Marske by the Sea

The old English name for Marske was Merse, meaning a marsh. The town was also called Mersc and Mersche.


The landowners in Marske mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086 were the Earl of Chester and Robert, Count de Mortain, the Conqueror’s half-brother. Hugh Earl of Chester died in the war in Wales, legend has it that he  killed by an arrow shot from the bow of Magnus Barelegs, King of Norway. The Count was taken prisoner at the Battle of Tenchebrai in Normandy and his lands were given to Robert de Brus I.


The Principle of sintering: The principle of sintering involves the heating of iron ore fines along with flux and coke fines or coal to produce a semi-molten mass that solidifies into porous pieces of sinter with the size and strength characteristics necessary for feeding into the blast furnace.


Tradition has it that a fierce battle took place with the Danes in a field just outside of the village. The numerous earthworks in a field called Hall Close may be the source of this tradition. The earthworks are the remains of a Medieval manor house and dovecote. There are documents that mention the house in 1304 when the house belonged to the Fauconberg family. In 1366 the manorial settlement with its dovecote, orchards and gardens was assigned to Isabel, the widow of Walter de Fauconberg.



The manorial settlement is visible as a series of earthworks which include the foundations of buildings, enclosures and ponds contained within a rectangular enclosure. The surrounding enclosure has maximum dimensions of 126m east to west by 142m north to south, within banks of stone and earth on average 1m high and spread to a maximum of 8m. At the centre of the complex, at NZ 6356 2161, there are the foundations of a large rectangular or L-shaped timber building, interpreted as the main manor house. This building is about 40m long by 14m wide and is divided into at least two compartments. Immediately to its north there are the remains of two rectangular depressions 30m long and 10m wide flanked by earthen banks 4m wide; these are interpreted as the sites of two fishponds, and a third rectangular depression, 6m wide, situated immediately to their west is also considered to be part of the pond complex. The sites of further depressions, situated south and east of the manor house, one of which remained water filled until relatively recently, are interpreted as further remains of the system of fishponds. To the south of the manor house there are several linear banks on average 0.6m high and 3.5m wide which divide the area into rectangular enclosures interpreted as associated yards, gardens and paddocks. At the south-west corner of the site there are several rectangular platforms which are interpreted as the sites of rectangular buildings. Immediately adjacent to the southern wall of the surrounding enclosure, at NZ 6356 2160, there is a raised circular platform 8m in diameter which stands 0.5m high. This is interpreted as the remains of a stone built dovecote known from documents to have existed at the settlement in the 14th century.

Redcar Corpse Road

A Corpse road once ran between Redcar and St. Germain’s Church in Marske, Minnie Horton suggests that the route probably followed the modern path of Green Lane. Corpse roads were Medieval routes along which bodies were carried for burial in consecrated ground.

Corpse roads can be found all over Europe, in Britain they are also known as Church Ways, Lych or Lyke Ways from the Old English for corpse, Lic, hence the modern Lyke Wake Walk with its associated coffin symbol and dirge.

In the case of the Redcar Corpse road, it would have been far simpler to carry the body along the beach from Redcar to Marske. This was not done as it was commonly believed that the souls of the dead travelled along the corpse road and any deviation from the prescribed route would risk unsettling the soul of the recently departed.


Now it is that time of night

That the graves, all gaping wide,

Everyone lets forth its sprite,

in the church-way path to glide

A Midsummer Nights Dream – William Shakespeare


The Story of Cleveland. Minnie Horton 1979

Spirit Roads: An Exploration of Otherworldy Routes. Paul Devereux 2007

I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

I would also like to recommend the latest release on Richard Sanderson’s wonderful Linear Obsessional Label entitled Two Minutes Left.

Two Minutes Left is a beautifully eclectic compilation which includes pieces by local artists Chris Whitehead and Soiled/Marcus H. Teesside-born Richard has even been kind enough to include a couple of my ham-fisted efforts .

Two Minutes

Subtitled “87 uses for a microphone” “Two Minutes Left” is an end-of-year open access compilation which results from a recent call for works. All the pieces use a microphone in the creation – after that it was entirely up to the creators. Featuring contributions from improvisers, composers, singers, field recordists and sound artists,the compilation presents a dizzying array of approaches – from intimate whisperings into a smartphone, to exquisitely crafted miniatures- and featuring contributions from the USA, Australia, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Scotland, Italy, China, Argentina and England. And every track is exactly two minutes long.

The compilation is available for free download and includes a lovely PDF booklet which also includes some of Richard’s beautiful photographs.

It’s worth putting Richards Comments here and I apologise to all the talented Teessiders that I failed to mention in my initial post.

Thanks for this! There are actually a few Teesside connected tracks – the Dead Voices on Air track includes recordings from Riverside Stadium, the Marcus H/Soiled track features recordings from Skinningrove works and a Redcar Chinese restaurant, the It WillTurn Into A Head track was recorded in M’bro in 1980, Duncan Goddard and Steve Dinsdale are both from Marske, The Field Family from Middlesbrough and Billy Oblivion is from Stockton. Happy Christmas!


Marske Hall


The Hall was built by William Pennyman in 1625. In 1696 William Penn, the Quaker founder of the American state of Pennsylvania, spent his honeymoon at the hall with his second wife Hannah Catlowhill.