Port Mulgrave Ironstone Mine

The ironstone mine at Port Mulgrave was started by Charles Mark Palmer in the 1850s and was originally called ‘Far Rosedale’ or ‘Rosedale on the Coast’ , it was renamed to avoid confusion with the Rosedale Mines.

The Main Seam at this location is actually slightly below sea level and shafts existed on the shore, but no trace of these remain due to landslips, additional quarrying and underground working of the Top Seam took place much higher up the cliffs and a shaft was sunk to connect to Top Seam workings with the wooden loading gantry on the harbour. The tunnel where this emerged from the cliffs is still visible.
Port Mulgrave Tunnel Entrance
The gate is now securely locked and the tunnel cannot be entered, I took the following photos back in 2007 when it was not locked, they show the large roof collapse just inside the entrance
Port Mulgrave Tunnel
The brickwork of the tunnel is almost built directly into the cliff face.
Port Mulgrave Tunnel

I believe the bricked-up entrance was used as a pillbox during World War 2, hence the loop hole.
Port Mulgrave Tunnel


The tunnel inside was extended in the 1870s to connect to the Grinkle Mine also owned by Charles Mark Palmer via Dalehouse.

Tom Browns Tree, Kirkleatham

The oak tree replaces an older elm which was planted in 1755 in the memory of Tom Brown, apparently marking the site of his fathers cottage.
Tom Browns Tree, Kirkleatham
Tom Brown was born in Kirkleatham in 1705, he is known for his role in the Battle of Dettingen which took place on 27 June 1743 in Bavaria during the War of the Austrian Succession.
Tom Browns Tree, Kirkleatham
His regiments standard was captured and while recovering it he received terrible injuries to his face including his nose being cut off. He is said to have been given a silver nose by King George II.
He retired to Yarm with a pension of 30 shillings from the King, as two shots from the battle could not be safely removed from his back, he died there in 1746.

Some account state he was knighted on the battle field by the king although this could be doubtful, as could the date of his birth, there some investigation on this here

Update 2013 : Located a photo of the damaged original


Justice Statue, Kirkleatham Almshouse

When this post was first created back in 2012 it contains many inaccuracies gathered from a diverse range of sources. So i have now replaced it with the words of Peter Sotheran MBE JP, Chairman of Trustees of Sir Wm Turner’s Almshouses 1996 – 2014

The statue of Justicia (Justice) is NOT by James Gibb. My own researches of catalogues and sales/purchase invoices suggest that it may have been created by Henry Scheere of London.

It is believed to have come from Canons in Edgware (London) but there is no documentary evidence to support that. I have studied the architects drawings for Canons but Justicia is not shown amongst the many statutes that once lined the roof-top parapet of the building. I have examined the auction sale catalogues for the dispersal of Canons artefacts in 1745 and this statue is not listed.

There is no documentary evidence in the almshouses’ archives (at NRYCC Record Office in Northallerton) of its acquisition or installation. So it remains something of a mystery although the smart money backs the chance that it did come from Canons.

Justice, Kirkleatham Almshouse

Over the centuries the statue had had 14 different coats of paint. Paint analysis made it possible to determine the original finish and the present stone colour is how it originally appeared.

She leans forward because this statue originally stood on a roof parapet, high above the ground. Tilting her torso forward corrects the effect of perspective which, otherwise, would make her head and shoulders appear to be too small when viewed from ground level.

Justice, Kirkleatham Almshouse

The restoration of the statue involved removing almost quarter of a ton of cement, plaster and rubble that had been poured inside to stiffen the statue (no wonder the plinth tilted over!). The original wrought iron armature (internal frame) that supported the shell was replaced with a new stainless steel armature. The internal void was filled with a plastic resin to give solidity; should ever it need to be removed, it can be dissolved with a specific chemical solution and removed without harming the shell.

Justice, Kirkleatham Almshouse
The repairs were funded by the Paul Getty and the Wolfson Foundations, Tees Valley Community Foundation and the Pizza Express Foundation.
Heres a ‘Before’ shot from the photostream of Bolckow for comparison.
Justice, Kirkleatham Almshouse

Boulby Potash Reminders – Dalehouse

There’s nothing better than a posting where the background can be gathered from a pub seat, this one being the Fox and Hounds.
Boulby Potash

The landlady kindly pointed out the large red stone to the rear (with the riding hat on top) as potash mined from Boulby over 1km underground. The lighter coloured stone at the front is polyhalite which is a new bed of mineral being mined at Boulby.

The cup dates from 1980 and commemorates 1 million tons, although its not clear whether that was from opening or that year.

Ayton Banks – Aerial Ropeway

I’ve previously posted photos of Ayton Banks when it was heavily overgrown.

The foundations of the terminal of the ropeway have since been cleared of brambles and weeds and are now much more visible.
Ayton Banks Ropeway
The ends of two steel ropes from the ropeway can still be seen anchored into the concrete.
Ayton Banks Ropeway
Ayton Banks Ropeway

The 1928 OS map shows the cable running from the mine site about 2km to railway sidings near Cliff Rigg Quarrybanks

The Redcar Tank

Many towns in the UK were presented with tanks at the end of WW1. I’ve seen three photos of the Redcar tank, one shows it at the railway station in 1919.tank4
Two others show it at the end of the High Street.
At some point it was apparently moved to the corner of Lilac Grove and Coast Road where some British Legion seating exists today, but as was the fate with the majority of these tanks they were used for scrap in WW2.

British Legion Seats, Redcar

Stench Pipe, Laburnum Road, Redcar

Despite 5 years of constantly keeping my eyes open for items for the website, I had managed to fail to spot something that’s about a minutes walk from my own house !
Stench Pipe, Laburnum Road, Redcar
This Stench Pipe must date from around the time of the construction of Redcar East (late 1930’s)
Stench Pipe, Laburnum Road, Redcar
Its stamped “Adams Ltd York” which shows it was made by Adams Hydraulics, who still exist today.