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A bombardment of 1,150 shells on 16 December 1914 resulted in the death of 117 people.
A severe decline in heavy industries and shipbuilding following the Second World War caused periods of high unemployment until the 1990s when major investment projects and the redevelopment of the docks area into a marina saw a rise in the town's prospects.
The main industry of the town at this time was fishing, and Hartlepool in this period established itself as one of the primary ports upon England's Eastern coast.
In 1306, Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scotland, and became the last Lord of Hartness.
During the Norman Conquest the De Brus family gained over-lordship of the land surrounding Hartlepool.
William the Conqueror subsequently ordered the construction of Durham Castle, and the villages under their rule were mentioned in records in 1153 when Robert de Brus, 1st Lord of Annandale became Lord of Hartness.
I am delighted with the place; there are the finest walks and rocks and caverns.
The rocks, the sea and the weather there more than made up to me the want of bread and the want of water, two capital defects, but of which I learned from the inhabitants not to be sensible.
In 1795 Hartlepool artillery emplacements and defences were constructed in the town as a defensive measure against the threat of French attack from seaborne Napoleonic forces.
Nearby towns and cities include: Billingham (8 mi or 13 km): Darlington (25 mi or 40 km); Durham (17 mi or 27 km); Middlesbrough (12 mi or 19 km); Peterlee (8 mi or 13 km); Seaham (17 mi or 27 km); Sedgefield (13 mi or 21 km); Stockton-on-Tees (10 mi or 16 km) and Sunderland (21 mi or 34 km).
The monument at Eston Nab can be seen, beyond the far side of the Tees Bay, to the south.
miles (12 km) north of Middlesbrough and 17 miles (27 km) south of Sunderland.
The town is governed as part of the Borough of Hartlepool, a unitary authority which also controls outlying villages such as Seaton Carew, Greatham and Elwick.