River Tees


The Tees is one of the major rivers in the North of England. It rises on Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows 137 km to the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar near Middlesbrough. The river forms the boundary between the ceremonial counties of County Durham and North Yorkshire, before it flows through Teesside. Many settlements grew up along the banks of the Tees (see 'Related Pages' in the left-hand menu). The river was used for transporting coal from the Durham coal fields and played an important role in the development of the steel and chemical industries in Teesside. The rapid growth of Middlesbrough during the 19th century centred on its proximity to the deeper sections of the River Tees, more suitable for larger ships than shallower upstream ports at Stockton-upon-Tees.

 

Major Tributaries:

Bridge Type / Road Place(s) Opened   Note.
 Moor House Bridge  Footbridge      
 Birkdale Footbridge  Footbridge    1966  
 Cronkley Bridge  Road (private)      
 Holwick Head Footbridge  Footbridge      
 Winch Footbridge  Footbridge  Holwick  c.1820  Grade II* Listed
 Scoberry Footbridge  Footbridge      
 Middleton Bridge  B6277 road Middleton-in-Teesdale c.1800 Grade II* Listed
 Beckstones Wath Footbridge  Footbridge      
 Eggleston Bridge  B6281 road  Eggleston C17th Grade II* Listed
 Cotherstone Footbridge  Footbridge  Cotherstone  1932  
 Deepdale Footbridge  Footbridge & Water pipes  Barnard Castle  1898  Grade II Listed
 Barnard Castle Bridge   A67 road  Barnard Castle  C14th  Grade I Listed
 Thorngate Footbridge  Footbridge      
 Abbey Bridge  Road nr Egglestone Abbey 1773 Grade II* Listed
 Whorlton Suspension Bridge  Road  Whorlton  1831  Grade II* Listed
 Winston Bridge  B6274 road  Winston
 1763  Grade II* Listed
 West Tees Railway Bridge   Rail (disused)      
 Gainford Railway Bridge  Rail (disused)      
 Barforth Hall Bridge  Road (private)      
 Piercebridge Pipe Bridge   Water pipe  Piercebridge    
 Piercebridge Bridge  B6275 road  Cliffe - Piercebridge  C16th  
 Roman Bridge (remains)  Dere Street (Roman road)  Piercebridge  C3rd  Remains only
 A1(M) Bridge  A1 road  Low Coniscliffe    
 Blackwell Bridge  A66 road      
 Croft Road Bridge  A167 road      
 Tees Bridge  Rail (East Coast Mainline)      
 Low Hail Bridge  Road (private)      
 Neasham Hall Bridge   Footbridge (private)      
 Girsby Bridge  Footbridge      
 Fishlocks Bridge  Footbridge (private)      
 Over Dinsdale Bridge  Road      
 Yarm Railway Viaduct   Rail (North TransPennine Line)   Yarm  1851  Grade II Listed
 Yarm Road Bridge  A67 road  Yarm - Egglescliffe  c.1400  Grade II* Listed
 Preston Pipe Bridge  water pipe      
 Jubilee Bridge  Queen Elizabeth Way      
 Surtees Bridge  A66 road      
 Surtees Rail Bridge  Rail (Tees Valley line)      
 Victoria Bridge  A1130 road      
 Teesquay Millennium Footbridge        
 Princess of Wales Bridge  Teesdale Boulevard      
 Infinity Bridge  Foot & Cycle  ThornabyStockton-on-Tees  2008  
 Tees Barrage        
 Tees Viaduct  A19 road      
 Tees Newport Bridge  A1032 road Middlesbrough - Stockton Brgh.  1934 Grade II Listed
 Tees Transporter Bridge   A178 road (by gondola)  Middlesbrough - Port Clarence 1911 Grade II* Listed

The River Tees is in northern England. It rises on the eastern slope of Cross Fell in the North Pennines, and flows eastwards for 85 miles (137 km) to reach the North Sea between Hartlepool and Redcar near Middlesbrough.

Geography

The river drains 710 square miles (1834 km2) and has a number of tributaries including the River Greta, River Lune, River Balder, River Leven and River Skerne. Before the reorganisation of the historic English counties, the river formed the boundary between County Durham and Yorkshire. In its lower reaches it now forms the boundary between the ceremonial counties of County Durham and North Yorkshire, while in the highest part of its course it forms the boundary between the historic counties of Westmorland and Durham. The head of the valley, whose upper portion is known as Teesdale, has a desolate grandeur, surrounded by moorland and hills, some exceeding 2,500 feet (762 m). This area is part of the North Pennine Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The source of the river at Teeshead just below Cross Fell lies at an elevation of approximately . It flows east-north-east through an area of shake holes through Carboniferous Limestone. Below Viewing Hill, it turns south to the Cow Green Reservoir constructed to store water to be released in dry conditions to satisfy the industrial need for water on Teesside.

Emerging from the reservoir at Cauldron Snout the river traverses a series of hard black basalt and dolerite rocks that intrude through the softer limestone, in a succession of falls or rapids. From this point downstream the Tees forms the boundary between the traditional counties of Durham and Yorkshire almost without a break, although since 1974 much of it lies wholly in Durham. The dale widens below Cauldron Snout, and trees appear, contrasting with the broken rocks where the water descends over High Force. After a short turn northwards, the river continues to meander south-easterly. Close to where the B6277 road begins to run parallel to the river is the High Force waterfall. About downstream is the smaller Low Force waterfall.

The scenery becomes gentler and more picturesque as the river descends past Middleton-in-Teesdale (Durham). This locality has lead and ironstone resources. Just to the east of Middleton-in-Teesdale, the River Lune joins the Tees. After passing the village of Romaldkirk to the west, the river is joined by the River Balder at Cotherstone. The ancient town of Barnard Castle, Egglestone Abbey, and Rokeby Park, well known through Sir Walter Scott's poem, are all passed. At Rokeby the Tees is joined by the River Greta. From the area near Eggleston, the river is crossing over millstone grit. From here the valley begins to open out, and traverses the rich plain east and south of Darlington in large meandering curves.

The course of the valley down to here has been generally east-south-east, but it now turns north-east near the village of Whorlton. Passing Ovington and Winston it runs parallel to the A67 south-east past Gainford and Piercebridge to Darlington, passing under the A1 and A66. The section from Piercebridge to Hurworth flows over magnesian limestone. It is at Croft-on-Tees that the River Skerne joins the Tees. The river now flows south past Croft-on-Tees before swinging northwards past Hurworth-on-Tees. A series of large meanders takes the course past Neasham, Low Dinsdale and Sockburn to Middleton St George. In the lower reaches of the river valley the water flows over bunter sandstone and pebble beds.

Just past Yarm, the River Leven joins the Tees, before passing the settlements of Eaglescliffe, Ingleby Barwick and Thornaby-on-Tees. Now nearing the sea, the Tees becomes an important commercial waterway, with the ports of Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough on its banks. It passes through the Tees Barrage between these ports, turning tidal downstream from the barrage.

Teesport is built on reclaimed land on the south side of the Tees estuary below Middlesbrough.

Seal Sands

Before the heavy industrialisation of the Tees, the flats at Seal Sands in the estuary were home to common seals. For around 100 years this species was absent from the estuary but have now returned and can be seen on the flats at Seal Sands. The Seal Sands area is now designated as the Teesmouth National Nature Reserve.

Alterations

In the early 19th century the river was straightened, thus saving time and money in navigation. Between Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough, the river previously meandered first south and then north of its current channel. Two "cuts", known as the Mandale Cut and the Portrack Cut, were made to straighten its course. Before these cuts were made, the journey by sailing barge from Thornaby to Middlesbrough, allowing for tides and other factors, could take as long as the journey from the mouth of the Tees to London. The Mandale Cut was the shorter of the two, at about , with the Portrack Cut being considerably longer, although the northern meander it removed was smaller than the southern meander. Neither meander is visible today, except for the flow of Stainsby Beck into a waterway which is marked on maps first as "The Fleet" and then "Old River Tees". The current Tees Barrage is close to the site of the Mandale Cut.

Since the cuts were made, the river has continued to undergo alterations to its bed and banks to make it deeper and more navigable. The channel has been made considerably narrower by dumping ship's ballast and ironworks slag along the former banks, increasing the scouring due to its natural flow. Maps made prior to 1900 show that between Stockton and Middlesbrough the river flowed in a channel up to wide in places, with many shoals and sandbars. The modern channel varies between about and .

Industrialisation of the River Tees

The River Tees has been used for transporting industrial goods since the Industrial Revolution, particularly for the shipment of coal form the Durham Coalfields and also for the steel industries that later developed around Middlesbrough. In the early years merchant ships left the River Tees after loading in Yarm and Stockton on Tees; but as merchant ships became bigger, these smaller docks were suprseded by bigger and deeper docks in Middlesbrough, and later even further downstream at Teesport close to the mouth of the River Tees. In the 20th century the river also became important to the developing chemical industry, contributing particularly to the development of Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI).

The move to loading coal on bigger ships in Middlesbrough was the economic driver for the development not only of the town of Middlesbrough itself but also of the railway between Stockton and Darlington. This is where George Stephenson developed his railway engine "Locomotion" and this railway was the first steam railway to carry passengers, as well as industrial materials. The Stockton and Darlington Railway was founded after an initial shareholders' meeting in a room in a public house in Yarm on Tees.

Today Teesport is owned by PD Ports; it is located from the North Sea and east of Middlesbrough. Teesport is currently the third largest port in the United Kingdom, and among the ten biggest in Western Europe, handling over 56 million tonnes of domestic and international cargo per year. The vast majority of these products are still related to the steel and chemical industries made by companies that are members of the Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC). The areas where large scale commodity chemical industry continues to be based are Billingham and Seal Sands, both on the north bank of the River Tees, and Wilton on the south bank. The Teesside Steelworks at Redcar operated until closure in 2015.

Other industrial companies that use the River Tees are manufacturing and servicing the North Sea oil and gas industry as well as the renewable energy industry sector, including offshore wind turbines. The south bank of the mouth of the River Tees has the 62MW Teesside Offshore Wind Farm, built 2011-13

Near the mouth of the River Tees is the large dry dock facility of ABLE UK, named TERRC (Teesside Environmental Reclamation and Recycling Centre), used to dismantle or oil rigs and other large vessels. Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station is adjacent to the east.

Legends and folklore

Peg Powler is a hag in English folklore who is said to inhabit the River Tees.

In popular culture

The River Tees was featured in the television series Seven Natural Wonders as one of the wonders of the North, and in the post-apocalyptic drama The Last Train having blown its banks.

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 25/03/2016).
Visit the page: River Tees for references and further details. You can contribute to this article on Wikipedia.
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Barnard Castle

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Yarm. Wednesday, 5th April 2006.

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River Tees swimming area at Whorlton Lido in 2001

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Teesmouth 1970

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Infinity

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Yarm. Wednesday, 5th April 2006.

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Gorgeous weather in the North East for the last few days! Bliss in a little town called Yarm...

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River Tees

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Whorlton Suspension Bridge

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THE MEETING OF THE WATERS

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Confluence of the River Balder and the River Tees

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Bridge & viaduct

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River Tees at Yarm

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The confluence of the Leven and the Tees

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River Tees Drainage Basin
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High Force 1

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High Force Waterfall

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Low Force

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High Force

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13:04:2009 16:26:56

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High Force

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The Tees downstream from the bridge

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DSC04789.JPG

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DSC04794.JPG

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View from the bridge at Stockton

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Barnard Castle overlooking the River Tees

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River Tees

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River Tees, North Pennines

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The Tees near its Source

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Brave rower on River Tees 1982

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The River Tees in Stockton

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37. Abbey Bridge near Barnard Castle, Durham by James Wilson (c.1869)

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Wheysike House again

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Paddy's Hole, River Tees Estuary

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River Tees in flood at Croft

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The River Tees At Egglescliffe

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Falcon Clints and the Tees

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Bridge over River Tees at Barnard Castle

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Transporter Bridge

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P2185067-1

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South Gare (120)

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South Gare (125)

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Stockton at Dusk

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Hurworth-on-Tees
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Hurworth-on-Tees
- Hurworth-on-Tees is a village in the borough of Darlington in County Durham. It is located on the banks of the River Tees, close to its meeting point with the River ...
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River Tees at Hurworth

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Hurworth Place
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Hurworth Place
- Hurworth Place is a village in the Borough of Darlington in County Durham, on the boundry with North Yorkshire. It is situated on the northern bank of the River Tees, ...
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Looking back down the Tees

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Barnard Castle Bridge
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Barnard Castle Bridge
- Overview Map Street View The stone Bridge over the River Tees connects the town of Barnard Castle with Startforth. It dates from the 14th Century and is overlooked by the castle. It ...
Startforth
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Startforth
- Overview About Startforth Map Street View Startforth is a village on the banks of the River Tees opposite Barnard Castle. Startforth is in County Durham, but had historically been in ...
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Tees Viaduct, Gainford

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Winston
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Winston
- Winston is a village in County Durham, located by the River Tees.
Gainford
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Gainford
- Overview About Gainford Map Street View Gainford is a village in County Durham located by the River Tees and about 6 miles West of Darlington and a similar distance East of ...
Winston Bridge
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Winston Bridge
- Overview Map Street View The bridge over the River Tees near Winston in Counry Durham was built in 1762-1763, designed by Sir Thomas Robinson[1]. The bridge is notable for its ...
Whorlton Suspension Bridge
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Whorlton Suspension Bridge
- Overview Map Street View The toll bridge over the River Tees at Whorlton, County Durham, was opened in 1831. It was designed by John and Benjamin Green of Newcastle, who ...
Wycliffe
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Wycliffe
- Overview Map Street View Wycliffe, County Durham, is a hamlet on the south bank of the River Tees, located 4 miles south east of Barnard Castle.  The village is part ...
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Downstream River Tees

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Image taken from page 595 of 'The rivers of Great Britain. The Thames, from source to sea, etc. [With “Rivers of the east coast”.]'

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Image taken from page 213 of 'The rivers of Great Britain. Descriptive, historical, pictorial. Rivers of the east coast'

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Barforth Hall

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the tees meanders and oxbow lakes

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the source of the river tees

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Cotherstone Footbridge
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Cotherstone Footbridge
- Overview Map The footbridge over the River Tees just north of Cortherstone, County Durham, was built in 1932 by Joseph L Thompson and Sons Ltd of Sunderland. It replaced two ...
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Tees Built Ships
- "The River Tees and adjacent port of Hartlepool and West Hartlepool were among the most productive shipbuilding regions in the United Kingdom for over two centuries. Builders such as William ...

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River Tees, From High Force

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Piercebridge Bridge
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Piercebridge Bridge
- Overview Map Street View The stone bridge over the River Tees at Piercebridge was built in 1673. The bridge was widened on its downstream side in 1781.[1] Today the bridge ...
Winch Bridge, nr Holwick
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Winch Bridge, nr Holwick
- Overview Map Street View An iron suspension footbridge with planked walkway, over the River Tees, by the Low Force waterfalls, near Holwick and Newbiggin. The bridge was built c.1820 for the ...
Deepdale Footbridge, Barnard Castle
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Deepdale Footbridge, Barnard Castle
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Deepdale Aqueduct

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River Tees Upstream from the Deepdale Aqueduct

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Tees Newport Bridge
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Tees Newport Bridge
- Overview History Map Street View The Tees Newport Bridge was the first large vertical lift bridge in Europe, and opened by Prince Albert (later King George VI) on 28 February, ...
Middlesbrough
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Middlesbrough
- Overview Landmarks & Places to Visit History Timeline People "Middlesbrough is an almost unparalleled example of rapid growth...It dates from 1829, when its site was occupied by a solitary farmhouse, ...
Stockton Infinity Bridge
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Stockton Infinity Bridge
- Overview About the Infinity Bridge Map Street View The Infinity Bridge is a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Tees, linking the North Shore development (Stockton-on-Tees) with the University ...
Stockton-on-Tees
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Stockton-on-Tees
- Overview About Stockton-on-Tees Map Street View   Stockton-on-Tees is a market town in the ceremonial county of County Durham, North East England. It is the major settlement in the borough ...
Barnard Castle (town)
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Barnard Castle (town)
- Overview History Map Street View Barnard Castle is a market town in Teesdale, County Durham. The town is named after the castle around which it developed. It is located on ...
Yarm
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Yarm
- Overview History Map Street View Yarm is a town on the south bank of the River Tees in North Yorkshire, and became part of the unitary authority of Stockton-on-Tees in 1996. Yarm ...
Tees Transporter Bridge
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Tees Transporter Bridge
- Overview History Facts & Figures Map Street View The Tees Transporter Bridge was opened on the 17th October 1911 by Prince Arthur of Connaught. The bridge over the River Tees connects Middlesbrough, on the south bank, ...
Thornaby
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Thornaby
- Overview About Thornaby Map Street View Thornaby-on-Tees is town situated on the south banks of the River Tees, within the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees. It is located about a mile south ...
Eaglescliffe
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Eaglescliffe
Piercebridge
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Piercebridge
- Overview About Piercebridge Map Street View Piercebridge is a village and civil parish in County Durham located by the River Tees. A Roman bridge, which carried Dere Street over the ...
Newbiggin (Teesdale)
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Newbiggin (Teesdale)
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Middleton-in-Teesdale
- Overview About Middleton-in-Teesdale Map Street View   Middleton-in-Teesdale is a small market town in County Durham, in England. It is situated on the north side of Teesdale between Eggleston and ...
Ovington
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Ovington
- Overview About Ovington Map Street View   Ovington is a hamlet on the south bank of the River Tees in the North East of England, situated close to Barnard Castle. ...
Whorlton, County Durham
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Whorlton, County Durham
- Overview About Whorton Map Street View Whorlton in County Durham is a village located on the North banks of the River Tees, about 3.5 miles South East of Barnard Castle. Whorlton ...
Bowlees
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Bowlees
Eggleston
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Eggleston
- Overview About Eggleston Map Street View   Eggleston is a village in County Durham, in England. The population of the civil parish taken at the 2011 Census was 448. It ...
Piercebridge Roman Bridge
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Piercebridge Roman Bridge
- Overview About the Roman Bridge Map Street View The Roman bridge at Piercebridge crossed the River Tees, carrying Dere Street, the Roman road that linked York with Corbridge, near Hadrian’s ...
Ingleby Barwick
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Ingleby Barwick
- Overview About Ingleby Barwick Map Street View Ingleby Barwick is in the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, but part of the unitary authority of Stockton-on-Tees, with close links to Teesside and ...
River Lune (County Durham)
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River Lune (County Durham)
- The Lune is a river in County Durham which is a tributary to the River Tees. The Lune rises close to Lune Head Farm at the confluence of Lune Head ...
Eggleston Bridge
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Eggleston Bridge
- Overview Map Street View Eggleston Bridge is a single track road bridge across the River Tees near Eggleston in County Durham. The bridge here can be traced back to the 15th ...
Abbey Bridge, near Egglestone Abbey
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Abbey Bridge, near Egglestone Abbey
- Overview Map Street View Abbey Bridge crosses the River Tees about a quater of a mile south-east of Egglestone Abbey, near Barnard Castle in County Durham. The road bridge was built ...
Middleton Bridge, Middleton-in-Teesdale
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Middleton Bridge, Middleton-in-Teesdale

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