E-mails. Page 5.


I have been looking at your wonderful Skelton in Cleveland website for some months now, and someone recently suggested I contact you regarding any dealings you may have had with the Skelton Castle estate.
I live in Oxford,but was baptised in Boosbeck where my father was brought up. However, my grandmother died while we were staying there and we never returned to Yorkshire until I started to visit about four years ago (and then I was smitten!)
I have been researching my family history since then, which has not been easy due to my paternal line's common surname in that area (Robinson). However, I believe that I have traced my ancestors to be yeoman farmers in the parish of Skelton and that during the 1700s they owned Aysdale Gate Farm and neighbouring Tidkinhow.
The initials of of Robert and Elizabeth Robinson and a date of 1729 are still on the stone lintel above the door at Aysdale Gate (3 miles from Guisborough on the A171). The family also owned land at Moorsholm.
From what I have found it seems that the family eventually moved away from farming as a result of the agricultural depression following the Napoleonic Wars - the deeds register shows huge lists of desperate farmers selling their land to the large estate owners, solicitors etc. (Aysdale Gate was sold in 1813).
I know from information given to me that two of the Robinsons of Aysdale Gate/Tidkinhow were mentioned in the Skelton Court Roll as being jurors (late 1700s) and I have also been told that prior to the North Riding Deeds Register, land transactions would have been recorded in the local court roll.
I would love to find how Robert and Elizabeth came to live at Aysdale Gate (bought or inherited?) and if the date of 1729 refers to when they moved there.
The Skelton Court Roll could hold a lot of information - possibly on this but also there could be other information going back even further.
The Skelton Court Roll does not appear to have been deposited with the National Archives/record offices etc and I am wondering if it is still at Skelton Castle.
If it is, do you know the procedure for contacting the people who hold this archive, and what do you think my chances would be of viewing it at some time ?

Margaret O'Shea (nee Robinson), Oxford.

There is a local newspaper record of the Skelton Manor Court being held at the Wharton Arms on the 19th November 1881 and "the Court Rolls called over" etc. But the location of these documents is presently not known.


Between 1850 and 1880 with the opening of the Ironstone mines, the number of houses in Skelton increased from 221 to 1433.
The population increased from 1034 to 7820.
North Skelton and New Skelton originated sometime around the opening of the mine there in 1872 and 1881.
There must have been a constant building process over some time.
I have had a few e mails, like the following, wondering exactly when each street appeared.

I have just been looking at your site which I think is fantastic !!!
I have a query which you may be able to answer as I cannot find the answer on the site.
I was wondering what year 'William Street' was built ?
I notice that there are references to 'Bolckow Street' and 'Wharton Street', but none for "William Street' although they run parallel ?
I would have thought that they would have all been built together ?
Hope you can help ?
Many Thanks,

Simon Lilleker.


I photographed the 1901 census pages from microfilm in the local library and then copied the details into a database. The beautiful copperplate handwriting of the time is usually easy to read, but sometimes even common names are hard to decipher. I understand the National Archive of the 1901 census was transcribed in India, where this problem, along with that of unfamiliar British names, has resulted in many errors.

Your site gets better!
The census pages have a particular interest for me. Having already done some Rooks family research, it was fascinating to see details of the rest of the folk living in the Skeltons in 1901.
The William Rooks (Head of H'hold) at No 8 Thomas Street,New Skelton was in fact a "Freestone quarryman" (not "Ironstone" as mistranscribed).
I have two definitions of "freestone" - just in case you are wondering what it means- one is "an easily worked sandstone" and the other is "stone which is free from any natural flaws or defects".
John Street, New Skelton in 1901 contained eleven houses numbered (odds,as it had houses down one side only) 1 to 21.
Some time after 1901 (I don't know when) an additional five houses were built at the top on the street- rather grander than the rest and belonging (at least in my younger days) to the Skelton Estate.
A renumbering exercise took place which means that you have to add 10 to the 1901 addresses to get the present day number eg 1 became 11, 11 became 21 etc.
I should add that it's a while since I was last there- I assume that there have been no further developments in the meantime!
I submitted a correction to the National Archive 1901 on line census concerning the place of birth of a forebear who had left the area to work in London.
The place of birth was shown as "Shelton in Cleveland, Yorks". Back came the reply (eventually i.e. 6 months) that they had examined the original record and they were satisfied that the enumerator had intended to write "Shelton" and not "Skelton" and therefore were unable to amend as I suggested.
So, I did my bit for Skelton but I've given up on that one in the face of obstinate officialdom!
Keep up the good work!

Owen Rooks.

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