John Leland’s description of Hull in the 1540s is thorough for the time and, indeed, later travelogue writers may have used his information as much as discovering new stuff for themselves. As well as noting the points made in blog 2 he described the town walls in considerable detail, including the section along the Humber foreshore, as well as the merchant’s staithes along the Old Harbour (west bank of the lower River Hull). He also made a passing mention of Suffolk Palace (see Article in section 3 of this website), although he didn’t use that term, as well as Michael De la Pole’s ‘other three houses’ in the town every one having a ‘tour of brike’.
Of the town’s two churches Leland spends most text on Holy Trinity but notes that ‘nother of them (have) by the name of an hedde paroch chirche’ (both chapels of ease). He focused on the chantry chapels along the south side of the chancel of Holy Trinity as well as the ostentatious in-church table tombs. His description of the buildings around Holy Trinity church and church-yard is particularly interesting as all have long-gone except for the Tudor Grammar School building. He makes passing mention to the monastic sites in the town that functioned until the late 1530s as well as the town hall (then in Market Place) with its ‘tour of brik for a prison’. Leland was presumably getting his directions confused when he mentioned the town’s main brick-making area ‘the Tylery’ as being ‘without the south side of the toun’ (in the Humber!).
Having outlined the history of the town’s government (up to 1540s) and the De la Pole’s Carthusian monastic site Leland concludes with mention of the ferries to Goxhill and Barton, this before setting off along the south Holderness Estuary-side. The photo. above shows Goxhill Haven today, clearly much more silted-up than in the 16th century.