3,775 burials at Hartlepool Old Cemetery, also known as Borough Cemetery, Hart Warren, and Spion Kop), from the cemetery opening in 1856 to the end of 1869.
Because these are municipal cemetery records rather than church burial records, they present many more genealogically useful details. Many of these burial provide the occupation of the deceased, or a parent or spouse and their occupations. Some give information about how or where the person died. Unfortunately, many of the names of parents or spouses were truncated to initials by the cemetery clerk. Here are some sample burials:
- 23 May 1856 Christina MacDougle, of Hartlepool, age: 42, wife of John MacDougle (broker)
- 28 Aug 1856 Thomas Stewart, of Hartlepool, age: 2, son of John (trimmer) & Jane Stewart
- 20 Nov 1859 Jacob Robson, of St Helen’s Place, age: 67, shoemaker
- 8 Jul 1863 Joseph Leeming, of Middlegate, age: 70, town bellman
- 19 Sep 1864 Ann Hebron, of Ratcliffe Terrace, age: 25, single woman
- 8 Jan 1868 Jane Bulmer, of Queen Street, age: 60, wife of Mark Bulmer
- 30 Dec 1869 John Davison Watt, of Sussex Street, age: 2, son of Thomas & M.A. Watt
Besides streets in Hartlepool, abodes mentioned include California (in Hartlepool), Crofton Heugh, Egypt (in Hartlepool), Elwick, Hart Warren, Middleton, Mount Pleasant, Sands, Sedgefield, Stranton, Stripes, Sunniside, Throston, and West Hartlepool.
This cemetery took over burials from the ancient graveyard at St. Hilda’s. The nickname of Spion Kop (“Spy Hill” in Dutch) comes from a battle in the Boer War in South Africa in 1900, and was first applied to the headland on which the cemetery sits, then later to the cemetery itself, as a memorial to the battle. The cemetery has suffered neglect over the years. It is an important coastal grassland site with a lovely array of wildflowers, and is also a haven for ground nesting birds such as skylarks. You can see some images of the cemetery here:
and an article from the Northern Echo newspaper on the cemetery’s history: