Seaton Sluice is situated half a mile north of, and formed part of, the old village of Hartley, of which the earliest records date from 1097, when it was in the possession of the monks of Tynemouth. Hartley was the name given to the whole of the area between the Brier Dene at Whitley and the Seaton Burn on the Blyth coastal road.
In the early years, apart from the Rivers Tyne and Tweed, there were no natural harbours along the Northumbrian coastline and so, with the growth of the coal trade, it became a necessity to develop new ports. Although Seaton Sluice was mentioned in 1565 in a drawn-up list of Northumbrian ports, it was then just a natural harbour.
Just over 200 years ago, Seaton Sluice became the centre of a flourishing coal and glass trade, exporting to Western Europe. For its size, Seaton Sluice was the centre of greater commercial activity than any other town on the North East coast, with ships of up to 300 tons burden visiting the tiny harbour. It was from the 30-odd pits in the district near Hartley Township where the coal was mined. Employing hundreds of seamen, and providing a living for miners, rope makers, sailmakers, shipbuilders, insurance brokers, and also investment opportunities for numerous shareholders, trade at Seaton Sluice once rivalled that of North Shields and Blyth, and its success was entirely due to the entrepreneurial and engineering skills of the Delaval family. (From the Seaton Sluice and Old Hartley Local History Society)
Seaton Sluice Community Centre
The Community Centre is on Albert Road and can be accessed from Beresford Road and Collywell Bay Road.
The Community Centre is ran by volunteers from the Seaton Sluice Community Association and is open most week days between 10:00am and 12:00 noon.
The Community Centre has plenty of off road Car Parking and a wide selections of Halls, Rooms and facilities to hire.
The Community Centre is also home to the Seaton Sluice Library that opens:
Monday - 3:00pm to 7:00pm
Wednesday - 10:00am to noon and 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Friday - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
There is also a Post Office Facility that is open:
Tuesday - 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Wednesday - 09:30am to 1:30pm
Free WiFi is available throughout the bigger building.