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"The parish of Hart comprises the townships of Dalton-Piercy, Elwick, Hart, Nesbit, Thorp-Bulmer, and part of Throston. It is bounded on the north and north-west by Monk Hesledon parish, on the south-west by Elwick Hall, on the south by Stranton, and on the east by the German Ocean. The parochial chapelry of Hartlepool was formerly held by the vicars of Hart; but in 1807 it became a perpetual curacy. The townships of Nesbit and Thorp-Bulmer, which form the most northerly portion of the parish, are in Easing ton Ward. Nesbit township is also attached to the Easington Poor Law Union.

"Hart Township contains 2400 acres, and its annual value in 1893 was £5590. The village of Hart occupies the brow of an eminence, eleven miles north by east from Stockton, and commands a fine view of the towns of Hartlepools, from which towns it is distant four miles. There is an interesting old relic adjoining the manor-house, supposed to have been of monastic origin. Tradition claims it as the birthplace of the celebrated Robert Bruce. All that is now visible is one wall, containing a pointed arched window, probably of the 13th century.

"Dalton Piercy Township, the most southern portion of the parish, contains 1006 acres, and its annual value in 1893 was £854. Red Lion, a hamlet in this township, derives its name from two public houses on the Sunderland and Stockton road; it is eight miles north by east from the latter place.

"Elwick Township forms the south-western portion of Hart parish, and comprises an area of 1500 acres. The annual value of the property assessed for the County Rate in 1893, was £1968. The village of Elwick, which is about nine miles north by east from Stockton, and is separated by a deep dene from the neighbouring parish of Elwick Hall, contains two public-houses and the usual shops. The annual feast takes place on the Sunday and Monday after Old St. Magdalen's Day."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]



The monumental inscriptions in the churchyard of St. Mary Magdalene have been transcribed, indexed and published by the Cleveland Family History Society.



"Hart Township. Its population in 1801 was 219; in 1811, 228; in 1821, 231; in 1831, 243; in 1841, 276; in 1851, 297; in 1861, 297; in 1871, 309; in 1881, 291; and in 1891, 288.

"Dalton Piercy Township. The population in 1801 was 70; in 1811, 68; in 1821, 75; in 1831, 79; in 1841, 78; in 1851, 91; in 1861, 98; in 1871, 69; in 1881, 82; in 1891, 86 persons.

"Elwick Township. Contained in 1801, 170 inhabitants; in 1811, 179; in 1821, 213; in 1831, 232; in 1841, 238; in 1851, 250; in 1861, 240; in 1871, 247; in 1881, 228; and in 1891, 206."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The 1851 Census Index (booklet 22) published by the Cleveland Family History Society may be of value to researchers interested in this parish.


Church History

"The Church, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, and mother church to St. Hilda, Hartlepool, stands on the north side of the village. It is a plain stone structure of the Early Norman type, said to be one of the oldest in the county, and consists of nave, aisles, chancel, square tower, and south porch. The church was restored and reseated in oak, and a handsome reading desk and lectern added, in 1890, at a cost of £900."

[From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

There is a picture (85 kbytes) of the parish church of St. Mary Magdalene, Hart; supplied by Richard Hird.


Church Records

The parish register commences in 1577. [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1577-1979 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Ha).

The Marriages (1813-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Hart has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.