Uncertain. Martun(e) -ton 1086 etc. Either Old Norse marr ‘fen, marsh’ or Old Norse marr ‘a horse’ + tun. The former hardly fits the situation of Marton, the latter might replace Old Northumbrian marh (Old England mearh) It is remarkable that this element has been so rarely identified in English place-names, yet there must have been many horse farms. Nearby Redcar was already famous for horse-racing in the 18th century; wild horses must have roamed the Cleveland Hills, cf. Rosedale ‘the wild-horse valley’.
Information about this place-name was supplied by Victor Watts by personal communication
Under the heading “Land of the King” it says: In Martune Ulchil 1 carucate for geld. Land for half a plough. (A carucate was roughly 100 acres. Geld was a tax that had to be paid.)
Under the heading “Lands of Robert Malet” it says:
In Martune, Edmund had 5 carucates of land for geld, where 1 plough can be. Robert has (it) now, and it is waste. T.R.E. it was worth 10s. (T.R.E. stands for “in the time of King Edward the Confessor”.)
See William Farrer’s translation in “The Victoria History of the County of York” vol.2 (ed.) W.Page (1912)
The Norman baron Robert Malet held extensive estates in England according to the Domesday Book (1086). These were forfeited to King Henry I due to Malet’s treason and it is not clear who acquired the overlordship of Marton. Among the local landowners in the 12th and 13th centuries were the Malebisse or Malebiche family. A family that took the name of Marton held land here in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.
See “The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Yorkshire North Riding” vol.2 (ed.) W.Page (1923)
An Early Mention
From the North Riding Quarter Sessions, Helmsley 1695
“the Deputy Bailiff of Langbarugh to pay the £10 by him levied of the inhabitants of Marton for not repairing their highways to the Surveyors of the highways of Marton aforesaid to be employed in the repair of the highways for which they stand indicted.”
An early mention in literature can be found in “The History of Cleveland in the County of York” J. Graves (1808).
“The village is small, situated about a quarter of a mile to the south from the road leading from Stockton to Guisbrough; and consists chiefly of a few farm houses and cottages, ranged irregularly on the summit of a gentle elevation, and divided into east and west Marton; with the mansion house of the Lord of the manor to the north. The grounds adjoining consist of rich and fertile pastures which seem never to have been in tillage; but from the appearance of numerous foundations of houses, were probably the site of a town of much greater magnitude and importance than the present village.”
The Lay Subsidy of 1301
Movable goods belonging to 42 households were taxed in 1301, yielding a total of just over £40. The highest taxpayer was William de Ryvaus who paid almost 30 shillings for one property, and just under 3 shillings for another. With 42 tax-paying households, Marton was larger than many of the neighbouring villages.
Derived from “Yorkshire Lay Subsidy” edited by W.Brown (Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series) (1897).
St. Cuthbert (1848, but with some medieval features)
Stewart Park stables (1864)
Parochial School (1849)
Westgate House (1847)
A Few Lost Buildings
The old vicarage (1702) demolished in 1847 and a new vicarage built on the site.
Marton Lodge (1788) destroyed by fire in 1832.
Gunnergate Hall (1857) demolished in 1946.
Marton Hall (1869) destroyed by fire in 1960.
Tollesby Hall (early 19th century) demolished in 1984.
Marton Bungalow (1898) demolished in 1962.
Some People of Note
James Cook, (1728-1779) An explorer who became famous for his voyages in the Pacific Ocean.
John Vaughan (1799-1868) An Ironmaster from Wales who became a partner in Bolckow, Vaughan and Company. He lived at Gunnergate Hall from 1860.
Henry Bolckow (1806-1878) An Ironmaster from Mecklenburg who founded Bolckow, Vaughan and Company, Middlesbrough’s largest ironmakers. He was Middlesbrough’s first mayor and first M.P. He built Marton Hall as his main residence.
Raylton Dixon (1836-1901) A shipbuilder from Cockfield who owned the Cleveland Dockyard, Middlesbrough’s largest shipyard. He lived in Gunnergate Hall from 1888.
Ernest Trevor (1886-1816) Rev. Ernest Wilberforce Trevor was born in Marton where his father was vicar. He was ordained priest in 1910 and became an army chaplain in 1915. He was killed while helping the wounded on the Western Front.
Claude Fairweather (1906-2003) Brigadier Fairbrother grew up in Marton. He had a long and distinguished career in the Territorial Army and was Deputy Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath.
Agnes Spencer (1860-1959) A philanthropist who was born and died in Marton. She married Thomas Spencer of Marks and Spencer. She provided for a new church in Easterside, Middlesbrough.
Keith Schellenberg (1929- ) A businessman and sportsman from Marton. He competed as a bobsleigh steersman for Great Britain in the Winter Olympics in 1956 and 1964.
The Hearth Tax of 1673
Marton was a place of some size in 1673 judging by the Hearth Tax returns. There were 78 dwellings altogether. 43 houses had 1 or 2 hearths, There were 2 houses with 3 hearths and 1 house with 4. The largest properties belonged to “Mr Tho Foster” with 5 hearths, “Nic Pearson” also with 5, and the lord of the manor “Edw Westrop esq” with 7 hearths. A further 29 small dwellings were discharged by legal certificate as being below the tax threshold.
See “The Hearth Tax List for the North Riding of Yorkshire, Michaelmas 1673″, Ripon Historical Society (2011).
2001 4,866 (Marton Ward)
White’s Directory of 1840 included 18 farmers in Marton, along with a blacksmith, a miller, a butcher, a tailor, 4 shoemakers and 2 bricklayers. Joseph Harper had the Rudd’s Arms and William Atkinson had the Royal Oak. Kelly’s Directory for 1893 had a similar list, but the Royal Oak was missing and there was a shopkeeper, a gardener and a horse trainer. Ward’s Directory of 1936 mentioned a butcher, a joiner, and someone who combined the trades of builder, joiner and undertaker. The modern parade of shops in Marton dates from the 1960s.
A Selection of Dates
1187 By this date, St. Cuthbert’s had been granted to the canons of Guisborough Priory.
13th century East Marton and West Marton were distinct villages at this time.
1728 Captain James Cook was born in East Marton.
1752 A Baptist Church was built in West Marton.
1764 Forster’s Map showed East and West Marton still in existence as two distinct villages.
1786 Bartholomew Rudd purchased the Marton estate and cleared East Marton to make space for Marton Lodge, his new residence.
1812 Three men died in a well near the Rudd’s Arms.
1832 Marton Lodge, by this time the home of Rev. T.M.Rudd, was destroyed by fire.
1842 A Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built.
1843 St. Cuthbert’s church was restored.
1850 The Captain Cook School and School House were completed.
1853 Henry Bolckow purchased the Marton estate and began building Marton Hall.
Marton Cricket Club was founded around this time.
1857 Gunnergate Hall was built for Charles Leatham. John Vaughan purchased it three years later.
1894 The area around the Grove was designated as suitable for housing. In this year, Marton Parish Council was formed. It lasted until 1968.
1898 Marton Bungalow was built. It was demolished in 1962.
1914 The Yorkshire Regiment occupied Marton Hall during the First World War.
1928 Thomas Dormand Stewart purchased Marton Hall and its park and gave it to the people of Middlesbrough as Stewart Park.
1931 Middlesbrough Music Festival was held in Stewart Park.
1945 An open-air production of Merrie England was staged in the park, with an orchestra and a large cast.
1951 William Brunton gave the Cricket Club a playing field.
1957 Captain Cook’s Country Club was opened.
1960 Marton Hall was destroyed by fire.
1961 Work began to construct the parade of shops on Stokesley Road.
1963 Marton Library was opened. The annual Teesside Show was held at Stewart Park for the first time.
1970 A new Methodist church was dedicated.
1973 St. Andrew’s United Reformed Church was built. The Parkway Cricket Ground opened.
1974 From this year, the annual show was known as the Cleveland Show.
1975 The Teesside Parkway was constructed, creating one of the busiest crossroads in Teesside at its junction with Stokesley Road in Marton.
1976 Gypsy Lane railway halt came into service.
1978 The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in Stewart Park was opened.
1982 Ormesby Station was re-named Marton Station. In the same year Marton Football Club was formed. Within 25 years two of its players became England internationals.
1991 Marton Parish Hall was built.
2008 The Rudds Arms re-opened after being refurbished.
2009 Marton Cricket Club became champions of the North Yorkshire and South Durham League for the first time. They were champions again in 2011.
2017 Marton Country Club was closed.
This list of dates was compiled using “Marton and Nunthorpe” by Paul Stephenson (2003) and other secondary sources.
Suggested Further Reading
“The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Yorkshire North Riding” vol.2 (ed.) W.Page (1923)
“Marton and Nunthorpe” by Paul Stephenson (2003)
“Memories of Stewart Park” L.Gallagher (2009)
“Know Your Parish: Marton” J.Brunton, C.F.H.S. Journal vol.4 no.3 (1989)