Stockton actually began as an Anglo-Saxon settlement close to the northern bank of the River Tees. Stockton’s market can trace its history back to 1310 when Bishop Bek of Durham granted a market charter – to our town of Stockton a market upon every Wednesday.
The town grew into an important and busy port, exporting wool and importing wine for the upper classes. Medieval Stockton was actually a small town with a popularity of only 1000 and did not grow any larger for centuries.
The scots captured Stockton castle in 1644 and occupied it until 1646 when it was actually completely destroyed on the orders of Oliver Cromwell at the end of The Civil War.
From the 18th Century, the Industrial Revolution changed Stockton from a small and quiet market town into a flourishing centre of industry. Shipbuilding began in the 15th Century but really prospered in the 17th and 18th centuries. Smaller- scale industries such as brick, sail and rope making began around the same time.
Stockton became the major port for County Durham, the North Riding Of Yorkshire and Westmorland during this time. The town grew rapidly with population going from 10,000 in 1851 to over 50,000 in 1901.
Local chemist, John Walkers invented the friction match in his shop at 59 High street in 1827.
The Georgian Theatre at Green Dragon Yard is Grade II listed and is the oldest Georgian theatre in the country. It originally opened in 1766 but fell into disrepair during the 19th Century but later became used as a sweet factory and a community building.
The building was given a full make-over in 2007/2008 and now serves as an intimate venue for live entertainment for around 200 people.