The land around Eston has been occupied since 2400 BC, but it was the discovery of ironstone in Eston Hills by industrialists from Middlesbrough (most notably Henry Bolckow and John Vaughan) in 1841, that saw Eston develop from two cottages in 1850 to a thriving mining town. Miners' cottages, although altered, can still be seen in parts of Eston. The mining history of Eston was the subject of a film, A Century in Stone, which describes how the mines were responsible for making Teesside the iron and steel capital of the world. The film, by Craig Hornby of Pancrack Films, not only sold out in local cinemas, but also across Australia.
The Teesside steel industry that was started from these mines, eventually produced the steel that built the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Steel making continues on the Tees now: the mines have been closed for more than sixty years though, after one hundred years of production. Teesside steel became part of the nationalised British Steel, which in turn became the Corus Group. It can be said that the town of Middlesbrough came into being only because of the Eston mines.
Eston Cemetery is one of those places in the area which was probably named at the time of the Eston Urban District Council, which included Normanby. Nevertheless, Eston Cemetery can be said to be in Normanby.
Still in active use, it was established in 1863 and built as an extension to the church of St Helen, which has since been dismantled and rebuilt at Beamish Museum. Names on the gravestones tell the story of the families whose daily lives created the history of the wider area throughout the twentieth century until the present.
GENUKI and A Vision of Britain through Time provide quotations describing Eston in the 19th century, the first in the 1820s and the second circa 1870.