Ropner Park, East Hartburn, Stockton

The bandstand at Ropner Park
The bandstand at Ropner Park

The ornamental fountain at Ropner Park
The ornamental fountain at Ropner Park

Ropner Park is a free public park, located in East Hartburn, Stockton.

In June 1890 Major Robert Ropner offered a piece of land, known locally as Hartburn Fields to the people of Stockton which could be used as a public park, providing the local council would lay it out ‘tastefully’ and ‘keep it forever’. On 4 October 1893, Ropner Park was officially opened by the then Duke & Duchess of York. The ceremony involved the royals using an ornate key to open the Golden Gates.

After a century of regular use by the people of Stockton, the park was refurbished and renovated to its former glory between 2004 and 2007 by Stockton Borough Council, thanks to a £2.65m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Park is a roughly square site, with 20th-century railings along its road boundaries and is typically Victorian in style, with rockeries and floral displays. It has a tree-lined avenue which leads to an ornamental fountain and a pavilion with a veranda and also includes a new bandstand, based on the original design, a park ranger’s office, bowling green, quoits green, tennis courts and a cafe, (run by the local charity, The Friends of Ropner Park). A large lake with islands dominates the lower part of the park and offers sanctuary to various species of water fowl and fish.

Seasonal fairs and occasional organised events are staged at the park throughout the year and various bands feature most Sunday afternoons during the summer months.

Church of All Saints, Northallerton, North Yorkshire

Church of All Saints, Northallerton, North Yorkshire

Church of All Saints, Northallerton, North Yorkshire

Church of All Saints, Northallerton, North Yorkshire

All Saints Parish Church stands on the western side of the High Street, with Castle Close behind it, in the market town of Northallerton, the administrative capital of the North Riding of Yorkshire. The first church on this site probably dated to the seventh century, although no documentary evidence exists of any building before the present one. That first, probably wooden, building is said to have been founded by St Paulinus, first bishop of York (died 644).

The present building dates to the ninth century, and fragments are occasionally unearthed. The majority of the Perpendicular church was rebuilt in the fifteenth century, but the Norman north aisle arcade (of about 1120) has survived. The south aisle arcade was added about seventy years later. The tower collapsed in 1318, when Northallerton was sacked by the Scots. It was replaced by the present tower in 1420. The interior was extensively refurbished in the late 1800s.


The manor of Blakiston stands on the North-western verge of Norton parish, adjoining Thorp and Winyard [sic].

The old hall of Blakiston was taken down many years ago, and the materials sold at Stockton. The site was near the road, with deep meadows on the West, and some broken ground falling rapidly to the Thorp beck.

‘Parish of Norton’, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: volume 3: Stockton and Darlington wards (1823), pp. 152-167.

St Mary RC Church, Stockton, Stockton-on-Tees

St Mary RC Church, Stockton

Roman Catholic church. Opened 1842. Design attributed to A W N Pugin, later additions north transept, east vestries and apparently the tower – by Messrs C Hadfield & Sons. 4 bay aisled nave with gabled clerestory lights; 2 bay chancel with apse. West front Early English: central pointed doorway of several orders and label. Above are 5 lancets with triple keeled shafts and dog-tooth upper mouldings. Vesica window in coped gable. Pair of lancets at west end of south aisle. Tower at north west corner. 5 styles with set back buttresses having pointed terminals containing blind cusped tracery. Embattled parapet. 2nd stage of tower has 2 tall lancets with drilled patterns in jambs. The north entrance, under the tower, also with drilled jambs. Main porch to south. Gabled chapel to south west. 4 bay window to interior with organ loft bay to west.

Church of St Oswald, Thornton in Lonsdale, North Yorkshire

Church of St Oswald, Thornton in Lonsdale

West Doorway, Thornton Church
Fifteenth century west entrance at Thornton Church

The ancient church of St. Oswald was rebuilt in Norman times by the Mowbray family but the tower was added later in the 15th century. A fire in 1933 gutted the church which was rebuilt in the decorated 14th century Gothic style, the work of Austin and Paley. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was married here.

Church of St Mary, Ingleton, North Yorkshire

Church of St Mary, Ingleton

The church of St. Mary the Virgin has frequently been rebuilt and most of the present building, with the exception of the 15th century tower, dates from 1886. Perhaps the major claim to fame of Ingleton’s church has nothing to do with architecture, but everything to do with literature. It seems that writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle combined the last name of Reverend Sherlock, rector of Ingleton in the 1870s, with that of Reverend Holmes of nearby Mason Gill, to create his fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. Doyle was married at nearby Thornton and his mother lived at Mason Gill.

Redmarshall – Stillington

Redmarshall - Stillington

The parish is composed of three townships: Redmarshall, in which is the church, Carlton, adjacent to the north-east, and Stillington, quite detached, to the north-west. The areas of the three townships are 875, 1,499 and 1,153 acres in the order mentioned. The general surface is flat, but elevated about 150 ft. to 180 ft. above sea level. A brook runs north through the centre of Redmarshall and Carlton to join Whitton Beck near Thorpe Thewles. The soil is clay, suitable for wheat growing; oats, barley and potatoes also are raised. About 1845 the land was thus used: 2,530 acres of arable, 791 acres of pasture and 16 acres of woodland. The story of the parish has been as peaceful as befits a retired agricultural community. One of the stories of the early miracles of St. Godric relates the cure of the son of the smith of Stillington. The rising of 1569 drew five men to join it from Redmarshall and five from Stillington; one from each place was executed. The Protestation of 1641 was signed in the parish. Sir Anthony Carlisle was born at Stillington in 1768. He became surgeon to the Westminster Hospital, and was made a knight in 1820. He died in London in 1840.
‘Parishes: Redmarshall’, A History of the County of Durham: Volume 3 (1928)

South Doorway - Redmarshall Church
The Norman entrance to the church at Redmarshall