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Linthorpe, Middlesbrough

The Olympia, Middlesbrough

Last Updated:

23 Feb 2024

Linthorpe, Middlesbrough

This is a

Skating Rink, Exhibition Hall, Garage

54.556345, -1.250036

Founded in 


Current status is


Designer (if known):


Demolished in the 2000s and replaced with housing

The Olympia on Oxford Road, Middlesbrough was a huge skating rink in Linthorpe, now consigned to
history with the Dorman’s club taking its place directly next door.

It was opened in 1909 and was the largest in the north, accommodating both skating for pleasure, semi professional ice hockey and “gymkhanas”. Haven’t a clue what the latter is, but Google implies gymnastics pageants.

Other events and exhibitions also took place here. A Grand Trades & Arts Exhibition opened in October 1911 with military bands, circus-style acts like the "Joy Wheel", the "Human Spider", illusionists and the "Hall of Laughter".

It only lasted 6 years though. The advent of WWI spelled the end of the enterprise. An auction notice was advertised in the March, selling everything including the furniture, roller skates and a full grand piano. It lay dormant for 6 years thereafter.

Sources compete, but newspapers suggest boxing was held in a "Middlesbrough Olympia" in the late 20s. This may be another site. Jim Carney, a Middlesbrough fighter, lost to Walter Wright on points in August 1929.

Plans were in place to convert this hall in the early 20s and mid 20s. The Plans Committee of the town proposed to divide the Olympia, Middlesbrough's largest hall into three parts - a billiard saloon, dance hall and picture, but it never progressed. This would be fairly similar to the Brighton Electric Theatre on Westgate Road, Newcastle (,but it eventually became a garage.

Its final demise came in 2004, and was replaced with these flats next to Dorman’s.

Listing Description (if available)

Both maps above present the first two Ordnance Surveys with the Olympia illustrated. The 1920 edition labels the Olympia next to the Dorman athletic ground on Oxford Road, nestled between new housing on the peripheries of the town. I have been intrigued as to why such a grand building was built at the end of Middlesbrough, but presumably land was cheap and space was ideal. Streets were in the process of being laid out, alongside amenities like schools.

The 1931 map shows the finished developments. Linthorpe now stretched to Acklam Road with a brand new hospital, church, tennis grounds and allotments.

If we turn the clocks back to the 1850s, we can see just how much the town expanded in a short space of time. This was a period in which Middlesbrough had just been founded, and housing started to sprout up to appease the growing demand for workers in the later decades. At this time though, Linthorpe was just a small hamlet with a manor hall and village green.


The Olympia stood next to Dorman's where the housing is located.


The Olympia from Oxford Road looking west, undated. Unknown Source.


A slightly blurry image of the interior. A small stand is shown on the left of the floor. This exhibits just how large the space was. Unknown source.

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