inquest at the house of Mr Nicholson, Cleveland St, Guisborough to enquire into the circumstances of the death of Elijah Burns, who died on the previous day. The deceased was workman at the Skelton Mines and on Monday was engaged in taking out a "leg" and in consequence of his not being sufficiently careful, a mass of rubbish fell upon him and broke his leg, besides doing him other serious injury. He was taken to Guisborough and medical aid procured, but the injuries he had recieved were so extensive that he died the same day. He was a man of very steady and quiet habits and had been at work at the mines only a few days. He leaves a wife and one child. Verdict - Accidental death." The first [recorded] death of the many that would follow in the cause of raising iron in this area.

May 17. Skelton Shaft Mine. Robert Atterton, aged 22, was killed. Robert's wife gave birth to his daughter, Mary Elizabeth Atterton in the following November.

The moat at Skelton Castle, which had been created at the re-building between 1785 and 1817, was now drained.

12th December - DEATH OF ISAAC SCARTH.
On the 4th at Skelton in Cleveland, aged 78, Isaac Scarth, late of Stanghow in Cleveland. He had been the Guardian of the Poor of Stanghow ever since the formation of the Guisborough Poor Law Union in February 1837.

1864 - The Burials Act created Boards in each area, taking responsibility for churchyards and records from the church.

16th January - ASSAULT ON POLICE.
William Curtis, late of Skelton, was brought up under a warrant of remand, charged with having on the 24th December last at Skelton unlawfully assaulted George Hardy of Skelton, while in the due execution of his duty as a police constable. PC Hardy, who had his head in bandages and appeared to be in a very weak state deposed:-
"On the 24th December last, about quarter to twelve at night, I was on duty at Skelton. When proceeding from the West end of Skelton towards Marske Lance, I found some 30 or 40 men opposite the Duke William public house.
The crowd consisted of navvies, miners and labourers, who were making a great disturbance, some challenging others to fight. Curtis was in the crowd.
I requested the crowd to disperse several times. The prisoner and onother man were very insolent ot me and said they would not go away.
I walked through the crowd towards Marsked Lane and turned a little to the right, when there was a great shout in the crowd and I turned round and saw Curtis's left hand up and it came with a swing towards my ear. I felt something hard like a stone hit me on the left side of my head. I turned round and with great difficulty prevented myself falling to the ground.
I asked him why he had thrown a stone at my head and he said -
"If I have done that, I will do some more." and put himself in a fighting attitude.
A man then pulled him away. The blood was streaming from my face and I was assisted into the home of Mr Wilkinson's, the butcher.
I have been confined to my house until a few days ago."
Curtis said - "I am very sorry that I assaulted the constable, but I did not know that I threw the stone. I was the worse for drink."


Skelton Primitive Methodists
He was committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions at Northallerton.

1865 - Building of the Skelton Primitive Methodist Church.

The Primitive Methodists in Skelton , had previously been meeting in local rooms, but the movement was by now 50 years old.

Primitive Methodism was started by a person called Hugh Bourne, who was born in 1772 at Stoke. He became a Wesleyan Methodist Lay Preacher and his radical ideas and Camp meetings caused him to be expelled from the Methodist Church in 1808. He built his own church 1811 and sent out evangelists. Within thirty years he had 100,000 followers and 1,000 churches.They were popularly known as the "Ranters". Primitive to them meant, original, getting back to the real beginnings of whatever they believed in.


Next Page - 1865 TO 1867.
Previous Page - Skelton Map 1856.
Contents Page.