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Middlesbrough is situated in northeastern England on the south bank of the River Tees, just eleven km from the North Sea. It is the largest town in the Teesside metropolitan area.

The earliest recorded mention of Middlesbrough is a reference to it by its old name of Mydilsburgh, which dates back to the time of Anglo-Saxon rule.

Middlesbrough was begun as a Benedictine priory on the southern bank of the River Tees. In 686, a monastic cell was consecrated by St. Cuthbert at the request of the Abbess of Whitby, St Hilda.

In 1119, Robert the Bruce granted and confirmed the church of St. Hilda of Middleburg to Whitby. Twelve monks maintained the church until Henry VIII decreed the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537.

Over time, it evolved into a sparsely populated area of rural farmland until in 1801, there were approximately 25 people in the region.

In 1829, Joseph Pease led a group of Quaker businessmen looking for a place to establish a coal port. They bought 213 hectares (527 acres) of that farmland and established the Middlesbrough Estate Company. The acreage was set aside to be a town full of workers to keep the port going.

Joseph was the son of Edward Pease, who was known as “the Father of Railways,” and he helped his son to become “the Father of Middlesbrough.” He did this by extending the Stockton and Darlington Railway line to newly founded Port Darlington, a settlement to the east of Middlesbrough in 1830. The population at that time had grown to about 40.

The port became quite busy with imports and exports, and in 1841, an iron foundry and rolling mill (metal forming) was opened by Vulcan. This, coupled with the gigantic supply of ironstone locally, led to Middlesbrough’s unqualified success and the resultant nicknamed ‘the iron-smelting centre of the world.”

Work began on a new dock east of Middlesbrough. The official opening of the dock happened in May of 1842.

By 1851, the population had skyrocketed to 7,600, and the port was close to replacing Stockton as the main port on the Tee, and in 1890, the population of the Municipal Borough had bloomed into 90,000.

During World War II, Middlesbrough was the first major industrial target bombed by the Luftwaffe. By the end of the war, more than 200 Middlesbrough buildings had been damaged or destroyed. Numerous adjoining towns were absorbed, and the town has since morphed into newer, technology including the digital sector, while it remains a busy port.



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