This film is part of Free

Seaham Harbour 1899

Victorian County Durham celebrates the construction of Seaham Pier in a formal ceremony.

Non-Fiction 1899 2 mins


This film of the laying of the foundation stone of Seaham Pier perfectly captures the formality and ceremony of Victorian Britain. Top-hatted dignitaries, including Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Michael Hicks Beach, contrast with the flat-capped men doing the donkey work; elegantly-dressed ladies observe from a safe distance. The film was shot by showman and cinema pioneer George Henderson.

Seaham Harbour's original foundation stone had been laid 71 years earlier, when the town and port were constructed as a means for Lord Londonderry, owner of the Seaham estate, to better manage his coal industry.