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The market cross, Guisborough - - 1628717.jpg
The town's market cross
Guisborough is located in North Yorkshire
Location within North Yorkshire
Population17,777 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceNZ610159
• London255.1 miles
Civil parish
  • Guisborough
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Historic county
Postcode districtTS14
Dialling code01287
AmbulanceNorth East
UK Parliament
List of places
54°32′06″N 1°03′23″W / 54.5350°N 1.0563°W / 54.5350; -1.0563Coordinates: 54°32′06″N 1°03′23″W / 54.5350°N 1.0563°W / 54.5350; -1.0563

Guisborough (/ˈɡɪzbərə/ (About this soundlisten) GHIZ-bər-ə) is a market town and civil parish in England, It is in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland, north of the North York Moors National Park in North Yorkshire, England, having previously formed its own district under the North Riding of Yorkshire. Guisborough ward had a population of 7,662 at the 2011 census.[2] The civil parish, including outlying Upleatham, Dunsdale and Newton under Roseberry, had a population of 17,777.[1]


The name Guisborough originated in the personal name Gigi with "burn" (stream), later amended to borough, to reflect its former status as a principal town of a North Riding of Yorkshire district.



Some archaeologists date the town to the Roman occupation, when it may have been a military fortification. Discovery of a few Roman artefacts support this, such as the elaborate ceremonial Guisborough Helmet (see below), but proof is still lacking.

The Guisborough Helmet is a Roman cavalry helmet found near the town in 1864. It was originally fitted with protective cheek-pieces, which have not survived, but the attachment holes can be seen in front of the helmet's ear guards. It is lavishly decorated with engraved and embossed figures, indicating that it was probably used for display or cavalry tournaments, although possibly for battle as well. It was unearthed in what appears to be a carefully arranged deposition in a bed of gravel, distant from any known Roman sites. After its recovery during roadworks, it was donated to the British Museum for restoration and display.[3]


Guisborough Priory

Gighesbore is recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 as a place within Langbaurgh Wapentake or hundred.[4]

The ruined Gisborough Priory dates from the 12th century.[5]

Victorian era[edit]

The town shared in the prosperity of the Industrial Revolution through its proximity to the ironstone mines of the North York Moors. One of the area's ironfounders, Sir Joseph Whitwell Pease, chose as his country seat the Gothic revival Hutton Hall at Hutton Lowcross, near Guisborough, designed by Alfred Waterhouse.

Guisborough Town Hall was built on Westgate in 1821. The building was initially arcaded with a shambles on the ground floor and an assembly room on the first floor.[6] Its initial two storeys were topped with a third in 1870.[7]

Gisborough Hall, a Victorian mansion, owned by the Chaloner family, was built in a Jacobean style in 1856. It is a Grade II listed building, but has undergone conversion into a hotel.[8]

Recent history[edit]

There was a Guisborough station in the town, on the Middlesbrough–Guisborough branch of the North Eastern Railway. It was closed in 1964.

Extensive residential development occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. This had to do with the expansion of the chemical industry at Wilton and the steel industry at Redcar.

Guisborough's county authority since 1889, the North Riding of Yorkshire, was disbanded in 1974. The town was in the county of Cleveland's Langbaurgh borough from 1974 to 1996 and is now in the Redcar and Cleveland unitary authority borough of North Yorkshire.


St Nicholas Church

The Anglican Church of St Nicholas holds the De Brus Cenotaph.[9] A church may have existed here in 1290. The chancel of the present one dates from the late 15th century and the nave and interior have been altered. The church in its present form resulted from major rebuilding in 1903–1908, to a design by Temple Moore.


Guisborough is the home of the Orion Explorer Scout Unit for young people aged 14–18, affiliated to the Scout Association. Activities include work within The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Young Leaders volunteering, and over 200 different adventure activities. It has about 30 members from the district. The Third Scout Group on Belmangate was established in 1974.[10]

Guisborough also has a group of volunteer trail builders, who aim to provide free mountain-bike trails in the local forest. Local musicians are catered for at an open mic/jam session held every Wednesday night.[11]


The Waterhouse Building, Prior Pursglove College

Primary education is provided at Belmont, Galley Hill, Highcliffe, St Paulinus (Roman Catholic), and Chaloner Primary, an amalgamation of the earlier Northgate Junior and Park Lane schools. Laurence Jackson School,[12] at the eastern end of the town, is the only secondary school, and doubles as a Specialist Sports College. It marked its 50th anniversary in 2008.

Prior Pursglove College, a sixth-form college for GCSE, A level and AS level students, stands next to the parish church and priory ruins on the former site of Guisborough Grammar School, which it replaced due to changes in the education system. It had been founded in 1561 by Robert Pursglove, the last Prior of Gisborough, as a charitable school for poor boys. It was accompanied by a set of almshouses for twelve pensioners.[13]

Askham Bryan College of Agriculture has opened a Guisborough Centre on the same site as Prior Pursglove College.[14] It consists of an animal management centre and a modern building, the Priory Centre, which the two colleges share.[15]



Arriva X56 Bus to Middlesbrough

Two main roads cross at Guisborough, the A171 and the A173. The A171 leads west to Middlesbrough and east to Whitby, the A173 south-west to Stokesley and north-east as far as Skelton, where it joins the A174 coast road. Before the bypass was built, the A171 ran along Westgate, the town's main street, crossing the A173 at Chapel Beck Bridge. Just outside the bypass to the north-east, a B-road heads north from the A173 to Redcar. Another minor route out of the town, Wilton Lane, is a winding, almost single-track road running north to the village of Wilton and on to the ICI Wilton chemical works. There are two other lanes that lead out of town into the hills. Hutton Lane ends at Hutton Village, a small settlement built mostly for local mining, agricultural and estate workers. Belmangate is an ancient funeral route.


Guisborough Branch Walk, the former railway line

The south of the town is bounded by the North York Moors National Park. Guisborough Forest, which is Forestry Commission land, clothes the edge of the moors. Through the forest, the ground rises sharply, climbing from the plain below to the moors behind. There are several rocky outcrops on the steep slope, including Highcliff Nab and the Hanging Stone. The woods are crossed by several rights of way, including Cleveland Way, but other paths and commission tracks are also open to walkers. Beyond the woods, the ground levels out to form Gisborough Moor.

Former station[edit]

site of former Guisborough station, now a car park

Until 1964, Guisborough was served by trains from Middlesbrough – the Middlesbrough & Guisborough Railway had its terminus at the now-demolished Guisborough station. Before 1958 it was possible to travel from Guisborough to Whitby and Scarborough, along the scenic North Yorkshire coast railway.


Guisborough Westgate shops

Guisborough market is held every Thursday and Saturday with a few stalls on Tuesday. Originally selling cattle and other livestock, the market developed into a general market for fruit and vegetables, clothing and flowers. It is open from early morning to late afternoon on the recently restored cobbles of Westgate, the principal shopping street. On 15 January 2004, Guisborough was granted Fairtrade Town status.

Guisborough Museum, behind Westgate's Sunnyfield House, exhibits photos of Guisborough's history and inhabitants. There is a working watermill at Tocketts Mill.

One main employer in the town was The Shirt Factory, towards the end of whose existence it was acquired by Montague Burton of Leeds, but it closed in 1999.[16] Other former employers were Blackett Hutton and Co., maker of medium high-integrity castings, and the civil engineering firm Henderson Campbell.[17]

Guisborough is a commuter town for nearby Middlesbrough, with many working in the chemical plants around Teesside.


King George V Ground

Guisborough Town FC, founded in 1973, play in Northern League Division One as of the 2020–21 season. The King George V Ground, which host the club's home matches, is named in memory of King George V.

King George's Fields, is adjacent to the football club, is a playing field with a small playground and a skate park. There is a swimming pool, built in 1968, at the fields. An eight-year campaign led by the late MP, Dr Ashok Kumar, secured the pool's refurbishment, which was completed in 2008–2009.[18]

Guisborough Rugby Union Football club plays in North One East division of the Northern Section of the RFU leagues, having been promoted from the Durham/Northumberland leagues in the 2014–15 season. The area's constituent body is the Yorkshire Rugby Football Union, able to compete in the Silver Trophy.

Guisborough Cricket Club plays in the North Yorkshire and South Durham Cricket League. In 2001–04 it equalled its record of four successive league wins. Past players have included the professionals Murray Goodwin (Sussex and Zimbabwe), Desmond Haynes and Phil Simmons (both West Indies), Imran Jan (Trinidad and Tobago), Sean Clingeleffer (Tasmania) and Greg Todd (Otago).

Notable people[edit]


Climate data for Guisborough
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6
Average low °C (°F) 0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 47
Source 1:[19]
Source 2:[20]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Guisborough Parish (1170211059)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  2. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Guisborough 2011 Census Ward (1237321166)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  3. ^ "British Museum collection database". Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  4. ^ /guisborough/ Guisborough in the Domesday Book. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  5. ^ The priory, Gisborough Hall (16th century, demolished and rebuilt) and some other features are spelt without the first "u".
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel (1848). "'Groton – Gunnerton', in A Topographical Dictionary of England". London: British History Online. pp. 348–360. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Town Hall (1329572)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  8. ^ Historic England. "Gisborough Hall, and retaining wall, balustrade, piers and steps to the south (1310795)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Guisborough Parish Church". Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  10. ^ [][full citation needed]
  11. ^ "Guisborough Open Mic Night". Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Laurence Jackson School". Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  13. ^ "History". Pursglove Archives. Prior Pursglove College. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Guisborough Centre". Askahm Bryan College. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  15. ^ "Prior Pursglove". Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Factory is spending thousands to reduce noise". Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Civil engineering firm Henderson Campbell". Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Guisborough Swimming Pool Reopens". Middlesbrough Evening Gazette. 2 February 2009.
  19. ^ "Average weather for Guisborough". August 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  20. ^ "Guisborough, UK Weather Averages". Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2011.

External links[edit]