The settlement ‘at the oak-tree clearings’. Aclun -um, Achelum, 1086, Ac(c)lum 12th century-1404, Acclam 1399. Old English ac-leah, dative plural ac-leum.
Information about this place-name was supplied by Victor Watts by personal communication
Under the heading “Land of Robert Malet” it says:
“In Aclun, Edmund had 1 carucate of land for geld. Robert has (it) and it is waste. Land for half a plough.” (A carucate was roughly 100 acres. Geld was a tax that had to be paid.)
Under the heading “Land of Earl Hugh” it says:
“In Aclum and Englebi (Ingleby Barwick), a berewick, (there are) 11 carucates for geld, and 7 ploughs can be (there). Earl Siward held this for 1 manor. Now Earl Hugh has (it), and Hugh son of Norman under him. On the demesne (are) 3 ploughs and (there are ) 12 villeins with 3 ploughs. (There is) a church and a priest. The whole manor (has) 2 leagues in length and 1 in breadth. T.R.E. it was worth £48; now (it is worth) 40s. (A league was three miles. T.R.E. means “in the time of King Edward the Confessor”)
To this manor belongs this soc:- Colebi, I carucate, Himeligetun, 3 carucates, Steinton, 2 carucates, Torentun, 3 carucates, Maltebi, 3 carucates, Englebi (Cold Ingleby), 6 carucates, Tormozbi, 4 carucates,, Steinesbi, 3 carucates. In the whole 25 carucates for geld. (adds to 24 only) and 15 ploughs can be (there). All are waste, except Englebi, where there are 3 sochmen with 3 ploughs.”
Based on William Farrer’s translation in “The Victoria History of the County of York” vol.2 (ed.) W.Page (1912)
Siward, earl of Northumberland, held Acklam before the Norman Conquest. Henry I granted Acklam to Robert de Brus, and the Brus family remained the overlords here until 1272. The local tenants were the de Acklam family, whose holdings passed by marriage to the Boyntons. The Boynton family were lords of Acklam from the 13th century until the 17th century when they sold the estate to William Hustler.
See “The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Yorkshire North Riding” vol.2 (ed.) W.Page (1923)
An Early Mention
At the Thirsk Quarter Sessions of October 1670 reference was made to the High Sheriff of Yorkshire’s inquiry “by the oaths of good and lawful men of the county aforesaid if it should be to the damage or prejudice of the King’s Majesty, or any others, if the King’s Majesty should grant unto Will. Hustler . . . that he should enclose and hold so enclosed to him and his heirs a certain way in Acklam in the county aforesaid, which leadeth from the town of Marton by and through the town of Acklam unto the King’s highway on the west side of the town of the said town, so that, instead thereof, he should make another way of the same length and breadth in his grounds so complete for persons passing that way..”
An early mention in literature appeared in “The History of Cleveland in the North Riding of the County of York” J Graves 1808)
“The village is small, situated upon the road leading from Stockton; from which it is about three miles distant, and seven from the market town of Stokesley . . .
Acklam Hall, the seat of Thomas Hustler, Esq. stands a little to the east of the village, about half a mile from the road leading to Stockton; the approach to which is through an extensive avenue of ancient firs and lime trees. The mansion, which was chiefly erected by Sir William Hustler, Knight, is a handsome square building, fronting to the south and west, and sheltered on the east and north with plantations; which, from the road at a distance, have a good effect upon the landscape. As the situation is rather low, the prospect is not greatly varied, nor very extensive, but the grounds in front, which are smooth and level, having been opened and improved by the present owner, present a verdant foreground, and give to the whole a soft and pleasing aspect.
The church of Acklam stands near the mansion on the north, and is a small modern structure, consisting of a nave and chancel; lately rebuilt of hewn stone, and covered with slate; and being well lighted and seated in a regular and uniform manner, is a neat and commodious place of worship.”
The Lay Subsidy of 1301
18 people were taxed in this national levy on movable goods. Two members of the Boynton family paid the highest amount in tax, as might be expected. Ingram de Boynton paid just under 10 shillings, while William de Boynton paid 3 shillings 7d. William the bailiff paid only slightly less, at 3 shillings exactly. An unusual name in the Acklam tax returns is William de Loundres. Sometimes in medieval records “Loundres” was used for London. Could it be that a Londoner had property in Acklam in 1301?
Derived from “Yorkshire Lay Subsidy” edited by W.Brown (Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series) (1897)
Acklam Hall (1683)
St. Mary’s church (1876 and 1957, on the site of the medieval church)
A Few Lost Buildings
The Blue Bell Inn (18th century diarists mentioned staying there) replaced by the Blue Bell Hotel.
Mill Hill (A working farm in the 1850s, later a school) closed 1999, then demolished. On the site of an earlier building.
Village school (1871) demolished in the 1960s, except for the schoolmaster’s house.
Some People of Note
William Hustler (1655-1730) Possibly born in the old manor house of the Boyntons in Acklam, William Hustler built Acklam Hall in the early 1680s. He was knighted by Charles II and later became an M.P.
Joseph Isherwood (1870-1937) A Hartlepool-born ship designer who invented a system of longitudinal construction for large vessels. In 1914 he had Acklam village hall built. He was buried in Acklam churchyard.
Bob Mortimer (1959- ) A comedian whose television partnership with Vic Reeves was highly successful through the 1990s and beyond.
Stephanie McGovern (1982- ) A television presenter who was born in Acklam.
The Hearth Tax of 1673
These government tax returns seem to show Acklam as a small and not particularly prosperous village. Of the 19 properties, only two had more than a single hearth. One of these was the two-hearthed residence of “Wm Baxter clark”, the minister of Acklam church. The other was a considerable 9-hearthed property belonging to Sir William Hustler, the lord of the manor. Acklam Hall is usually said to date from 1683, so it interesting to conjecture where Sir William’s 9-hearthed mansion might have stood ten years earlier. Four Acklam householders were below the tax threshold.
See “The Hearth Tax List for the North Riding of Yorkshire, Michaelmas 1673”, Ripon Historical Society (2011)
Kelly’s Directory of 1893 referred to “Acklam, or West or Old Acklam” as “a township, parish and village, on the high road from (Stockton) to Guisborough”. The chief crops, “wheat, grass and turnips”, were mentioned, along with the National School which was built for 80 children but with an average attendance of 13. The directory named 7 farmers, the blacksmith and a boot and shoe maker. Ward’s Directory of 1936 mentioned a newsagent.
A Selection of Dates
c.1200 The Boynton family acquired the manor of Acklam by marriage.
1405 Henry de Boynton was executed for his part in the Percy rebellion against Henry IV.
1409 The effigy of Margaret Boynton was placed in Acklam church.
1617 William Hustler rented Acklam from Sir Francis Boynton.
1637 William Hustler purchased the Acklam Estate from the Boynton family.
1683 Acklam Hall was built for Sir William Hustler.
1716 The Lordship of Acklam Plan was painted at this time, or possibly earlier.
1770 St. Mary’s church was rebuilt.
1829 The avenue of lime trees was laid out in front of Acklam Hall after severe storm damage to the previous avenue.
1871 Acklam village school was built by Thomas Hustler.
1874 St. Mary’s parish church was rebuilt.
1912 William Hustler Hustler made alterations to Acklam Hall and built the West Lodge and the South Lodge.
- The Hustler family sold Acklam Hall to Middlesbrough Corporation.
Acklam Park rugby ground was opened in this year. In 1933 it became the home of Middlesbrough Cricket Club as well.
1931 Work began on building the Brookfield housing estate. Acklam Garden Cafe opened at Church Lane corner.
1932 Acklam became part of Middlesbrough County Borough.
1935 Acklam Grammar School was established. The school was housed in Acklam Hall.
At this time the “Lakes” housing estate and the houses around Lodore Grove were under construction.
1937 Acklam Cemetery was laid out. Green Lane was widened from a farm track. The Coronation Hotel was opened
1938 The “A” bus service was extended as far as the Blue Bell..
1939 The Blue Bell Hotel was opened where the old Blue Bell Inn once stood.
1952 Mill Hill School was opened.
1954 Acklam Road south of the Coronation Hotel was widened.
1955 Stainsby Secondary School and Green Lane School were opened.
The village school of 1871 was demolished in 1956.
1956 County cricket matches were played at Acklam Park over the following forty years.
1957 St. Mary’s church was enlarged.
1961 St. Margaret’s church in Brookfield was consecrated.
Teesside Crematorium was opened at Acklam Cemetery.
1965 St. Clare’s Roman Catholic church in Brookfield was consecrated.
1965-70 Kader, Newham Bridge, St. Clare’s and Acklam Whin Primary schools were built in these years.
1967 Acklam Branch Library was opened. Acklam Hall Boys’ Grammar School was amalgamated with Kirby Grammar School for Girls and became known as Acklam High School.
1969 Two large secondary schools were built on Hall Drive: Hustler School and Boynton School.
1970 St. David’s Roman Catholic Secondary School was built in Acklam. It was later renamed St. George’s.
1971 Acklam Sixth Form College was opened.
1974 Acklam High School became a comprehensive school under the name King’s Manor.
1984 Stainsby School was amalgamated with Oaklands School under the name of Acklam Grange.
1991 Hustler School and Boynton School were amalgamated as Hall Garth School.
A pupil at Hall Garth School was stabbed to death by an intruder in 1994.
1999 Mill Hill School was closed and demolished to make way for flats.
2010 Hall Garth and King’s Manor schools were amalgamated and in 2012 moved into new buildings on the same site. In 2013 the new school became Outwood Academy.
This list of dates was compiled using “Village of the Oaks” by Julie Tweedy (2001) and other secondary sources.
Suggested further reading
“The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Yorkshire North Riding” vol.2 (ed.) W.Page (1923)
“Acklam Hall: A House and Its History” (1987)
“Acklam Snapshots” C.McNab (1994)
“Village of the Oaks” J.Tweedy (2001)
“Plans of Pre-Industrial Middlesbrough/Acklam” P.K.Mitchell C.T.L.H.S. Bulletin no.32 (1976)