This is Redcar > History

Redcar means “(place by the) red marsh” from the Old English read “red” and Old Scandinavian kjarr. However the first part of the name could also represent OE hreod, (reed), giving a sense “reedy marshland”, referring to the low lying land by the sea on which Redcar lies.

Redcar originated as a fishing town in the 1300s, trading with the larger adjacent market town of Coatham. Until the mid 19th Century it was a sub-parish of the local village of Marske-by-the-Sea (mentioned in the Domesday book).

In 1510 Redcar was described as a “Poore Fishing Toune” and was for many centuries overshadowed by its neighbour Coatham which held a market and fair from 1257. Coatham’s name derives from Cot-Ham and means the shelter homestead. It was perhaps a place where fishing boats took shelter from the stormy seas. Coatham was one of the most important fishing villages in the area and in 1801 it had a population of 680 people. Comparable population figures in the district show that 993 people lived at Hartlepool, 167 at Thornaby and only 25 people lived at Middlesbrough.

Redcar rose from obscurity in 1846 when an extension of the Stockton and Darlington Railway brought industry and seaside day trippers to the area. Redcar quickly expanded and soon absorbed Coatham. A further extension of the railway to Saltburn in 1861 stimulated the population growth there and although the building of Saltburn Pier in 1868 was a major attraction, Redcar’s racecourse, opened in 1872 ensured that day-trippers continued to flock. Industrial growth in the late eighteenth century came in the form of ironworks and later steelworks of which the most prominent were those of Dorman and Long.

In the following century Dorman and Long built a new town called Dormanstown right on Redcar’s doorstep to accomodate the expanding workforce of the district and add further to the population of the Redcar area.


Redcar Place Name

Redcar seems to have been situated in pooorly drained land as “car”, the second part of the name derives from the Viking word Kjar meaning marshland. Neighbouring Marske, also betrays boggy origins as its name is a Scandinavian pronunciation of the English word marsh. Redcar, called Redker in 1165, Ridkere in 1407 and Readcar in […]

Redcar Town Clock

King Edward VII was a regular visitor to this area so when he came to the throne it was decided by the townsfolk to celebrate with a coronation clock. Coatham and Redcar had recently combined as one authority and it was a joint venture between the two communities. There was an appeal for funds and […]

Submerged Forest

The first written account of the submerged forest at Redcar was after it was revealed in 1871. The main and the more expansive area is in line with West Terrace and behind, what is now a public house. The forest which had been in existence for many thousands of years was uncovered due to the […]