The Parish Church of St Hilda, Abbess of Hartlepool
Our tour starts at the Norman doorway, now enclosed by the 1932 outer porch. It is
pure Norman workmanship, with chevron moulding, and must date from before the rest
of the church, which belongs to the Transitional period and was built about 1185
This picture, taken during one of the annual Christmas Tree Festivals, gives a good
idea of the splendid architecture which awaits the visitor. The photograph is taken
through the Rood Screen which was moved, in the 2003 re-ordering, from its original
position at the Chancel arch to the West end, where it marks the division of the
social and worship areas.
Behind the High Altar is the Brus Chapel, containing (perhaps) the tomb of Robert
Brus IV. The extreme east end of the church was restored on the original foundations
in the 1930s, under the supervision of the well-known architect, Caroe. It had fallen
into disrepair in the 17th century and was abandoned. A new east wall was built at
that time, approximately where the altar rails now stand.
In the North and South aisles are illuminated panels, some with interactive screens,
which tell the story of the Headland. Sound wands are also available to give visitors
extra information about features of their choice.