Hartlepool ( ) is a town and
port in the ceremonial county of
County Durham, England.
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.
link to the South Durham coal fields in
1835 resulted in further expansion, with the establishing of the
new town of West
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.
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
was founded as a village in the 7th century AD, springing up around
Abbey, founded in 640 on a headland overlooking a natural
The picturesque houses overlook the entrance to Victoria Docks
which can be seen in the background.
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
The place name derives from Old English *heort-ieg
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
During World War II, RAF
(also known as RAF West Hartlepool) was located on the
current South British Steel
Hartlepool suffered badly in the Great
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.
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
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.
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
He was first
elected in a by-election on
30 September 2004
with a much-reduced majority following an 18%
swing to the Liberal
. He retained the seat with a greatly increased
majority in the 2005 UK general
Former Members of Parliament
for Hartlepool since 1945 have been:
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.
- Dyke House
- Rift House
- St. Hilda
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. 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.
Hartlepool College of Further
Education is an educational establishment in the town of
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
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.
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.
College has two further sites, both in nearby Middlesbrough.
Entertainment and shopping
nuclear power station is an advanced gas-cooled reactor
(AGR) type nuclear power plant opened near Hartlepool in the
Hartlepool is served by two primary routes which are the A179 road
and the A689
, both linking the town to the A19
. 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.
A178 road leads south to Seaton Carew, Graythorpe, Seal
Middlesbrough via the Transporter
bridge. The A1086 road
leads north to Crimdon, Blackhall, Horden and
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 former InterCity 125 mph trains.
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
Hartlepool has services provided by Stagecoach Group around the town and to
Billingham, Stockton and Middlesbrough. Other services are provided by Arriva and Go North East
to Peterlee, Durham, 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.
Hartlepool United is the town's
professional football club and they play at Victoria
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
club's most famous day, was back in 2005, just 8 minutes away from
England's 2nd tier, Championship
Chris Westwood gave away a penalty and Sheffield Wednesday
pipped Hartlepool to
a place in the Championship
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.
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).
the mid-1990s, West were the pride of North East rugby union
(as were Newcastle Gosforth), and
played in what is now the Guinness
. 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
Hartlepool RFC are the 2nd most succesful club in the town with
strong financial backing who currently play in the Durham &
Northumberland 1 league.
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
Tall Ships' Races
On 28 June 2006, Hartlepool celebrated after winning its bid to
host The Tall Ships' Races
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
Hartlepool is famous for allegedly executing a monkey during the
Napoleonic Wars. 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
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.
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
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.
monkey legend is also linked with another of the town's sports
Rovers RFC, which uses the hanging monkey as the club
On tours it would hang a monkey on the posts of the
rugby pitch to spread the story.
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
which had died 6,000 years ago.
The bone is now in the collections of Hartlepool Museum
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
- Kieran Bew, actor.
Brown, footballer who plays for
Wigan Athletic FC.
- Andy Capp, cartoon character.
- Frank Cook, Labour Member of Parliament, born in
- Graeme Crallan, former drummer of
heavy metal band White
- John Darwin,
fraudster who faked death in a canoe accident and reappeared in
- Pete Donaldson, co-host on The
Xfm Breakfast Show with Alex Zane.
- Stuart Drummond, the artist
formerly known as H'Angus the
Monkey, now the town's mayor.
- Janick Gers, heavy metal guitarist
with Iron Maiden.
- Ted Harrison,
Canadian artist born in nearby Wingate, attended West
Hartlepool College of Art.
- Peter Hartley ,
Footballer who plays for Hartlepool United F.C..
- Chick Henderson,
original singer of Begin the
Beguine in July 1939.
- Scott Henshall, fashion designer
and contestant on I'm a
Celebrity... Get Me Out of
Here! in 2006.
- Saint Hilda, abbess.
- Reginald Hill, author of
Dalziel and Pascoe
- Michael Hunter, European
- Andy Linighan, former footballer.
- David Linighan, former footballer.
- Jack London , heavyweight
- Brian London, heavyweight champion
boxer, son of Jack London.
- Jemma Lowe, Olympic swimmer.
- Sir Compton Mackenzie,
- Michael Maidens, former footballer most commonly associated with Hartlepool
United, who died aged 20.
- Peter Mandelson, Labour MP for
Hartlepool 1992-2004 and
Business Secretary 2008-present.
- Colin McGinn, philosopher.
- John McGovern, former
footballer, moved to Hartlepool when seven
- Sir Edward Mellanby,
Middlemiss, actor, Des Barnes on
- Darren Morfitt, actor.
- David Murphy, footballer, plays for Birmingham City FC.
- William Roberts, World
War I veteran, present in Hartlepool during the German Navy's
Ridley Scott, film director, attended
the West Hartlepool College of
- Wayne Sleep, dancer
- Michael Smith , BBC
broadcaster and author of The Giro
- Reg Smythe, cartoonist, creator of
- Jeremy Spencer, guitarist with
former blues band Fleetwood Mac.
- Jeff Stelling, presenter of
Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports and Countdown on Channel 4.
- Graeme Storm, professional golfer.
Taylor, professional footballer who
plays for Middlesbrough F.C.
- Lionel Tertis, viola
- Eric Thomas,
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol and chair of the Worldwide Universities
Network, born in Hatlepool.
- Micky Young, professional Rugby Union player for Newcastle Falcons.
Hartlepool falls within the jurisdiction of Cleveland Police
. Prior to 1974, it was
under the jurisdiction of Teesside Constabulary.
- http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mediareleases/release.php?id=1649 How
monkey murder brought British coastal towns together