In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described West Hartlepool like this:
HARTLEPOOL (WEST), a sea port town and a chapelry in Stranton township and parish, Durham. The town is practically a joint town with Hartlepool; is separated from it only by the harbour; and communicates with it both by railway and by ferry. It sprang from the modern revival of Hartlepool; is entirely a new place; and takes at once its form, its character, and its prosperity from the construction at it of extensive docks and railway connections. Its harbour works were commenced so late as 1844; and they now include a haven of 45 acres, three deep water wet docks of 32 acres, two large graving docks and ship building yards, 15 acres of floating timber ponds, 8 acres of bonded timber yards, nearly three miles of quays and wharfs, upwards of 7 acres of floor area of warehouses, and upwards of 21 miles of railway approaches and accommodations to the docks. ...
The vessels belonging to the port, exclusive of all belonging to Hartlepool, at the beginning of 1863, were 4 small sailing vessels, of aggregately 105 tons; 47 large sailing vessels, of aggregately 9, 146 tons; 4 small steam vessels, of aggregately 52 tons; and 10 large steam vessels, of aggregately 3, 134 tons. The vessels entering the port increased, from 902 in 1847, to 5, 175 in 1859. The quantity of coal shipped, within the same period, increased from 115, 912 tons to 843, 857 tons. The customs value of exported goods, exclusive of coals, rose from £22, 756 in 1853 to £4, 214, 783 in 1859. The quantities of imported timber, grain, and general cargoes, rose from respectively 1, 310 tons, 84, 319 qrs., and 8, 521 tons in 1853, to respectively 56, 244 tons, 164, 091 qrs., and 24, 748 tons in 1859. The town carries on similar industry to Hartlepool; and has a head post office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, a market House, a handsome church built in 1854, an Independent chapel built in 1855 and much improved in 1862, four other dissenting chapels, an athenaeum, a mechanics' institute, and a theatre or music hall built in 1868, and capable of accommodating 2, 000 persons. Pop. in 1861, 12, 603. Houses, 2, 190.The chapelry was constituted in 1859, and does not include all the town. Pop. in 1861, 9, 708. Houses, 1, 635. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Durham. Value, £300. * Patron, the Bishop of Durham.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing West Hartlepool has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Hartlepool. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering West Hartlepool and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of West Hartlepool, in Hartlepool and County Durham | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 30th September 2014
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