Region in northern Yorkshire;
- County in northeastern England, either side of the lower Tees, 1974-96.
The region lies between the north of the North Yorks Moors, where the Cleveland Hills are to be found, and the River Tees. The medieval rural deanery called Cleveland included the valley of the Esk in the North Yorks Moors, and the coastal region from the mouth of the Tees to south of Whitby. Its name meant cliff-land, and it is a land where the hills are steep and where the coast has some of the highest cliffs in England.
The county of Cleveland was formed in 1974 from the northeastern corner of the North Riding of Yorkshire and the southeast of County Durham. South of the Tees were Middlesborough, Guisborough and the coast northwards from Staithes; north of the Tees were Stockton and Hartlepool.
The name was odd, in that a considerable part of it lay outside the old Cleveland, and the greater part of the old Cleveland, including practically all of the Cleveland Hills, lay outside the county. The logical name was Teeside, but a new county borough of Teeside had been created in 1968, which had joined together Middlesborough, three districts of the North Riding, the borough of Stockton-on-Tees, and another district in County Durham. So a new name had to be found.
It took longer for Cleveland to go the way of Teeside, but in 1996 it too was abolished, and replaced by four unitary authorities, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesborough, and Redcar & Cleveland.
It was abolished utterly, unlike the metropolitan counties, which had retained their Lord Lieutenants. For ceremonial purposes, Middlesborough and Redcar & Cleveland are in North Yorkshire, Hartlepool and most of Stockton-on-Tees in County Durham, but “so much of Stockton-on-Tees as lies south of the line for the time being of the centre of the River Tees” is in North Yorkshire (Lieutenancies Act, 1997, Schedule 1 (3)).