The Black Path

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The (Middlesbrough) Corporationreceived the Royal Assent on the 7th July 1856 to an Improvement Act which gave power to divide the town into wards, to light the district, enlarge the market and to let off the market tolls, to appoint an Inspector of Weights and Measures, to establish a public wharf and ferry, to adopt bye-laws for the layout of streets, and to divert a sailors’ trod between Middlesbrough and Cargo Fleet, and gave power to purchase the gas works.
It was in 1855 that the Middlesbrough Owners tried to stop the path to Cargo Fleet, and on 10th April 1855 the Corporation demanded the removal of the obstructions. In February 1856 the Owners agreed to pay all costs for its diversion. It was not until 9th April 1861 that the riverside sailors’ trod, which ran through a brickyard on the Pennyman Marshes, was diverted along a route parallel with the railway. This path became known as the Black Path.

The History Of Middlesbrough.
William Lillie.
1968

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Middlesbrough Sailor’s Trods

In the early days of modern Middlesbrough the ports of Cargo Fleet and Newport were linked by footpaths known as Sailor’s Trods, the routes of which were captured on early maps of the town.

One path ran from Newport towards Middlesbrough following a bridle road that was later to become Newport Road, it then ran parallel to Corporation Road, crossed the junction with Marton Road and followed Cargo Fleet Road to the river.  The  second path from Newport ran towards Linthorpe along a footpath that roughly follows the route of what would become Parliament Road, it then crossed Linthorpe Road and was thought to have run along the northern edge of Albert Park, however an 1875 map names the roads that later became Albert Terrace and Park Lane as the Sailor’s Trod. The path then went across Longlands to a farm house called Whitehouse Farm, which stood at what is now the junction of Longlands Road and Kings Road. The path then followed Kings Road to Smeaton Street and along Marsh Road to the river.

1853 OS Trod Routes

The two maps below are dated 1845 & 1846 show the Long Sailor’s Trod running along the route of what would become Corporation Road. The road labelled Stockton Bridge Road was never completed. Cleveland Bridge Road is now Marton Road.

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Sailors trod OS 1853 enlarged-2

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