Hartlepool: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 54°41′N 1°13′W / 54.69°N 1.21°W / 54.69; -1.21

Hartlepool is located in County Durham

 Hartlepool shown within County Durham
Population 90,290 (2006)[1]
OS grid reference NZ508331
    - London  416km 
Unitary authority Hartlepool
Ceremonial county County Durham
Region North East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TS24 - TS27
Dialling code 01429
Police Cleveland
Fire Cleveland
Ambulance North East
EU Parliament North East England
UK Parliament Hartlepool
List of places: UK • England • County Durham

Hartlepool (pronounced /ˈhɑːtlɪpuːl/) is a town and port in the ceremonial county of County Durham, England.

It was founded in the 7th century AD, around the Northumbrian monastery of Hartlepool Abbey. The village grew during the Middle Ages and developed a harbour which served as the official port of the County palatine of Durham. A railway link to the South Durham coal fields in 1835 resulted in further expansion, with the establishing of the new town of West Hartlepool. Industrialisation and the establishing of a shipbuilding industry during the later part of the 19th century caused Hartlepool to be a target for the German Navy at the beginning of the First World War. A bombardment of 1150 shells on 16 December 1914 resulted in the death of 117 people. A severe decline in heavy industries and shipbuilding following the Second World War caused periods of high unemployment until the 1990s when major investment projects and the redevelopment of the docks area into a marina have seen a rise in the town's prospects.

Hartlepool is within the unitary authority area of the Borough of Hartlepool, for ceremonial purposes part of County Durham.



Hartlepool Town Wall: dating from the late 14th century the limestone wall once enclosed the whole of the medieval town. The picturesque houses overlook the entrance to Victoria Docks which can be seen in the background.

Hartlepool was founded as a village in the 7th century AD, springing up around Hartlepool Abbey, founded in 640 on a headland overlooking a natural harbour. The monastery became famous under St Hilda, who served as its abbess from 649-657, but it fell into decline and was likely destroyed by the Vikings in 800.

The place name derives from Old English *heort-ieg "hart island", referring to stags seen, and pol, "pool". Records of the place-name from early sources confirm this:

  • 649: Heretu, or Hereteu
  • 1017: Herterpol, or Hertelpolle
  • 1182: Hierdepol

Hart is the Old English name for a stag or deer which appears on the towns crest and le pool meant by the sea, people moved here to hunt where there were deer by the sea and eventually settled there.The petrified forest below the sea provides proof that hart (deer) did once live in a forest by the sea.

During the Middle Ages the village grew into an important (though still small) town, gaining a market and walls, and its harbour was improved to serve as the official port of the County palatine of Durham.

The town had medicinal springs, particularly the chalybeate spa near the Westgate. Thomas Gray the famous poet ('Elegy in a Country Churchyard') visited in July 1765 to take the waters, and wrote to his friend Dr Wharton:

'I have been for two days to taste the water, and do assure you that nothing could be salter and bitterer and nastier and better for you... I am delighted with the place; there are the finest walks and rocks and caverns...'

A few weeks later, he wrote in greater detail:

'The rocks, the sea and the weather there more than made up to me the want of bread and the want of water, two capital defects, but of which I learned from the inhabitants not to be sensible. They live on the refuse of their own fish-market, with a few potatoes, and a reasonable quantity of Geneva [gin] six days in the week, and I have nowhere seen a taller, more robust or healthy race: every house full of ruddy broad-faced children. Nobody dies but of drowning or old-age: nobody poor but from drunkenness or mere laziness.'

Isambard Kingdom Brunel visited the town in December 1831 and wrote: 'A curiously isolated old fishing town - a remarkably fine race of men. Went to the top of the church tower for a view.'

Hartlepool's harbour made it a convenient outlet for the coalfields of South Durham and in 1835 a railway was built to enable South Durham coal to be exported. A rival railway was built in 1847 and docks were established at its terminus, around which a new town, West Hartlepool, was founded by Ralph Ward Jackson.

Ralph Ward Jackson was the man who built West Hartlepool. He saw potential in an area which, in the early 19th century, was only villages and sand dunes. He brought trade and industry to West Hartlepool. He helped to plan the layout of town, and was responsible for the first public buildings. He was also involved in the education and the welfare of the inhabitants. In the end, he was a victim of his own ambition to promote the town. Accusations of shady financial dealings, and years of legal battles, left him in near-poverty. He spent the last few years of his life in London, far away from the town he had created.

The two communities grew very rapidly, from a population of only a thousand at the start of the 19th century to 64,000 in 1891. The modern town represents a joining together of "Old Hartlepool", locally known as the "headland", and West Hartlepool. What was West Hartlepool became the larger town and both were formally unified in 1967. Today the term "West Hartlepool" is rarely heard outside the context of sport, but the town's only premier Rugby Union team still proudly retain the name (See Sports below)

The name of the town's professional football club reflected both boroughs; when it was formed in 1908, following the success of West Hartlepool in winning the FA Amateur Cup in 1905, it was called "Hartlepools United" in the hope of attracting support from both towns. When the boroughs combined in 1967 the club renamed itself "Hartlepool" before renaming itself Hartlepool United in the 1970s. Many fans of the club still refer to the team as "Pools".

The area became heavily industrialised with an ironworks (established 1838) and shipyards in the docks (established in the 1870s). By 1913, no fewer than 43 ship-owning companies were located in the town, with responsibility for 236 ships. This made it a key target for Germany in the First World War. One of the first German offensives against Britain was the Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby on the morning of 16 December 1914, when units of the Imperial German Navy bombarded Hartlepool, West Hartlepool, Whitby and Scarborough. Hartlepool was hit with a total of 1150 shells, killing 117 people.

Two coastal defence batteries at Hartlepool returned fire, firing 143 shells, damaging three German ships: SMS Seydlitz, SMS Moltke and SMS Blücher. The Hartlepool engagement lasted roughly 50 minutes, and the coastal artillery defence was supported by the Royal Navy in the form of four destroyers, two light cruisers and a submarine, none of which had any significant impact on the German attackers. As a result of this bombardment, the first military casualty on British soil since the English Civil War fell, Private Theophilus Jones of the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. This event is commemorated by a plaque at the spot on the Headland, and a living history group, the Hartlepool Military Heritage Memorial Society, who portray men of that unit for educational and memorial purposes.

An attempt by the German High Command to repeat the attack a month later led to the Battle of Dogger Bank on 24 January 1915 at which the Blücher was sunk. During World War II, RAF Greatham (also known as RAF West Hartlepool) was located on the current South British Steel Works.

Hartlepool suffered badly in the Great Depression of the 1930s and suffered high unemployment until the start of the Second World War, during which its shipbuilding and steel-making industries enjoyed a renaissance. Most of its output for the war effort were "Empire Ships". German bombers raided the town 43 times. After the war, both industries went into a severe decline. "Blanchland", the last ship to be constructed in Hartlepool, left the slips in 1961. There was a boost to the retail sector in 1968 when Middleton Grange Shopping Centre was opened by Princess Anne, with over 130 new shops including Marks & Spencer and Woolworths.

A view of the town facing west from the viewing platform built into the Christ Church tower.

Before the shopping centre was opened, the old town centre was located around Lynn Street, but most of the shops and the market had moved to a new shopping centre by 1974. Most of Lynn Street had by then been demolished to make way for a new housing estate. Only the north end of the street remains, now called Lynn Street North. This is where the Hartlepool Borough Council depot was based (alongside the Focus DIY store) until it moved to the marina in August 2006. By the 1980s the area was again severely affected by unemployment. A series of major investment projects in the 1990s revived the town centre with a new marina, rehabilitation of derelict land, the indoor conversion to modernise Middleton Grange Shopping Centre from the 1960s brutalist architecture, the Historic Quay regeneration, and the construction of much new housing, which has led to the town becoming improbably chic in recent years.[citation needed]


Time Team visit Hartlepool

In March 2000 the Time Team archaeological investigation television program located a lost Anglo-Saxon monastery in the grounds of St Hilda's Church.[2]

Members of Parliament

Hartlepool is represented in the House of Commons by one Member of Parliament. The current MP for the Hartlepool constituency is Iain Wright of the Labour Party. He was first elected in a by-election on 30 September 2004 with a much-reduced majority following an 18% swing to the Liberal Democrats. He retained the seat with a greatly increased majority in the 2005 general election.

Former Members of Parliament for Hartlepool since 1945 have been:

Mr Mandelson resigned to take up a role in the European Commission. On 13 October 2008 he was created Baron Mandelson of Foy and Hartlepool following his appointment as Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in the British Government.

Wards of Hartlepool

Hartlepool is divided up in to seventeen wards, each of which elect councillors whom make up the borough council.

  • Brus
  • Burn Valley
  • Dyke House
  • Elwick
  • Fens
  • Foggy Furze
  • Grange
  • Greatham
  • Hart
  • Owton
  • Park
  • Rift House
  • Rossmere
  • Seaton
  • St. Hilda
  • Stranton
  • Throston


Nearby towns and cities

Local areas / villages


Hartlepool has six Secondary schools, with an expected closure of one due to decreasing student numbers. The town has a diverse selection with both Catholic and Church of England schools.[3] The town plans to receive funding from central government to improve school buildings and facilties, as a part of the Building Schools for the Future Program.[4]

Hartlepool College of Further Education is an educational establishment in the town of Hartlepool, UK. Its main campus is located in the very centre of the town at the hub of all major road routes to the surrounding area, and is within a few minutes walk of Hartlepool Railway Station.

The College has been established for well over a century in various forms, but the current campus was built in the 1960s alongside the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, on formerly-residential land that was redeveloped after heavy damage during World War Two. This building is set to be replaced with a new £62million custom-designed building. The new campus was approved in principle July 2008, and is set to be completed in 2011.[citation needed]

A campus of Cleveland College of Art & Design, the only remaining specialist art and design college in the North East in either of the Further or Higher Education sectors, is also based in Hartlepool, alongside the Art Gallery in Church Square. The College has two further sites, both in nearby Middlesbrough.




Entertainment and shopping



Hartlepool nuclear power station is an advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) type nuclear power plant opened near Hartlepool in the 1980s.

Territorial Army

Situated in the New Armoury Centre, Easington Road are the following units.



Hartlepool is served by two primary routes which are the A179 road and the A689 road, both linking the town to the A19 road. The A179 road is the main road to the north west which leads to the A19 road, Durham and Tyneside. The A689 road is the main road to the south west towards the A19 & Billingham, Stockton, Middlesbrough and York. The A178 road leads south to Seaton Carew, Graythorpe, Seal Sands, Port Clarence and Middlesbrough via the Transporter bridge. The A1086 road leads north to Crimdon, Blackhall, Horden and Easington.


Hartlepool is served by Hartlepool railway station which is on the Durham Coast Line with hourly services to Newcastle and Middlesbrough which are provided by Northern Rail. There is a new service to London from Sunderland provided by Grand Central that uses Class 43 trains capable of 125MPH. This is the first time in 15 years that Hartlepool has had a direct link to London by train.Seaton Carew railway station is also located on Seaton Lane


Local bus services are provided around the town mainly by Stagecoach with Arriva also running a couple of 'town' services.

The Stagecoach Group and Tees Valley travel operate services from Hartlepool to Billingham, Stockton and Middlesbrough. Other services are provided by Arriva and Go North East from Hartlepool to Peterlee, Durham, Dalton Park , Sunderland and Newcastle.


Hartlepool has been a major seaport virtually since it was founded, and has throughout its entire history maintained a proud fishing heritage. During the industrial revolution massive new docks were created on the southern side of the channel running below the Headland, which gave rise to the town of West Hartlepool. These docks are still in use today and still capable of handling vessels of virtually all shapes and sizes.

However, the capacity of the docks is now a fraction of what it once was, as after years of industrial downturn, a large portion of the former dockland was converted into a Superior Marina, capable of berthing 500 vessels. Hartlepool Marina is home to a wide variety of pleasure and working craft, with passage to and from the sea being determined by a lock, and visitors are always welcome to lay over and enjoy the hospitality of the town.

Hartlepool also has a permanent RNLI lifeboat station.


Hartlepool has an oceanic climate typical to the United Kingdom.

Climate data for Hartlepool
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.1
Average low °C (°F) 1.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 56.1
Source: [5]



Hartlepool United is the town's professional football club and they play at Victoria Park, Hartlepool. They won promotion to League One for the 2007–08 season. Their first season back in League One, after a brief absence, they finished 15th. In December 2008, the club parted company with manager Danny Wilson. The club's most famous day, was back in 2005, just 8 minutes away from England's 2nd tier, Championship, when Chris Westwood gave away a penalty and Sheffield Wednesday pipped Hartlepool to a place in the Championship. The supporters of the club bear the nickname of Monkey Hangers. This is based upon a legend that during the Napoleonic wars a monkey which had been a ship's mascot was taken for a French spy and hanged.

Rugby Union

West Hartlepool R.F.C. are more commonly known as "West" and in the 2007 - 2008 season they won the North 2 East league title and were promoted to North 1 (which is the 5th tier of the national league structure). In the mid-1990s, West were the pride of North East rugby union (as were Newcastle Gosforth), and played in what is now the Guinness Premiership. West were then hit by bankruptcy and controversially sold their Brierton Lane stadium. There then followed a succession of relegations as professional players deserted the club, leaving West to pay off their debts which was a consequence of the clubs ambitious pursuit of professionalism.

Hartlepool Rovers are the 2nd best team in the town behind West with Hartlepool RFC coming in 3rd. Other clubs include, Hartlepool BBOB, Hartlepool Athletic & Seaton Carew.

West Hartlepool TDSOB (Tech) folded last year due to a high number of players leaving, the majority of which now play for either West or Rovers.

Tall Ships' Races

On 28 June 2006, Hartlepool celebrated after winning its bid to host The Tall Ships' Races.[6] The town will welcome up to 125 tall ships in 2010, after being chosen by race organiser Sail Training International to be the finishing point for the race. Hartlepool will greet the ships, which will have sailed from Kristiansand in Norway on the second and final leg of the race.

Local media


Hartlepool is famous for allegedly executing a monkey during the Napoleonic Wars.[7] According to legend, fishermen from Hartlepool watched a French warship founder off the coast, and the only survivor was a monkey, which was dressed in French military uniform, presumably to amuse the officers on the ship. The unsophisticated fishermen assumed that this must be what Frenchmen looked like, and after a brief trial, summarily executed the monkey.

Although a popular story, it seems unlikely to be true. Historians have also pointed to the prior existence of a Scottish folk song called "And the Boddamers hung the Monkey-O". It describes how a monkey survived a shipwreck off the village of Boddam near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire. Because the villagers could only claim salvage rights if there were no survivors from the wreck, they allegedly hanged the monkey.

"Monkey hanger" and Chimp Choker are common terms of (semi-friendly) abuse aimed at "Poolies", often from bitter footballing rivals Darlington. The mascot of Hartlepool United F.C. is H'Angus the monkey. The man in the monkey costume, Stuart Drummond, stood for the post of Mayor in 2002 as H'angus the monkey, and campaigned on a platform which included free bananas for schoolchildren. To widespread surprise, he won, becoming the first directly-elected Mayor of Hartlepool, winning 7,400 votes with a 52% share of the vote and a turnout of 30%. He was re-elected by a landslide in 2005, winning 16,912 on a turnout of 51% – 10,000 votes more than his nearest rival, the Labour Party candidate.

The monkey legend is also linked with another of the town's sports clubs, Hartlepool Rovers RFC, which uses the hanging monkey as the club logo. On tours it would hang a monkey on the posts of the rugby pitch to spread the story.

The bone

In June 2005 a large bone was found washed ashore on Hartlepool beach by a local resident, which initially was taken as giving credence to the monkey legend. Analysis revealed the bone to be that of a red deer which had died 6,000 years ago. The bone is now in the collections of Hartlepool Museum Service.

In 2008, a novel based on the legend called The Hartlepool Monkey, written by Sean Longley, was published. The novel tells the story of the monkey, named Jacques LeSinge by the French doctor who discovers him, that was supposedly hanged. In the book, the monkey talks and possesses several other human characteristics.[citation needed]

Notable people

Public services

Hartlepool falls within the jurisdiction of Cleveland Police. Prior to 1974, it was under the jurisdiction of Teesside Constabulary.

Town twinning


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Hartlepool is a town in Cleveland, in the North East of England.

  • HMS Trincomalee, 01429 860077, (fax: 01429 867332), [1].- The oldest Royal Navy warship still afloat. Opening hours: Summer (Easter to 31 October) 10:00 to 17:00, Winter (1 November to Easter) 10:30 to 16:00. History Quay.
  • Go to the maritime museum
  • Beach
  • Visit the seals on Greatham Creek
  • Krimos is a fabulous restaurant with great North African food.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HARTLEPOOL, a parliamentary borough of Durham, England, embracing the municipal borough of Hartlepool or East Hartlepool and the municipal and county borough of West Hartlepool. Pop. (1901) of Hartlepool, 22,723; of West Hartlepool, 62,627. The towns are on the coast of the North Sea separated by Hartlepool Bay, with a harbour, and both have stations on branches of the North Eastern railway, 247 m. N. by W. from London. The surrounding country is bleak, and the coast is low. Caves occur in the slight cliffs, and protection against the attacks of the waves has been found necessary. The ancient market town of Hartlepool lies on a peninsula which forms the termination of a southeastward sweep of the coast and embraces the bay. Its naturally strong position was formerly fortified, and part of the walls, serving as a promenade, remain. The parish church of St Hilda, standing on an eminence above the sea, is late Norman and Early English, with a massive tower, heavily buttressed. There is a handsome borough hall in Italian style. West Hartlepool, a wholly modern town, has several handsome modern churches, municipal buildings, exchange, market hall, Athenaeum and public library. The municipal area embraces the three townships of Seaton Carew, a seaside resort with good bathing, and golf links; Stranton, with its church of All Saints, of the 14th century, on a very early site; and Throston.

The two Hartlepools are officially considered as one port. The harbour, which embraces two tidal basins and six docks aggregating 832 acres, in addition to timber docks of S7 acres, covers altogether 350 acres. There are five graving docks, admitting vessels of 550 ft. length and io to 21 ft. draught. The depth of water on the dock sills varies from 172 ft. at neap tides to 25 ft. at spring tides. A breakwater three-quarters of a mile long protects the entrance to the harbour. An important trade is carried on in the export of coal, ships, machinery, iron and other metallic ores, woollens and cottons, and in the import of timber, sugar, iron and copper ores, and eggs. Timber makes up 59% of the imports, and coal and ships each about 30% of the exports. The principal industries are shipbuilding (iron), boiler and engineering works, iron and brass foundries, steam saw and planing mills, flour-mills, paper and paint factories, and soapworks.

The parliamentary borough (falling within the south-east county division) returns one member. The municipal borough of Hartlepool is under a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors, and has an area of 972 acres. The municipal borough of West Hartlepool is under a mayor, 8 aldermen and 24 councillors, and has an area of 2684 acres.

Built on the horns of a sheltered bay, Hartlepool (Hertepull, Hertipol), grew up round the monastery founded there in 640, but was destroyed by the Danes in Soo and rebuilt by Ecgred, bishop of Lindisfarne. In 1173 Bishop Hugh de Puiset allowed French and Flemish troops to land at Hartlepool to aid the Scots. It is not mentioned in Boldon Book as, being part of the royal manor of Sadberg held at this time by the family of Bruce, it did not become the property of the see of Durham until the purchase of that manor in 1189. The bishops did not obtain possession until the reign of John, who during the interval in 1201 gave Hartlepool a charter granting the burgesses the same privileges that the burgesses of Newcastle enjoyed; in 1230 Bishop Richard Poor granted further liberties, including a gild merchant. Edward II. seized the borough as a possession of Robert Bruce, but he could control it very slightly owing to the bishop's powers. In 1328 Edward III. granted the borough ioo marks towards the town-wall and Richard II. granted murage for seven years, the term being extended in 1400. In 1383 Bishop Fordham gave the burgesses licence to receive tolls within the borough for the maintenance of the walls, while Bishop Neville granted a commission for the construction of a pier or mole. In the 16th century Hartlepool was less prosperous; in 1523 the haven was said to be ruined, the fortifications decayed. An act of 1535 declared Hartlepool to be in Yorkshire, but in 1554 it was reinstated in the county of Durham. It fell into the hands of the northern earls in 1563, and a garrison was maintained there after the rebellion was crushed. In 1593 Elizabeth incorporated it, and gave the burgesses a town hall and court of pie powder. During the civil wars Hartlepool, which a few years before was said to be the only port town in the country, was taken by the Scots, who maintained a garrison there until 1647. As a borough of the Palatinate Hartlepool was not represented in parliament until the 19th century, though strong arguments in its favour were advanced in the Commons in 1614. The markets of Hartlepool were important throughout the middle ages. In 1216 John confirmed toRobertBruce the market on Wednesday granted to his father and the fair on the feast of St Lawrence; this fair was extended to fifteen days by the grant of 1230, while the charter of 1595 also granted a fair and market. During the 14th century trade was carried on with Germany, Spain and Holland, and in 1346 Hartlepool provided five ships for the French war, being considered one of the chief seaports in the kingdom. The markets were still considerable in Camden's day, but declined during the 18th century, when Hartlepool became fashionable as a watering-place.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

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  1. a town and seaport in the north-east of England


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