Stewart Park, Middlesbrough

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Stewart Park
TypeUrban Park
LocationMarton, Middlesbrough
CoordinatesCoordinates: 54°32′25″N 1°12′18″W / 54.5404°N 1.2049°W / 54.5404; -1.2049
Area120 acres (0.5 km2)
Opened23 May 1928 (1928-May-23)
EtymologyNamed after Thomas Dormand Stewart
OpenOpen all year
AwardsGreen Flag Award

Stewart Park is a 120-acre park[1] in the suburb of Marton, located in the south of Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England. It is bounded by the A172 (Stokesley Road), the B1380 (Ladgate Lane) and the secluded residential road The Grove.

[2]The park has been awarded a Green Flag Award by the Civic Trust.[3]


The park was initially landscaped by Henry Bolckow, one of Middlesbrough's ironmasters and the borough's first mayor. Bolckow built Marton Hall in the park in 1858.

The park was eventually bought by Councillor Thomas Dormand Stewart in 1924 for the people of Middlesbrough. He intended it to be "a public possession, open and accessible to all the people at all times". Stewart Park was officially opened to the public on 23 May 1928.[4][5]

In January 1959, J A Kenyon, the Borough engineer stated in a report, "The Hall....was of no wide historic or architectural value" and that renovations would cost in the region of £25,000. The council reluctantly made the decision to demolish the building.

Work to demolish the Hall started in May 1960 but on 6 June a fire broke out and tore through the building. Not even ten fire appliances could stop the fire owing to the lack of water supply in the area. The monument of Middlesbrough's industrial revolution was destroyed.[6]

The hall's conservatory continued to be open to the public for a number of years but was eventually demolished in the mid-1990s. A stone loggia next to the Museum is all that is left of what was once Marton Hall. The remaining Victorian estate buildings were later utilised as park depot buildings and council offices.

The site of the cottage where Captain James Cook was born can be found in the park. Although the building has long since disappeared, a pink granite urn marks the approximate site. Nearby is the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum (opened October 1978). The 'lost village' of East Marton[7] was also in the park area and an archaeological geophysical survey in September 1998 showed evidence of the village. In 2003 Stewart Park was the subject of Channel 4's archaeological television programme Time Team, presented by Tony Robinson.[8]


Today the park covers about 120 acres (0.5 km2) and consists mainly of mature woodland and arboretum on the south side, with open parkland on the northern (Middlesbrough) side. There are two lakes, which are the home to Canada and greylag geese, moorhens, coots and various types of duck. An extensive pets' corner houses many types of domesticated animals: fallow deer, highland cattle, llamas, goats, peacocks, pheasants, rabbits and guinea pigs. In the past the park was plagued with Myxomatosis, quite probably introduced by people abandoning their pet rabbits in the park.

Part of the Victorian estate complex has been opened up to the public and now includes a cafe, toilets and visitor centre. Various nature, heritage, orienteering and tree trails are provided in the park and are popular with school visits. New play areas for children have been built including a climbing frame named after Captain James Cook's ship, the Endeavour.

The Captain Cook Birthplace museum is situated in the middle of the park and is open to visitors from April to November.[9] The museum building also hosts a shop and Cook's Cafe that is open all year round.

The temple, loggia, Captain Cook memorial and Victorian estate complex are all listed buildings.[10]


The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum holds regular events including school group visits alongside the regular visitor opening hours.[11] A Parkrun takes place every Saturday morning at 9am.

Since April 2014, Northern Dales Farmers Market have held a monthly event in the park. The market is usually held on the last Sunday of the month and also includes a craft fair in the visitor centre.[12][13] The park also hosts larger events in the summer such as the Cleveland Show[14] and gypsy fairs. It has also been the venue for various BBC Radio 1 events.[15]

Askham Bryan College[edit]

York based Askham Bryan College runs courses from an animal care and horticulture training centre located in the Victorian estate complex.[16] In 2015, ownership of the Grade II listed Central Lodge building was transferred to the college from Middlesbrough Council with plans to carry out extensive repair work on the building, turning it into a learning resource centre whilst also allowing public access.

Renovation work began on the Central Lodge in January 2017 after an award of £3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and included repairs to the roof and the general fabric of the building, the creation of lecture rooms, a science lab, animal handling areas, workshops and a reception area. The Central Lodge building reopened to students in September 2017 and is Askham Bryan College's principal land-based education centre in the Tees region.[17]


  1. ^ "Stewart Park". Middlesbrough Council Website. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  2. ^ Adrian, Murphy (October 2019). "Ironopolis: Bolckow Vaughan and the growth of Middlesbrough". Europeana (CC By-SA). Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Green Flag Award Winner: Stewart Park". Green Flag Award Website. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Stewart Park Central Lodge". Middlesbrough Council Website. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
  5. ^ Gallagher, L. (2009). Memories of Stewart Park. The Friends of Stewart Park Publishing. p. 25.
  6. ^ Gazette Live Website (1 April 2014). "Remember When: In pictures - The demolition of Marton Hall". Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  7. ^ Love Middlesbrough blog: Rob Nichols (25 October 2016). "On the Trail of Young James Cook". Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  8. ^ Channel 4. "Team Big Dig Park 1; Site name: East Marton. Location: Stewart Park, Marton, Middlesbrough". Archived from the original on 30 January 2010.
  9. ^ Captain Cook Birthplace Museum Website (11 May 2019). "Welcome To The Captain Cook Birrthplace Museum". Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Temple Circa 150 Metres South West of Captain Cook Birthplace Museum".; "Loggia Circa 20 Metres South of Captain Cook Birthplace Museum".; "Memorial to Captain James Cook".; "Stewart Park Depot". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  11. ^ Captain Cook Birthplace Museum Website (11 May 2019). "Welcome To The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum". Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  12. ^ "North East England Farmers Markets". North East England Farmers Markets Website. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Farmers' Market and Craft Fair returns to Stewart Park". Love Middlesbrough Website. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Cleveland Show". Cleveland Show Website. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  15. ^ "BBC Radio 1 BIG WEEKEND 2019: Middlesbrough". BBC Website. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Askham Bryan College: Middlesbrough Campus". Askham Bryan College Website. Retrieved 30 November 2014.
  17. ^ "Students Breath New Life Into Historic Former Stables". Askham Bryan College Website. Retrieved 22 September 2017.