The History of Stainton & Thornton Parish

Stainton is one of the few areas within the boundaries of modern-day Middlesbrough to have been named in the Domesday Book of 1086. It has been a settlement since pre-Saxon times while its name reveals it to have been an area of old Norse (Viking) influence with street names such as Meldyke and Kelgate.

The first vicar of Stainton was appointed in 1247. The present Church of St.Peter and St.Paul is Grade 2* listed and was built on a 12th century foundation but has been altered and added to over the years to suit the fashion and requirements of the times. The church registers are continuous from 1551 and record the marriage of Grace Pace to James Cook on 9 October 1725.

Three years later they became the parents of a son, James, who became Captain James Cook the famous explorer.

In a publication dated 1556 Stainton and Thornton were described as separate manors but only Stainton retained manorial rights until the early 19th century. Stainton House, now a private residence was originally built in 1803 as a vicarage. The small Methodist Chapel in the village dates from 1840. The Memorial Hall began life in 1844 as a Church School. In 1920 after much fund raising it was bought by the Parish Council to house a Memorial to those from the area who died in the first world war. In 1922 the Hall was almost doubled in size and today it is a well-maintained village amenity which is very well used.

Stainton Quarry straddles Stainton Beck between the villages of Stainton and Thornton and a footbridge joins it to Kell Gate Green on the other side of the beck. The Friends of Stainton and Thornton Green Spaces manage these countryside sites which provide three hectares of green space for local people to enjoy.

The Stainton Inn has been licenced premises since 1897 and forms the 'square' with the Memorial Hall where the village Christmas lights are switched on at the beginning of December giving a welcoming festive display to everyone.

Despite new housing developments there is a definite 'village' feel to both Stainton and Thornton and hopefully this characteristic will not be lost in suburbia. All new residents are presented with a Welcome Leaflet detailing all the activities and amenities available and we encourage them to integrate into the life of our villages and to enhance the community spirit we all enjoy.