Stokesley is a small market town nestling close to the northern edge of the North Yorks Moors National Park. It is an area of great natural beauty as you will see if you visit the photographic site created by Don Burluraux, where you will find many views of our National Park arranged into day walks that he has completed.
While our town is close to the hills and open country it is also in a very convenient position for shopping etc. being just 9 miles South from the centre of Middlesbrough, and approximately 13 miles from Redcar on the coast to the East.
Stokesley is a very old town, how old is not clear, however records in the Domesday Book of 1086 show the presence of a church on the site of the present Church of Saints Peter and Paul, with woodwork carved by the ‘Mouseman of Kilburn’.
Near the church is the Manor House which stands on the site of "Stoxley Castle"(Stocheslage (xi cent.)). Whether it was a castle in the accepted sense of the name is unknown. There is a field nearby called "Castle Garth".
Described in 1808 as ‘small and handsome’ Stokesley remains one of North Yorkshire’s most delightful market towns, interestingly composed around a series of squares. Off the cobbled High Street run snickets to Levenside, a tranquil area by the river Leven, graciously planted to honour Jane Page, the first white woman to settle in Victoria, Australia. (See the plaque photograph, below )
The town is split into two parts by the river Leven, which is spanned by several bridges. One of which is the old Pack Horse Bridge of uncertain age. Records exist of a court order being issued in 1632 on the inhabitants to compel them to repair this bridge, because the parson could not cross into town to visit the sick.
The wide cobbled High Street, with College Square at one end and West Green at the other, is bounded by Georgian and Regency buildings. By the tree lined West Green stands the dignified residence of the Bishop of Whitby.
Each September Stokesley stages one of the North’s biggest agricultural shows, when the High Street also throbs with a traditional fair, Stokesley was first granted a charter to hold fairs in 1223 by Henry III
In the 1700s the town was very prosperous with some 40 occupations listed. In 1823 there were 22 inns listed. Not bad for a small town, and they call those the bad old days, today there are only 6 pubs