Such was the decline in the fortunes of
Hartlepool’s once renowned harbour, that by the dawn of the nineteenth century
it was out of commission entirely.
Incredibly, in 1808, a ‘grant of the harbour’ was made to an individual, who immediately enclosed the silted expanse for the purpose of agriculture. The enterprising maritime farmer successfully grew corn on the huge slake for some time, whilst arguments raged about the state of the once great port and its protective, but crumbling, pier – the storms of 1810 further heightening tensions.
In 1813, local citizen and burgess, William Vollum, indicted the enclosure as a nuisance by way of a petition. The case went to court in
and a verdict delivered in his and the town’s favour – and the
harbour was saved. In time, and after
many more years of debate, the area was returned to its watery state thanks to
the demands of the industrial revolution. Durham