St Hilda’s church was built c.1200, incorporating remains of an earlier C12th church
and on the site of a C7th monastery. It sits in a prominent position on the Headland, Hartlepool, just off the High Street facing onto Church Close and Church Walk. The church, which is Grade I listed but designated as at risk, stands in a large and extensive churchyard. There are significant repair needs to remove it from the register of heritage at risk, but also significant heritage opportunities around the proposed pilgrim trails to and from Durham and Whitby.
The church was brought into the Inspired Futures project part way through the implementation stage, following two Durham Diocese churches being unable or unwilling to continue with the project beyond Stage 1. St Hilda's church did not therefore benefit from Stage 1 project development. Nevertheless the church has benefitted from project mentoring - in particular in relation to the structural/fabric repairs and developing the heritage activities at the church, and also through access to capacity building workshops and the Travelling Treasures Exhibition.
Through the project St Hilda’s has gained a clear understanding of its needs, an understanding of the stages involved in the repair and development work, and an opportunity to plan for its role as a Pilgrim Trails hub church. Through the project St Hilda’s has thus secured:
- A Heritage Assessment
- A Statement of Needs
- Advice regarding progressing the repairs and accessing funding sources
- A Heritage Activity Plan
- Travelling Treasures Exhibition