Haverton Hill

Place-name

Hoverdon Hill 1580 Survey, Hawferton Hille 1608, Haverton Hill 1728-35. Possibly Old English hofer “a hump, a swelling” + dun, referring to a small circular hill on the banks of the Tees.

See “A Dictionary of County Durham Place-names” Victor Watts (2002).

Early Landowners

In the 12th century the local lords of the manor called themselves “de Belasis”. By 1296, the manor was in the hands of Durham Priory. By 1500 Belasis had been leased to the Lambton family. The village of Haverton Hill grew up on the Belasis lands in the 19th century.

See “The Victoria History of the County of Durham” vol.3 (ed.) W.Page (1928).

An Early Mention

From General View of the Agriculture of the County Durham”, John Bailey (1810)

“The first embankment attempted in this county, was made by Mr. Kenderley, about the year 1740, to secure the lands of Saltholm, near the Tees Mouth, from being overflowed by the tide. . . In 1800 Mr. Bamblett, of Haverton Hill, inclosed above 60 acres, which cost 900l.; the dimensions of his bank were from 40 to 45 feet in the base; and the height from 7ö to 10 feet: the prices for making from 20s. to 31s. per rood.”

Selected Buildings

The Haverton Hill Hotel (early 20th century)

The Empire Social Club (1930s)

A Few Lost Buildings

Bellasis Hall (medieval) demolished in 1946.

St. John the Evangelist (1865) demolished in 1974.

Bellasis Estate: 156 houses (1919-20) demolished 1964-66.

Furness Shipbuilding Company’s offices (c.1922) demolished in the 1970s.

Some People of Note

Frank Piercy (1879-1931) A footballer from Haverton Hill who played for Middlesbrough and West Ham United, where he was captain.

Arthur Stanley Umpleby (1887- 1953) A writer in Yorkshire dialect verse.

Charles Adamson (1906-1979) A cricketer from Haverton Hill who played for Durham for 13 years.

Maureen Taylor (1923-2013) Born Maureen O’Connell in Haverton Hill, she entered local politics. She was involved in the development of Billingham Town Centre and the Billingham International Folklore Festival. She was chair of the North of England Development Council.

Lawrence Airey (1926-2001) A civil servant, born Haverton Hill, who was educated in Newcastle. As Chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue he was in charge of computerising the PAYE system. He was knighted in 1978.

Patrick Partridge (1933-2014) A football referee, born in Haverton Hill, who took charge of the F.A. Cup Final in 1975. He was also one of the referees at the World Cup in Argentina in 1978.

Terence Melling (1940-     ) A footballer from Haverton Hill who turned professional in 1965 with Newcastle United.

Alan Morrison (1959-     ) A musician from Middlesbrough who became Principal Cornet for the Haverton Hill Silver Band in 1971. He was Champion Soloist of Great Britain in 1976, won the national best Principal Cornet award in five successive years from 1990 and played in several famous bands.

The Hearth Tax of 1666

Until 1862 Haverton Hill was part of the parish of Billingham. In the tax returns for 1666 a sizeable  property of 4 hearths was listed as owned by John Eden, gentleman. The Eden family inherited the manor of Bellasis in the 17th century, so the property in the hearth tax list may have been at Bellasis.

See “Hearth Tax List for South Durham Lady Day 1666” (ed.) J.C.Howe for Cleveland Family History Society.

Census

1901     3,787 (including Port Clarence)

Directories

Whellan’s Directory of 1856 mentioned Robinson’s ironworks and Walton’s glassworks. Three inns were named: the Queen’s Head, the Clarence and the Ship. Sarah Gibson ran a day school in the village and 2 shopkeepers were named, along with a butcher, a tailor and a shoemaker.

Kelly’s Directory of 1914 listed the cement works, the salt works and a brick works. The businesses listed included 11 shopkeepers, 4 grocers, 3 butchers, 2 hairdressers and 3 drapers, one of which incorporated the post office. The list also incuded a clothier, a dressmaker, a newsagent and a coal dealer. This may not have been a complete record.

A Selection of Dates

1296     By this date, the manor of Bellasis was in the possession of the monks of Durham Priory.

1541     As a result of the Dissolution of Durham Priory, the manor of Bellasis came into the hands of the Dean and Chapter of Durham Cathedral.

1800     An embankment was constructed to protect against Tees floods.

1810     A high tide broke in at the end of the new cut on the River Tees, and broke down the sea bank at Haverton Hill.

1834     The Clarence Railway began taking coal from the Durham coalfields to its terminus at Haverton Hill to be shipped down the Tees. In the same year, the railway was extended to Port Clarence and Haverton Hill was no longer the terminus.

1836     The new public house at Haverton Hill was destroyed by a flood.

1837     Richard Walton began a glass works at Haverton Hill.

1838     A steam packet ship started regular jouneys connecting Stockton, Haverton Hill, Port Clarence and Middlesbrough, but the service was withdrawn after a few weeks.

1851     According to the census, five streets had been built in Haverton Hill by this time.

1857     Stephen Robinson established a forge and ironworks.

1862     Haverton Hill became a separate parish from Billingham.

1865     St. John the Evangelist church was consecrated.

1866     Five people died of cholera at Haverton Hill in this year.

1879     The Wesleyan chapel was dedicated. The National School opened.

1885     The Haverton Hill Salt Company erected salt works.

1888     A new organ was installed at St. John’s church.

1889     The United Methodist Free Church was dedicated.

1896     Haverton Hill Brass Band was formed.

1903     The Pioneer cement works was established by Casebourne and Company Ltd.

1905     Haverton Hill Road was constructed.

1918     Work began at the Furness shipyard. The first ship was launched in the following year.

1919     Building work began at the Bellasis housing estate.

1923     Billingham and Haverton Hill Urban District Council was established. Electricity was supplied to Haverton Hill.

1930     The Council offices were opened.

1942     A bombing raid damaged several houses in Haverton Hill. The local school suffered minor damage as a result of the raid.

1945     The billiard hall became the Victory Hall. Haverton Hill locomotive shed was constructed. It closed in 1959.

1954     Trains stopped running to Billingham, except for workmen’s specials which continued for a further seven years.

1957     Hungarian refugees were housed in the workers’ hostel. A riot took place when some local men attacked  the refugees.

c.1960  The cinema in Haverton Hill closed about this time.

1966     Demolition of the Bellasis estate began. Air pollution from the nearby works made the estate unfit for habitation.

1969     The Furness company launched its last ship, the Mount Eden. At over 800 feet, it was the longest ship launched on the Tees up to that date. Swan Hunter’s took over the Furness shipyard.

1971     Haverton Hill Silver Band was revived after a dormant period.

1975     The Liverpool Bridge was launched from Haverton Hill. It was later renamed the Derbyshire and when it sank in 1980 it was the largest British ship ever lost at sea.

1978     The last ship to be built at the Furness shipyard was launched. The yard closed in the following year, having built more than 300 ships in 60 years.

c. 1995 Bellasis Hall Technology Park opened.

1998     The Teesside Energy From Waste Plant began operating.

2001     The recycling centre was opened.

2009     Teesside Alliance Group took over the Furness shipyard but lost its first major contract.

2012     TAG began making foundations for offshore wind turbines.

2014     EEW Offshore Structures (Britain) Ltd. began manufacturing large pipes for offshore wind turbine  at Haverton Hill.

2017     A fire broke out at the Haverton Hill recycling centre.

This list of dates was compiled using the “Picture Stockton Archive” website and other secondary sources.

Suggested Further Reading

“The Medieval Origins of Billingham” L.Still and J.Southeran (1966)

“The History and Story of Haverton Hill” C.Gilbert (1999)

“Fifty Years in Haverton Hill” W.Kettlewell (2001)

“Haverton Hill: Port Clarence to Billingham” C.Hatton (2002)

“Haverton Hill Infants’ School, 1888-1926” K.Street, Bulletin of the C.T.L.H.S. 68 (1995)