Marton shown within North Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Ceremonial county||North Yorkshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||TS7 & TS8|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
|UK Parliament||Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland|
Marton — officially Marton-in-Cleveland — is a dormitory suburb of Middlesbrough, in north-east England, built from the 1950s onwards, around and beyond a small village of the same name. Marton now stands firmly within the boundaries of Middlesbrough unitary authority which is included in North Yorkshire for ceremonial purposes. Originally, the parish of Marton extended down to the River Tees; but, with the expansion of Middlesbrough, the parish became progressively smaller. Attractions include Stewart Park, a large public park gifted to the people of Middlesbrough by councillor Dormund Stewart, in 1928.
The famous explorer and navigator James Cook was born to James and Grace Cook in a clay-built cottage in the village of East Marton in 1728, and he lived for a short time in the village, until the family moved to Great Ayton. A contemporary drawing of the village by George Cuit has revealed the cottage to have significantly deteriorated by as early as circa 1788, a precursor to it being levelled by new local landowner, Bartholomew Rudd, in the 1790s. It was near where the original manor house Marton Lodge eventually stood, to which Rudd made many alterations. The cottage burned down in 1832.
The tiny community of Marton, Queensland, Australia, upstream from Cooktown on the banks of the Endeavour River, was named after James Cook's birthplace in remembrance of his 7-week stay in the region in 1770. There is also a town in New Zealand named Marton, New Zealand.
In 1853, the ruin and the land that is now the park were bought by the Middlesbrough ironmaster H. W. F. Bolckow. He built a new hall, which, after serving for a short period of time as a museum, was destroyed during demolition by fire in 1960, after standing empty for several years. The site is now home to the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, opened in 1978. In addition to viewing the large collection of Cook-related objects at the museum, visitors may visit a granite urn erected by Bolckow in 1858 on the site of the demolished Cook cottage.
St Cuthbert's Church
There is no record of the foundation of St Cuthbert's Church, but there is evidence that it is from 12th century Norman. At that time the overlords of Marton were the de Brus family, ancestors of Robert the Bruce of Scotland. They had founded Guisborough Priory in 1119, and succeeding generations of the family bestowed gifts of land and property on this and other religious houses in the area. The church at Marton was one of those gifts to Guisborough, given before 1187.
In 1540 when the Priory was dissolved by King Henry VIII, all the property belonging to the Priory reverted to the Crown. In 1545 the living of Marton was granted to the Diocese of York where it remains to this day.
In the 1840s a major refurbishment took place, mainly financed by J.B. Rudd, the local squire. A later pen portrait in the Parish magazine tells us that the Church was "restored, widened, and lengthened so that it became, from a little whitewashed, flat ceilinged, sash-windowed, dilapidated edifice with only two aisles and one transept, into the present beautiful building".
Captain Cook was baptised at St. Cuthbert's Church. The church is now ornamented with a stained-glass window commemorating Cook.
The graves of Henry Bolckow and John Vaughan, the founding fathers of Bolckow Vaughan — the company which brought the steel industry to Middlesbrough – are in the churchyard. The graves, like the company, had been largely forgotten in the 20th century, but were refurbished in 2009.
Other notable persons who lived in the parish of Marton include Bolckow's business partner John Vaughan, who lived at Gunnergate Hall until his death in 1868; Sir Raylton Dixon, a Middlesbrough shipbuilder; Henry Cochrane, an ironmaster; and Agnes Spencer, the wife of the founder of Marks and Spencer.
Marton is also the base for a junior football club, Marton F.C., which was founded in 1982 and for which Jonathan Woodgate, David Wheater, and Stewart Downing, subsequent Middlesbrough F.C. professional footballers respectively, once played.
Marton has three primary schools: Lingfield Primary School, Captain Cook Primary School and Marton Manor Primary School. There are no secondary schools in Marton. Most pupils go to nearby Nunthorpe School, The King's Academy, in Coulby Newhamm or Trinity Catholic College.
Amenities and transport
The village has a parade of shops and restaurants. Marton Library is located on Laurel Road, just behind the shops. Marton's Southern Cross public house is on Dixon's Bank.
Marton is served by bus routes provided by Arriva, Stagecoach and Leven Valley, which mostly connect to other places through Middlesbrough town centre. Marton railway station is on the outskirts of Marton near Ormesby and Stewarts Park. Although Gypsy Lane railway station is in Nunthorpe, it is closer to most residents than Marton Station. Northern Rail operate limited services between Middlesbrough and Whitby, calling at both of these stations and recent improvements mean there are more trains to Middlesbrough continuing to Newcastle and Hexham.
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