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Definition: Middlesbrough from Philip's Encyclopedia

Port and unitary authority on the River Tees estuary, NE England; former county town of Cleveland. Middlesbrough developed around its iron industry during the 19th century. Industries: steel, shipbuilding. Pop. (2001) 134,847.


Summary Article: Middlesbrough from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Industrial port and administrative centre of Middlesbrough unitary authority in northeast England, on the estuary of the River Tees, 35 km/22 mi south of Sunderland; population (2001) 142,700. The modern town only started to develop in the early 19th century after it was decided to extend the railway to reach deeper anchorage on the river: this allowed the town to become a centre for heavy industry. It diversified in the 1960s into construction, electronics, engineering, and shipbuilding.

History Middlesbrough was still only a farm of 25 people as late as 1801; the town did not start to grow until 1829 when a group of Quaker businessmen, headed by Joseph Pease of Darlington, purchased the farm and developed the ‘Port of Darlington’. A town was planned on the site of the farm to supply labour to the new port. Pease was the son of Edward Pease, who had developed the Stockport–Darlington railway, and when this line was extended by 6 km/4 mi in 1830 to Middlesbrough, the town and port expanded rapidly. In 1850 iron was discovered nearby, and it gradually replaced the transportation of coal as the chief industry – by the end of the century the town was producing 33% of the nation's total iron output. By 1901 the population had grown to 90,000. When the heavy industry sector started to decline in the 20th century Middlesbrough diversified into light industry.

Features In 1911 the Transporter Bridge was built in order to transport cars and passengers across the River Tees to Hartlepool in a cable car, while Newport Bridge, built in 1934, was the first vertical lift bridge in England. Middlesbrough also houses the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, which commemorates the life of the naval explorer James Cook. The 18th-century Ormesby Hall, owned by the National Trust, is located nearby. The University of Teesside, formerly Teesside Polytechnic, was established in 1992

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