Much has been written about Stokesley's history, its character and its characters and this web page is not the place to repeat such information. It is, however, an appropriate place for some quotes and references to worthwhile reading, together with some pictures to give glimpses of its unique character and form. To see pictures of Stokesley click here.

Stokesley is a small market town in North Yorkshire; population approximately 5000. It lies about four miles to the North of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. The River passing through is the Leven, rising in Kildale and joining the Tees at Yarm. Middlesbrough, on the River Tees, is the nearest large town although Northallerton is the County town of North Yorkshire. The North Sea coast is 15 miles away; coastal towns are Hartlepool, Redcar, Saltburn, Whitby and Scarborough. To see a map click here.


"Buildings of Stokesley", published by The Stokesley Society, is a very good source of reference. Dr Sheila Kirk, architectural historian and one time resident of the town writes in a Foreword, "Stokesley is an unusual small market town because, unlike most, it lost few of its old buildings during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Its important architectural heritage consists mainly of larger houses of the well-to-do (often containing business premises), artisans' cottages and small dwellings in wynds. Almost all the buildings are vernacular, a category not generally regarded as architectural until the mid-twentieth century but now recognised as a valuable part of the architectural heritage".

The same book contains an appendix entitled "1000 years of Stokesley History". To see some illustrations click here.

Stokesley Selection

The references below are all associated with Stokesley and mentioned in Stokesley Selection by Alec Wright and John Mawer.

Some name-dropping is mouth-watering - Edward the Confessor, Domesday Book, Guy de Balliol associated with the Manor of Stokesley, Balliol College, Pack-horse bridge, Robert Pennyman, the Eure family, Puritan Army, the Stokesley Riot, John Wesley, Rev Henry Hildyard and Lt-Col Robert Hildyard, 1831 census population 1897, Preston Grammar School, First Primitive Methodist Chapel, Union Workhouse, 1859 first Stokesley Show, Stokesley Primary Community School, Stokesley County Modern School (now Stokesley School), Alec Wright (historian and artist; co-author of Stokesley Selection), Fidlers Mill, the many floods before the relief scheme installed in 1997; Extracts from the Diary of a Stokesley Lady; the Wise Man of Stokesley; the "Pickwick Club", etc etc. To see some illustrations click here.

"Old Stokesley", "Walks Around Stokesley" and several other books have been published published by the Stokesley Society. The County Library on North Road has a wealth of reading material. There are some good book shops in Stokesley, too !!


From the point of view of the Stokesley Pride-in-our-Town Association there is much good in the town to behold; it is a worthwhile town in which to attempt to instil a sense of pride by adding colour and by keeping it in good order. The townscape, apart from the West Green area is "hard", no doubt in tune with the trading character of its history, but worthy of softening a little to appeal to more modern feelings. The pictures of flower tubs and other features show how SPIOTA responds to this challenge. The annual Stokesley Fair precludes the provision of permanent floral features within the town, hence the tubs, so that opportunities for planting outside the centre are always on the agenda. To see some pictures of SPIOTA's flowers click here.