Normanebi 1086, Normanby 1191-99, Northmanby 1222-40, 1322. “Village or farm of the Norwegians”, Old Norse Northmenn, genitive plural Northmanna + by.  Victor Watts called this “a name-type indicating isolated settlements of Norwegians.”

See “The Place-names of the North Riding of Yorkshire”, A.H.Smith (1928)

Domesday Book

Under the heading “Lands of the Count” it says:

“In Normanebi, 7 carucates for geld, and four ploughs can be (there). Uctred had one manor there. Now the Count has (it) and it is waste. T.R.E. it was worth 20s.

Under the heading “Lands of Robert Malet” it says:

“In Normanebi, Lesinc had half a carucate of land for gld. Robert has (it), and it is waste. T.R.E. it was worth 5s. 4d.

(The Count was Robert, Count of Mortain. 20s. stands for 20 shillings. A carucate was roughly 100 acres. Geld was a tax that had to be paid. T.R.E. means “In the time of King Edward the Confessor”.)

Based on William Farrer’s translation in “The Victoria History of the County of York” vol. 2 (ed.) W.Page (1912).

Early Landowners An Anglo-Saxon landowner named Uctred held Normanby before 1066. His lands were granted to Count Robert of Mortain by William the Conqueror. King Henry I made Robert de Brus the overlord of Cleveland, Normanby included. The Percy family of Kildale had a mesne lordship here, but at a local level, the manor changed hands many times during the Middle Ages.

See “The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Yorkshire North Riding” vol.  2 (ed.) W.Page (1923).

An Early Mention

In “Early Yorkshire Charters” vol. 2, (ed.) W.Farrer (1915) there is a Latin charter from Rievaulx Abbey, thought to date from 1170-1180. The substance of this is a “Grant by Richard son of Thurstan de Normanby to the monks of Rievaulx of his tillage at salcote-flat in Normanby, the water of Tees in his fee of Normanby for making fisheries, and pasture for carriers horses”.

The Lay Subsidy of 1301

There were 23 householders listed in the tax returns for 1301. Historians generally estimate that only a third or a quarter of householders qualified as taxpayers, so the village would have been much larger than 23 houses. The highest rated was Thomas de Brun who paid just under 10 shillings. The total tax paid was just over 75 shillings. The list of taxpayers includes an unusally high proportion of surnames derived from local place-names. These were Tocketts, Norton, Marske, Kirkleatham, Middlesbrough, Redmarshall and Linthorpe.

 Derived from “Yorkshire Lay Subsidy” edited by W.Brown (Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series) (1897)

Selected Buildings

Normanby House (c.1716)

Crossbeck House (1799)

Normanby Hall (1826)

Eston and Normanby Social Club (Built as the Oddfellows Hall in 1856. Much altered.)

Methodist Church (1900)

Forum Cinema (1939) closed 1965 and converted into a large shop.

A Few Lost Buildings

Normanby Old Hall (Built before 1716) A new hall was built in 1826.

Normanby Primary School (1864) demolished in 1985.

Some People of Note

Ralph Jackson (1736-1790) A landowner and diarist who spent much of his adult life at Normanby Hall.

Robert Smedley (1973-   ) A mechanical engineer from Normanby who became race engineer for Ferrari. He worked with Felipe Massa in 2008 when Massa came within a point of becoming world champion and Ferrari won the manufacturer’ championship.

Suzannah Clarke (1977-     ) An opera singer, born in Normanby, who became principal soprano with the English National Opera. She has sung at La Scala in Milan and at Wembley Stadium in London.

Charlotte French (                        ) A statistician who grew up in Normanby and went to work in the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The Hearth Tax of 1673

15 houses in Normanby had 1 or 2 hearths in the tax returns. Only one house had more than 2 hearths: this was the 5-hearth property of “Mr Rd Snawden”. A further 6 householders in Normanby fell below the tax threshold and were categorised as non-payers.

See “The Hearth Tax List for the North Riding of Yorkshire, Michaelmas 1673”, Ripon Historical Society (2011)


1801     99

1851     195

1901     9,645 (including South Bank)


According to White’s Directory of 1840, Normanby was a small village of 138 inhabitants. No shopkeepers were identified, but there were 5 farmers and a stone mason. Mary Murray had the Bay Horse. Kelly’s Directory of 1893 mentioned the iron mines, where 200 men were employed,  and the brick works. The list of trades included 4 shopkeepers, 3 grocers, 2 butchers, a greengrocer, a baker, a confectioner, a tailor, 2 shoemakers, a hairdresser, an earthenware dealer, a builder, 2 joiners, 3 painters and decorators, a nurseryman and a cab proprietor. The directory also named the Cleveland Inn,  the Lambton Arms, the Woodman, and the Poverina Hotel.

A Selection of Dates

c.1170  The monks of Rievaulx Abbey were granted a fishery in the River Tees at Normanby.

c.1180  A deed of William de Percy referred to “the grange of Rievaulx which is in the fields of Normanby”.

1324     A deed of this year mentioned a mill at Normanby.       

1636     An epidemic of the plague occurred at Normanby.

1764     Matthew Consett sold Normanby Hall to Ralph Jackson, the diarist.

1777     Smallpox cases were reported in the area.

1790     The common fields of Normanby were enclosed.

1820     Work began on building a new Normanby Hall. It was occupied from 1826.

1854     Bell Brothers began working the Normanby ironstone mine. A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built around this time.

1856     The Oddfellows Hall in Hewley Street was built.

1861     The Cleveland Railway opened. There was trouble over Normanby Jetty.

1863     The United Methodist Free Church was dedicated. A schoolroom was built.

1863     Eston Cemetery was established to serve the population of Normanby and Eston.

1865     Normanby Local Board was formed.

1872     Normanby Parochial Institute was opened.

1874     A new Wesleyan Methodist chapel was dedicated.

1875     A steam flour mill began operating in the village.

1883     Normanby brick works opened.

1887     The United Methodist Free Church was dedicated.

1890     A typhoid epidemic broke out in the area.

1895     Normanby Urban District was formed. In 1915 it was amalgamated with Eston Urban District.

1899     Normanby ironstone mine closed.

1900     The Primitive Methodist  chapel was dedicated.

1919     Trolley buses began running between Normanby and North Ormesby via South Bank.

               The Sisters of Mercy moved into Crossbeck House from Nelson Street in South Bank.

1939     The Forum Cinema opened.

1940     Normanby Hall Cricket Club became champions of the North Yorkshire and South Durham Cricket League for the first time.

1953     Eston County Modern School was opened in South Park Avenue, Normanby.

1963     St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic church was consecrated.

1965     The Forum Cinema closed its doors.  It became a furniture store.

Normanby Methodist Youth Centre was opened in the former United Methodist church.

1971     The trolley bus service came to an end.

1974     South Park Sixth Form College opened in the County Modern School buildings.

1978     Teesside College of Education on Flatts Lane merged with Teesside University.

1994     The Flatts Lane Woodland Country Park was opened.

1998     South Park Sixth Form College closed.

2004     Zoe’s Place children’s hospice was opened in Crossbeck House on Normanby High Street.

2012     Normanby Village Wildlife Garden was opened

This list of dates was compiled using the time line prepared by S.Fairbrass in the C.T.L.H.S. Newsletter (2009) and other secondary sources.

Suggested Further Reading

“Normanby Remembered” S.Hardwick (2005)

“Know your Parish: Eston and Normanby” M.Williams CFHS Journal vol. 4 no.10 (1991)

“Consetts, Jacksons and Others: A Selective Chronicle of Normanby 1715-1930”, I.J.Crow, Cleveland History No. 78 (2000)

“An Insight into the Churches’ Contribution to Education in Eston, Normanby, South Bank and Grangetown” Cleveland History No. 83 (2002)