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After the Roman Empire abandoned its province of Britannia in the early 5th Century, its North-Eastern sea coast began to be piratically raided by the Angles from across the North Sea in Scandinavia. sited around Hartlepool Abbey, which had been founded in 640 A. by the Irish Christian priest Saint Aidan upon a headland overlooking a natural harbour and the North Sea.They subsequently began crossing the North Sea and settled in the area, creating the Kingdom of Northumbria. The monastery became powerful under St Hilda, who served as its abbess from 649–657 A. The Abbey fell into decline with the loss of Northumbrian power in the early 8th Century, and it was probably destroyed during a sea raid by Vikings on Hartlepool in the 9th Century.They live on the refuse of their own fish-market, with a few potatoes, and a reasonable quantity of Geneva [gin] six days in the week, and I have nowhere seen a taller, more robust or healthy race: every house full of ruddy broad-faced children.Nobody dies but of drowning or old-age: nobody poor but from drunkenness or mere laziness.
In the late 15th Century a pier was constructed to assist in the harbour's workload.
During the Crimean War two coastal batteries were constructed close together in the town to guard against the threat of seaborne attacks from the Imperial Russian Navy, they were entitled the Lighthouse Battery (1855) and the Heugh Battery (1859).
Hartlepool in the 18th Century became known as a town with medicinal springs, particularly the Chalybeate Spa near the Westgate.
It was in this endeavour that Isambard Kingdom Brunel visited the town in December 1831, and wrote: "A curiously isolated old fishing town – a remarkably fine race of men.
Went to the top of the church tower for a view." But the plan was faced by local competition from new docks.
By the early nineteenth century, Hartlepool was still a small town of around 900 people, with a declining port.