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Hartlepool Chain Towers

In the civil parish of Hartlepool.
In the historic county of Durham.
Modern Authority of Hartlepool.
1974 county of Cleveland.
Medieval County of County Palatinate of Durham.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ524334
Latitude 54.69690° Longitude -1.19003°

Hartlepool Chain Towers has been described as a probable Chain Tower.

There are no visible remains.


There was a watergate for fishermen while the main harbour entrance was guarded by two large round towers with a boom chain between. (PastScape ref. Daniels)

Cottonian MS. Jul. c. ii, fol. 318 (278), a 16th-century MS. compiled from records in the Exchequer of Durham (cf. Surtees, op. cit. iii, 119, who in quoting a statement from this MS. as to the founder of Hartlepool Friary gives 'Master Latton, one of the visitors of the Northern Abbeys before the Dissolution,' as the author), which contains the following note: 'The same Brus {i.e. the founder of Guisborough Priory and the reputed founder of Hartlepool Friary} builded the haven and wall about the towne of Hertlepole with to towers on eche syde of the haven and a chayne to be drawne between them near the haven, which haven would hold a c sayle.' (VCH a footnote regarding the supposed foundation of the town walls by Robert Bruce - something for which there is no evidence)

See Hartlepool town wall for full bibliography. The round towers are well attested but the supposed chain is less well supported. It is not mentioned by earlier writers who saw the walls in a much better state. Although such chains were expensive to make and upkeep there were a far number in use, and there presence may be a reasonable assumption.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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