Sunday 3 February 2013

Cliff Terrace and the Hartlepool Bombardment 1914

For the last few weeks I've been working on my mariner ancestors (see my Family History Stories page), most especially the Huttons.  Robert Elstob Hutton (b.1804) was the elder brother of my 3x great grandfather Frederick Elstob Hutton.  I can be fairly precise about when Robert moved to Hartlepool as the change is bracketed by the baptism of a son in September 1840, he was still in Sunderland, and the census in June 1841, by which time he was in Hartlepool. 

In 1841 he was living in Moor House, which is on Friar Terrace on the headland. The house is listed and information about it can be found on the British Listed Buildings website. I am more interested today in the street he had moved to by 1851, Cliff Terrace.

I recently wrote to Hartlepool Museum, who have some records about ships owned (or part owned) by Robert Elstob Hutton.  I mentioned that Robert had lived at 7 Cliff Terrace, and that when the OH and myself were passing through last September we went and took a photo of the house.  The Museums Manager noted in his response that the houses in that area had been renumbered and thus the one we had photo'd might not be the right one.  A couple of days ago I thought I'd try to work out what had happened for myself. 

As an OU student I can access a site called Digimap, which contains historic maps, similar to the Old Maps site, but with added functionality.  One thing it lets you do is look at two map sections side by side (I've had to put them one on top of the other for this blog).

Cliff Terrace, Hartlepool in the 1850s and 1950s (from Digimap)
In the 1850s map the leftmost end of the street which is now Cliff Terrace is labelled Marine Terrace.  I went back to the 1851 census and looked at the pages before and after the listing for Robert Elstob Hutton and his family. 

Before the first entry for Cliff Terrace are ten clearly numbered entries for Marine Terrace.  Robert quite clearly lives at No 7 Cliff Terrace, but there are other entries for Cliff Terrace without house numbers.  Nos 5 and 4 are clear, but there are four unnumbered entries.  This does add up to seven, but the order is wrong - it goes:

No number
Joseph Parkin - Ship Owner
No 4
George Moore - Ship Owner
No 5
John Denton - Magistrate
No number
Otto Teichmann - Merchant Ship Broker
No number
Henry Taylor - Coal and Coke Exporter
No 7
Robert Elstob Hutton - Ship Owner
No number
Agnes Hanson - Widow (son is a Ship Broker)

Then comes the Bath House and then the Light House and "3 houses building in Cliff Terrace unfinished".

Of course the enumerator may have entered the schedules in his book out of order, but the order and neatness of the entries for Marine Terrace seems to suggest he was a tidy worker. 

In the 1861 census there are no house numbers on Cliff Terrace and the order of occupants is reversed and different:

Agnes Hanson
Catherine Hutton
House Proprietor (Robert's widow)
Fitz Herskind
Coal Merchant
Pagger Hale
Clerk Customs
Gideon Smales
Timber Merchant and Ship owner
Christian Nielson
Coal Merchant
John Denton
Ship builder, Ship owner, Magistrate
William Grey
Master Wool & Line Draper, Ship Owner
Thomas Charlton
A groom
William Marshall
Coal Agent
Otto Trechman
Cement manufacturer

Then it continues onto Marine Terrace.

In 1871 Marine Terrace has vanished and all the houses appear to be listed as Cliff Terrace. Numbers reappear in 1881, when the street goes up to number 19.

Looking at the map from the 1850s if we discount the first house on the left hand end of Marine Terrace, as probably being part of Queen Street, we can count 19 houses to the end of the row.  I therefore suggest that nos 1-10 Marine Terrace became nos 1-10 Cliff Terrace and nos 1-9 Cliff Terrace became nos 11-19 Cliff Terrace at some point between 1861 and 1871.  Note that the numbers only go up to 18 on the 1950s map - we'll come back to that.

That means that my relative lived at the house which is now No 17 Cliff Terrace (probably!)

Cliff Terrace (from Google Maps)
The reason that there are only 18 houses in the street nowadays is that in the First World War Hartlepool (together with Whitby and Scarborough) was bombarded from the sea by German ships on 16 December 1914 causing immense damage to the town and over a hundred fatalities.  More information can found here and here.

Postcard of Cliff Terrace pre 1914 (from Durham Council website)
If you compare from this postcard from before the war to the Google maps image above you will see that the rightmost house on the postcard has two dormer windows, that house is missing in the modern photo.

No 19 Cliff Terrace after the bombardment  (from
The picture shows the damage to No 19 from the German bombardment.  Two people were killed here, sisters Annie (aged 34) and Florence (aged 32) Kay.  The Kay family, father a solicitor, were living in No 19 in 1901 and 1911.  We can only assume that the house was so badly damaged it had to be demolished for safety.  Several houses on Moor Terrace, backing onto Cliff Terrace, also disappear, very probably for the same reason.  Go back to the map snips and compare the way Bath Terrace runs up the right hand end of Cliff Terrace in the two maps.  Its direction has swung several degrees anticlockwise. The park in front of Cliff Terrace in the modern photo contains memorials to the dead of the bombardment and both First and Second World Wars.

Hopefully the information from Hartlepool Museum will confirm my guess about which house my relatives lived in. 


BarnsleyHistorian said...

Cliff Terrace and the Hartlepool bombardment featured in the BBC programme 'Britain's Great War' on 27 January 2014, nearly a year after I wrote this post. The archivist at Hartlepool museum was unable to confirm my deductions about the house numbers, but he did tell me that tv filming had recently taken place in the area. That explains the very wintery weather in Jeremy Paxman's first episode.

iandownsouth said...

In the 1901 census my grandmother (Amy Rusdale) is listed at no 23 Cliff Terrace. However the numbering works out it's a good job they moved to Manchester by 1911.

BarnsleyHistorian said...

Intrigued, I looked your grandmother up - she's in West Hartlepool. My Elsobs were on the promentory to the East, I wonder if there are/were two Cliff Terraces? Can't find two on a modern map, but sometimes Terraces get subsumed into longer streets and renumbered. Another mystery!

iandownsouth said...

Thanks for that thought. As she's shown as being in St Aidan's Parish that would put her firmly in West Hartlepool. There's no Cliff Terrace on the 1936 street map of West H so my guess is there was probably a Cliff Terrace somewhere off towards The Cliff.

Unknown said...

Dear Barnsley Historian,
I have just read your very interesting account of Cliff Terrace Hartlepool. I live at no 11 and can confirm that a William Marshall Coal merchant lived at this address.
Kind regards.

Unknown said...

Hi, I did some rendering work on number 16 Cliff Terrace last week and noticed that number 17 was up for sale, can't remember the estate agent though

Unknown said...

Also of interest, in the 1851 census John Denton appears as a magistrate, then in 1861 he is a ship builder, ship owner and magistrate. This is John Punshon Denton who went into business with Hartlepool Draper and ship owner, William Gray, who happens to be Dentons neighbour. When Denton died in 1863 William Gray carried on building ships under his own name and was one of the country's most successful ship builders, winning the Blue Ribbon for tonnage six times. He went on to be the first Mayor of West Hartlepool. Grays yard closed in 1963