The earliest real evidence of humans living on the site, comes from the Iron Age, about
500BC, though it is quite possible that humans were living here before that.
“Why did early man choose this site? It had wood from the surrounding forests, stone from
the great Whinsill and water from Bassleton Beck, the Leven and the Tees. An ideal place
for the discerning Iron Age man. There are not many places on the Tees which offered so
many facilities. Towards the mouth of the Tees the land has many salt marshes not suitable
for growing crops. From the source of the Tees much of the land is not arable, or certainly
not viable for cultivation with the primitive tools of that time.
Then you come to Yarm, nobody in their right senses would consider settling there.
Even today with all the sophistication of modern flood defences, Yarm is still liable to flooding. The Tees was subject to a tidal bore until the last century, similar to the annual phenomena on the river Avon. The site at Barwick was sufficiently high above the flood level of the Tees, with arable land, wood and stone, and easily defended by the natural moats of the Tees, Leven and Bassleton Beck which made living here relatively safe. Lastly but not least Barwick had the only permanent rock-
After the Romans, the next invaders were the Angles and Saxons, though evidence of their occupation lies mostly in place names rather than artefacts. The Anglo-
The Normans followed the trend for invasion, and in 1086 the battle for the north of England was fought on Coatham Marsh, between William of Normandy’s (the Conqueror) army and that of the coalition of Northern earls and King Swein of Denmark, who also wanted to rule the island. As at Hastings, William won the field, and he ordered his army to burn and destroy every place of importance in the north.
“This included Barwick which, (it) states in the Domesday Book (was)‘laid waste’ but not Ingleby which at the time had no strategic importance.Then the Normans entered into the construction of the Motte and Bailey castles to control the population and safeguard important lines of communications. The Motte and Bailey castle at Ingleby was built ….in 1070.”
After the warlike invasions of the Romans, Anglo-
William (the Conqueror) gave the Manor of Barwick to Roger de Malet. Later it passed to the family of the de Brus of Skelton Castle.
"Robert de Brus had the rights of free warren, all the stone mines, all the royal fishes from the port of Yarm to Runswick Bay, only half of the anchorage fees for ships in those waters, the other half went directly to the King, and the right to all goods recovered from all shipwrecks, and the rights to twenty gallows at Barwick……….Gallows is a shortened form of gallow slaves. A gallow-
"A Wapentake, Viking in origin, was an administration area of a county. This Wapentake was again sub-
The nineteenth century saw the decline of Ingleby Barwick to a conglomeration of farms, most still under the umbrella of the Turner Hospital Charity. The exception was the development on Ingleby New Town around the Fox Covert.”
At the beginning of the twentieth century some of the farms at Barwick were still owned by the Kirkleatham Hospital Charity. Farming continued until the First World War, then due to the policy of the government of the day, all able-
In 1969 Yarmside Holdings bought the land and the development of the area as a housing complex began shortly after.”