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High Street, Stokesley - - 277694.jpg
Stokesley High Street
Stokesley is located in North Yorkshire
Location within North Yorkshire
Population4,757 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceNZ524087
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtTS9
Dialling code01642
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
List of places
54°28′16″N 1°11′26″W / 54.4712°N 1.1905°W / 54.4712; -1.1905Coordinates: 54°28′16″N 1°11′26″W / 54.4712°N 1.1905°W / 54.4712; -1.1905

Stokesley is a small market town and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, it lies on the River Leven. Stokesley is located about two miles south of the boundary of the borough of Middlesbrough and ten miles south of Middlesbrough town centre. Stokesley is located between Middlesbrough, Guisborough and Northallerton, in a farming area. Local attractions for visitors include nearby Great Ayton, as well as Captain Cook's monument and Roseberry Topping, both of which lie within the North York Moors National Park.


Stokesley was first granted a charter to hold fairs in 1223 by Henry III. The Pack Horse Bridge, crossing the River Leven from the riverside walk, dates from the 17th century. Renowned for its large range of building types, the latter construction within Stokesley of sundry fine Georgian architecture is thought to have contributed much to its later character. Other prominent historical features around the town include the Mill Wheel, thought to represent the site of a mill recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Domesday also contained the first written record of "a church and priest" in Stokesley. The present Church of St Peter and St Paul - the oldest building in the town - has a later medieval tower and chancel, with a Georgian nave built around 1777: it is located just off the market Plain and has colourful twentieth-century stained glass and some woodwork carved by the Mouseman of Kilburn.[2]

Visitors to Stokesley today will find an intact historic high street, lined with many independent small shops and restaurants. Other facilities include a leisure centre with a swimming pool, a medium-sized supermarket, show-ground, camping site, health centre, industrial estate, library, police and fire stations. The town also has five pubs. Stokesley is also the home of Quorn, produced by Marlow Foods. There are many grade II listed buildings, including four Grade II* listed buildings of special architectural or historic interest. These are Barclays Bank, Handyside Cottage, the Manor House and the Old Rectory.[3]

The inaugural meeting of the Stokesley Agricultural Society was held at the Golden Lion Hotel, now Chapters Hotel, in 1859. This boutique hotel was also used as the local law courts for the area being ideally placed between Middlesbrough and Northallerton. Stokesley Agricultural Show, first held in 1859, is held every year on the third Saturday in September. It is, perhaps, the largest one day show in England.[citation needed]

There is a weekly market held on a Friday in the main square called the Plain. A farmers' market takes place on the first Saturday of each month.

A four-day fair takes place every September in the town centre. The fair spans the full length of the high street and rides such as the KMG Equinox-Tango, the Extreme, Vertigo and various Crows rides attend. The fair always begins on a Wednesday evening and runs until the Saturday, opening all day on the Saturday due to the annual agricultural show which takes place on the showground.[4]


An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward stretches north to Newby with a total population taken at the 2011 Census of 5,537.[5]


Aerial photo of Stokesley, looking southward

Stokesley is served by the Arriva service 28a from Middlesbrough every hour and the 81 from Marske Estate every hour.

Abbott's of Leeming run services 80/89, which run every 2 Hours. Those routes operate 6 days a week towards Northallerton & Romanby via Osmotherley.

Abbott’s also run a commercial X80 service between Northallerton and Middlesbrough via Stokesley. This service runs 3 times a day in both directions and operates Monday to Saturday.

Stokesley was originally served by rail and had a railway station and extensive sidings on the Northallerton to Stockton branch. The station closed to passengers in June 1954, pre-dating the large scale closures of the Beeching cuts era. Goods facilities remained until August 1965 when the line closed completely. The station was featured extensively in the British Transport film "A Farmer Moves South" in 1951, and now included in a DVD compilation. The nearest railway station is now at Great Ayton.


Historic schools include the Preston Grammar School in College Square: now a pizza takeaway. This school existed until 1918 but was closed for failing to reach the standards of an inspection; primarily caused by lack of funds. In general, children who passed exams at 11 years old, then went to Yarm Grammar School, with some Catholic pupils going to Middlesbrough under the old system.

A primary school, Stokesley Primary School, on the current site was created in 1908, and then extended in 1973. It has about 550 pupils.

A secondary school, Stokesley School,[6] was opened in 1959[7] for pupils between 11 and 18. It was originally categorised as secondary modern and became a comprehensive school in the 1970s. Later a sixth form college was incorporated. It has, at present, about 1,700 pupils. Alumni of Stokesley School include Labour politician Alan Milburn, 1988 Olympics runner Louise Stuart and Sky Sports News journalist and presenter David Jones.


  1. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Stokesley Parish (1170216930)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Home". Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  3. ^ "The National Heritage List for England". English Heritage. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Stokesley Show". Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  5. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Stokesley 2011 Census Ward (1237325081)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  6. ^ Stokesley School
  7. ^ The Buildings of England Yorkshire The North Riding, N. Pevsner, Penguin Books, 1966

Further reading[edit]

  • Stokesley and District Local History Study Group, Historical Glimpses of the Town of Stoxley, Stokesley and District Local History Study Group 1981
  • The Stokesley Society, Old Stokesley, The Stokesley Society 1983
  • Stokesley and District Local History Study Group, Stokesley in the 1860s: Aspects of Everyday Life, Stokesley and District Local History Study Group 1994.
  • The Stokesley Scene Collection, New Book, Life in a Yorkshire Market Town with a foreword by the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP "The Stokesley Scene Collection: 30th Anniversary Limited Edition", 2008.


  • A Scrapbook of Stokesley, The Stokesley Society 1998
  • A Walk Round Old Stokesley with Maurice Wilson, The Stokesley Society 1995

External links[edit]