NZ5233 : Fish Sands, Hartlepool Headland

near to The Headland, Hartlepool, Great Britain

Fish Sands, Hartlepool Headland
Fish Sands, Hartlepool Headland
View towards Victoria Harbour and the brightly painted houses along Town Wall.
Town Wall
Excavations in the 1970s indicated that the earliest defences of the Hartlepool consisted of a bank and ditch dug across the narrow neck of the headland as protection against Scottish raiders. In 1315 the town was sacked by a force led by James Douglas and the town's residents petitioned King Edward II for a wall to be built. A 'Grant of Murage' enabled money to be raised by extra taxes on all goods sold in Hartlepool.
The town wall was built in the period between 1326 and 1344 commencing at a point near the cliffs to the north-west of the town and ran south to the North Gate, the Water Gate and across the inner harbour. It then ran along the south side of the promontory just above the beach. The north and east sides of the headland were protected by natural limestone cliffs.
The main entrance to the town was a gate where the wall crossed the street still called Northgate. It was about 10m high and had strong gates and a portcullis. The gate bastion was demolished in 1836 to improve access. The entrance to the harbour was protected by two large round towers with a boom chain suspended between. The Water Gate provided access for fishermen. Only Sandwell Gate still exists today and was probably added in the early 1400s to provide local access through the south wall from Fish Sands.
When complete, the wall was 6m high and 2m thick made of locally quarried Magnesian Limestone with a limestone rubble core. It was topped with a parapet and had a series of round towers. Square towers were added later.
The walls fell into disuse in the late 1400s, except where they had a dual role as sea defences along the south side. Much of the stone was reused for local building. A drawing in 1790 shows that the walls were still mostly intact apart from one of the round towers at the harbour entrance.
The existing portion of the wall, about 600 yds in length, rounds the end of the headland and runs to the Old Pier.
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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
2009
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NZ5233, 118 images   (more nearby)
Photographer
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Image classification?
Geograph
Date Taken
Friday, 4 December, 2009   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 5 December, 2009
Category
Beach   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 5262 3363 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:41.6979N 1:11.1075W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 5275 3352
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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