Skip to content

Cleveland

Cleveland is an area in the north of England. Its name means literally "cliff-land", referring to its hilly southern areas, which rise to nearly 1,500 ft (460 m). Historically Cleveland, a part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, was located entirely to the south of the River Tees and its largest town was Guisborough.

A non-metropolitan county of Cleveland was created in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, named after the historic region but not covering it all, and also including land north of the River Tees in County Durham. It was based around the Teesside urban area and included Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool and Redcar. At this time the use of the name 'Cleveland' or 'Teesside' to refer to the area was virtually interchangeable.

The county was abolished in 1996 with its boroughs becoming unitary authorities and the Tees re-established as the border between North Yorkshire and County Durham for ceremonial purposes only.

Heritage

Cleveland has a significant industrial heritage arising from its central role in the 19th century iron boom that led to Middlesbrough growing from a hamlet into a major industrial town in only a few decades.

The Cleveland Hills, in the southern part of the district, were key suppliers of the ironstone that was essential to the running of the blast furnaces alongside the River Tees. Middlesbrough's Teesport is still one of the United Kingdom's main ports and the area between Middlesbrough and Redcar is still populated by many heavy industrial plants, although this is much reduced from its 20th century peak.

Geography

The area is extremely varied geographically. The Tees estuary is highly industrialised and urbanised. Much of the remainder of the lowland parts of Cleveland is farmland. East Cleveland marks the northern end of the chain of cliffs that runs along the North Yorkshire Heritage Coast.

South Cleveland is extremely hilly, forming the escarpment of the North York Moors. One of the best known symbols of Cleveland is the distinctive hill of Roseberry Topping, which overlooks Newton under Roseberry on the Great Ayton to Guisborough road. Its original roughly conical form was undercut by extensive mining, giving it a jagged appearance that many have thought reminiscent of the Matterhorn mountain.

Skip to navigation