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Hartlepool, Co. Durham

Town of Hartlepool, Co. Durham

Hartlepool is a town and North Sea port in North East England. It is within the borough  of Hartlepool, which is in  County Durham.

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Hartlepool was founded as a village in the 7th century AD, springing up around a monastery 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 was destroyed by the Vikings in 800.

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

Its 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.

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, responsible for 236 ships.

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 steelmaking industries enjoyed a renaissance. The town is served by Hartlepool railway station.

Official Town of Hartlepool, Co. Durham website: www.hartlepool.gov.uk

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