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A Quick Lesson on Hartlepool History

by Kaitlin Graham 26 Jun 2023

Coastline with yellow sandy beach and buildings in the distance

What is Hartlepool?

Hartlepool is a town of 93,000 people on the coast of North East England. It’s a peninsula that is surrounded on three sides by the North sea. The coastal town has a rich history and is known for its beautiful beaches, industrial heritage, and distinct culture.

How did Hartlepool get its name?

The name “Hartlepool” is believed to have originated in prehistoric times. Historians have theorized that the city used to be full of forests and had a large deer population. Antlers have been found to corroborate this theory. The name “hart” is another word for “deer.” It’s said that “pool” was added because Hartlepool is surrounded by water, thus “Hartlepool.”

A Brief History of Hartlepool

The town of Hartlepool was founded in the 7th century with the construction of a monastery, that was known as Hartlepool Abbey. It’s believed that the monastery was destroyed by vikings in the 8th century. 

Legend has it that during the Napoleonic War, in the 1800s, a French ship was wrecked near Hartlepool, with the sole survivor being our little monkey. 

Before the nineteenth century, Hartlepool was a prominent fishing town because of its natural harbor. In the early nineteenth century, Hartlepool became a trade town. With the addition of the railroad, the population of Hartlepool quickly grew.  

Because of the town's proximity to water, Hartlepool was also an important part of World War I. During this time, it was home to a shipbuilding industry because of the vast docks fishermen had built over the years. Hartlepool survived the war and supported the navy once again during World War II.

Marina with boats on water at sunset

In recent years, Hartlepool has become a tourist destination, with its football club, beautiful marina, historical sites and picturesque views. Hartlepool’s hidden gems, cultural, and historical sites include the Museum of Hartlepool, the Heugh Battery Museum, the National Museum of the Royal Navy of Hartlepool, and Hartlepool North Sands Beach, to name a few. 

It also famously voted in the town’s football club mascot, H’Angus the Monkey as mayor in the early 2000’s, twice. More to come on that story…

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