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HOMEPAGE Cleveland Scenes2. St Cuthbert's Church, Marton, Middlesbrough

A quiet church, easily missed in the expanse of busy Middlesbrough-Teesside.


Scenes of Marton, Cleveland, North East England

re-edit 23/04/2023

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I called in to visit the ancient church of St Cuthbert in Marton

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.

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 entrance.

Detail of the 2nd southern entrance.

The famous explorer, Captain James Cook, was baptised here.



Source Wikipedia

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.

James Cook
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

St Cuthbert's
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

Notable people
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 shops.

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 town centre.

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 Marton

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