Hartlepool’s most famous buildings - take a look at the original plans

The plans for the Howbeck Institution - the town's new workhouse built in 1860-61.

The plans for the Howbeck Institution - the town's new workhouse built in 1860-61.

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Library chiefs have come up with a fantastic new addition to the town’s family tree research capabilities.

The Central Library’s reference section has acquired the original plans for more than 100 of the town’s best known buildings - from schools to churches and pubs to swimming baths.

The plans for Seaton swimming baths.

The plans for Seaton swimming baths.

They can be used in many ways, said Sandra McKay, the Library Officer in the Reference Services section of the York Road-based library.

They can be used by people wanting to research their own ancestry by going into more detail rather than just getting a list of names.

“I always think that when you do family history, it is better to get the extra information and bring it to life,” said Sandra.

For example, if you are researching your great grandfather who might have been the owner of a pub, why not look at the original plans of the pub.

I always think that when you do family history, it is better to put flesh on the bones. If you are researching you grandfather who ran a pub in 1900, here’s the plan

Sandra McKay

Copies of the plans are also available to buy and to find out more, contact Sandra on (01429) 242909.

In the meantime, here’s some examples of the plans you could be browsing through at the library.

l The Seaton swimming baths were opened in 1914. They were saltwater and donated by William Gray.

They were situated between the Newburn Bridge and the Staincliffe on a site between Carr House Farm and cottages.

The history of baths includes the role it played in the Second World War when it was acquisitioned by the military.

They reopened to the public in 1951 and closed for the last time in 1976. The baths were demolished two years later. Close scrutiny of the original plans shows the inclusion of “dressing boxes” for the public

There was an office, entrance hall, lounge and store.

Another plan now available - to buy a copy or view in the library - is that of the Howbeck Institution.

The Hartlepool Poor Law Union was set up in 1859 to give relief to the poor people of the town.

A year later, the new Hartlepool Union workhouse, designed by Matthew Thompson, was built on land at Holdforth Road in Hartlepool.

The main two-storey building was constructed in red brickwork and had a central dining area at the back.

It housed 129 paupers, an infirmary and had an entrance building for admissions.

Around 30 years later, the building was expanded to include a school for 500 children, a 250-bed hospital complex with a nurses home, an operating theatre and laundry.

Sandra added: “We have the plans for more than 100 different areas of Hartlepool and different buildings.”

To find out more, contact the library on (01429) 242909.