Middlesbrough (/ˈmɪdəlzbrə/ (listen) MID-əlz-brə) is a large post-industrial town[1][2] on the south bank of the River Tees in the county of North Yorkshire, England, founded in 1830.[3] The local council, a unitary authority, is Middlesbrough Borough Council. The 2011 Census recorded the borough's total resident population as 138,400 and the wider urban settlement with a population of 174,700.[4] Middlesbrough is part of the larger built-up area of Teesside which had an overall population of 376,333 at the 2011 Census.[5]

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 the county of North Yorkshire. 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.[6]

Middlesbrough Town Hall, Teesside University, Tees Transporter Bridge, Go North East bus, Ironopolis poem, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Albert Road, Riverside Stadium
"We shall be
Shown within North Yorkshire
Shown within North Yorkshire
Middlesbrough is located in England
Location within England
Middlesbrough is located in the United Kingdom
Location within the United Kingdom
Middlesbrough is located in Europe
Location within Europe
Coordinates: 54°34′36″N 1°14′08″W / 54.5767°N 1.2355°WCoordinates: 54°34′36″N 1°14′08″W / 54.5767°N 1.2355°W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionNorth East England
Ceremonial countyNorth Yorkshire
Administrative headquartersMiddlesbrough Town Hall
 • TypeUnitary authority
 • BodyMiddlesbrough Council
 • LeadershipLeader and cabinet
 • ExecutiveLabour
 • MayorAndy Preston
 • ChairmanStephen Bloundele
 • Total20.80 sq mi (53.87 km2)
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total174,700
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Area code(s)01642
OS grid referenceNZ495204
Primary airportTeesside Airport
European ParliamentNorth East England


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.[7] Up until its closure on the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1537,[8] 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 from the Anglo-Saxon era (AD 410–1066), while many of the aforementioned villages are recorded 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.[9]


Old Middlesbrough Town Hall 2013
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.[10] The town of Middlesbrough was born.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13][14] 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.[15] 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.[13] After three years and an expenditure of £122,000 (equivalent to £9.65 million at 2011 prices),[13] 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.[13]


Ironopolis wall
A wall celebrating the name Ironopolis

The Iron and Steel industry dominated the Tees area since Iron production started in Middlesbrough during the 1840s. 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 when he discovered Ironstone in the Eston Hills in 1850. Pig iron production rose tenfold between 1851 and 1856 and by the mid 1870's Middlesbrough was producing one third of the entire nations Pig Iron output. It was during this time Middlesbrough earned the nickname "Ironopolis".[16][17]

In 1875, Bolckow, Vaughan & Co opened the Cleveland Steelworks in Middlesbrough beginning the transition from Iron production to Steel and by the turn of the century, Teesside had become one of the major steel centres in the country and possibly the world. In 1900, Bolckow, Vaughan & Co had become the largest producer of steel in Great Britain. In 1914, Dorman Long, another major steel producer from Middlesbrough become the largest company in Britain employing a workforce of over 20,000 and by 1929 becomes the dominant steel producer on Teesside after taking over Bolckow, Vaughan & Co and acquiring its assets. It is possibly the largest Steel producer in Britain. 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.[18] The importance of the area to the steel trade gave it the nickname "The Steel River", referring to the River Tees and the transition from Iron to Steel.

On 21 January 1853, Middlesbrough received its Royal Charter of Incorporation,[19] 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.

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.[12] 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 Census recorded the borough's total resident population as 138,400 and the urban settlement as 174,500.

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.[20][21] This equated to 9.2% of the overall population of the district at the time.[22] 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.[21]


Once dominated by the steelmaking, shipbuilding and chemical industries, business in Middlesbrough has changed significantly since its foundation.[23] Since the demise of much of the heavy industry in the area, newer technologies have since begun to emerge e.g. in the digital sector.[24] The area is still home to the nearby large Wilton International industrial site which until 1995 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 a major contributor to the economy of Middlesbrough and the port owners have their offices in the town. Teesport is 1 mile (2 km) from the North Sea and 4 miles (6 km) east of Middlesbrough, on the River Tees. The port currently handles over 4,350 vessels each year and around 27 million tonnes of cargo with the estate covering approximately 779 acres.[25] Steel, petrochemical, agribulks, manufacturing, engineering and high street commerce operations are all supported through Teesport, in addition to the renewable energy sector – in both production and assembly facilities.

Middlesbrough also remains a stronghold for engineering based manufacturing and engineering contract service businesses. To help support this, the new TeesAMP advanced manufacturing park is designed to accommodate businesses associated with advanced manufacturing and emerging technologies.[26]

Middlesbrough-based Teesside University is a major presence in the town.[27] The university has a growing reputation for developing digital businesses particularly in the field of digital animation and for hosting the Animex festival.[28] The Boho zone in the town now houses a large number of these start-up digital businesses.[29] Another major employer in the town is the James Cook University Hospital, located to the south of the town centre.

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, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams. The town centre has a variety of stores from high street chains to aspirational and lifestyle brands.

Middlesbrough F.C. has been an important symbol of the town and a major contributor to its economy since the turn of the 20th century. Its former home at Ayresome Park was a venue for the 1966 FIFA World Cup. The club has spent most of its professional history in the highest two divisions of the English league. However, the club almost went out of business in 1986 with £1million debts following relegation to the Football League Third Division, with the decline in fortunes on the pitch having also resulted in a decline in attendances. The club's decline during the early and mid 1980s also coincided with the industrial decline and sharp rise in unemployment which affected Middlesbrough and the surrounding parts of Teesside during this time. The club's fortunes improved greatly during the 1990s, when its new owners built a new all-seater stadium - the Riverside Stadium - on the banks of the River Tees, with their wealth also being able to attract former England captain to the club as manager in 1994, a year before the relocation from Ayresome Park to the Riverside Stadium. Soon afterwards, the club was also able to attract international star players including the Brazilian midfielder Juninho and Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli. Despite fluctuating performances on the pitch, Middlesbrough's average attendance from the mid 1990s rose dramatically and aided the local economy, as well as maintaining strong links with the local community.

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.[30] More bombing occurred throughout the course of the war, with the railway station put out of action for two weeks in 1942.[31]

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.[32]

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[33]
Year Name of Mayor
1853 Henry 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
The first directly elected mayors of Middlesbrough[34]
Years Name of Mayor
2002 - 2015 Ray Mallon
2015 - 2019 Dave Budd
2019 - Andy Preston

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.[35]

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.[36] In the May 2019 mayoral election, local businessman Andy Preston (independent) won with 59% of the vote with Budd deciding not to stand for a second term.[37][38]

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.[39][40] In 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.


OS map Middlesbrough-Stockton area
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 from prevailing south-westerly winds by both the Lake District and Pennines to the west and the Cleveland Hills to the south, 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).[41]


Middlesbrough is served 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.


AcklamHall Grounds1
Acklam Hall

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.[43][44] 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.

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge
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.[45] 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.

Boro Central Library 2011
Middlesbrough Central (Public) Library

The town includes the UK's only public sculpture by Claes Oldenburg,[46] 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.

Claes Oldenburg's Bottle O' Notes
Claes Oldenburg's 'Bottle O' Notes' sculpture in Middlesbrough
Temenos Sculpture, Middlesbrough
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 2011
Dorman Museum

Middlesbrough Leisure Park is located at the eastern edge of the town centre. The leisure park hosts restaurants, a Cineworld multiplex cinema, fast food outlets, an American Golf outlet and a gym.[47]

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 Paul Rodgers, Chris Rea, and Micky Moody.

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art - MIMA
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.


MFC Riverside Stadium
Riverside Stadium, 2015

Middlesbrough is home to the Championship football team, Middlesbrough FC, 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,[48] and were beaten finalists in the 2005-06 UEFA Cup.[49] In 1905 they made history with Britain's first £1,000 transfer when they signed Alf Common from local rivals Sunderland.[50] Another league club, Middlesbrough Ironopolis FC, 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)[51] Middlesbrough Sports Village, 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, 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[52] 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 at the Middlesbrough Sports Village.

Middlesbrough RUFC opened services in 1872, and are currently members of the Yorkshire Division One. They have played their home games at Acklam Park since 1929, and have a ground-share with Middlesbrough Cricket Club, which commenced in 1930.


The Curve Building, Teesside University
The Curve, Teesside University

Middlesbrough became a university town in 1992, after a campaign for a distinct 'Teesside University' 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.[53] 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 and Computer Games. The university also has links with the James Cook University Hospital south of the town centre.

There are also modern schools, colleges and sixth form colleges, the largest of which is Middlesbrough College, in Middlehaven, with 16,000 students. Others include Trinity Catholic College in Saltersgill[54] and Macmillan Academy on Stockton Road. The Northern School of Art, 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:


In 2011, Middlesbrough had a population of 174,700,[4] which makes it the largest town in North East England and largest urban settlement within the non-administrative ceremonial county of North Yorkshire. The borough had a population of 138,412 at the same census. For comparison, the Built-up area sub-division (BUASD) is about the same size as Bournemouth, the largest town in South West England. Middlesbrough town is larger than the borough. 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 BUASD 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. Additionally, it has a lower white British population than Gateshead and South Shields which are further north on the other side of County Durham. It is also the second most ethnically diverse settlement in the North East (after Newcastle). The town of Middlesbrough is recognised as a Built-up area sub-division (BUASD) of Teesside by the Office for National Statistics.[5]

Women in the Middlehaven ward had the second lowest life expectancy at birth, 74 years, of any ward in England and Wales in 2016.[58]


Middlesbrough English[59] is often grouped with the accents of North East England such as Geordie (spoken in Tyneside) and Mackem (spoken on Wearside) and occasionally with the accents of Yorkshire as it shares characteristics of both. Furthermore, the accent reflects the town's history. This accent is also known as a Smoggie accent or a Teesside accent.

Distinct vowels


A recognisable feature of Middlesbrough English is the fronted form of NURSE,[60] reflecting its similarity with Liverpool English, having the characteristic NURSE/SQUARE merger at [ɛ:]. Additionally, the form is found to be the preferred variant of female speakers.[61] This can be heard in words like work, purple, dirt and shirt which are pronounced more like "werk/wairk", "perple/pairple", "dert/dairt" and "shert/shairt".



St John's Church, Middlesbrough-geograph-2129360
St John's Church

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 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 church, Middlesbrough, near the university campus, is a Church of England parish church, but is also in the Evangelical Connexion.[62]

Lugs Lodge Synagogue - geograph.org.uk - 609300
The synagogue in Park Road South, which opened in 1938 and closed in 1998


Ashkenazi Jews started to settle in Middlesbrough from 1862 and formed Middlesbrough Hebrew Congregation in 1870 with a synagogue in Hill Street. The synagogue moved to Brentnall Street in 1874 and then to a new building in Park Road South in 1938.[63]

Editions of the Jewish Year Book record the growth and decline of Middlesbrough's Jewish population. It was about 100 in 1896–97 and peaked at 750 in 1935. It then declined to 30 in 1998, in which year the synagogue in Park Road South was ceremonially closed.[63]


The Islamic community is represented in several mosques in Middlesbrough. Muslim sailors visited Middlesbrough from about 1890.[64] and, in 1961, Azzam and Younis Din opened the first Halal butcher shop.[64] The first mosque was a house in Grange Road in 1962.[64] The Al-Madina Jamia Mosque, on Waterloo Road, the Dar ul Islam Central Mosque, on Southfield Road, and the Abu Bakr Mosque & Community Centre,[65] which is on Park Road North, are among the best known mosques in Middlesbrough today.


The Sikh community established its first gurdwara (temple) in Milton Street in 1967.[64] After a time in Southfield Road, the centre is now in Lorne Street and was opened in 1990.[64]


There is a Hindu Cultural Centre in Westbourne Grove, North Ormesby, which was opened in 1990.[64]

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.[66]

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.” It has been claimed that the site was also considered as a shooting location for one of the films in Scott's Alien franchise.[67]

Some of the film Billy Elliot was filmed on the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge.[66]

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 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.[68]

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).

In 2010, filmmaker John Walsh made the satirical documentary ToryBoy The Movie about the 2010 general election in the Middlesbrough constituency and sitting MP Stuart Bell's alleged laziness as an MP.[69][70][71]

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).[72]

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 positive picture of "Shireport" (Middlesbrough).

Steph McGovern, a business journalist for the BBC, grew up in Middlesbrough.[73]

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,[81] 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.[84] The classic study, At The Works (1907), by Florence Bell (1851–1930), gives a 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.[85]

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.



Teesside Crown Court

CIAC Building, Middlehaven, Middlesbrough

The CIAC Building at RiversideOne, Middlehaven

Benedict Carpenter Middlesbrough sculpture

40,000 Years of Modern Art, at Middlehaven

Middlesbrough panorama

Panoramic view of Middlesbrough

Twin towns

Middlesbrough is twinned with:

Freedom of the Borough

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Middlesbrough.



Military Units


See also


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Further reading

  • Bell, Lady Florence. At the Works, a Study of a Manufacturing Town (1907) online.
  • Briggs, Asa. Victorian Cities (1965) pp 245–82.
  • Doyle, Barry. "Labour and hospitals in urban Yorkshire: Middlesbrough, Leeds and Sheffield, 1919–1938." Social history of medicine (2010): hkq007.
  • Glass, Ruth. The social background of a plan: a study of Middlesbrough (1948)

External links

1997 FA Cup Final

The 1997 FA Cup Final was the 116th final of the FA Cup. It took place on 17 May 1997 at Wembley Stadium and was contested by Chelsea and Middlesbrough, the North East club appearing in its first FA Cup Final.

Chelsea won 2–0 to win the FA Cup for the second time, the first having come in 1970. Their Dutch manager, Ruud Gullit, thus became the first foreign or non-white manager to win a major trophy with an English club.It was the first major honour in the career of most Chelsea's players, but for Mark Hughes, it was the fourth time that he had featured in an FA Cup winning side (having played on the winning Manchester United teams of 1985, 1990 and 1994), and his 12th major honour in all. For Middlesbrough, it was a second final defeat of the 1996–97 season (having lost the League Cup Final to Leicester City the previous month), to go with their controversial relegation from the Premier League.

2006 UEFA Cup Final

The 2006 UEFA Cup Final was a football match that took place at Philips Stadion in Eindhoven, Netherlands on 10 May 2006. The match was contested by Middlesbrough of England and Sevilla of Spain. Sevilla won the UEFA Cup with a 4–0 win.

2007 Middlesbrough Borough Council election

The 2007 Middlesbrough Borough Council took place on Thursday 3 May 2007 to elect all 48 councillors, across 23 multi-member wards. to Middlesbrough Borough Council. The Labour Party retained a majority on the council.

Albert Adomah

Albert Danquah Adomah (born 13 December 1987) is a professional footballer who plays as a right winger who plays for Nottingham Forest and the Ghana national team.He holds both a Ghanaian passport and a British passport. His previous clubs are Harrow Borough, Barnet, Bristol City, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa. He currently plays for Nottingham Forest in the EFL Championship for the 2018/19 season.

Ayresome Park

Ayresome Park was a football stadium in the town of Middlesbrough, North East England, and was the home of Middlesbrough F.C. from its construction in time for the 1903–04 season, until the Riverside Stadium opened in 1995.

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate (born 3 September 1970) is an English professional football manager and former player who played as a defender or as a midfielder. He is the manager of the England national team.

Southgate won the League Cup with both Aston Villa and Middlesbrough (in 1995–96 and 2003–04 respectively), and captained Crystal Palace to win the First Division championship in 1993–94. He also played in the 2000 FA Cup Final for Villa and the 2006 UEFA Cup Final for Middlesbrough. Internationally, Southgate made 57 appearances for the England national team between 1995 and 2004, featuring in the 1998 FIFA World Cup and both the 1996 and 2000 European Championships. His playing career ended in May 2006 at the age of 35, and after more than 500 league appearances.

Southgate served as manager of Middlesbrough from June 2006 until October 2009. He also managed the England U21 team from 2013 to 2016, before becoming the England national team manager in 2016. In his first tournament as England manager, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Southgate became only the third manager (after Alf Ramsey and Bobby Robson) to reach a World Cup semi-final with the England team, which won him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award.

Jonathan Woodgate

Jonathan Simon Woodgate (born 22 January 1980) is a former footballer who played as a defender, and is the current manager of Middlesbrough.

Woodgate started his career at Leeds United. He was sold to Newcastle United for £9 million in 2003, where he impressed despite injury problems. His performances in Europe for Newcastle led to Real Madrid signing him for £13.4 million in 2004. Injuries blighted his time in Madrid and he failed to make a single appearance in the entire 2004–05 season. On his debut for Real Madrid, he scored an own goal and was sent off for two bookable offences.

He went on to play 14 times for them before joining his hometown club Middlesbrough on loan, then permanently for a fee of £7 million. He joined Tottenham Hotspur for £8 million in 2008. He scored the winning goal for Spurs in the League Cup Final against Chelsea and went on to play 44 times in the 2008–09 season. After more injury problems, he only made four appearances in the next two seasons and was released in 2011 and signed on a pay-as-you-play deal with Stoke City. He spent the 2011–12 season at Stoke and after his contract expired re-signed for Middlesbrough.

Juninho Paulista

Osvaldo Giroldo Júnior (born 22 February 1973 in São Paulo), known as Juninho Paulista or Juninho, is a Brazilian former footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. During his professional career, he played for Brazilian clubs São Paulo FC, Vasco da Gama, Palmeiras, CR Flamengo, as well as English club Middlesbrough, Spanish club Atlético Madrid, Celtic in Scotland and Sydney FC in Australia.

Known as "The Little Fella" or "TLF", he is regarded by many as one of the greatest players in Middlesbrough F.C.'s history..

Juninho played 49 international matches for the Brazilian national team from 1995 to 2003, winning the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the bronze medal at the 1996 Olympic tournament.

List of schools in Middlesbrough

This is a list of schools in Middlesbrough, in the English county of North Yorkshire.

Mayor of Middlesbrough

The Mayor of Middlesbrough is the executive mayor of the borough of Middlesbrough in North Yorkshire, England. The incumbent since 2019 is Andy Preston.

Middlesbrough F.C.

Middlesbrough Football Club () is a professional association football club based in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. They are currently competing in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football. Formed in 1876, they have played at the Riverside Stadium since 1995, their third ground since turning professional in 1889. They played at the Linthorpe Road ground from 1882 to 1903 and at Ayresome Park for 92 years, from 1903 to 1995.

They were one of the founding members of the Premier League in 1992 and became one of the first clubs to be relegated from it following the 1992–93 season. The club came close to folding in 1986 after experiencing severe financial difficulties before it was saved by a consortium led by then board member and later chairman Steve Gibson. The club's main rivals are Sunderland, Newcastle United and Leeds United.Middlesbrough won the League Cup in 2004, the club's first and only major trophy. They reached the 2006 UEFA Cup Final, but were beaten by Spanish side Sevilla. The club's highest league finish to date was third in the 1913–14 season and they have only spent two seasons outside the Football League's top two divisions. The League Cup win and the UEFA Cup run was part of an 11-year consecutive stay in the Premier League, before a relegation in 2009. Although the club returned in 2016, instant relegation followed.

The club's traditional kit is red with white detailing. The home shorts and sock colours have interchangeably been shifted between red and white, complementing the red shirt that was adopted in 1899. The various crests throughout the club's history, the most recent of which was adopted in 2007, incorporate a lion rampant.

North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is a non-metropolitan county (or shire county) and the largest ceremonial county in England. It is located primarily in the region of Yorkshire and the Humber but partly in the region of North East England. The estimated (by ONS) population of North Yorkshire was 602,300 in mid-2016 (not including the unitary districts of York, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar & Cleveland).Created by the Local Government Act 1972, it covers an area of 8,654 square kilometres (3,341 sq mi), making it the largest county in England. The majority of the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors lie within North Yorkshire's boundaries, and around 40% of the county is covered by National Parks. The largest towns are Middlesbrough (174,700), York (152,841), Harrogate (73,576) and Scarborough (61,749); the county town, Northallerton, has a population of 16,832.

Riverside Stadium

The Riverside Stadium is a football stadium in Middlesbrough, England, which has been the home of Middlesbrough since it opened in 1995. Its current capacity is 34,000, all seated, although there is provisional planning permission in place to expand that to 42,000 if required.

Stewart Downing

Stewart Downing (born 22 July 1984) is an English professional footballer who plays for Championship club Blackburn Rovers. He has played most of his career as a winger, where he operates predominantly on the left-hand side, though he can play on the right and go inside on to his stronger left foot. Downing has played more recently as an attacking midfielder.

Downing started his career at Middlesbrough, where after a loan at Sunderland, he became a key part of the team, winning the League Cup in 2004 and helping them to the UEFA Cup final two years later. In 2009, after Boro's relegation, he joined Aston Villa for an initial £10 million, then moved on to Liverpool for twice that amount two years later, again winning the League Cup in 2012. He played for two seasons at West Ham United before returning to Middlesbrough.

A full international from 2005 to 2014, Downing has earned 35 caps for England. He was included in the nation's squads that reached the quarter-finals at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012.


Teesside () is a conurbation around Middlesbrough on the River Tees in North East England which also includes Billingham, Redcar, Stockton-on-Tees and Thornaby. It is a centre for heavy industry, although the number of people employed has declined. Traditional industries, primarily steelmaking (British Steel) and chemical manufacture (Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI)), have been replaced to a large extent by high technology activities, science development and service sector roles.

Teesside Gazette

The Teesside Gazette is a newspaper serving the Teesside area of England. It is published by the Gazette Media Company Ltd, which is a regional arm of the Reach plc group. The Teesside Gazette is written and published in Middlesbrough, along with many other publications. The Gazette Media Company Ltd is also well-known locally for being the publisher of the free Herald & Post newspaper.

The Teesside Gazette is the most popular daily newspaper in Teesside, and has been an integral part of life in the area since 1869, when it was founded as the North-Eastern Daily Gazette by the Scot, and eventual Liberal Member of Parliament for Aston Manor, Hugh Gilzean Reid. It was also at this time, that a first premises were established on Zetland Road, Middlesbrough. Historical copies of the Daily Gazette, dating back to 1870, are available to search and view in digitised form at The British Newspaper Archive.The Teesside Gazette occupied the Gazette building on Borough Road in the centre of Middlesbrough for almost 80 years; and in April 2018, it moved to a new premises on Hudson Quays, Middlehaven. This houses the editorial staff as well as various operational departments such as advertising and newspaper sales. There is a further Gazette Media Company site on the Riverside Industrial Estate which houses a printing press.

Teesside Gazette changed the title of its cover page from "Evening Gazette" to "The Gazette" in 2014 after the company began releasing the newspaper to newsagents on mornings instead of evenings as it had done previously. It mainly provides local news, but also covers national, international and sports news as well as having various supplements relating to lifestyle, business, and events.

Teesside University

Teesside University is a public university with its main campus in Middlesbrough, Teesside in North East England. It has 18,576 students, according to the 2015/16 HESA student record.

Tony Mowbray

Anthony Mark Mowbray (born 22 November 1963) is an English former professional football player who is the head coach of Championship club Blackburn Rovers. Mowbray played for Middlesbrough, Celtic and Ipswich Town as a defender.

The son of a steel worker and scaffolder, he began his coaching career with Ipswich Town and took his first managerial job at Scottish Premier League side Hibernian, where he won the Scottish Football Writers' Association Manager of the Year award in his first season. He moved on to West Bromwich Albion in 2006, where he won the Football League Championship in 2008, but then suffered relegation from the Premier League the following year. Mowbray was then appointed as manager of Celtic, but was dismissed after nine months.

Mowbray subsequently took the manager's role at another of his former clubs, Middlesbrough. After a poor start to the 2013–14 season, Mowbray left Middlesbrough in October 2013. After a spell with Coventry City, he was appointed Blackburn Rovers manager in February 2017. He was unable to prevent Rovers being relegated to League One, but then won promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt.

Víctor Valdés

Víctor Valdés Arribas (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbiktoɾ βalˈdes aˈriβas]; born 14 January 1982) is a retired Spanish professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and is the current manager of ED Moratalaz's youth setup.He spent most of his professional career with Barcelona in La Liga, and is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the club's history, having appeared in 535 official games for the club and won 21 major titles, notably six La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League championships. Valdés also won the Zamora Trophy a record five times. He currently holds the club records as goalkeeper with most appearances in the league and in official competition, breaking Andoni Zubizarreta's records during the 2011–12 season. After leaving Barcelona at the end of his contract in July 2014, he joined Manchester United in January 2015. He played rarely at United, and after a brief loan at Standard Liège, he moved on to Middlesbrough. After being released by Middlesbrough at the end of the 2016–17 season, Valdés retired from professional football.

Valdés made his full international debut in 2010 and earned 20 international caps. He was part of the Spain squads which won the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012, and also took part at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, where Spain finished in second place.

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[42]


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