Hartlepool’s Headland is located on a peninsula to the north-east of the town centre and has a number of attractions and interesting features to keep people occupied whether they visit for an hour or half a day.
Landmark buildings are many. At the centre of the Headland is St. Hilda’s Church with its formidable buttresses. The church was built in the 12th century and stands on the site of a 7th century monastery. St. Hilda’s has a visitors’ centre which provides insights into the history of the church and the development of the Headland itself.
During the first world war the Headland suffered heavy bombardment by three German battle cruisers. The Heugh Gun Battery defended the town and, today, visitors can learn about the history of the battery by engaging with the exhibits in the Heugh Gun Battery Museum.
A recent development is the new Town Square. This feature opposite the Borough Hall and Buildings is a peaceful space and garden which comes to life when used as a backdrop for events such as the annual Headland Heritage Festival.
The best way to explore and understand the Headland is by following the Headland Story Trail. The trail is marked by eighteen information boards which, collectively, provide an insight into the area’s history. The trail can be picked up from any point and followed either clockwise or anti-clockwise. The trail takes you past some of the many elegant houses which survive on the peninsula.
On the trail, look out for recently installed examples of public art. You will come across sculptures such as The Big Catch, Force Ten and Andy Capp, the latter a cartoon character loved by many UK males of an advanced age.