Stewart Park, Middlesbrough

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Stewart Park
Type Urban Park
Location Marton, Middlesbrough
Area 120 acres (0.5 km2)
Opened May 1928 (1928-May)
Etymology Named after Thomas Dormand Stewart
Open Open all year
Awards Green Flag Award

Stewart Park is a 120 acre park[1] in the suburb of Marton, located in the south of Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. It is bounded by the A172 (Stokesley Road), the B1380 (Ladgate Lane) and on two sides by The Grove.

History[edit]

The site of the cottage where Captain James Cook was born can be found in the park. Although the building has long since disappeared, a pink granite urn marks the approximate site. Nearby is the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum. The 'lost village' of East Marton was also in the park area and an archaeological geophysical survey in September 1998 showed evidence of the village. In 2003 Stewart Park was the subject of Channel 4's archaeological television programme Time Team, presented by Tony Robinson.[2]

The park was initially landscaped by Henry Bolckow, one of Middlesbrough's ironmasters and the borough's first mayor. Bolckow built Marton Hall in the park in 1858.

The park was eventually bought by Councillor Thomas Dormand Stewart in 1924 for the people of Middlesbrough. He intended it to be "a public possession, open and accessible to all the people for all time". Stewart Park was officially opened to the public in May 1928.[3]

In January 1959 J A Kenyon the Borough engineer stated in a report, "The Hall....was of no wide historic or architectural value" and that renovations would cost in the region of £25,000. The council reluctantly made the decision to demolish the building.

Work to demolish the Hall started in May 1960 but on 6 June a fire broke out and tore through the building. Not even ten fire appliances could stop the fire owing to the lack of water supply in the area. The monument of Middlesbrough's industrial revolution was destroyed.

The hall's conservatory continued to be open to the public for a number of years but was eventually demolished in the mid-1990s. A stone loggia next to the Museum is all that is left of what was once Marton Hall. The remaining Victorian estate buildings were later utilised as park depot buildings and council offices.

Today[edit]

Today the park covers about 120 acres (0.5 km2) and consists mainly of mature woodland and arboretum on the south side, with open parkland on the northern (Middlesbrough) side. There are two lakes, which are the home to Canada and greylag geese, moorhens, coots and various types of duck. An extensive pets' corner houses many types of domesticated animals: fallow deer, highland cattle, llamas, goats, peacocks, pheasants, rabbits and guinea pigs. In the past the park was plagued with Myxomatosis, quite probably introduced by people abandoning their pet rabbits in the park.

The Victorian estate building complex has been opened up to the public and now includes a cafe, toilets and new visitor centre. Since April 2014, Northern Dales Farmers Market have held a monthly event in the area. A craft fair is also held in the visitor centre.[4]

York based Askham Bryan College (in partnership with Middlesbrough Council) has established an animal care and horticulture training centre in part of the Victorian estate complex.[5] Future plans include the college renovating and occupying the Grade II listed Central Lodge building whilst also allowing limited public access.[6][7]

Various nature, heritage, orienteering and tree trails are provided in the park and are popular with school visits. New play areas for children have been built including a climbing frame named after Captain James Cook's ship, the Endeavour. The park also hosts larger events in the summer such as the Cleveland Show and gypsy fairs. It has also been the venue for various Radio 1 events.

The park has been given a Green Flag Award by the Civic Trust.

* listed buildings

The temple, loggia, Captain Cook memorial and Victorian building complex are all listed buildings.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stewart Park". Middlesbrough Council Website. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Channel 4. "Team Big Dig Park 1; Site name: East Marton. Location: Stewart Park, Marton, Middlesbrough". 
  3. ^ "Stewart Park Central Lodge". Middlesbrough Council Website. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "Farmers' Market and Craft Fair returns to Stewart Park". Love Middlesbrough Website. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Askham Bryan College: Middlesbrough Campus". Askham Bryan College Website. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "College partnership plan for historic park". Middlesbrough Council Website. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Stewart Park Central Lodge". Middlesbrough Council Website. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Temple Circa 150 Metres South West of Captain Cook Birthplace Museum". ; "Loggia Circa 20 Metres South of Captain Cook Birthplace Museum". ; "Memorial to Captain James Cook". ; "Stewart Park Depot". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 

Coordinates: 54°32′25″N 1°12′18″W / 54.5404°N 1.2049°W / 54.5404; -1.2049