Our World By Richard
The History of Marske By The Sea North Yorkshire UK

Marske by the Sea is slowly losing it's identity of Marske and becoming an urban District of Redcar. If it was not for the railway, which was constructed in 1865, to transport the iron ore from Marske and New Marske to the new town of Middlesbrough, we would be part of Redcar and not as Marske by the Sea.

Marske By The Sea consisted of one street of thatched white wash cottages and the population in 1801 was only 503 persons. The oldest remaining building in Marske to day is Winkie's Castle, Winkie being the adorable Puss that lived with Jack in the Cobblers shop and liked to go visiting next door ( after mice I suspect ). No longer thatched but it is technically a Half-Cruck cottage, a transition from full cruck to the truss and rafters roof construction we know today.. It is now a folk museum. Many of the early manuscripts tell use that sea coal was collected on the beach for heating. So that's probably why Hilda. with her entourage, settled in Marske , plus the water from Spoutbeck, they had their living requirements.

But once again Marske By The Sea survived. Marske is described in the Domsday book as "Terrae Vastae" meaning waste lands. That is probably how Marske by the Sea has survived all these years!

In 657 AD Hilda, a Nun, passed through Marske, or "Mersc",meaning marshland as it was called, settled where Spoutbeck joined the sea at Spoutbeck Chine which is now the Valley Gardens. Then in 857 the Vikings came and the Angles lost their freedom in Marske. After two centuries of bloodshed and feuding William the Conqueror came north and squashed the uprising, lead by Edgar the Atheling, on these marshes. The Marquess of Zetland is said to be a descendant

Marske Hall was built by Sir William Pennyman in the reign of Charles the First. Sir Pennyman defeated Cromwell on these very beaches at Marske By The Sea with volunteers from Marske. He was duly fined £1700. Marske Hall was then sold to the Lawther Family who sold the Hall to Thomas Dundas of Scotland further ancestor of the Marquess of Zetland who's family remained until it was given to Chesher Homes in 1961. Charles Dickens visited the Hall to have a look at the most unusual turrets on his way to see Captain Cooks parent's grave at St Germains Church Marske which was one of the first Churches in Marske. The site is said to be 1400 years of prayer.
The tower we see to day was constructed in 1160. It fell into disrepute and except for the tower it had to be blown up with gunpowder and re built in 1821, there was probably to much contraband in the tower from the smugglers which saved it. But sadly it had to be demolished in 1950 but once again with exception of the Tower. The Vicarage to this Church is on the same side of the Valley Gardens opposite the Tythe Barn, but it ceased to be used 110 years ago. One can still see the footpath worn stones let into the ground.

This Tythe Barn was used as one of the very first DIY shops in the depression with sowing machines one end for the Ladies of Marske and Cobblers tools the other end for the men. This had the pleasure of being visited by Prince George of Kent in 1933
The Ship inn as we know it to day is the third generation, yes you can ask where was the first Ship inn in Marske well oppersate the Tythe Barn. The present Ship Inn was built Tudor style in 1932 using oak beams taken from the wooden walled battleships "Collingwood" and "Southampton"

St Marks Church, Marske By The Sea was constructed in 1867 at a cost of £7000. In 1902, on Easter day, when the Towns Folk were at Prayer the Church Tower turned into a giant candle. Are retired Bobby, Sergeant William Stones, who was looking out of his rear window at his retirement home no 133 High Street Marske,noticed the fire and got all the Parishioners out. Many of the Church artifacts were saved including the Screen, Font and the Cross.

Sergeant Stones joined the North Yorks Police in December 1864 and served in Northallerton, Laburn, Great Ayton and other places, before coming to Marske in 1876 on promotion to Sergeant. He retired in 1890 and the took up the post of Verger at St Marks. He moved from the Police house no 163 to 133 High Street, his retirement home. He died at 66 Northgate Guisborough at the age of 90 in 1935. He was a very strict Policeman but very fair, He was sadly missed. ( Above information has been given to me by Sergeant Stones Great Great Grandson Mick )

On the instructions of the Lord Zetland, who donated the finances to rebuild the damage tower, insisted instead of the old roof, it had to be constructed with a parapet wall around the parameter as seen today. The tower was designed to hold six bells which now include the old bell from St Germains Church. This Bell stood for many years on a pedestal at the back of the Church. Now giving a total of eight bells.

Another old Manor in Marske is Cliff House built by the Peace family who owned Upleatham iron ore mines. But was sold off in the early 30's to the Holiday Fellowship who intern sold it to the Church.
We must remember that the Peace and Zetland Families did a lot of good work for Marske. Mr. Peace provided a Hospital and homes for his workers and Lady Zetland did a lot of charitable work in the village.

In the First world war Marske By The Sea population greatly increased due to the army camps and Marske Airodrome which was built as a training camp for the Royal Flying Corps. The main Hangers have just been demolished to make way for a new housing estate. On which we now live. Many of the aces of this war were trained here including my own Father, which I have only just found out 30 years after His departure to a better place . This airfield was also where the Biggles Books where written by Captain W.E Johns.
The Germans tried to bomb Marske Airport coming over on a Zeppelin. The only damage was a lot of broken windows and killed one poor sole, a little Mole who has been laid to rest in St Germains Church.

In the second world war Marske was once again invaded by the Royal Artillery and many more who were camped in the area. The camps were named after the Colonel in Chief's dogs Biggy and Poo.

One last thing did you Know Marske By The Sea boasts of a Castle of Fauconberg, but no one to this date has found it.

The reason Marske By The Sea Heritage has not survived is because all the sand stone
for the buildings was quarried in the hills and it is of poor quality and does not weather.

Enjoy reading this short history of Marske By The Sea, Cleveland, UK


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