Tales of the Tees – Yarm



Yarm is an old town. Nobody can tell you exactly when it was founded but its location in the loop of the River Tees means that it is a great place to defend. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and various viking and Saxon artefacts have been found in the surrounding area. It was a thriving port until Stockton took over as vessels started to grow too large to make it this far up the river. Until the garage was built in the 1990s, the river was still today at this point. The stone bridge was built in 1400 and was the furthest downstream bridge for nearly 400 years. It used to have a drawbridge built into it to stop armies being able to cross if needed. The viaduct now dominates the town and was built in  1851 to allow the growing railway network to connect more easily to the south. It still carries trains today over its 43 arches. 

The town has always thrived on trade, both when it was a port and even today with a busy high street. It still retains its ‘old fashioned’ style and has lots of boutique and small shops rather than large chain stores. There is obviously a lot of history associated with the town. The oldest building in Cleveland still stands in the town centre and the George and Dragon Inn held the meeting that finally got agreement to ask Parliament for a new invention called a ‘railway’ to be built. There is a path that follows the rover and loops around the town allowing a fantastic view of the bridges and the way that the town has been constructed. 

The churchyard of St Mary Magdalene has the grave of a famous soldier from the Battle of Dettingen

Other resources

The history of Yarm

Old maps of the area – range of dates

Tom Brown – the story of a heroic resident

Teesside Princess website

Rivershack website

Drone footage of Yarm