Stokesley High Street
Stokesley shown within North Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Shire county||North Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
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. The famous survey, by William the Conqueror, 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.
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 (public library) and the Old Rectory.
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.
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.
Hutchinson's run irregular services 82 (Stokesley-Yarm) and 83 (Stokesley-Seamer & Newby).
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 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 1908 but was closed for failing to reach the standards of an inspection. 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, was opened in 1959 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.
- 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
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Stokesley.|
- Stokesley Info - Website for Stokesley and surrounding area new to 2011
- Official Website
- The website of the Stokesley Heritage Group