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"The parish of Stranton originally comprised the townships of Brierton, Seaton Carew, and Stranton; it was bounded on the north and west by the parish of Hart, on the south-west by Elwick Hall, on the south by Greatham, and on the east by the German Ocean. In 1841, Seaton Carew was constituted a distinct chapelry; and the district parish of Christ Church, West Hartlepool, situated in the north-east part of the township of Stranton, was formed in 1859. The civil parish of Stranton includes the town of West Hartlepool, and the district called Middleton.

"Stranton Township (which includes West Hartlepool and Middleton), comprises an area of 3695 acres, its ratable value being, in 1892, £163,983.

"The quaint old village of Stranton, after the development of the West Docks, soon became absorbed in the new town, and little remains besides the ancient church, the mill, and a few old houses, which are fast giving place to more modern dwellings."

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



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



"The population in 1801 was 325; in 1811, the whole parish (including Stranton, Brierton, and Seaton Carew) had a population of 659; in 1821, this township alone was 371; in 1831, 381; in 1841, 1491; in 1851, 4008. This rapid increase was due to the large number of labourers and their families employed at Hartlepool and West Docks, and the increase in the coal trade. In 1861, the number reached 13,601; in 1871, 22,116; in 1881, 29,129; and in 1891, 41,392 souls."

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

The 1851 Census Index (booklet 20) published by the Cleveland Family History Society may be of value to researchers interested in this parish.


Church History

"The Church, dedicated to All Saints, is the old parish church, Stranton, an ancient edifice, situated at the west end of the town. It is supposed to occupy the site on one granted to Guisborough by Robert de Brus, but the most ancient portions of the present edifice seem to belong to the Norman period. It consists of clerestoried nave, aisles, chancel with north chapel, south porch, and embattled tower, containing clock and three bells; the centre one, a pre-Reformation one, bears the inscription, "Ora pro nobis, Sca. Maria." The others are inscribed also, and bear date 1664 and 1699. Restorations have been made at various times, and carried out in the Early English and Perpendicular styles, principally the latter. The restoration of the interior was completed in 1890. Previous to this it was in a very dilapidated state, and the opening out of the old chapel, the handsome fittings of the chancel, and the new organ chamber and organ, the removal of the plaster from, and pointing the walls, has restored somewhat its former aspect."

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


Church Records

"The parish register commences in 1580." [From History, Topography and Directory of Durham, Whellan , London, 1894]

The Parish Registers for the period 1580-1995 are deposited at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL (EP/Str).

The Marriages (1800-1837) are included in the Joiner Marriage Index.

The following records for churches in the ancient parish of Stranton are also available at Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL:-

  • West Hartlepool, Christ Church 1854-1973 (EP/Ha.CC).
  • West Hartlepool, St. Aidan 1890-1995 (EP/Ha.SA).
  • West Hartlepool, St. James 1870-1956 (EP/Ha.SJ).
  • West Hartlepool, St. Matthew 1902-1945
  • West Hartlepool, St. Nicholas 1929-1933
  • West Hartlepool, St. Oswald 1892-1977 (EP/Ha.SO).

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

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