Asda, Aldi & an Ironstone Mine

I took a walk over to Skelton to have a look at the remains of the Longacres Ironstone Mine located on the edge of the Hollybush Industrial Estate. I followed the waterlogged track over the fields towards the retail park.

Most of the field is covered in small trees and brambles. There’s a large earth bank running across the field, the result of the levelling of the site to build the retail park. The occassional chunk of concrete pokes through the undergrowth but on the whole nature is doing a decent job of reclaiming the site. A small pond containing bulrushes has formed at the foot of the bank.

Between Asda and Aldi a track leads up the bank into a small wood.

The arched concrete roof of the mine’s explosive store is just visible from the bank top. The building is buried into the bank, with no obvious access from above I followed the path down into the wood.

A pair of large gateposts marking , the entrance to a tiny litter-strewn concrete-walled dell, day-glow pink graffiti marks the territory of the ‘Skelton Possy‘.

The overhanging foliage has been cut-back to allow access, tall curving concrete walls lead to a blockhouse, The bank and walls deaden the sounds of the nearby retail park. It has the air of a strange brutalist hermitage.

On the top field, the mine buildings have been cleared, the area is now used as a rough cycle track and hangout for local kids. The path at the bottom end of the field follows the embankment of the old railway branch line.

In an adjacent field the mine shaft is capped with an oval stone and brick wall, there are remains of campfires around its base. A nearby former engine bed provides a viewing platform.

The mine operated from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. More information can be found here

Maggra

Walking from Boosbeck to Margrove Park, known locally as Maggra, the path follows the route of the old Guisborough to Brotton branch line. The line was opened in 1865 servicing the East Cleveland ironstone mining communities.

Hidden in the woods beside the path is one of the kilns from Carrs Tilery which operated from 1867 until 1879 and produced land drains, pipes and tiles for the Skelton Estate and the local ironstone mines.

Pipes produced in the the kiln can found in the undergrowth. The buttresses supporting the walls appear to be later additions.

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I’ve been unable to find out if there is any level of official protection on this building.

Remnants from the past and present

The ponds are now a nature reserve managed by the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, beautiful orchids line the footpath.

This area was once home to a thriving mining community with an ironstone mine located at each end of the small valley. The few structures that remain of this industry and being allowed to decay, which is a shame when so little is left.

Boosbeck

Bosbek 1375 Barbour’s Bruce

‘Stream near the cowshed’ from OE bos(ig) and bekkr.

Margrove Park / Maggra Park

Magerbrigge 1230-50 Guis

Maugrepark 1407 YI Maugrey 1575 FF

v. pearroc. The form Maugre– possibly indicates that the first element is the OE pers. name Maepalgar; cf. Meagre

Sources

Hidden Teesside

Tees Valley Wildlife Trust

East Cleveland Image Archive

The Place Names of the North Riding of Yorkshire by A H Smith. 1928

Thanks to Chris Wynn

Kilton

A remnant from the age of iron

Kilton Ironstone Mine

1870 – 1876 Kilton Ironstone Mine Company

1894 – 1916 Walker, Maynard & Company

1916 – 1963 Dorman Long & Company

Source – Catalogue of Cleveland Ironstone Mines. Peter Tuffs. Industrial Archaeology of Cleveland. 1996