Map of River Tees 1833

This map from 1833 shows a projected canal running from the River Tees, at Cargo Fleet to Redcar, which was to be renamed Port William. The lands surrounding the estuary of the River Tees are shown to be protected by sea walls and this is the reason why the Clarence Railway ended, about halfway down the river at Sumpter Butts. Furthermore it also appears that he North Shore Branch line was always intended to have a little branch running off to the east. The existence of this branch must have enabled the ironworks and pottery to be established, south of Portrack, well before the Malleable came into existence in 1861. Courtesy of Fred Starr.

8 thoughts on “Map of River Tees 1833

  1. Yes. The map shows it is Samphire Batts… Where did this name come from?

    With respect to what I have just written about the Newport Bridge, the map shows that the River Tees was quite wide and shallow, and a lot of the improvements which went on were to force the river into a narrower, deeper section. The tidal range near Stockton was quite high, which would have meant a good downstream current helping to carry off silt. Even so the river had to be dredged every few years.

    These maps are part of a series showing a projected port at Redcar.


  2. The bridge which Chris Bailey refers to was probably the ‘Pack Horse Bridge’ and was about 50 metres on the south side of Portrack Lane, where the road bridge over Lustrum Beck still stands. At this point Lustrum Beck was on a very sinuous course, and the Pack Horse Bridge was at an angle to the main road. My recollection is that the bridge was built of brick and was an arch type. The walls of the bridge had been virtually knocked down and the roadway was covered in grass. I have no idea what the Pack Horse Bridge was supposed to serve. But Chris’ suggestion that the bridge might have been related to the loop on the old River Tees is an interesting one as there was an island in the river at roughly this point and teams of men (from Portrack?) would drag sailing ships round the loop into Stockton. If Chris still has the picture or can make an attempt to redraw it I would urge him to get it on the website. It would be of real historic importance.


  3. I recall doing a ‘personal’ history of The River Tees as a project at school aged about 13, during the late 1950’s. A nice man at the Dorman Museum in M’bro, drew up a very competent map for me (similar to that shown above) and with the aid of this, I recall riding my bike (from Berwick Hills in M’bro) to a very empty, almost desolate stretch of narrow road at Stockton one dark Sunday afternoon, called Portrack Lane. This, in order to sketch a small bridge that stretched across what once had been the former ‘Tees’ loop, but by then was little more than a large stream. At that time I can also recall that there were sheep and cows in the fields to either side of the road. The Customs House may have been the ancient edifice that fronted the roadside-the yard and former garden of which, was by then a motor-vehicle salvage yard.


  4. Close inspection of this map indicates that there was a plan to build docks in the disused loop of the River Tees around 1830. Up to about 1960 there were the remains of a disused Customs House situated on the top of the River Tees loop at Portrack. The building is shown as a little dot just underneath the word ‘Portrack’, and must have been there from the late seventeen hundreds.


  5. The Health Academy was presumably named because it is on Junction Road, and would have been close to the point where the original North Shore Branch left the Clarence Railway, forming a rail junction. About half of the North Shore Branch still remains, and forms most of the mainline just north of Stockton Station up to the point where it turns east towards Hartlepool. Before Stockton Station was built on the Bishopton Lane site, the main station for Stockton was where the North Shore Branch crosses Norton Road in Tilery.


  6. I have recently walked the old railway line that used to be known as the North Shore Branch Line.
    The signal box is called North Shore.
    Blakestone School has now been called North Shore Health Acadamy. What is the link if any?


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