Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Hartlepool, County Durham, is an ancient seaport and county borough which merged with its Victorian neighbour, West Hartlepool, in 1967. It was really a reconciliation, since West Hartlepool was built by Ralph Ward Jackson in the 1830s partly in protest against coal shipment charges at the senior port. Recorded history begins in the early 7th century when the Bishop of Lindisfarne authorized a religious house on the Heugh, the headland North of the harbour. Its second abbess was St Hilda who later founded Whitby Abbey. The establishment was completely destroyed by the Danes. The harbour had seen the assembly of a Crusader fleet before King John gave the town a charter in 1201. The town was walled in the Middle Ages, and a 600-yd relic can be seen on the south side of the headland. In the Napoleonic wars, says a legend, a French ship was wrecked offshore and the loyal Hartlepool fishermen hanged its only survivor, a monkey. This is commemorated in the emblem of the local Rugby Union football club tie. The town was shelled by German warships in 1914, 128 people being killed and 400 wounded.
The most important historic building is St Hilda's Church, founded in 1129 on the site of the much older monastery, and now in a rundown neighbourhood on the headland. Its architecture is early Early English, later restored, with exceptionally large buttresses supporting a massive tower. “Pillow stones” from the Anglo-Saxon burial-ground discovered in 1833 can be seen inside. Christ Church, near the railway station, with its strange tower and spire, was built in 1854 from limestone quarried by Jackson for West Hartlepool docks. For fun, the people of Hartlepool have, among many choices, the seaside resort of Seaton Carew with some of the most golden sands in Britain, a week-long August fair on the Town Moor, and a “floral mile” in Burn Valley Gardens. Sir Compton Mackenzie was born here.
Nearby cities: Durham
Nearby towns: Billingham, Middlesbrough, Peterlee, Redcar
Nearby villages: Carlton, Castle Eden, Claxton, Dalton Piercy, Easington, Elwick, Embleton, Greatham, Grindon, Hart, Haverton Hill, Hesleden, High Throston, Horden, Hutton Henry, Kirkleatham, Low Throston, Port Clarence, South Bank, Stockton-on-Tees, Thorpe Thewles, Warrenby, West Hartlepool, Wingate, Wolviston, Yearby
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation