Monthly Archives: August 2021

Simplified Geology of Humber Region 10.

The chart above was one I complied a few years ago. The 10 regions named along the base line are the regions of which part is encompassed in the Humber Region, of these two, the Lincolnshire Wolds and the Yorkshire Wolds, have already been covered by this series of blogs. The side-line identifies 10 types of communities according to the reason for the medieval site existing where it did. Each x identifies a community on Humberside, although a few were located according to more than one type of site. For example, only two settlement sites had fishing as explaining their medieval siting and both these were located along the Lincolnshire Marsh. Similarly, all the communities I considered as ‘composite sites’ (that is a site with a number of equally important factors defining its original location) were located in Holderness.
As can be seen, spring-line settlements along the base of both the dip slopes and the scarp slope of the Wolds north and south of the Humber defines the original site of early occupation of 29 Humberside settlements, that is approximately 30% (this ignoring for now the Lincolnshire Heights). Socially and economically the chalk escarpment north and south of the Humber Estuary has had a significant effect on the history of the Humberside region.
The other geo-physical regions of Humberside yet to be covered by this series of blogs are; Holderness, the River Hull Valley (upper and lower), the Vale of York, the Lincolnshire Marsh, the Vale of Ancholme and the Vale of Trent. Most of these will not receive the same level of attention as has the Wolds.
Again, any reader wishing to explore further can go to the extended article of the same title in section 3 of this website.
However, I have to take a break from committing to three blogs a week in order to prioritise preparing for my presentations during Heritage week, hope to get this done over the next fortnight.

Simplified Geology of Humber Region 9.

The photo above shows the cliff-face of the long disused ‘New Quarry’ at Barton. Neither the bed of this quarry nor its cliff-face have been disturbed since being abandonned so it is a fine example of natural re-colonisation of a chalk quarry. The ‘New Quarry’ is separated from Barton Cliff Quarry by a narrow ridge of chalk (see photo) left by the developers as a boundary.
At the west end of Westfield Road it is possible to stand and look down the 30 metre cliff-face of Barton Cliff Quarry. The bed of this quarry has occasionally been used as place to tip unwanted material but otherwise the quarry sides and floor remain. As with Leggott’s Quarry (s.p.b.s) Barton Cliff Quarry was a commercial post-enclosure project by the lord of the manor and was begun in 1790. In his Social History and Antiquities of Barton-upon-Humber (1846) Ball records that ‘from forty to fifty thousand tons have been shipped per annum, affording employment for forty men. Many tons of this stone are yearly converted into Whiting at the mills in the town’ (s.p.b.s). By the early 20th century a tramway had been built passing through South Cliff Farm (extant) to a foreshore jetty (now gone). The area between South Cliff Farm and the once jetty is now one of the Humber Estuary’s areas of managed retreat created by the Environment Agency.
Immediately east of Barton Cliff Quarry is the now disused ‘New Quarry’, see above. The view shown above may be had from a public right of way which follows the east side of New Quarry and is well worth exploring. Exploitation of New Quarry was begun in the late 19th century and by 1906 a tramway connected the Quarry floor with the Adamant Cement Works sited on the Humber Bank in 1890. This post-industrial site has been a site of natural regeneration since the cement works closed in the 1920s.
(to be continued).

Simplified Geology of Humber Region 8.

The photo above, taken from the farm track on the south bank of the Humber Estuary that in centuries past was a section of Ferriby Low Road (from Barton), shows Melton chalk quarry just visible in the dip slope of the Yorkshire Wolds.
The development of large-scale chalk quarries was allied to changes in the pattern of land ownership in the region. Leggett’s Quarry only began to be excavated after the land of South Ferriby was redistributed at the time of parliamentary enclosure. In the parish, land ownership along the Humber valley-side was brought together to form part of the holding allocated to the lord of the manor, soon to live at Ferriby Hall (extant). He then provided the capital needed to fund the excavation and gradually achieve a return on the sale of the rock. Initially known as the ‘Pit’ or ‘Stone Quarry’ by 1824, First Series one inch to one mile O.S. maps, excavation of the Quarry had already cut across Ferriby Low Road which had to divert around the top of the Quarry and was later abandonned (evidenced today in two sections of public rights of way). South Ferriby historian Raymond Carey wrote that the exploitation of the Quarry was a main reason why the population of South Ferriby doubled between the early 19th century and 1841 (availability of employment), this resulting, in turn, in the construction of at least two terraces of worker’s housing (extant). By 1851 10% of South Ferriby’s working population were employed in quarrying, this percentage only exceeded by farm workers and servants.
The same sequence of events happened in Barton parish. Following Parliamentary Enclosure in the 1790s land redistribution enabled the lord of the manor to capital fund a new chalk quarry soon to become known as Barton Cliff Quarry. Today this large quarry stands disused with its cliff-face immediately north of the western end of Westfield Road.
(to be continued).

Simplified Geology of Humber Region 7.

The above photo shows a wild strawberry plant in flower (May time), these being the ancestors of the modern cultivated strawberry and much prefering calcarious soils such as chalk soils. The photo was taken on the spoil-heap of South Ferriby’s second chalk quarry (see below).
By 1826 trade directories record four ‘manufactories’ of whiting in Barton. Chalk was the raw material from which whiting was manufactured, the whiting then being used in the production of distemper (whitewash) and allied products. By the 1840s two ‘whiting and paris whiting manufacturers’ were based on Waterside Road, this being a convenient location on the Estuary floodplain, near to the Haven for bulk goods transport and soon to be near the rail line. Paris whiting was a fine grade of whiting used for polishing and as a pigment in paint manufacture. Kelly’s Trade Directory of 1861 described whiting manufacture as one of the ‘chief trades’ of Barton at that time. The manufacture of whiting on Waterside in Barton was to contribute to the development of the paint making industry in Hull which continues to this day. Bulmer’s Trade Directory of 1892 recorded that the same industry existed on the north bank of the Estuary ‘at Hessle Cliffe the chalk is extensively quarried for the manufacture of Whiting, which is carried on in the parish’, the tower of the once tower-mill used to crush chalk quarried being evidence still of that past industry.
The large disused quarry just west of the Barton/South Ferriby parish boundary, commonly known as Leggett’s Quarry (now unfortunatley owned by recreation company that engages in something similar to paintballing), is/was a good place to explore the sequences of natural re-colonisation after commercial exploitation has ended. Here the initial overburden and cut chalk were used to create the loading embankment beside the Humber (s.p.b.s).
(Just a reminder that this series of blogs is mostly taken from my extended article in Section 3 of the website ‘A simplified study of the Geology of the Humberside region and some examples of its impact on the region’s Social and Economic History).
(to be continued)

Simplified geology of Humber region 6.

Disused chalk quarries that were originally excavated for commercial purposes are a significant landscape feature in the Humberside region, particularly on the south bank.
With Barton on Humber evolving as an Anglo-Saxon settlement at the foot of two dry valleys and on the edge of the Estuary flood plain it follows that when leaving Barton by any of the three main roads, Ferriby Road, Brigg Road and Barrow Road, the way is uphill and this has resulted in the ability to excavate quarries into the hill-side. Although these quarries are now in the town, they were originally just outside. The parish quarry beside Barrow Road has already been mentioned (s.p.b.s). The three disused quarries beside Ferriby Road remain in private ownership and are best seen from the upper deck of double-decker busses sometimes put on the 350 or Humber Flyer routes. The photo. above is of the quarry face of one of these three, this view briefly visible from the A1077.
The development of the Ferriby Road quarries was allied to the development of the local whiting industry which successive 19th century trade directories describe as one of Barton’s principal industries. These three quarries are, in effect, side-by-side on the north side of Ferriby Road.
The one highest up the hill was almost certainly the first of the three to be excavated and its allied lime-burning trade figures in White’s trade directory of 1826.
Lime, or quicklime, was produced by heating chalk stone in a furnace thus reducing it to a powder. This product had many uses, some within the town, such as restoring a balanced ph level to arable land, as the main constituent of lime-mortar as used by bricklayers before the coming of cement mortar and by undertakers to hasten decomposition.
As stated chalk was also the basic raw material used in whiting manufacture.
(to be continued).