2. St Cuthbert's Church, Marton,
A quiet church, easily
missed in the expanse of busy Middlesbrough-Teesside.
Marton, Cleveland, North East England
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Having driven past this
ancient church for 28 years en route to Middlesbrough, I thought it was
about time I called in to visit the ancient church of St Cuthbert in
Marton as a tourist! Despite the busy road close by, I found it a
most peaceful place to pause with a little snow and daffodils.
St Cuthbert's Church in Marton, Middlesbrough,
England, was built in the 12th century and is dedicated to the
Anglo-Saxon monk and bishop St Cuthbert, who lived in the 7th century.
The church was originally a simple stone building with a thatched roof
and was the centre of the local community for many centuries.
During the 16th century, the church underwent significant renovations
and additions, including the addition of a bell tower and the
installation of stained glass windows. The church also played a role in
the local civil wars of the 17th century, with both Royalist and
Parliamentarian forces using it as a military fortification.
The church continued to evolve and develop over time, with further
additions and restorations taking place in the 19th and 20th centuries.
In 1876, the church was expanded with a new nave and chancel, designed
by the renowned Victorian architect William Butterfield.
Today, St Cuthbert's Church remains a beloved and active place of
worship for the local community, as well as a popular tourist attraction
for its beautiful architecture and rich history.
The original Norman church
has its origins in the 12th Century, though much rebuilt and restored
since then and traces of the ancient stonework remain like the zig-zag
carved southern entrance.
Detail of the 2nd southern
The famous explorer,
Captain James Cook, was baptised here.
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. Historically part of the North
Riding of Yorkshire, the parish of Marton originally 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 given to the people of Middlesbrough by
councillor Dormund Stewart, in 1928.
The explorer, cartographer and navigator, Captain James Cook was
born to James and Grace Cook, in a clay-built cottage in the village
of Marton in 1728, and he lived for a short time in the village,
until the family moved to Great Ayton. St Cuthbert's Church 1 Marton
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. St Cuthbert's Church 2 Marton It was
very close to where the original manor house Marton Lodge eventually
stood, to which Rudd made many alterations.
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 (renamed thus
in 1869 in honour of Cook's birthplace). The name of the Yorkshire
village derives from a mixture of Old English and Old Norse (marr-tūn)
which means Marsh farm/settlement. St Cuthbert's Church 3 Marton
St Cuthbert's Church
There is no record of the foundation of St Cuthbert's Church, but
there is evidence that it dates from the 12th century, in the Norman
period. At that time the overlords of Marton were the de Brus
family, ancestors of Robert the Bruce of Scotland. St Cuthbert's
Church 7 Marton 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 1843 and 1847 a major refurbishment took place, mainly financed
by J.B. Rudd of Tollesby Hall, the local squire. St Cuthbert's
Church 8 Marton 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". St Cuthbert's Church 9 Marton
Captain James Cook was baptised at St Cuthbert's Church. The church
is now ornamented with a stained-glass window commemorating Cook. St
Cuthbert's Church 1 Marton
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. St Cuthbert's Church 10 Marton
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; Agnes Spencer, the wife
of the founder of Marks and Spencer. St Cuthbert's Church 11 Marton
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, once played.
Marton has three primary schools: Lingfield Primary School, Captain
Cook Primary School and Marton Manor Primary School. St Cuthbert's
Church 12 Marton There are no secondary schools in Marton. Most
pupils go to nearby Nunthorpe School, the King's Academy, in Coulby
Newham or Trinity Catholic College.
Amenities and transport
Marton Shops, a parade of local supermarkets, eateries, banks,
pharmacy and various other outlets is located on the A172 (Stokesley
Road). Marton Library is located on Laurel Road, just behind the
Public houses include the Southern Cross and the Rudds Arms (both on
the A172), the former is located adjacent to the A172 / Stainton Way
crossroads and the latter close to the A172 / A174 interchange. The
Marton Hotel and Country Club (closed October 2017) is located
almost directly opposite to the Rudds Arms.
Marton is served by bus routes provided by Arriva and Abbott's of
Leeming, that mostly connect to other places through Middlesbrough
Marton railway station (on the Esk Valley Line), is located just off
the B1380 (Ladgate Lane), close to the entrance to Ormesby Hall.
Although Gypsy Lane railway station is in Nunthorpe, it is closer to
most Marton residents than Marton railway station. Northern operate
all services on the Esk Valley Line and improvements to the
timetable in 2014 meant up to 17 trains (each way) calling at both
Marton and Gypsy Lane railway stations through the week, St
Cuthbert's Church 13 Marton with a full hourly service being
introduced in 2017 including on Sundays. St Cuthbert's Church 14
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