20th century Housing in the Humberside region 4.

Travelling east from Barton on Humber in 1900 the route went through (and still does) a number of spring-line villages at the base of the dip slope of the Lincolnshire Wolds before arriving at Immingham. These villages were/are Barrow on Humber, Goxhill and East Halton. The village of New Holland was mainly developed during the Victorian ‘Railway Age’ and included a number of cottages built by the dominant rail company, in particular Manchester Square (Manchester, Sheffield and North Lincolnshire Railway Company). There is no doubt that in 1900 these villages would still have included a number of early worker’s cottaging and timber framed buildings subsequently lost to inter-war pocket-scale demolition projects. The photo. above shows a survivor standing beside Cherry Lane, Barrow on Humber. For obvious reasons this type of cottage is often known today as a ‘one and a half storey’ cottage, the first floor being wedged into the underside of the roof and rafters (see the small casement window in the gable-end wall). This cottage is of the ‘centre-entrance end-stack’ type meaning that the ground-floor rooms had a fireplace set into the gable-end wall, such cottages usually had just two ground-floor rooms, but insome cases four.
This particular cottage had a single-storey outbuilding attached to the gable-end wall although its small window suggests that it had/has a loft, possibly originally a hay-loft. To the rear can just be seen some detached outbuildings, these maybe originally an earth closet and coalhouse or maybe tradesman’s outbuildings. The cast iron gutters and fallpipes are old but not original. Almost certainly the original roofing material would have been thatch, given the location this could either have been reed thatch or wheat-straw thatch.
A hundred yards behind this property is a very interesting wetland nature reserve called Barrow Blow Wells, this overseen by the Lincolnshire Trust for Nature Conservation.

20th century Housing in the Humberside Region 3.

If our time traveller back in 1900 (see blog 1 in this section) had crossed the River Ouse at the Booth’s Ferry Bridge and moved into the south bank of the Humber region what would he/she have found? Firstly, unlike on the north bank he/she would have found the road system very similar to today except, of course, for the M180, roughly following the route of the A18, and the A15 Humber Bridge approach road (the former A 15 leading from Brigg to New Holland, the Hull ferry terminus). He/she would find an identical rail system apart from the marshaling yards and access lines to the port of Immingham.
In the five parishes of Scunthorpe he/she would have found the grid-plan of bye-law housing streets behind Frodingham Road as seen today, the tenants, mostly having come to Scunthorpe to find work in the then three steelworks, a mix of people from across Britain but not the cultural diversity seen today. In the traditional village centres such as Crosby would be cottages built of the local limestone, a friable Lias stone set in heavy mortar and still found in Winterton, Winteringham, South Cave and Hotham. Some of the cottages would have been single-storey or ‘one-and-a-half’ storey, similar to the one seen above. The above illustration was copied from a British Parliamentary Paper (Vol. 10, Agriculture) for 1867/’68. At that time the issue of low-cost sanitary accommodation for farm workers was becoming high profile. Generally agricultural prosperity was high at that time and wealthier farmers could see a small return on building cottages for their more valuable workers (but certainly not all workers), this ceased to be the case during the Agricultural Depression of the late 19th century.
Travelling east our 1900 explorer could visit Barton on Humber and would have seen the market town surrounded closely by fields, these now all being covered by housing estates, the Humber Bridge since 1981 making bank to bank commuting relatively straightforward.
(to be continued)

20th century housing in the Humberside region 2.

Our time traveller back in 1900, when comparing then and now, may well decide that in terms of housing the differences in that of the rich and the homes of the poor have become less apparent since 1900. Compare, for example, Brantinghamthorpe Hall (see above) as photographed about 1900 and the mud and thatch huts shown in the last blog photgraphed somewhat later. The biggest modern house in North Ferriby, one could argue, is not so much different to a semi or terraced house on a Barratt estate. Presumably ‘levelling-up’, don’t hold your breath, will bring the two closer still.
Crossing the north bank from west to east our 1900 explorer would cross the open farmland that had been Hessle Common before entering Hessle Road, Hull. Here, as with Anlaby Road, Beverley Road and Holderness Road, he/she would see the stages of suburbanisation that had taken place by 1900. On Beverley Road, for example, the initial stage was from the early 19th century onwards when linear development occured along either side of the main routeway, out of town but near the town. These would have been high status properties still with agricultural land behind them. Today these properties are often in a poor state of repair and have been internally subdivided to create houses of mulpiple occupation or flats. The second stage of suburbanisation in these locations was for a grid-plan of streets to be created behind the early buildings but with junctions accessing the main road. The housing alongside these streets would be largely by-law housing of the late 19th century, of varying dimensions but generally quality housing although much more densely built than the earlier properties. The speculative builders had had to comply with Corporation building by-laws, these enforced by the Housing Officer (or that was the theory). One thing they had in common with the earlier ribbon development was that those occupying the properties were tenants.

20th century housing in the Humberside region.

Before getting underway I have to admit to not having much knowledge of the topic for Grimsby, although I have some, and I can only repeat what many say that the historic heart of the town was all but destroyed when the Freshney shopping centre was created, a classic example of the ‘brave new (post-war) world’ gone wrong. That said I have found Freshney Centre to be clean and a good area for shopping – not that I’m an expert as they don’t let in dogs. That is not to downgrade the rest of Grimsby, particularly People’s Park, the housing around and the proximity to Cleethorpes.
If someone travelling through north Humberside in 1900 were to return today and try to repeat the journey they would surely be astonished at the changed road system, at the physical expansion of Hull and Beverley (to a lesser extent the seaside resorts) and at changes in industrial location. They might also be surprised at how little the rail system had changed or, indeed, ceased to exist. They would be astonished surely at the changes in the vehicles seen on the roads with 1900 being typified by more children playing in the streets than cars, the opposite now the case (hoe errie it is to see old photos of streets in the early 20th century with no motorised vehicles whatsoever).
How different, or similar, the built environment would look would depend on where they were standing, but they would, I think, be surprised at the standardisation of 20th century building materials (it is surprising to me how little progress has been made in the prefabrication of buildings, given that the science has existed now for almost a century).
The picture above is of two mud-stud and thatch cottages surviving in Immingham into the 1930s.

Article on Holderness Castles 3.

The map above is copied from Ms. Jamieson’s article (s.p.b.s) and is entitled ‘sites advanced as certain or possible castle locations within the Holderness region’. So the sites not previously discussed are; ‘certain castles’ = Swan Hill, Burstwick and Roos while the ‘possible castle’ sites are Paull Holme, Aldbrough, Rise and Hornsea.
Swan Hill is a grass-covered earthen hill in the parish of Bilton. It stands about 1.5m. high and is surrounded by a 13m. wide ditch.
Burstwick Castle site is a large enclosure with a moat to three sides. The moat is often water-filled.
Roos Castle site is a ‘sub-rectangular moated enclosure’ measuring about 90m by 62m.
Paull Holme has no extant remains, these having probably been destroyed in the later episodes in the construction of Paull Fort.
Aldbrough has no extant remains.
Rise site is not covered in the article.
Hornsea is an oval mound 72m by 45m immediately west of Hornsea Mere, in the grounds of Wassand Hall.

Swan hill’s site is identified on Explorer O.S. map 293 at 157328.
Burstwick Castle site is located on Explorer O.S. map 292 at 220292.
Roos Castle moat is located on Explorer O.S. map 292 at 281296.
I must here thank Ms. Jamieson for her informative and thought-provoking article.

Article on Holderness Castles 2.

Ms. Jamieson in writing her ‘Abstract’ states that her overall objective was to explore ‘the role of ancient monuments, natural places and existing systems of authority (pre-Norman) in the establishment of new centres of power’ (the Norman castle(s). Through her case study of Skipsea Castle she set out to consider ‘ways in which the natural and cultural landscape shaped the form and siting of the Norman fortress, and how this elite centre changed through time’. Also to use archaeological evidence to discover how the Castle influenced the surrounding settlement pattern.
Two terms from the above paragraph are particularly interesting, ‘cultural landscape’, I can sort of see what it means but it’s an effort to apply in an everyday sense. Secondly the idea of a physical and cultural site influencing the surrounding settlement pattern. This is an easier idea to apply elsewhere. Three other such examples that straightway come to mind are; bridging points over rivers (still a factor in the siting of development today e.g. Humber Bridge), pre-Reformation monastic sites and pre-historic religious/cultural sites.
To what extent was the siting of Norman castles, often on sites that had previously had cultural significance, a conscious policy to stimulate ‘integration and acculturation’. This is surely a fact mirrored elsewhere in History when an invading force establishes its significant sites not on previously undeveloped land but in capital cities for example, thereby the political overlordship of the incomer is immediately evident and, over time, more likely to be accepted.
Ms Jamieson defines Holderness as a ‘coherent district’ which geophysically it is as shown in the recent study of Humberside’s geology. In fact the remainder of her paragraph on the ‘coherent district’ could have been taken from our recent study – sadly it wasn’t.