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Don’t demolish a rare survivor from Hartlepool’s Victorian past

Plans to demolish a listed pub on Hartlepool’s historic Lynn Street are being strongly opposed by the Victorian Society.

The Grade II-listed Market Hotel has suffered years of neglect and is currently boarded up. But behind the boards lies an important reminder of Hartlepool's Victorian heritage.

'The pub has been neglected but it is not beyond repair', said Kristian Kaminski, Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'A map from 1858 shows the plot of land covered with tightly knit terraced housing. The Market Hotel is the sole survivor from that time and an important reminder of how ordinary people lived out their lives in 19th Century Hartlepool'.

It has been earmarked for demolition under plans submitted by Hartlepool Borough Council and Hartlepool Housing, a social housing landlord. They want to clear a large site to the west of Lynn Street and build 18 new homes.

Mr Kaminski added 'We welcome plans to breathe new life into this part of Hartlepool, but this can be done by incorporating the historic hotel. It takes up only a small part of the site and could be restored. The developer's plan to build traditional houses with gardens on the site would fit well with such a restoration.'

It appears that the Market Hotel started life as three terraced houses. Its historic fabric could be used to provide three of the 18 council houses planned for the site. The Society believes this is a more sustainable option and one that provides a link to Hartlepool's past.

It is not clear when the building became a pub, but new windows and tiles were added to the pub front around 1900. These have been damaged by paint, but could easily be restored.

The town has lost so many of its Victorian buildings; this is a rare chance to restore an early survivor to its former glory, and it must not be wasted.

Background

In the late 19th century Lynn Street was Hartlepool's social hub and the town's main shopping street. It started to decline in the 1960s and many Victorian buildings have since been demolished. The North Eastern pub, also listed at Grade II was demolished less than 10 years ago. The hotel was last used as the Agraa Palace Indian Restaurant.

Monday 22 February, 2010

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