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Nunthorpe is a small suburb to the south of Middlesbrough. It is served by Nunthorpe Railway Station which forms part of the Esk Valley line to Whitby. The railway line defines the Unitary boundary between Middlesbrough to the West and Redcar and Cleveland to the East

At the beginning of the 12th century the church and chapels of Newton , Nunthorpe and Little Ayton, were granted to Whitby Abbey, though the tithes of the township were paid to it. Each was looked upon as a domestic chapel on the estate of the Lord of the Manor. Many years later in 1585 the patronage of Great Ayton was bought back by the family of Marwood.

In the reign of Henry II (1154-1189), the tenant of Nunthorpe granted two pieces of land and a mill in the area to some Cistercian nuns who had previously settled at Hutton Low Cross near Guisborough. It is thought that the nuns' settlement was either on the site of the present Nunthorpe Grange Farm or in the grounds of Nunthorpe Hall.

The nuns however only stayed at Thorpe for a short time before moving to the more isolated spot of Baysdale above Ingleby Greenhow. But they did retain their Thorpe lands which had been confirmed by Arnold de Percy, and it was then that the place became known as Nunthorpe.