This article is about the town in Yorkshire. For other uses, see Middlesbrough (disambiguation).
 Middlesbrough shown within North Yorkshire
Population 174,700 [1]
DemonymSmoggie, Teessider
OS grid referenceNZ495204
    London 217 mi (349 km)  S
Unitary authorityMiddlesbrough
Ceremonial countyNorth Yorkshire
RegionNorth East
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode district TS1 – TS9
Dialling code 01642
Police Cleveland
Fire Cleveland
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK ParliamentMiddlesbrough
List of places

Coordinates: 54°34′36″N 1°14′08″W / 54.5767°N 1.2355°W / 54.5767; -1.2355

Middlesbrough (i/ˈmɪdəlzbrə/ MID-əlz-brə) is a large industrial town on the south bank of the River Tees in North Yorkshire, England, founded in 1830.[2] The local council, a unitary authority, is Middlesbrough Borough Council. In 2011 it had a total resident population of 138,400 for the borough and 174,700 for the wider Middlesbrough built-up area subdivision,[1] which itself is part of the larger built-up area of Teesside and had an overall population of 376,333 at the 2011 census.[1]

Middlesbrough became a county borough within the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1889. In 1968, the borough was merged with a number of others to form the County Borough of Teesside, which was absorbed in 1974 by the county of Cleveland. In 1996, Cleveland was abolished, and Middlesbrough Borough Council became a unitary authority within North Yorkshire. RGs Erimus ("We shall be" in Latin) was chosen as Middlesbrough's motto in 1830. It recalls Fuimus ("We have been") the motto of the Norman/Scottish Bruce family, who were lords of Cleveland in the Middle Ages. The town's coat of arms is an azure lion, from the arms of the Bruce family, a star, from the arms of Captain James Cook, and two ships, representing shipbuilding and maritime trade.[3]


Early history

In 686, a monastic cell was consecrated by St. Cuthbert at the request of St. Hilda, Abbess of Whitby and in 1119 Robert Bruce, Lord of Cleveland and Annandale, granted and confirmed the church of St. Hilda of Middleburg to Whitby.[4] Up until its closure on the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1537,[5] the church was maintained by 12 Benedictine monks, many of whom became vicars, or rectors, of various places in Cleveland. The importance of the early church at "Middleburg", later known as Middlesbrough Priory, is indicated by the fact that, in 1452, it possessed four altars.

After the Angles, the area became home to Viking settlers. Names of Viking origin (with the suffix by) are abundant in the area – for example, Ormesby, Stainsby, Maltby and Tollesby were once separate villages that belonged to Vikings called Orm, Steinn, Malti and Toll, but now form suburbs of Middlesbrough. The name Mydilsburgh is the earliest recorded form of Middlesbrough's name and dates to Anglo-Saxon times (400–1000 AD), while many of the aforementioned villages appear in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Other links persist in the area, often through school or road names, to now-outgrown or abandoned local settlements, such as the medieval settlement of Stainsby, deserted by 1757, which amounts to little more today than a series of grassy mounds near the A19 road.[6]


Old Town Hall

In 1801, Middlesbrough was a small farm with a population of just 25. During the latter half of the 19th century, however, it experienced rapid growth.

The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) had been developed to transport coal from Witton Park Colliery and Shildon in County Durham, to the River Tees in the east. It had always been assumed by the investors that Stockton as the then lowest bridging point on the River Tees would be suitable to take the largest ships at the required volume. However, as the trade developed, and with competition from the Clarence Railway which had established a new port on the north side of the river at Port Clarence, a better solution was required on the south side of the river.

In 1828 the influential Quaker banker, coal mine owner and S&DR shareholder Joseph Pease sailed up the River Tees to find a suitable new site down river of Stockton on which to place new coal staithes. As a result, in 1829 he and a group of Quaker businessmen bought the Middlesbrough farmstead and associated estate, some 527 acres (213 ha) of land, and established the Middlesbrough Estate Company. Through the company, the investors set about the development of a new coal port on the banks of the Tees nearby, and a suitable town on the site of the farm (the new town of Middlesbrough) to supply the port with labour. By 1830 the S&DR had been extended to Middlesbrough and expansion of the town was assured. The small farmstead became the site of such streets as North Street, South Street, West Street, East Street, Commercial Street, Stockton Street and Cleveland Street, laid out in a grid-iron pattern around a market square, with the first house being built in West Street in April 1830.[7] The town of Middlesbrough was born.[8] New businesses quickly bought up premises and plots of land in the new town and soon shippers, merchants, butchers, innkeepers, joiners, blacksmiths, tailors, builders and painters were moving in. By 1851 Middlesbrough's population had grown from 40 people in 1829 to 7,600.[9]

The first coal shipping staithes at the port (known as "Port Darlington") were constructed just to the west of the site earmarked for the location of Middlesbrough.[10][11] The port was linked to the S&DR on 27 December 1830 via a branch that extended to an area just north of the current Middlesbrough railway station.[12] The success of the port meant it soon became overwhelmed by the volume of imports and exports, and in 1839 work started on Middlesbrough Dock. Laid out by Sir William Cubitt, the whole infrastructure was built by resident civil engineer George Turnbull.[10] After three years and an expenditure of £122,000 (equivalent to £9.65 million at 2011 prices),[10] first water was let in on 19 March 1842, and the formal opening took place on 12 May 1842. On completion, the docks were bought by the S&DR.[10]


Further information: Bolckow Vaughan and Dorman Long
A wall celebrating the name Ironopolis

Ironstone was discovered in the Eston Hills in 1850. In 1841, Henry Bolckow, who had come to England in 1827, formed a partnership with John Vaughan, originally of Worcester, and started an iron foundry and rolling mill at Vulcan Street in the town. It was Vaughan who realised the economic potential of local ironstone deposits. Pig iron production rose tenfold between 1851 and 1856. The importance of the area to the developing iron and steel trade gave it the nickname Ironopolis.[13][14]

On 21 January 1853, Middlesbrough received its Royal Charter of Incorporation,[15] giving the town the right to have a mayor, aldermen and councillors. Henry Bolckow became mayor, in 1853.

On 15 August 1867, a Reform Bill was passed, making Middlesbrough a new parliamentary borough, Bolckow was elected member for Middlesbrough the following year.

For many years in the 19th century, Teesside set the world price for iron and steel. The steel components of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932) were engineered and fabricated by Dorman Long of Middlesbrough. The company was also responsible for the New Tyne Bridge in Newcastle.[16]

Several large shipyards also lined the Tees, including the Sir Raylton Dixon & Company, which produced hundreds of steam freighters including the infamous SS Mont-Blanc, the steamship which caused the 1917 Halifax Explosion in Canada.

Middlesbrough's rapid expansion continued throughout the second half of the 19th century (fuelled by the iron and steel industry), the population reaching 90,000 by the turn of the century.[9] The population of Middlesbrough as a county borough peaked at almost 165,000 in the late 1960s, but has declined since the early 1980s. The 2011 population estimate for the borough was 138,400, the urban area estimate was 174,700.

Irish migration to Middlesbrough

The 1871 census of England & Wales showed that Middlesbrough had the second highest percentage of Irish born people in England after Liverpool.[17][18] This equated to 9.2% of the overall population of the district at the time.[19] Due to the rapid development of the town and its industrialisation there was much need for people to work in the many blast furnaces and steel works along the banks of the Tees. This attracted many people from Ireland, who were in much need of work. As well as people from Ireland, the Scottish, Welsh and overseas inhabitants made up 16% of Middlesbrough's population in 1871.[18]


Business in Middlesbrough is still dominated by the nearby chemical industry which until 1995 in this locality was largely owned by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). The fragmentation of that company led to many smaller manufacturing units being owned and operated by a number of multinational organisations. The last part of ICI itself completely left the area in 2006 and the remaining companies are now members of the Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).

The port of Teesport, owned by PD Ports, is also vital to the economy of Middlesbrough and the port owners have their offices in the town. Teesport is located 5.6 miles (9 km) from the North Sea and 3.1 miles (5 km) east of Middlesbrough, on the River Tees. Teesport is currently the third largest port in the United Kingdom, and amongst the tenth biggest in Western Europe, handling approximately 50 million tonnes of domestic and international cargo per year.[20] The vast majority of these products are still related to the steel and chemical industries made by companies that are members of NEPIC. NEPIC is an industry led economic cluster body that promotes the development and growth of the chemistry based process industries around the Tees Valley and the wider region of Northeast England.

Middlesbrough also remains a stronghold for engineering based manufacturing and engineering contract service businesses. It also has a growing reputation for developing digital businesses particularly in the field of digital animation as a result of spin-out activity in this new industry from the Middlesbrough-based Teesside University.

Middlesbrough is served by its town centre which consists of four shopping centres, the largest of which is the Cleveland Centre. The pedestrianised section of Linthorpe Road includes House of Fraser and Debenhams. The town centre has a variety of stores from high street chains to aspirational and lifestyle brands.

Second World War

Middlesbrough was the first major British town and industrial target to be bombed during the Second World War. The steel making capacity and railways for carrying steel products were obvious targets. The Luftwaffe first bombed the town on 25 May 1940, when a lone bomber dropped 13 bombs between South Bank Road and the South Steel plant.[21] More bombing occurred throughout the course of the war, with the railway station put out of action for two weeks in 1942.[22]

By the end of the war over 200 buildings had been destroyed within the Middlesbrough area. Areas of early and mid-Victorian housing were demolished and much of central Middlesbrough was redeveloped. Heavy industry was relocated to areas of land better suited to the needs of modern technology. Middlesbrough itself began to take on a completely different look.[23]

Green Howards

Main article: The Green Howards

The Green Howards was a British Army infantry regiment very strongly associated with Middlesbrough and the area south of the River Tees. Originally formed at Dunster Castle, Somerset in 1688 to serve King William of Orange, later King William III, this famous regiment became affiliated to the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1782. As Middlesbrough grew, its population of men came to be a group most targeted by the recruiters. The Green Howards were part of the King's Division. On 6 June 2006, this famous regiment was merged into the new Yorkshire Regiment and are now known as 2 Yorks – The 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards). There is also a Territorial Army (TA) company at Stockton Road in Middlesbrough, part of 4 Yorks which is wholly reserve.


The first ten mayors of Middlesbrough[24]
Year Name of Mayor
1853 Henry William Ferdinand Bolckow
1854 Isaac Wilson
1855 John Vaughan
1856 Henry Thompson
1858 John Richardson
1859 William Fallows
1860 George Bottomley
1861 James Harris
1862 Thomas Brentnall
1863 Edgar Gilkes

Middlesbrough was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1853. It extended its boundaries in 1866 and 1887, and became a county borough under the Local Government Act 1888. A Middlesbrough Rural District was formed in 1894, covering a rural area to the south of the town. It was abolished in 1932, partly going to the county borough; but mostly going to the Stokesley Rural District.[25]

In 1968 Middlesbrough became part of the County Borough of Teesside, and in 1974 it became part of the non-metropolitan county of Cleveland until the county's abolition in 1996, when Middlesbrough became a unitary authority. The town now forms part of North Yorkshire for ceremonial purposes only.


Currently the Middlesbrough constituency is represented by Andy McDonald for Labour in the House of Commons. He was elected in a by-election held on 29 November 2012 following the death of previous Member of Parliament Sir Stuart Bell, who was the MP since 1983.

Middlesbrough has been a traditionally safe Labour seat. The first Conservative MP for Middlesbrough was Sir Samuel Alexander Sadler, elected in 1900.

Local Government


In 2002, Middlesbrough voted to have a directly elected mayor as head of the council. Ray Mallon (independent), formerly a senior officer in Cleveland Police was the first elected mayor, serving three terms of office beginning in 2002, 2007 and 2011. In May 2015, after Mallon stated he would not contest a fourth term, Dave Budd (Labour) was voted in, narrowly defeating Andy Preston (independent).[26]

In February 2011, it was revealed that Bell had not held a constituency surgery since 1997 in the feature film documentary ToryBoy The Movie[27] made by his political opponent John Walsh.[28] In September 2011, the Middlesbrough-based Evening Gazette newspaper began calling for an inquiry regarding Stuart Bell's apparent disregard for his Middlesbrough constituents. Journalist Neil Macfarlane claimed he had placed over 100 calls to his registered offices over several weeks, but the phone was never answered or calls returned. They claimed this was despite his wife receiving over £35,000 per annum allowance to act as his 'office' manager.[29] Bell later claimed that he had stopped surgeries after being assaulted, and was willing to meet constituents "by appointment". He stated that he would discuss the matter with Labour Chief Whip Rosie Winterton, and would be writing to Labour Party leader Ed Miliband to explain his circumstances.[30] Sir Stuart Bell did have a right of reply which appeared in the short film ToryBoy The AfterMath[31][32]

Before having an elected mayor, the council had a ceremonial mayor. The functions of this office have been transferred to the office of "Chair of Middlesbrough Council".

The first Mayor of Middlesbrough was the German-born Henry Bolckow in 1853.[33][34] During the 20th century, encompassing introduction of universal suffrage in 1918 and changes in local government in the United Kingdom, the role of mayor changed. Unlike some other places with a "City Mayor" and "Ceremonial Mayor", the traditional civic and ceremonial functions of the Mayor, including mayoral chains and robes, are now vested with the role now called 'Chair of Middlesbrough Council'. The Chair is still chosen by the Council from among the elected Councillors.


Map of the Middlesbrough / Stockton-on-Tees area

The following list are the different wards, districts and suburbs that make up the Middlesbrough built-up area. (* areas that form part of built-up area under Redcar & Cleveland council)


Middlesbrough has an oceanic climate typical for the United Kingdom. Being sheltered by both the Lake District and Pennines to the west, Middlesbrough is in one of the relatively drier parts of the country, receiving on average 574 millimetres (22.6 inches) of rain a year. Temperatures range from mild summer highs in July and August typically around 20 °C (68 °F) to winter lows in December and January falling to around 0 °C (32 °F).[35]

Climate data for Middlesbrough, England
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.8
Average low °C (°F) 0.7
Average precipitation mm (inches) 41.1
Average precipitation days 9.9 8.1 8.4 8.2 9.0 8.7 9.1 9.8 8.0 9.8 11.8 10.6 111.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 54.8 71.3 102.7 132.4 174.6 168.3 170.6 160.7 125.9 93.3 59.8 45.5 1,360
Source: UK Met Office [36]


Middlesbrough is served well by public transport. Locally, Arriva North East and Stagecoach provide the majority of bus services, with National Express and Megabus operating long distance coach travel from Middlesbrough bus station.

Train services are operated by Northern and TransPennine Express. Departing from Middlesbrough railway station, Northern operates rail services throughout the north-east region including to Newcastle, Sunderland, Darlington, Redcar and Whitby, whilst TransPennine Express provides direct rail services to cities such as Leeds, York, Liverpool and Manchester.

Middlesbrough is served by a number of major roads including the A19 (north/south), A66 (east/west), A171, A172 and A174.

In the past Middlesbrough has been served by the Middlesbrough, Stockton and Thornaby Electric Tramways Company, Imperial Tramways Company, Middlesbrough Corporation Tramways, Tees-side Railless Traction Board and Teesside Municipal Transport.


Acklam Hall

Located in the suburb and former village of Acklam, Middlesbrough's oldest domestic building is Acklam Hall of 1678. Built by Sir William Hustler, it is also Middlesbrough's sole Grade I listed building.[37][38] The Restoration mansion, accessible through an avenue of trees off Acklam Road, has seen progressive updates through the centuries, making a captivating document of varying trends in English architecture.

Transporter Bridge, built in 1911

Via a 1907 Act of Parliament, Sir William Arrol & Co. of Glasgow built the Transporter Bridge (1911) which spans the River Tees between Middlesbrough and Port Clarence. At 850 feet (260 m) long and 225 feet (69 m) high, is one of the largest of its type in the world, and one of only two left in working order in Britain (the other being in Newport). The bridge remains in daily use. It is, a Grade II* listed building.

Another landmark, the Tees Newport Bridge, a vertical lift bridge, opened further along the river in 1934. Newport bridge still stands and is passable by traffic, but it can no longer lift the centre section.

The urban centre of Middlesbrough remains home to a variety of architecture ranging from the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, opened in January 2007 to replace a number of former outlying galleries; and Centre North East, formerly Corporation House, which opened in 1971. Many believe that there is a beauty to be found in the surrounding landscape of industry along the River Tees from Billingham to Wilton. The terraced Victorian streets surrounding the town centre are characterful elements of Middlesbrough's social and historical identity, and the vast streets surrounding Parliament Road and Abingdon Road a reminder of the area's wealth and rapid growth during industrialisation.

Middlesbrough Town Hall, designed by George Gordon Hoskins and built between 1883 and 1889 is a Grade II listed building, and a very imposing structure. Of comparable grandeur, is the Empire Palace of Varieties, of 1897, the finest surviving theatre edifice designed by Ernest Runtz in the UK. The first artist to star there in its guise as a music hall was Lillie Langtry. Later it became an early nightclub (1950s), then a bingo hall and is now once again a nightclub. Further afield, in Linthorpe, is the Middlesbrough Theatre opened by Sir John Gielgud in 1957; it was one of the first new theatres built in England after the Second World War.

Middlesbrough Central (Public) Library

The town includes England's only public sculpture by Claes Oldenburg, the "Bottle O' Notes" of 1993, which relates to Captain James Cook. Based alongside it today in the town's Central Gardens is the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA). Refurbished in 2006, is the Carnegie library, dating from 1912. The Dorman Long office on Zetland Road, constructed between 1881 and 1891, is the only commercial building ever designed by Philip Webb, the architect who worked for Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell.

Temenos sculpture at Middlehaven.

Away from the town centre, at Middlehaven stands the Temenos sculpture, designed by sculptor Anish Kapoor and designer Cecil Balmond. The steel structure, consisting of a pole, a circular ring and an oval ring, stands approximately 110 m long and 50 m high and is held together by steel wire. It was unveiled in 2010 at a cost of £2.7 million.

Culture and leisure

Dorman Museum

The Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art opened its doors in January 2007. It holds works by Frank Auerbach, Tracey Emin and Paula Rego among others. Its considerable arts and crafts collections span from 1900 to the present day.

Middlesbrough also has a healthy musical heritage. A number of bands and musicians hail from the area, including Chris Rea, Paul Rodgers and Micky Moody.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima)

Middlesbrough has two major recreational park spaces in Albert Park and Stewart Park, Marton. Albert Park was donated to the town by Henry Bolckow in 1866. It was formally opened by Prince Arthur on 11 August 1868, and comprises a 30 hectares (74 acres) site. The park underwent a considerable period of restoration from 2001 to 2004, during which a number of the park's landmarks, saw either restoration or revival. Stewart Park was donated to the people of Middlesbrough in 1928 by Councillor Thomas Dormand Stewart and encompasses Victorian stable buildings, lakes and animal pens. During 2011 and 2012, the park underwent major refurbishment. Alongside these two parks are two of the town's cultural attractions, the century-old Dorman Memorial Museum and the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum.

Newham Grange Leisure farm in Coulby Newham, one of the most southerly districts of the town, has operated continuously in this spot since the 17th century, becoming a leisure farm with the first residential development of the suburb in the 1970s. It is now a burgeoning tourist attraction: the chance to view its cattle, pigs, sheep and other farm animals is complemented by exhibitions of the farming history of the area.

Middlesbrough is famous for the Parmo, a version of scallopini Parmigiana or schnitzel consisting of deep-fried breaded chicken or pork cutlet, topped with thick béchamel sauce and grilled cheese. It is usually served with chips, salad & garlic sauce, with variations such as hotshot and fungi. Although it can be seen primarily as a takeaway dish, popular with Teessiders after a night out, it is also a popular restaurant dish with many establishments in around Teesside serving restaurant quality versions.

In the Middlehaven ward, is the Transporter Bridge Visitor Centre, opened in 2000 and offering its own exhibitions charting the stirring past of the surrounding industrial powerhouse, as well as that of the singular structure it commemorates.


Riverside Stadium, 2015

Middlesbrough is home to the Premier League football team, Middlesbrough F.C., owned by local haulage entrepreneur Steve Gibson. The club is based at the Riverside Stadium on the banks of the River Tees, where they have played since moving from Ayresome Park, their home for 92 years until 1995. Founder members of the Premier League in 1992, Middlesbrough won the Football League Cup in 2004,[39] and were beaten finalists in the 2005-06 UEFA Cup.[40] In 1905 they made history with Britain's first £1,000 transfer when they signed Alf Common from local rivals Sunderland.[41] Another league club, Middlesbrough Ironopolis F.C., was briefly based in the town in the late 19th century, but folded within a few years.

Speedway racing was staged at Cleveland Park Stadium from the pioneer days of 1928 until the 1990s. The post-war team, known as The Middlesbrough Bears, and for a time, The Teessiders, the Teesside Tigers and the Middlesbrough Tigers operated at all levels. The track operated for amateur speedway in the 1950s before re-opening in the Provincial League of 1961. The track closed for a spell later in the 1960s but returned in as members of the Second Division as The Teessiders.

Middlesbrough is also represented nationally in Futsal. Middlesbrough Futsal Club play in the FA Futsal League North, the national championship and their home games are played in Thornaby at Thornaby Pavilion.

Athletics is a major sport in Middlesbrough with two local clubs serving Middlesbrough and the surrounding Teesside area, Middlesbrough and Cleveland Harriers and Middlesbrough AC (Mandale). Athletes used to regularly train at Clairville Stadium (1963-2014) until it was closed and subsequently demolished to make way for a housing development. Athletes now train at the recently opened (May 2015)[42] Middlesbrough Sports Village, located on Marton Road (A172). Notable athletes to train at both facilities are World & European Indoor Sprint Champion Richard Kilty, British Indoor Long Jump record holder Chris Tomlinson and current British Internationals Matthew Hynes, Jonathon Taylor, Jack Crosby, Rabah Yousif and Amy Carr. The sports village includes a running track with grandstand, an indoor gym and cafe, football pitches, cycle circuit and a velodrome. Adjacent to the sports village is a skateboard plaza and also Middlesbrough Tennis World.

Middlesbrough hosts several road races through the year. In September, the annual Middlesbrough Tees Pride 10k road race[43] is held on a one lap circuit round the southern part of the town. First held in 2005, the race now attracts several thousand competitors, from the serious club athlete to those in fancy dress raising money for local charities. Road races and training are also held regularly at Middlesbrough Cycle Circuit which is located at the Middlesbrough Sports Villiage.


Middlesbrough Tower, Teesside University

Middlesbrough became a university town in 1992, after a concerted campaign for a distinct "Teesside University" which had run since the 1960s. Before its establishment, extramural classes had been provided by the University of Leeds Adult Education Centre on Harrow Road, from 1958 to 2001.[44] Teesside University has more than 20,000 students. It dates back to 1930 as Constantine Technical College. Current departments of the university include Teesside University Business School and Schools of Arts and Media, Computing, Health and Social Care, Science & Engineering and Social Sciences & Law. The university teaches computer animation and games design and co-hosts the annual Animex International Festival of Animation. The university also has links with the James Cook University Hospital located south of the town centre.

There are also modern schools, colleges and sixth forms colleges, the largest of which is Middlesbrough College, in Middlehaven, with 16,000 students. Others include Trinity Catholic College in Saltersgill[45] and Macmillan Academy on Stockton Road. Cleveland College of Art and Design, which opened in 1960, is also based in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool. It is one of only four specialist art and design further education colleges in the United Kingdom.

Secondary schools

Secondary schools in Middlesbrough include:

Nunthorpe Acadamy


In 2011, Middlesbrough had a population of 174,700,[47] which makes it the largest town in North East England and one of the largest in the country. For comparison, it is about the same size as Bournemouth, the largest town in South West England and Bolton. Middlesbrough town is larger than the borough (which had a population of 138,400 in 2011).[48] The town is made up of the borough, as well as the suburbs which make up the area known as Greater Eston, which is to the east of the borough in Redcar and Cleveland. Greater Eston does not have a very high ethnic minority population, which makes the town less ethnically diverse than the smaller borough.

Middlesbrough compared 2011 Middlesbrough USD Middlesbrough (borough)
White British 88.4% 86.0%
Asian 6.4% 7.8%
Black 1.0% 1.3%


In the borough of Middlesbrough, 14.0% of the population were non white British, compared with only 11.6% for the town. This makes the town about as ethnically diverse as Exeter and has a lower white British population compared with Gateshead and South Shields which are further north on the other side of County Durham. The town of Middlesbrough is recognised as a USD or Urban Subdivision of Teesside by the Office for National Statistics.



Middlesbrough is a deanery of the Archdeaconry of Cleveland, a subdivision of the Church of England Diocese of York in the Province of York. It stretches west from Thirsk, north to Middlesbrough, east to Whitby and south to Pickering.

Middlesbrough is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough, which was created on 20 December 1878 from the Diocese of Beverley. Middlesbrough is home to the Mother-Church of the diocese, St. Mary's Cathedral, which is located in the suburb of Coulby Newham and Sacred Heart Church in the centre of the town. The present bishop is the Right Reverend Terence Patrick Drainey, 7th Bishop of Middlesbrough, who was ordained on Friday 25 January 2008.

St. Stephen's, Middlesbrough, near the university campus, is an evangelical congregation, worshipping in the style of the Church of England, but which is in the Evangelical Connexion.[50]


The Islamic community is represented in several mosques in Middlesbrough. Muslim sailors visited Middlesbrough from about 1890.[51] and, in 1961, Azzam and Younis Din opened the first Halal butcher shop.[51] The first mosque was a house in Grange Road in 1962.[51] The Al-Madina Jamia Mosque, on Waterloo Road, the Dar ul Islam Central Mosque, on Southfield Road, and the Abu Bakr Mosque & Community Centre,[52] which is on Park Road North, are among the best known mosques in Middlesbrough today.


The Sikh community established their first Temple, or Gurdwara, in Milton Street, in 1967.[51] After a time in Southfield Road, the centre is now in Lorne Street and was opened in 1990.[51]


There is a Hindu Cultural Centre in Westbourne Road, North Ormesby, which was opened in 1990.[51]

Middlesbrough Tamil Education Community was founded April 2013 and is currently operating in Newport Community Centre in Middlesbrough.

Television and filmography

Middlesbrough has featured in many television programmes, including The Fast Show, Inspector George Gently, Steel River Blues, Spender, Play for Today (The Black Stuff; latterly the drama Boys from the Blackstuff) and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.[53]

Film director Ridley Scott is from the North East and based the opening shot of Blade Runner on the view of the old ICI plant at Wilton. He said: “There’s a walk from Redcar … I’d cross a bridge at night, and walk above the steel works. So that’s probably where the opening of Blade Runner comes from. It always seemed to be rather gloomy and raining, and I’d just think “God, this is beautiful.” You can find beauty in everything, and so I think I found the beauty in that darkness.” Apparently the site was also considered as a shooting location for one of the sequels to Scott's Alien film.[54]

Some of the movie Billy Elliot was filmed on the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge.[53]

In May 2008, Middlesbrough was chosen as one of the sites in the BBC's Public Space Broadcasting Project. Like other towns participating in the project, Middlesbrough was offered a large 27 m2 (290 sq ft) television screen by the BBC and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games. The screen was installed on 11 July 2008 and is located at the western end of Centre Square.

In the 2009 action thriller The Tournament Middlesbrough is that year's location where the assassins' competition is being held.

In November 2009, the MiMA art gallery was used by the presenters of Top Gear as part of a challenge. The challenge was to see if car exhibits would be more popular than normal art.[55]

In March 2013, Middlesbrough was used as a stand in for Newcastle 1969 in BBC's Inspector George Gently starring Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby; the footage appeared in the episode "Gently Between The Lines" (episode 1 of series 6).

Reference is also made to Middlesbrough in works by London author Paul Breen " including a work of fiction entitled The Bones of a Season "

Notable people

Captain James Cook, portrait by Nathaniel Dance, c. 1775, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Captain James Cook (1728–79) the world-famous explorer, navigator, and cartographer was born in Marton, now a suburb in the south of Middlesbrough.

Tom Dresser (1892-1992), Middlesbrough’s first Victoria Cross recipient during the First World War.

Stanley Hollis (1912–72), recipient of the only Victoria Cross awarded on D-Day (6 June 1944).[56]

Ellen Wilkinson was a famous MP for Middlesbrough East, and was the first female Minister of Education. She also wrote a novel Clash (1929) which paints a very positive picture of "Shireport" (Middlesbrough).

Steph McGovern, a business journalist for the BBC grew up in Middlesbrough.

Marion Coates Hansen was an active member of the local Independent Labour Party (ILP). She was a feminist and women's suffrage campaigner, an early member of the militant Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) and a founder member of the Women's Freedom League (WFL) in 1907.

Maud Chadburn was one of the earliest women in the United Kingdom to pursue a career as a surgeon. She also co-founded the South London Hospital for Women and Children in 1912 with fellow surgeon Eleanor Davies-Colley.

Other famous people from Middlesbrough include:


The arts

Other entertainers

Other eminent sons and daughters of Middlesbrough and its environs include Sir Martin Narey (1955–present), former Director General of the Prison Service and chief executive of Barnardo's, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson,[61] Chief Medical Officer for England, E. W. Hornung, the creator of the gentleman-crook Raffles (who was fluent in three Yorkshire dialects), and Naomi Jacob novelist. Cyril Smith (1909–74), the concert pianist. Two immigrant sons Frank and Edgar Watts opened the English Hotel in the Cumberland Gap which gave their hometown's name to Middlesboro, Kentucky, in the United States.[62] The classic study, At The Works (1907), by Florence Bell (1851–1930), gives a striking picture of the area at the turn of the 20th century. She also edited the letters of her stepdaughter Gertrude Bell (1868–1926), which has been continuously in print since 1927. Pat Barker's debut novel Union Street was set on the thoroughfare of the same name in the town. The Jonny Briggs series of books, written by Joan Eadington and later to become a BBC Children's TV series of the same name, was also based in the town. David Shayler, the ex-spy, journalist and conspiracy theorist, was born in Middlesbrough.[65]

Ford Madox Ford (1873–1939) was billeted in Eston during the Great War (1914–18), and his great novel sequence Parade's End is partly set in Busby Hall, Little Busby, near Carlton-in-Cleveland.

Adrian "Six Medals" Warburton, air photographer, was played by Alec Guinness in Malta Story.

The great model maker Richard Old (1856–1932) resided for most of his life at 6 Ruby Street.

Image gallery

Twin towns

Middlesbrough is twinned with:

See also


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  63. Rennick, Robert. Kentucky Place Names, p. 196. University Press of Kentucky (Lexington), 1987. Accessed 26 August 2013.
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Further reading

External links

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