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Viewing website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA
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Evolution of Hartlepool Through the Ages
Old Hartlepool developed as a fishing village on the magnesium limestone headland. Surrounded by the sea on three sides it is a picturesque area with interesting architecture and a marina. Old Hartlepool amalgamated with its more industrialised neighbour West Hartlepool in 1967 to form a single entity. John Russell's talk covered the history of Hartlepool Headland from the Romans through to modern times.He highlighted the many archaeological digs which have taken place there, unearthing the remains of a 7th Century monastic community and an extensive Anglo-Saxon community. The impressive St Hilda's church was built on the same site.
During the Napoleonic wars a French ship allegedly sank nearby. The only survivor is said to have been a monkey and legend has it that the monkey was duly tried and hanged as a French spy. Hartlepudlians are known as "monkey-hangers" to this day.
The Heugh Battery was established in 1860 to protect the fast-growing port. The guns, suitably updated, formed an air-raid defence during both World Wars. In 1914 the area was bombarded by German battle cruisers and Hitler launched a massive air raid on the East coast of England which saw 40 bombers attack Hartlepool.
Our thanks to John for an interesting talk.
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News Record: 129     Updated: 14-04-2021 14:53:25

Members' Meeting, 7pm on Tuesday 13th April
Our April meeting will feature John Russell's talk about the alliterative Hartlepool Historic Headland. Mike Keenan will send a Zoom link to all Regulars a day or so in advance. Anyone else wishing to join us should contact me asap on
St Hilda's Church, photo by Andrew Curtis
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News Record: 128     Updated: 05-04-2021 09:42:54

The Bloody Wall
A talk by Sheila Ickringill
I always enjoy Sheila's talks, knowing that they will be well-presented, well-researched and nicely illustrated. She also has a knack of refusing to jump to conclusions, preferring to weigh her evidence scientifically. Her talk on the Bloody Wall led us to consider the possible origins of this local name for a stretch of ordinary-seeming boundary wall between Crackpot Moor and Satron Moor. Various theories exist in Dales folklore and in local history records. Was there a murder associated with a local land dispute? Did a Scots raiding party kidnap a local girl and force her to wear plaid, resulting in her being accidentally killed by a member of her family? Is it named after a local family called Bladys (later morphed into Blades)? What is the connection with the "Bloody Vale" that adjoins it?
During lockdown, SWAAG members have formed a small online focus group to look more closely at this, bringing expertise on the geology of the site, the possible etymology of the name and the lichens growing on the surface of the wall. There was a lively discussion after Sheila's talk and this may be a theme we will return to.
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News Record: 127     Updated: 11-03-2021 07:39:36

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