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The Literary Institute on Skelton High Street

Originally known as the Skelton Literary Institute, this building stood on the corner across from what used to be Kingston’s Chemists and is the area currently being refurbished from the rough car park that has occupied the site for many years.  Opened on 4th November 1899; Bill Danby in ‘History of Skelton In Cleveland’ tells us: “The £2,000 cost was paid for by the Whartons of Skelton Castle.”; as well as much interesting information about the management committee and the control of the building. The building was demolished in January 1994. Judy Last tells us: “My grandfather, Albert Tuck, was Postmaster and ran the General Stores in Vaughan Street, North Skelton in the late 1890s after taking over the family business from his father, Edwin Tuck (who had been running the Grocers shop in Boosbeck since the late 1870s). At one time Albert was in partnership with his brother-in-law, John Thompson and the Stores was called Tuck & Thompson at that time. My father, Alexander Tuck, who was born above the Stores in 1897 often told me of watching the Magic Lantern slide shows at I believe the Institute in Skelton, and I would think that the Literary Institute would be the place he was talking about.”

Image courtesy of Julie Tyrka, additional information courtesy of Bill Danby and the Skelton In History Website. Thanks to Peter Appleton for the correct demolition date and to Judy Last for her update.

At Skelton-in-Cleveland

A further postcard view of Skelton High Street, with the Wharton Arms and All Saints Church viewed over Egg Cup farm; the then muddy lane to The Hills is now a metalled public road. Note also the trees planted in front of the Wharton Arms, I wonder how long they lasted?

Image courtesy of Peter Appleton.

Inside New Church, Skelton

A postcard view of the interior of Skelton’s All Saints church; built in 1884 to replace the old All Saints church which still stands close to Skelton Castle. In June 1884 the new pulpit was installed; “designed by R. J. Johnson architect of Newcastle it is octagonal in form on a curved stone base”. This magnificent church still stands proud beside the High Street, the stone now more darkened than when first built.

Image courtesy of Peter Appleton, additional information courtesy of Bill Danby’s ‘History of Skelton in Cleveland’.

Skelton Police Station

Skelton Police Station

Now sadly painted over the former Police Station standing at the western end of Skelton High Street was a magnificent Victorian brick building; the Police Station was purchased from Skelton Castle Estate in 1921 by the then North Riding Constabulary. Bulmer’s Directory of 1890 lists Thomas Imeson as the Police Sergeant resident at the building; Kelly’s Directory of 1909 lists: “Sergeant Richard Benjamin Gamble + one Constable”, the building was superseded by a modern purpose-built building on Derwent Road in the late 1950s and subsequently closed. This postcard view shows a quieter road, the lady can push her pram up the near side of the road without risk; no thundering traffic then! Peter Appleton has further advised: “The old Police Station, more properly 1 South Terrace, is first recorded in the Skelton Castle Estates Rent book for Lady Day 1873 (25th March 1873) when a payment of £27.10s.0d was recorded. The entry bore the annotation “New”. The police presence there can be traced through successive censuses 1881-1911. The property was sold to the North Riding County Council in April 1921 for £620. The North Riding County Council sold the building in July 1963 to a Mr A E Danks. The police presence in Skelton, which started in August 1862, is described in more detail in my book: My Grandad was a “Felon”, pp 62-4”

Image and update courtesy of Peter Appleton.

Upleatham and Ellers Bridges

Upleatham and Ellers Bridges

Situated in Skelton Ellers, the bridge to the right in this postcard view is of Upleatham bridge, built in 1755 it is Grade II listed. Similarly Ellers bridge which can be seen at the left, built in 1756 is also listed. Both bridges have stood the test of time, despite many ‘knocks’ over the years from passing motor traffic.
Image courtesy of Peter Appleton.

Skelton Drill Hall

Skelton Drill Hall

This postcard view of a building which will be remembered by many; internally it bears no resemblance to those views included in this image and externally is passed by many who are unaware of the buildings former essential use. Originally opened on 26th December 1913, for the Skelton Territorials “G” Company of the 4th Yorkshire Regiment, in the 1960s it became a social club. After burning down it was altered into apartments, bearing the title of Marlborough Court; it still stands at the southern end of Marlborough Road.
Image courtesy of Peter Appleton.

Old Church, Skelton

Old Church, Skelton

A postcard view of the old church of All Saints Skelton, from Skelton based B. and G. Spires; the Spires produced several hand-tinted postcard views of Skelton and the surrounding area during the early 1900’s. Peter Appleton tells us:  “The original church was probably erected by one of the Fauconbergs, who inherited the Castle upon the death of Peter de Brus III without issue. His eldest sister, Agnes, married Walter de Fauconberg and thus the estate passed into the hands of that family, until their male line died out in 1407. The name on the Faculty for the pulling down and rebuilding the church is Joseph William Hall Stevenson, who inherited the estate from his father, John Hall Stevenson, in 1785. The rebuild cost £443.2s.7d according to the Church Wardens’ Accounts Book and took place during 1785 and 1786. The cost was covered by a donation of £100 from Joseph, the sale to the parishioners of the pews in the nave, east gallery (no longer extant) and west gallery, plus the sale to the local plumber of the lead recovered off the roof. Several other prominent citizens also signed the Faculty.” The interior retains many old fittings, including a three-decker pulpit. Part of an old 11th century stone sundial found in the church yard is now in the new church.”

Image and additional information courtesy of Peter Appleton.

Rushpool Hall pre-1904

Rushpool Hall before the Fire

Rushpool Hall is one of the finest specimens of Victorian architecture to be found in North Yorkshire. It was constructed at the head of the valley gardens in Saltburn-by-the-Sea in the years 1863-4 for Mr John Bell, one of the Victorian pioneer Ironmasters of Bell Brothers a company that controlled and worked the ironstone mines at Skelton-in-Cleveland. It seems logical that the magnificent Rushpool Hall was built with the first ironstone raised from Bell Brothers Skelton Shaft mine. After John Bell died in 1888, Sir Arthur Dorman (of Dorman Long Iron & Steel Works) moved in. Sir Joseph Walton, coal mine owner, active Wesleyan Methodist and Liberal Party MP purchased the property after it was renovated in 1906 following the great fire in 1904. The Hall was almost destroyed when a maids candle accidentally caused a curtain to catch alight. The construction of the outer walls built from ironstone mined in the Bell brothers Skelton shaft mine is probably the main reason why the Hall survived the fire. It is today a hotel and premier wedding and function venue. This image produced by Rapp’s of Saltburn as a postcard, clearly titled as ‘Before the fire of 20th February, 1904’; it must have been very topical at the time!
Image courtesy of Peter Appleton, additional information courtesy of Rushpool Hall.

West End Skelton

West End Skelton

Still a familiar view of North Terrace, Skelton; this postcard view dates from the turn of the 2oth century. The Royal George whose host was A. (Albert) Bunn as recorded in the 1901 and 1911 Census; it is presumed that the Royal George  lost the front railings in the First World War.Even today the building still exists, more as a ‘pub with good grub’; than a ‘commercial hotel’. Peter Appleton has assisted with further information regarding Albert Bunn: “Alfred Bunn was born at Abington, Cambridgeshire in 1850. He married Hannah Ord at Middlesbrough Register Office in 1878. He was a Coachman in Domestic service, living at 15 Stanhope Street, Saltburn in 1891. This is just round the corner from the Queen Hotel. Was he the hotel’s coachman, I wonder? By 1897 he was landlord of the Royal George and was elected a member of “Skelton Felons” (or Skelton Association for the Prosecution of Felons to give it its full title) in that year. In 1910 he was elected to the management committee of “the Felons” and is last mentioned in the Minute Book of the Association in 1915. He died in March 1917.”

Image courtesy of Peter Appleton and many thanks to Peter for the update.

Skelton Old Church

Skelton Pheonix 574 1915-a-1

A postcard view; dating from 1915 of the old church of All Saints Skelton. “The original church was probably erected by one of the Fauconbergs, who inherited the Castle upon the death of Peter de Brus III without issue. His eldest sister, Agnes, married Walter de Fauconberg and thus the estate passed into the hands of that family, until their male line died out in 1407. The name on the Faculty for the pulling down and rebuilding the church is Joseph William Hall Stevenson, who inherited the estate from his father, John Hall Stevenson, in 1785. The rebuild cost £443.2s.7d according to the Church Wardens’ Accounts Book and took place during 1785 and 1786. The cost was covered by a donation of £100 from Joseph, the sale to the parishioners of the pews in the nave, east gallery (no longer extant) and west gallery, plus the sale to the local plumber of the lead recovered off the roof. Several other prominent citizens also signed the Faculty.” The interior retains many old fittings, including a three-decker pulpit. Part of an old 11th century stone sundial found in the church yard is now in the new church.
Image courtesy of John G. Hannah and additional information courtesy of Peter Appleton.

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