In the mid-19th century, Hartlepool’s two ports shipped three times more goods than the other North Eastern ports combined (Newcastle, North and South Shields Sunderland, Stockton and Middlesbrough). Throston Engine House was the catalyst for the creation of the second port at West Hartlepool.
Throston was a static winding-engine that hauled coal up to the staiths at Hartlepool’s Victoria Dock. At the time, Victoria Dock shipped 27% of the North East’s coal. All exports had to travel via Throston Engine House at an additional cost of 3 pence per tonne.
The Stockton to Hartlepool Railway Company became increasingly frustrated at the costs and restrictions of accessing Hartlepool’s Victoria Dock and purchased land to the southwest where they built West Hartlepool Harbour. This improved access from the collieries to the sea, reduced costs and the Engine House became redundant.
Throston is therefore fundamental to the story of Hartlepool’s role in international trade and the establishment of the town in its current form.