Yesterday went for a ride to Kilnsea beach at the southern end of the Holderness coast and at the head of Spurn Point. Last day of the current spell of hot weather, very busy there, lots of bird-watchers (the Yorkshire Trust for Nature Conservation’s plan to build a new visitor centre clearly meeting with much local opposition).
Virtually all the concrete Second World War gun emplacement and look-out post has now fallen victim to coastal erosion and the local caravan park has been much commercialised.
Kilnsea is today a straggling hamlet, the earlier 18th century village long ago engulfed by the rapid coastal erosion along the Holderness coast. The picture above is an image of Kilnsea’s medieval church in its last days as published in Poulson, G. The History and Antiquities of the Seignory of Holderness, Vol. 2 (Hull, 1841, 519). The site of this church is now seabed 600 yards beyond the present coastline. Further information on this and other churches around the Humber Estuary may be had from Landmarks and Beacons, Churches of the Humber as presented in the third section of this website (for Kilnsea only see pages 78 and 79).
Ironically the suffix ‘sea’ in the name has no origin in the fact that it is now by the sea. It is derived from the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) word for a lake, Holderness in its natural post-glacial state being pock-marked with ‘meres’. The names Skipsea and Hornsea share the same derivation, Hornsea still having its mere (lake).