It was historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire, but in 1974 as removed to the new county of Cleveland. In 1996 Cleveland was abolished, and it became an independent county in its own right, though it is now part of North Yorkshire for ceremonial purposes.
Situated on the south bank of the river Tees, it became a town in 1830 as part of the extension to the Stockton and Darlington Railway. An industrial town, chemicals, fertilizers, iron and steel are the main industries. The Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia was constructed by a Middlesbrough firm.
Middlesbrough has a large and comprehensive shopping centre made up of several smaller centres. The football team, Middlesbrough F.C, are based on the outskirts of Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. The Transporter Bridge is a famous piece of architecture, one of only three in Britain and the largest operational bridge of this kind in the world.
Captain Cook was born in Middlesbrough. Other famous people from the town include comedian Bob Mortimer, musician Chris Rea, magician Paul Daniels, rugby player Rory Underwood and footballer Don Revie.