This semi-rural area on the periphery of Norton West ward/electoral division, is an area made up predominantly of equestrian smallholdings and small arable farms.
The manor of Blakiston stands on the North-western verge of Norton parish, adjoining Thorp and Winyard.
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.
From: ‘Parish of Norton’, The History and Antiquities of the County Palatine of Durham: volume 3: Stockton and Darlington wards (1823), pp. 152-167.
Sketch by S H Grimm made a few years before its demolition. Showing the church from the north; the roofs were low-pitched and nave had a massive western bellcote and the narrow north aisle with a shoulder-headed doorway between two tall single light windows with a smaller trefoil-headed light further east. The chancel was clearly of later 12th century date, and was of two bays with shallow pilaster buttresses, a moulded string below the round-arched windows, and an indented string at a higher level carried up over the windows as a hoodmould.
The sketch seems to show a straight joint at the south end of the east wall of the aisle, as if the aisle had been added to an earlier aisleless nave. The Hospital chapel can be seen a little to the west.
In 1273 Bishop Stitchell of Durham established a church and hospital at Greatham, near Hartlepool. About a decade after Grimm made these drawings both of these buildings were partially rebuilt. The church underwent further reconstruction during the 19th century. The original medieval aisles were fortunately kept intact.
Built 1833 as a National School. Restored 1893. Tudor Gothic style. Brick with stone dressings. Three bays on North front, central coped gable with kneelers and a string course with a panel inscribed “National School” above. Pointed and chamfered doorway with square label and blind mouchette tracery in the spandrels; above are 2 shields with the legends “Built 1833″ and “Restored 1893″. Each side has, a 3 light mullion and transom window with 4 centred arch heads and labels. Gable ends at sides half timbered. Slate roofs.
The parish of Yarm covers 1,229 acres, of which 301 are arable land, 606 permanent grass, and 42 woods and plantations. The soil is clay and loam with a subsoil of Keuper marls, and the chief crops are wheat, oats and beans. The parish is bounded on the west and north by the Tees, while part of the north and the whole of the eastern boundary is formed by its tributary the Leven. The ground slopes upwards from the river banks to the centre of the parish, the greatest height being 122 ft. above ordnance datum.
A sharp bend of the Tees forms a peninsula a little over half a mile long and for the most part a quarter of a mile wide. It is on this that the town is built on ground no where exceeding 25 ft. above ordnance datum. The town has frequently suffered from floods, those of 1753, 1771 and 1881 being especially disastrous.
From: ‘Parishes: Yarm’, A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2 (1923), pp. 319-326.