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and is one of the 20 oldest surviving churches in the UK.
Until the early years of the 19th century, Seaham was a small rural agricultural farming community whose only claim to fame was that the local landowner's daughter, Anne Isabella Milbanke, was married at Seaham Hall to Lord Byron, on 2 January 1815.
Local bus services operated by Arriva North East and Go North East also provide access to the nearby towns of Murton, Peterlee and Houghton-le-Spring, as well as further afield to Sunderland, Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham, Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough.
Seaham has one secondary school, without a sixth-form, called Seaham High school.
The town grew from the 19th century onwards as a result of investments in its harbour and coal mines.
As early as 1823, the third Marquess had approached the architect John Dobson with a view to his drawing up plans for a town to be built around the harbour.
The marriage was short-lived, producing as its only child the mathematician Ada Lovelace, but it was long enough to have been a drain on the Milbanke estate.
The area's fortunes changed when the Milbankes sold out to 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, who built a harbour, in 1828, to facilitate transport of goods from locally encouraged industries (the first coal mine was begun in 1845).
The opening scene in Alien 3 (1992) was filmed on Blast Beach, at Dawdon, released 1993. present Dogtown which premiered on the channel in autumn 2006.
The town has also served as a location for the BAFTA nominated film Life For Ruth (1962) starring Janet Munro and Patrick Mc Goohan. According to the Sunderland Echo (11 February 1999), scenes from Saving Private Ryan (1998) were also going to be filmed in Seaham, but Government intervention moved production elsewhere.