Spurn guide walk UK East Yorkshire


Spurn Drive

Gwendoline Hirst ©

As the last Ice Age began to melt 300,000 years ago the area between Britain and the continent of Europe was covered in rich boulder clay, formed from rocks crushed by the ice. Doggerland stretched from Yorkshire to Denmark, with the Wolds, created during earlier ice ages, forming a backdrop to the valley. The fertile clay was covered in trees, lakes and rivers and Mesolithic people wandered from the Continent following the herds of mammoths, rhinosorus and other animals that they hunted for food. These people settled along the shores of the lakes and rivers, living on wooden platforms in the boggy areas. The sea then began to rise and by 6000 BC had risen 30 metres, covering much of the land bridge, and by 4000 BC the North Sea had divided Britain and the Continent, but the name Dogger is still used in the shipping forecast as Doggerbank and sea area Dogger.
























When following this route L means turn left;
R means turn right; + means cross roads
You may also like to use a road map or satellite navigation

This round trip of approximately 90 miles travelling south takes you along the Holderness coast of the East Riding and back through villages on the edge of the Wolds.

We start at the Scarborough Road roundabout in Bridlington Old Town and take the A165 Hull road. Continue to Carnaby then turn L after Manor Court Hotel along Bridlington Bay road, then R at the roundabout, A165. Fraisthorpe sands, left, has been a designated naturist beach since 1980 and was used as such for many years before this. However, in the 1990s the council sent police to prevent naturists using the beach, but to no avail, as they still congregate there.

Where the road turns sharp right turn L to BARMSTON, called Berneston in the Middle Ages. All Saints Church, right, originally built about 1100 AD, has a square tower at one side. There is a hagioscope or hole in the chancel wall through which a person in the chantry chapel could see the altar. An alabaster tomb of a knight with his feet on a griffin is William Monceaux who died in 1446, with initials from 1672 carved on it. Gravestone monuments are set into the porch and walls.

Barmston church BA Education

All Saints church Barmston

Next to the church was a moated manor house built about 1297 and accessed by a drawbridge. This was rebuilt by the Boynton family in the 1500s, who moved to Burton Agnes during the Civil Wars. Old Hall farm is all that remains of the house. The village hall, right, was built by the Barmston Village Institute Trust in 1955. In the grounds is the Millenium Stone, showing that on 1-1-2000AD the stone was 1200 metres from the sea.

Barmston stone BA Education

Barmston stone

Barmston House, right, is on the site of the old rectory. The old house was there in 1472 but was destroyed by fire in the 1740s. Rebuilt in 1743, the house was enlarged by William Dade the rector. This was sold in 1961 and a new vicarage built in the grounds. The sign over the door of the almshouses, left, reads; ‘This hospital was founded by Sir Griffith Boynton in 1726’. This was for four poor men each given 3 pounds 15 shillings per year. The four houses have now been converted into two cottages. Continue to the end of the road, cut short due to erosion. There were 30 chalet bungalows along the cliff in the 1920s and 1930s but these have now been washed away. The caravan park was started in the 1960s, but this is also being eroded. A restaurant on the car park, right, was demolished in 2005 as it was reaching the cliff edge. Turn round and return to the main road.

Turn L, then L again, onto the B1242, Hornsea road at Allison Lane End, one of the original roads from ULROME. Note the North Turnpike Road, left. This would have been built inland as an alternative to the coast road which was frequently washed away, and was maintained by tolls collected by the turnpike keeper. Ulrome, was originally named Ulfreham, the home of Ulf, the Saxon lord. The manor was sold in 1717 to Giles Rickaby of Bridlington Quay, then in 1744 Sir Griffith Boynton bought it for 75 pounds. As you enter the village keep L along Church Lane. The church of St. Andrew is tucked behind the houses, left. In 1782 the chancel of the original church and the curate’s cottage next door blew down as they had become dilapidated, as had many churches, due to the high cost of maintenance. The cottage, which had been used as a dame school, was rebuilt as a house by William Dade and some of the original cobbles were used to rebuild the church in 1876. The tower was heightened in 1904 and a pyramid roof added. The nave has a barrel vaulted roof and the round font is from the original church. A sign on the tower wall states that ‘the church must have seats for the poor’.

Ulrome church BA Education

St. Andrew church Ulrome

Next to the church was a manor house called Pockley’s Mansion, built in 1637, but this became run down and most of it was demolished. Manor House farm was built by the Rickabys in 1785 using material from the old manor. A new house now stands where the dame school was and next door, now called The Hall, was the site of the vicarage, which had been given to the village as a primary school when a new vicarage was built in Main Street. In the 1950s the vicarage was owned by Desmond Rawson who, with his brother Colin, founded Hornsea Pottery. He used this as a workshop as well as a family home.

Continue L along Main Street noting, left, the yellow brick Methodist church built in 1965. The small brick building, right, was the old Wesleyan chapel built in 1848. Also left is the village hall, Rickaby Hall, built in 1952. If you drive towards the sea you will see four coastguard cottages, used until the 1930s. These were built in 1829, but had to be rebuilt further inland in 1890, due to erosion. Troops were stationed along the coast in 1940. The coast road to SKIPSEA also had to be closed in 2006 as parts had been washed away.

Turn round and return to the main road, then turn L past Wyre Mere. Houses for the poor lined the green in the 1800s. Left was the blacksmith’s house with its dovecote, originally built in the 1700s. A shallow lake covered the area at one time and in 1880 the Boyntons had the drain cleared, revealing the remains of an ancient platform dwelling, 90 feet by 60 feet, built on an island by ancient man.

In Skipsea turn R, Beeford, to All Saints Church, built in 1196 AD on a hill to raise it from the swampy ground, with a ha ha to keep animals out. This may have been the administrative centre for the Lords of Holderness. Rebuilt in 1824 some walls are cobble, with an old stone sundial set in one wall and gargoyles on the window surrounds. The vicarage next door was rebuilt in 1866. A wooden causeway once allowed the villagers to reach the church over the marshy ground.

Skipsea church BA Education

All Saints church Skipsea

Opposite the church was the National school built in 1845, then rebuilt as the village hall and Sunday school in 1902 and used until 1970. Continue to Skipsea Brough and the remains of Skipsea castle, right. This was built in 1086 on a Motte or hill 45 feet high, with a bailey on top, by Drogo or Drew de Bevrere, a Flemish man who fought at the Battle of Hastings with William the Conqueror. He married William’s neice and lived at the castle, which was surrounded by a mere. However, for some reason he poisoned his wife, and, before the news reached the king, he got a loan and fled the country. Her ghost, the white lady is still said to haunt the site. His successor, William de Ros, established the village of Brough the origin of the Borough, and collected tolls from the road. Earthworks near the castle show where the houses would have been. The castle was destroyed in 1221 when William de Forz rebelled against the king.

Skipsea castle BA Education

Skipsea castle bailey mound

Turn round and return to Skipsea, meaning a mere suitable for ships, as ships were able to sail up to the village until the middle ages. Turn R past the green, which used to be much larger, with a pond in the middle, and was used for fairs and markets. The village reading room, left, was houses until 1904 and was restored in 1991. The school, right, was built in the 1960s. As you leave Skipsea, just at the right hand bend, continue straight along Cliff road to see the lozenge pillbox in the field, left. This is one of a line still visible along the coast. 28,000 concrete, bullet proof pillboxes were built in Britain in 1940 to protect the country from invasion. Only about 6000 still remain and, of the twelve types, the eared and lozenge shapes were only found in North East England, mainly along the coast. The lozenge had six sides with one doorway and loopholes in each side through which the infantry would fire rifles or sub machine guns.

Skipsea pillbox BA Education

Skipsea pillbox

The right hand bend leads past the site of the aerial firing range, left, at Skirlington, established by the Air Council in the 1920s. Sold in the 1960s the site became a caravan park in 1973.

In ATWICK, pronounced Atick, the base of an old market cross, left, originally had a Latin inscription carved on it. Opposite, in Cliff Road, is the school built in 1877 and closed in 1961, now the village hall. The inscription beneath the bell tower reads, ‘Etherington School 1877, named after Thomas Etherington the first chairman’. Turn R along Church Lane passing the old school house belonging to the school built in 1715. At the end of the village the church of St. Lawrence is on the site of the 1100s Norman church. Rebuilt in 1867 in red brick, with an Italianate bell tower, a ha ha raises the churchyard from the marshy ground. The vicarage next door was rebuilt in 1837 on the site of the 1685 original.

Atwick church BA Education

St. Lawrence church Atwick

As you leave the churchyard on the left is the grave of William Marfitt and his son Beaumont. William Marfitt, who lived from 1831 to 1923 was a well known antiquarian who lived in Atwick. Whilst digging the foundations of a house he discovered evidence of an ancient pit dwelling, and many other artifacts in the surrounding area. His son Beaumont was also an archeologist and antiquarian who donated a barbed harpoon 10,000 years old, found at Hornsea Gasworks, to the British Museum. Much of the Marfitt collection was displayed in Hornsea Museum. Return to the green and turn R, past the Primitive Methodist chapel built in 1821 and closed in 1987.

Continue past the site of Atwick Mill, left, built in the late 1700s and powered by steam in 1889 until it closed in 1987 and was demolished. Beneath Atwick and the surrounding area is a large gas holder, constructed by pumping high pressure water into the rock salt to create six caverns holding 4000 million cu. ft. of North Sea gas.

Winifred Holtby used either HORNSEA or Withernsea as the basis for her description of Kiplington in her book South Riding. As you enter Hornsea the old water works, left, was built in 1878, in red and yellow brick in Gothic style, with a house next door for the warden. The 79 metre deep well and pumping station provided water for the area, but the water was considered too salty and the station closed in 1927, becoming the public refuse collection point. This was closed in 1963 when a new plant was built next door.

Hornsea water works BA Education

Hornsea water works

Look right opposite the school and you will see, set back, the windmill built in 1820, now with a conical roof, and the miller’s house in front. On the left is the secondary school with the main entrance in Eastgate. Continue along Mill Lane and turn L into Eastgate, bordered by houses built in the 1800s by Hull businessmen. When Lawrence of Arabia was stationed in Bridlington under the name of T.E.Shaw he would visit White Cottage, left, the home of his friend Flight Lieutenant Reg Simms, adjutant at RAF Catfoss, on his on his Brough Superior SS100 motorcycle.

White Cottage Hornsea T E Lawrence BA Education

White Cottage Hornsea

Right is Hall Garth park opened in 1920 and renovated in 2007. A moated manor house stood on the site adjoining the Old Rectory which Peter Acklam demolished to build Old Hall. The secondary school, left, was built in 1958 on the site of Hornsea House which was designed by Charles Hutchinson and built in 1845 for John Wade. His son Joseph, who started the brick and tile works in 1868, inherited the house set in six acres and enlarged it. He died in 1896 and in 1897 the house was bought by Christopher Pickering, a Hull trawler owner, who changed the name to The Hall. Look for the two original entrance lodges. Further along, left, is the War Memorial Cottage Hospital opened in 1923.

Straight at the crossroads to the sea front. To the left is the Marine Hotel built in the 1890s. The first Marine Hotel was built in 1837 on the cliff top, surrounded by fields, and was the first seaside hotel with access to the beach along winding pathways down the crumbling cliffs. This was demolished in 1874 after a fire and erosion of the cliffs, and another hotel was built further inland. This also burnt down and was replaced by the present hotel. Further out to sea Hornsea Beck village was once a thriving port, but was washed away by the late 1700s. The houses, right, were superior guest houses built in the mid 1800s after the coming of the railway, and the gardens opposite were renovated in 2003. By the 1930s a new sea wall was necessary to prevent further erosion. The first beacon, left, was probably erected in 1588 as one of the signal stations warning against the Spanish invasion. Turn L along Broadway passing the Leisure Centre opened in 1996.

If you look left down Sands Lane you will see the pillar marking the end of the Trans Pennine Trail. This was also the site of the pier built in 1878, which was hit by a ship during a gale in 1880, and was only used until 1897 when it was sold for scrap.

Pennine way Hornsea BA Education

Pennine Way Hornsea

Nearby, is the remembrance garden to the Free French Army division billeted in Hornsea during World War two. Some of the soldiers were from La Grande Motte and the garden was paid for by people from the town. There is a four sided pyramid of cobbles with paths leading to it in the shape of the Cross of Lorraine. A plaque is dated 3rd May 1981 when the towns were twinned.

Free French Memorial Hornsea BA Education

Neglected Free French Memorial Hornsea

la Grande Motte Hornsea BA Education

la Grande Motte garden plaque Hornsea

Next to this on the South Promenarde and also standining on the large expance of low lying unnamed land is the Water Teatment Works built on the site of the old plant in the early part of the 21st century about 2003.

Water Pumping Station Hornsea BA Education

Water Pumping Station and Broadway House Hornsea

The fish filled "Stream Dyke" runs parallel into the sea on the the north side of boat yard located at the south end of the South Promenade. The boat yard was previously located at the corner of the north end of the South Promenade. An imposing functional building in the shape of an upturned boat designed in 2000 and built between 2000 and 2003 is on the seaward side of the boat compound.

Boat yard Hornsea BA Education

Boat yard building Hornsea

To the south of the Boatyard Bulding is the new Boathouse and Sea-Sea Education Centre for Hornsea Rescue opened on the 31st of January, 2010.

Having deviated down the South Promenarde you will need to turn back to the Trans Pennine Way pillar at the bottom of Sands Lane and turn L.

Turn R along Sands Lane to the old station, left, built in 1864. Designed by Rawlins Gould the building had a five arched portico with a refreshment room and a marble fireplace in the 1st class waiting room. There are still rings in the wall for tethering horses, and the station master had a house next door. The single track railway brought people to the seaside from Hull, and the company was taken over by the North Eastern Railway company in 1866, then became part of British Railways in 1947. The line was closed in 1964 and the station buildings were made into flats in the 1980s. The police station, right, was built in 1973 at the end of the station platforms. In front of the station is a recreation area, using stone from the original turntable in the design, marking the end of the Trans Pennine Trail which runs from Hornsea to Southport.

Hornsea railway station BA Education

Hornsea railway station

Continue along Railway Street, passing, left, the Alexandra Hotel, designed by R.G.Smith and built in 1867. Originally three stories it would have been used by travellers arriving at the station. Turn L at the junction and enter New Road. Left is the Memorial Gardens with two stone lions named Mike and Bill, originally at the entrance to the Criterion cinema in Hull. On the corner of Newbiggin and Cliff Road is the United Reformed Church with an octagonal spire. Built in 1874, it was renovated in 1968 after being damaged by fire. The new library, right, was opened in 1975 on the site of the Public Rooms. Left are six almshouses built in 1908 by Christopher Pickering of The Hall. Newbigin, meaning new buildings, was one of the roads leading from the market place in the 1200s. Many of the old houses have been demolished, but one still remaining is Burns Farm, occupied by the Burns family for 300 years. Opened in 1978 as the North Holderness Museum of Modern Life it shows how the Burns family lived in the 1800s.

Almost opposite, left, is Willow Drive. Turn along here to see Bettisons folly. William Bettison lived in Newbigin House in the early 1800s and he expected to dine immediately after arriving in his carriage and going into the house. He had the tower built in his garden, fifty feet high of local, over baked treacle bricks, and costing £500 in 1844, so that a servant could watch from the top to see him coming down Southorpe Hill from his business in Hull. The servant would then run down to tell the kitchen staff and the meal would be ready.

Bettisons folly BA Education

Bettisons folly

Next to the church is the Institute, which was built in 1887 as the parish room and enlarged in 1907 to include billiards and recreation rooms. St. Nicholas Church, right, stands on a mound on the corner of Southgate and Market Place. A wooden church is listed in the Doomsday book, and a door outside under the East window leads to the ancient crypt where smugglers probably stored their contraband. The stone church was built in the 1200s, but during a storm in 1723 the roof was blown off and the East window collapsed. Sir Gilbert Scott restored the building in 1868. The tomb of Anthony St. Quintin, who died in 1430, has a marble lid on which soldiers sent by Cromwell carved the outline of the soles of their shoes. A row of eight cottages once stood in the churchyard where the medieval cross from the Market Place was re erected in 1898 after being found in a farmyard. A new carved cross has replaced the old one.

Hornsea church BA Education

St. Nicholas church and cross Hornsea

Turn L into Southgate. The disused Congregational chapel, left, was built in 1808 costing 465 pounds, this became a Temperance Hall in 1874 and was used for dances until the early 1900s. Hornsea Mere, formed at the end of the last Ice Age, is reached along a narrow lane, right, and is the largest freshwater lake in Yorkshire at over two miles long. It has special protection as many rare species of swamp and bog plants grow there. The Cemetary, left, was started in 1885 using land owned by White House Farm, one of the oldest properties in the town. Three cottages stood here in 1660, and these were bought by Peter Acklam who rebuilt them as Low Hall. After 1777 the building became the Old Hotel, then stables and is now a private house. The Roman Catholic church of the Sacred Heart, left, was built in 1956. On the roadside is the shaft of the old Wedesday Market cross, said to be from Hornsea Burton, which stood at the junction of King Street and Southgate.

At the roundabout take the 2nd exit, B 1242 Withernsea. Colin and Desmond Rawson began making pottery in Victoria Avenue in 1949 and in 1953 they bought Edenfield House and grounds, formerly a brick and tile works and built a factory producing the distinctive Hornsea Pottery. The company closed in 2000 and became a retail park, right. The rifle ranges, left, were bought by the TA in 1921 and used by the MOD for training. Hornsea Golf Club, right, was opened in 1908. At the end of Rolston village look right to see the Hall in the trees. William Brough, who owned the hall in the 1700s, was Marshall of the High Court of Admiralty and part of his job was to suppress piracy. A cannon ball in the grounds is said to be from the time when the pirate, John Paul Jones, fired a cannon ball at the hall each time he sailed past. In the 1930s there was a holiday camp for boys along the cliff top which was taken over by the army during World War 2. This was then used by boys from the North East in the British Boys for British Farms scheme. Hungarian refugees had also used the camp before it closed in 1960.

As you enter MAPPLETON there is a World War 2 pillbox in the field, left. The Wesleyan chapel, right, was built in 1838 and became the village hall in 1971. The church of All Saints was originally Norman, but was restored in 1855 when the spire was added using stone from a ship wrecked nearby. Three pointed arches divide the Nave and North aisle, where a memorial tablet in white marble is dedicated to the Broughs of Rolston. The church was 630 yards from the sea in 1786 but the cliffs have been much eroded leaving the road close to the edge in places.

Mappleton church BA Education

All Saints church Mappleton

In 1953 200 acres of land was bought by the RAF along the cliff top at Cowden for a bombing range. Bewick Hall, right, was a moated manor house. As you enter ALDBROUGH turn L along North Street, leading to Church Street which was once the market place, passing the old village green, right, on which stand the war memorial and pump. St. Bartholomew’s church, left, was built about 1066 with a three stage tower, but was rebuilt in 1870 to designs by William Perkins of Leeds. The tomb of a tall knight, probably Sir John Meaux of Bewick, has a replica of a medieval helmet above it, the original being in the Tower of London. Three bells, from the long gone church chapel at Ravenser Odd, hang in the tower.

Aldbrough church BA Education

St. Bartholomew’s church Aldbrough

Turn R into Nottingham Road then R into Headlands Road. Left is the old primary school built in 1862 replacing the school started in 1663 by Robert Towrie. The new primary school was built in 1979. Continue along High Street, passing the Wesleyan chapel, left, built in 1888 and closed in the 1950s. At the junction turn L into Hornsea Road, B 1242. R is the old blacksmith shop. Behind the houses was a brewery.

Turn R onto the B1238 Sproatley Road through the villages of Etherwick and Flinton turning R at Sproatley to BURTON CONSTABLE HALL then turn L into car park.

The earliest house was a stone pele tower fortified to prevent raiding from the River Humber and North Sea. In the years following 1500 a substantial village of over 100 inhabitants was cleared to make space for a deer park. A new manor house was built of brick to replace the stone pele tower which had served to protect the village since the reign of King Stephen in the twelfth century. The stonework from the pele tower was used for the foundations of the north tower, also known as Stephen's tower, and the north wing of the present house and is therefore the oldest part of the present house.

Burton Constable BA Education

Burton Constable Hall

The first person to have Burton Constable attached to his name was Henry born in the year 1551 at Burton Constable and died in London on the 15th December 1607. Sir John Constable and the family having arrived from Halsham, a village where the Constable family Mausoleum is situated, to live at a now habitable hall in 1554. The first accurately recorded and registered birth at Burton Constable was that of Joseph in 1559. The family being Roman catholic were barred from public office and so spent their money on building up the Hall.

During the 16 and 17 hundreds the manor house was part demolished and enlarged, leaving only the north lodgings with its tower thereby leaving space for the building of the grand Elizabethan brick mansion seen today. As 1600 dawned and funds became available and fashion dectacted additions were made to the house and estate. The Long Gallery on the first floor was complete towards the end of the 1500s, although it remained mostly empty untill the bookcases were installed during the 1740s and the neo-Jacobean decrorative plasterwork not untill the 1830s. A central block was added incorporating a great hall, parlour and great chamber. A south wing incorporating another tower to balance was added to balance with the north wing, this incorporated a kitchen, additional lodgings and a chapel built when the law changed in 1789 to allow Catholicism, services having previously been held in privacy on the top floor of the south tower. A chapel was subsequently built in the nearby village of Marton by Thomas Atkinson of York. The gardens were laid out by Capability Brown for William Constable, who died without an heir in 1791 having spent much of his fortune on building up the house and acquiring furniture with which to furnish it.

From 1718 the name Constable was mostly passed down through the female line, and by 1894 the house was empty, the furniture having been removed by Lady Rosina, wife of Sir Augustuss, in order that she might live in Italy with her new husband. Eventually the furniture was returned and the house was restored during the 1960s and 1970s with the help of government grants.

The Constable family date back to Simon Constable who was born in 1243 at Flamborough, Yorkshire, who married Cathreine Cumberworth and died in 1294 being buried at Longthorp grange. Father Sir William Constable and mother Cecila Thwenge married around 1264 and had two children Robert and Ella.

Other notable members of the family include Marmaduke Tunstall, an English ornithologist and collector and was burn at Burton Constable, the half brother of William Constable, in 1743 and died in 1790. Being a Catholic, he was educated at Douai in France.

Leave the hall and turn R to Sproatley then L via the B1238 through Flinton and Etherwick back to the B1238 turning R to Garton

Keep right along B 1242 GARTON Road, passing the castellated windmill, left, called Timms Mill, and used until 2001. Blue Hall Farm, right, was originally Garton Blue Hall in the 1600s, owned by the Lords Dunbar. Turn L Grimston, then L to the church of St. Michael, Garton with Grimston, built 1175 AD on a more ancient site. The south aisle and tower were added in the 1300s and an oak screen of the time separates the chancel and nave. Members of the Grimston family are buried in the church and a brass in the chancel floor is dedicated to Elizabeth Grimston who died in 1515. The church was restored in 1887 by Smith and Brodrick of Hull.

Garton with Grimston church BA Education

St. Michael church Garton with Grimston

The road continues to Grimston, which was owned by the Grimston family after the Battle of Hastings, when Sylvester de Grymeston was said to have been a standard bearer to William the Conqueror. The family originally lived in a moated manor house, Grimston Garth, but fire destroyed this in the 1600s and a farm house was built on the site. It was not until 1781 that Thomas Grimston built Grimston Hall in the village. Designed by John Carr of York the hall is triangular with a circular tower at each corner, and has later additions. The building was used by Reckitts as an animal breeding station in the 1960s and 1970s. Return to the main road and turn L. If you look left as you drive along there is a view of Arch Lodge the castellated gatehouse to the hall built in 1812.

Arch Lodge Grimston Hall BA Education

Arch Lodge, Grimston Hall

To see HILSTON turn L and in the field left is Admiral Storr’s Tower, which is octagonal in red brick, with a staircase turret. The Storr family lived in Storrs Hall in the village from the 1600s and Joseph Storr built the tower in 1750 probably using it as a look out tower to see the ships. In 1794 it was used as a hospital for troops, but is now disused.

Storr tower BA Education

Storr Tower

At the end of the village the original St. Margaret’s Church was built in the 1100s, then rebuilt by Sir Tatton Sykes in 1861. A bomb destroyed the building in 1941 and it was again rebuilt in 1956, in red brick with an Italianate bell tower, designed by Francis Johnson of Bridlington.

Hilston church BA Education

St. Margaret’s church Hilston

Return to the main road and turn L towards ROOS, meaning marsh or moorland. Turn L into North End Road then R Main Street. This area was called North End in the 1500s, separated from South End which was round the manor house and church. Keep left along Pilmar Lane, passing the old school built in 1866. Continue along the B 1242, Waxholme road, passing Waxholme Mill, left, used by villagers from Waxholme, which disappeared into the sea in the 1800s.

Entering WITHERNSEA keep right, North Road, into Arthur Street and see the lighthouse at the end of the street. Built in 1894 it is 127 feet or 38 metres high and there are 144 steps to the lamp room. It was built inland, surrounded by sand dunes, as storms had swept away the coastal cliffs and damaged the pier. Closed in 1976 it now houses an exhibition on the life of actress Kay Kendall, who was born Justine Kay Kendall McCarthy at Stanley House, Hull Road, Withernsea on the 21 May 1927. Her mother was Gladys Drewery and her father Terrance "Terry" McCarthy, vaudevillian, who had taken the name Kendall after his mother the music hall star Marie Kendall. Jazz musician Kenny Baker was born in Withernsea on the 1st March 1921 and played the trumpet solo mimed by Kay Kendall in the film Genevieve.

Withernsea Lighthouse BA Education

Withernsea lighthouse

Turn L into Hull Road, passing the Methodist church built in 1898. Turn R at the roundabout into Queen Street, then L at the next roundabout into Seaside Road and R along Central Promenade. Right was the freshwater mere that drained away when the cliffs eroded and is now the Valley Gardens. The Octagon Cafe here was bombed during World War 2. The castellated entrance is all that remains of the pier built in 1877, 400 yards or 368 metres long. A plaque on the wall opposite tells the story of two sisters who each endowed a church, but both were washed away and it is said that the bells can still be heard over a mile out to sea in Old Withernsea. The pier costing 1200 pounds had a saloon at the end, entrance being one penny. This was used only until 1903 after being damaged several times. During building the Hull smack Excelsior damaged the pier and the lifeboat was nearly wrecked when it was flung against the ship. Again during a storm in 1880 Jabez collided with Silver Wave, then hit the pier, sinking with all hands. Saffron had her sails ripped off, was flung against the pier and grounded on the beach, but the crew walked away. By this time the pier was only 600 feet long and in October 1880 the Genesta grounded north of the pier with her captain frozen to the rigging. Next day it hit the pier, reducing the length to 300 feet. In March 1893 Henry Parr, laden with timber, broke in two, one half hitting the piles of the pier, leaving only 50 feet and the entrance.

Withernsea Pier BA Education

Withernsea pier head

Turn R into Pier Road, passing the Memorial Gardens, where the Floral Hall burnt down in the late 1940s. Cross Queen Street into Station Road. The railway, the idea of Anthony Bannister, was opened in 1854 to link Hull and Holderness and create a resort. The station closed in 1964 and was demolished in the 1990s. The market is held on the old track area and the police station is on the shunting yards. The Grand Pavilion, now the Leisure Centre, was built in 1937, had the largest sprung dance floor in the north and people came by train from Hull to see the famous acts and bands. Next to the station was the luxury Queens Hotel, built in 1855. This closed in 1892 and was bought by Francis and James Reckitt who gave the building to Hull Royal Infirmary for use as a Convalescent Home. An annexe was built in 1900 for the treatment of tuberculosis. Withernsea Hospital now stands on the site.

Return to Queen Street, turn R then R again into Park Avenue. St. Nicholas Church is R along a narrow lane. A church stood here in 1488 but a storm blew the roof off in the 1600s and it became disused. A new church, designed by Cuthbert Brodrick, was built from cobbles round the old one in 1858, paid for by subscriptions from visitors. In the churchyard is the grave of a man killed in the 1927 train disaster.

Withernsea Church BA Education

St. Nicholas church Withernsea

Back to Queen Street, turn R. The Council Municipal Buildings are in Queens Terrace, left, and there was a school in the terrace said to be the model for Kiplington High School in the novel South Riding by Winifred Holtby.

Leaving Withernsea turn L, Holmpton Road, passing, left, the holiday camp with wooden chalets. This area was the site of ‘The Shacks’ in South Riding by Winifred Holtby. Also, left, is Hollym airfield. In HOLPTOM turn left, School Lane, to see St. Nicholas’ church, restored in 1874 in yellow brick with red brick bands.

Holmpton BA Education

St. Nicholas’ church Holmpton

The old rectory in red brick is next to it and the manor house opposite. Return to the road and turn L and then R towards the underground radar station, begun in 1951 as an early warning centre against nuclear attack by the Russians. A bungalow hides the entrance to 30,000 square feet of underground rooms 100 feet below ground. The walls are 10 feet thick ferro concrete, and there is air conditioning, a generator and a borehole for water, to provide comfortable surroundings for the servicemen stationed there. Handed over to the RAF in 1954, it was renamed RAF Patrington and used until 1974. The RAF refurbished it in 1985 and used it as a headquarters until 1992. In 2003 this became a specialist archive centre for Cold War records and is now open for tourists.

Back to the village and at Patrington Road, turn L, then 1st L along Northfield Lane to Welwick. Turn L into Main Street and follow the road through Weeton, then R to EASINGTON. All Saints Church, left, was built in 1190 AD on Saxon foundations with the tower built of stone from Roche Abbey, in which are three bells, two from Ravenser Church and one from Kilnsea, both of which have been washed away. The Norman doorway is from Burstall Priory and there is a sundial on the brick porch. A plaque in the churchyard wall tells the story of the Kilnsea bell. An ancient font lies in the churchyard.

Easington church BA Education

All Saints church Easington

Houses on the left were coastguard cottages, one of which has a lookout tower. The church hall, built in 1936 became the infants school from 1949 to 1959. The headmaster of the old school was Eggie Skelton, whose son Robin was born in 1925 and attended the school, where the other boys sometimes locked him in the coal house. Robin emigrated to Canada where he became professor of English at Vancouver University. He wrote 100 novels and poetry books, many about the countryside around Easington, and died in 1997. A new school was built on High Street in 1992. At Rectory Farm near the church is the thatched Tythe Barn, probably built in the 1300s, the only aisled, timber framed barn in the East Riding. The North Sea gas terminal is one of three in the country and opened in March 1967. Since October 2006 the gas has been brought from the Sleipner gas field in Norway via the longest undersea pipeline in the world. A large resevoir of water is stored nearby in case of fire. An unexploded bomb was found on the site in March 2008 but was dismantled by bomb disposal experts from Catterick. There are 7 wind turbines at Out Newton.

Follow the signs to KILNSEA. In the early 1500s the village was on a hill 3 miles from the sea, but by 1800 the coast had been eroded and in 1836 the church was washed away with most of the village. A new village began to be built in 1840. As you reach the houses look left in the field to see the back of the concrete acoustic sound mirror, built in 1916 facing the sea to warn of Zeppelins approaching in World War One.

Kilnsea acoustic mirror BA Education

Kilnsea acoustic mirror

A concrete plinth in front had a trumpet shaped microphone mounted on a pipe. Wires went down the pipe to a man with a headset sitting in a trench. He could hear the engines and relay the warning to his superior at Godwin Battery, but this only allowed four minutes for action. As you approach the left turn to Spurn the whole of the peninsula is in front of you, with views to Hull, Grimsby and the Humber. A World War Two pillbox is near collapse, right, at the corner. Left is the red and yellow brick St. Helen's church designed by William Burgess and built in 1864 using some of the stone from the old church. This was closed in the 1990s.

Kilnsea church BA Education

St. Helen’s church Kilnsea

At the crossroads is the Blue Bell Visitor Centre. This old ale house, built in 1847, replaced an older building washed away by the sea. When built it was 534 yards from the sea, but in 1994 the sea was only 190 yards away, and more land is washed away every year. The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust took over the area in the 1950s from the Ministry of Defence and opened the cafe in 1957, but it was closed in 1991. However, in 1994 the Spurn Heritage Coast Project renovated and reopened the building as a cafe and information centre. It is worth parking in the car park to explore the beach or walk along the green road originally the railway line to SPURN POINT, next to the caravan park to see the front of the acoustic sound mirror and the remains of Godwin Battery. Built in 1914, and now listed, many soldiers were stationed there and the hospital was used for recuperation. Between the wars the site became a territorial army base, and in 1935 children from Hull used it as a holiday camp. It was used again during World War two to defend the Humber from attack and in 1944 troops were trained for the Normandy landings. During the 1950s parts were sold and in 1960 the whole site beacame a caravan park. Many buildings were reused for accommodation, but, due to coastal erosion, the gun emplacements have fallen onto the beach.

kilnsea gun emplacements BA Education

Kilnsea gun emplacements

Turn R at the cafe and take the road to Spurn Point. From May to October a toll is charged to enter the nature reserve. The Point is one of the most important wildlife habitats in the world with over 200 species of birds. Here the road narrows to one car width, but there are frequent passing places. The road was built in 1942 and is over three miles long, with sea buckthorn and marram grass on either side, obscuring the view. Suddenly the bushes disappear as you reach the narrowest point where the road is frequently washed away. Then on the 5th December 2013 a tidal surge washed away the road and access could only be made by boat. Here you get the first glimpse of the Humber Estuary on the right and the North Sea on the left. The road here has moved from the top of the ridge to the bottom and is made of metal shingles which cause the car to judder but can easily be replaced. A sharp right turn and a long straight road brings you to the car park almost at the end of the peninsula. A small community of lifeboat men and pilots live here with their families, and they are ready to take to sea at short notice. The sands of Spurn have shifted many times over the centuries and there have been many lighthouses. The first was recorded in 1427, but the present black and white striped one, called the High Light, was built in 1893, closing in 1986. A Low Light tower is on the other side.

Spurn lights BA Education

Spurn lights

A raised walkway leads to the pilots’ jetty with the lifeboat moored alongside. Nothing prepares you for the sight of a large cargo vessel appearing round the corner to sail up the river to Hull. The tower on the beach was built in 1852, this stored explosives then became a water tower, and at one time had a raised walkway above the beach.

Spurn walkway BA Education

Spurn walkway

Ten oarsmen from Kilnsea manned the first lifeboat in 1810, managed by Trinity House of Hull until 1910, and a powered lifeboat was used from 1919. Spurn was used over the years to defend the estuary and there were two gun batteries in 1804 during the Napoleonic Wars. During World War One more batteries were built with blockhouses and tunnels, and Spurn was known as Spurn Fort. At this time there was no road so in 1915 a railway was built from Kilnsea to take supplies to the end of the Point, using the best form of transport which was bogey waggons with sails, as there was always a wind blowing. There was also a pier at the end where ships could dock.

Originally situated further East, the village of Ravenser was at the tip in 1066 when the Danish army stayed there whilst returning home after being defeated at Stamford Bridge. A new island appeared in 1234, known as Ravenser Odd, and became an important port for the export of grain from the land owned by the monks at Meaux Abbey, and had a Mayor and member of Parliament. However, the sea began to wash the land away and it became a base for pirates who plundered the ships along the estuary. By 1366 nothing was left. Bodies were washed out of graves and some were reburied at Easington. In 1399 a stone cross was erected at Ravenser to commemorate the landing of Henry Bolingbroke, whe became Henry 1V, as detailed in the play Henry 1V by William Shakespeare. The cross was moved in early 1500 to Kilnsea when the village was on a hill three miles from the sea. By 1800 the cross was on the cliff edge and it was moved to Burton Constable, then to Hedon.

During the 1700s and 1800s large quantities of sand and gravel were extracted for use in road building. This was stopped by 1850 as the sea had broken through and made part of the peninsula an island, with ships sailing through the gap. This and other breaches were filled with chalk from Barton and marram grass planted to bind the sand. For many years there was a rabbit warren at the landward end. Many visitors came in boats from Grimsby and even built huts for holiday homes. There was a school at the Point from at least 1871, though the children were allowed to help their mothers cater for summer visitors and collect coal and wreckage. The school closed in 1945. Water was collected from the gutters into tanks in the gardens, but in 1932 a tank on top of the low light was filled by supply ship. During the 1930s petrol driven rail cars travelled along the railway. A special one was a converted Itala sports car used by a group of officers who ran a concert party. In 1939 water pipes and electricity cables were laid to the Point. The railway was closed in 1951 and most of the rails removed, though some can still be seen. New houses were built for the lifeboatmen in the 1970s and the gun sites and blockhouses were demolished. The coastguard moved to Bridlington in 1989 and the tower became the Vessel Traffic Services Centre where vessel movements are monitored from the Trent, Ouse and Humber.

Return to the crossroads and turn L, following the Patrington signs through Easington and Weeton to WELWICK. The church of St. Mary replaced an earlier church in the 1300s and the south aisle was reroofed in 1886. Inside is a brass plaque dated 1618 dedicated to Anne Wright and her husband William, who died in 1621. He was half brother of John and Christopher Wright who were born at nearby Ploughland. John, born 1570 and Christopher, born 1568, were at St. Peter’s school, York with Guy Fawkes, and in 1605 Robert Catesby persuaded them to become involved in the plot to kill King James 1, known as the Gunpowder Plot. After the failed attempt they rode to Holbeche House in Staffordshire with Robert Catesby and Thomas Percy, pursued by the Sheriff of Warwick and his men. After a fierce sword fight they were killed and after burial they were dug up and their heads cut off to be displayed on poles in London.

Welwick BA Education

St. Mary’s church Welwick

As you approach PATRINGTON notice, right, the sign signifying the Greenwich Meridian Line at 0 degrees longitude. A new walk is planned to follow the route of the line. Turn L into High Street, passing Tythe Barn Lane, right. The old rectory, built before the 1700s, had a moated orchard and tythe barn in the grounds, possibly on the remains of a manor house. The rectory was rebuilt in 1839 but demolished in 1975 and new houses built in the grounds. Visible for many miles the tower of St. Patrick's church is 180 feet high, with an octagonal corona surrounding the base. William Bligh, captain of the ship Bounty before the mutiny, surveyed the area from this tower. Work started on the church in the 1200s, but the black death killed many of the workforce and the main building was completed in the 1300s and became known as the Queen of Holderness. The font is a solid block of Tadcaster stone with twelve sides decorated with arches. The Easter Sepulchure has on it a carving of three sleeping soldiers.

Patrington church BA Education

St. Patrick’s church Patrington

There were many inns along the wide main street where coaches to and from Hull would change horses. Before 1914, when water was piped to the village, the summers were marred by bad smells coming from the drains, probably from slaughterhouse waste. Hollow pipes called stink pipes were erected above head height along the street to carry the smells away.

Turn L PATRINGTON HAVEN. Before the 1500s Patrington Haven was a thriving port situated on the edge of the Humber. Grain was shipped from the warehouses and tolls were charged to fund the turnpike road to Hull, built in the 1700s. In 1942 RAF Patrington Haven was built, named the Happidrome. The brick built operations block had a single rotating aerial array, with the transmitter and receiver in a well underneath, the ground being too low lying for an underground bunker. Using Type 7 radar, the range was 90 miles, with two multichannel radio transmitters and receiver blocks a mile away to provide communication between intercepting aircraft and the controllers in the Happidrome. Ted Hughes, the poet, served his National Service here in 1949 as a ground wireless mechanic.

In 1947 RAF Patrington became the Northern Sector Operations Centre controlling all the radar stations in north east England. However, RAF Holmpton opened in 1952 and operations at Patrington Haven were moved to there. The site was closed in 1955. The domestic area, where 350 servicemen lived, is now a caravan site, right. Some buildings can still be seen, such as the guardhouse which is the gatehouse to the park.

From here you can see the area known as Sunk Island. During the 1600s sediment in the river Humber had started to silt up the area and Sunk Island was formed with a channel separating it from Patrington Haven. A bridge connected the two and in 1668 Charles the second rented Sunk Island, which is Crown Estate, to Colonel Gilby, Governor of Hull, for five pounds per year. By 1831 the channel had also silted up and the island became joined to the mainland and a school, church and chapel were built, with a turnpike road to Ottringham. Holy Trinity Church was built in 1876, designed by Ewan Christian, who designed the National Portait Gallery in London. Samuel Teulon designed the school house and other properties. The Weigh House used at Stone Creek port can also be seen.

Return to the main road, A 1033, and turn L. Notice the Station Hotel, right, which was near the station opened in 1854 for the line from Hull to Withernsea, and closed in 1964. Two black gate posts, left, mark the lane to Winestead church. The Hildyard family owned the manor from the time of Richard the Second. A moated manor house was built near the church in the 1570s, but the young son of Sir Christopher Hildyard was drowned in the moat, so he demolished the house in 1579 and built a new one on a site one mile north of the village. The Norman church of St. Germaine was renovated in 1890 by Temple Moore, keeping many of the original features. The Hildyard chapel has round it panelling from the old Hildyard pew, removed from the old moated manor house. The font, known as the Andrew Marvell font, was recovered from Keyingham at a cost of ten pounds. There is also a brass slab commemorating Sir Robert Hildyard, his wife and thirteen children. He was known as Robin of Redesdale and fought in the Wars of the Roses.

Andrew Marvell, senior, became the rector in 1614 and in 1621 his son, also Andrew, was born. At the age of 15 Andrew went to study at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and became a Batchelor of Arts in 1639. He then went on a tour of Europe where, in Rome, he met the poet Milton. After their return to England they remained friends and in 1657 he became his assistant as Latin secretary to Oliver Cromwell, and was elected to represent Hull in Parliament in 1658. He published three volumes of poems and was known for his opposition to the corruption at the court of Charles the second. Andrew Marvell died in London in 1678, some people believing that he had been poisoned.

Turn R to WINESTEAD. Further along the road are the grounds of Red Hall, built in 1710 by Sir Robert Hildyard on the site of an earlier hall. The house was red brick with three storeys and ten bedrooms, and had a flat roof with a parapet. A smaller block was used by the servants and John Carr of York designed the stables. Sold in the 1890s the house was destroyed by fire in the early 1900s. In 1936 Hull Corporation built Winestead Mental Hospital, which became a residential school from 1989 to 1998.

Turn L to HELSHAM and at the T junction turn R into the village, then L at the main road to the church. The Norman church of All Saints had a nave and chancel which were extended over the centuries. In 1871 further restoration was carried out but many original features are still in place. On a tomb chest lies an alabaster figure of Sir John Constable, who died in the 1500s.

Halsham Church BA Education

All Saints church Halsham

Opposite the church is the Constable family mausoleum built of stone and marble in 1790, at a cost of 10,000 pounds. Inside is a white marble urn with an effigy of Sir William Constable. Other Constable family remains were moved from the church to the mausolem in 1802. Whilst digging the foundations an ancient burial site was discovered which had skeletons with urns full of copper coins buried with them, showing a high status burial ground. There are also earthworks near the church showing the site of another Constable manor house. A grand new mansion, Burton Constable Hall, was built and the family moved there in 1570.

The village also has a minesweeper named after it. HMS Halsham was built in 1953, one of the 93 Ham class ships, with names ending in ham. Minesweepers were built from wood rather than metal which would have activated the mines.

Turn back to ROOS, along the B 1362. Across the fields, right, you can see the distinctive white Rimswell Water Tower, built in 1916. Turn L to Roos, entering the village at Rectory Road in the South End. At the church of All Saints, right, you can turn into the car park. Walk along to see the earthworks which are the remains of the moated manor house.

Roos Church BA Education

All Saints church Roos

Going up the steps into the churchyard you pass a carved stone cross, right, erected in 1968, then walk through the avenue of yews planted in 1869. There was a church on the site in 1086 and alterations have been made over the centuries. The tower arch is 1200s and the vestry from the 1300s has a round turret of stairs to an upper room. The pulpit dates from 1615 but was removed then replaced in 1885 when the church was renovated by Temple Moore. The Sykes Mausoleum was built in the chancel in 1784, but the entrance was changed in 1842 to a flight of steps on the outside of the East end of the church, and has the Sykes coat of arms above the door.

Drive back along Rectory Road passing Elm Farm. This was the original site of the rectory rebuilt in 1798. However, in 1820 the rector, Christopher Sykes, replaced the old rectory with a larger house in white brick. This was considered too grand and the building was sold in 1892 to Gearge Dickinson who named it Roos Hall. Fire destroyed the building in 1937 and Elm Farm was built on the site. A new rectory, further along the road, left, was built in 1892, designed by Temple Moore in Queen Anne style.

Roos rectory BA Education

Roos rectory

It was here that the author J.R.R. Tolkein was billeted in 1917 after he had been invalided home from France suffering from Trench Foot. In April 1917 he joined the Lancashire Fuseliers 3rd Battalion, which trained new recruits guarding the Holderness peninsular, and was put in charge of the battalion outpost in Roos. His wife Edith would visit him, and it is said that she danced for him in the woods nearby. The Bog, now a nature reserve, was said to be the inspiration for the Black Marshes which appeared in his later books. He then became ill again and was in hospital in Hull. When he recovered he was promoted to lieutenant and posted to the 9th Royal Defence Corps at Easington, consisting of men too old or unfit to fight. He was inspired by the countryside in the area, which appeared in his later books The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

At the end of the village join the main road and turn R along the B 1242 to Aldbrough. Drive through the village then turn L to WITHERNWICK. In 1940 three Germans parachuted from a plane that crashed near the village and were chased by local people, who caught them and handed them over to the police. A high mast, right, marks the site of a proposed wind farm which would have the highest wind turbines on mainland Britain.

Left is the National school built in 1846 and enlarged in 1868 by the Bethell family who specified that the building cannot be used for any other purpose, however, the school closed in 2004. The schoolmaster’s house built in 1865 was next door. In Main Street the Foresters Hall, left, was used by the home guard during the second world war. A notice on the gate states that ‘any person who omits to shut and fasten the gate is liable to a penalty not exceeding forty shillings’.

Foresters Hall Withernwick BA Education

Foresters Hall Withernwick

Thomas Mercer, known as Tom Massey, was born in the village in 1806. Known as the Blind Fiddler, he travelled round Holderness playing his fiddle at Martinmass Hirings and other local fairs. However, he died in the workhouse at Skirlaugh in 1858. Turn L passing the Wesleyan chapel on the corner, built in 1810 and rebuilt in 1914. Turn R into Lambwath Road to St. Alban’s church, with yew trees lining the path. A church with a small tower was on the site before 1115 AD, but it was redesigned with a bell tower by Mallinson and Healey and rebuilt in 1855, at a cost of 1100 pounds. The walls are of cobble with bands of red brick and stone buttresses. The bell tower has two bells.

Withernwick BA Education

St. Alban’s church Withernwick

Continue to GREAT HATFIELD, straight across at the crossroads, passing, right, Withernwick Hall, built in the 1700s. On the corner left, is a small cemetery, which was next to the manor house and St. Helen’s chantry chapel. The chapel became neglected and was destroyed by fire in the 1690s, but the cemetery is still used. Lying in the middle is the grave slab of Christopher Constable,who was buried there in 1642. The inscription beneath the coat of arms states ‘here lies the body of expopher Constable of Gt. Hatfield esq’. His grandfather William, from Gt. Hatfield, was knighted at Flodden and died in 1551. Also on the gravestone, at right angles to the main inscription, are the words, John Segar Carter 1707. It is possible that this is graffiti.

The ancient St. Helen’s well, which would have supplied the village with water, is nearby. This was rebuilt in 1994, with a tiled pitched roof and four steps to the water and a landing facing east. A well dressing ceremony was held in 1995. This could have been a rag well where clothing was dipped in the water and knotted on the hedge as a thanksgiving for blessings to be received.

Great Hatfield well BA Education

Great Hatfield Well

The market cross is 900 years old and was originally nine feet tall, but is now minus the cross. Turn L passing the old school, left, built by the Bethell family in 1894 and closed in 1958. It is now a private house. Right is the Primitive Methodist chapel, built in 1862 and extended in 1901. Turn R at the end of the village.

Dominating the landscape is the white Mappleton Water Tower, built in 1927 to supply the Hornsea area with water. A new mains supply from Hull became available in 1963, but water is still stored and pumped from the tower.

Mappleton water tower BA Education

Mappleton Water Tower

As you approach Hornsea the mere stretches out in front of you. Turn L to Hornsea at the junction. Straight at the traffic lights into Market Place. Just before the roundabout look right to see Old Hall. This was built by Peter Acklam in 1680 of red brick with two stories, three bays and attics, topped by Dutch style gables. During World War two the house was used as a billet by Free French forces and from 1951 to 1954 Hornsea Pottery was made there.

Hornsea old hall BA Education

Hornsea Old Hall

Turn R at the roundabout and continue through Atwick, Skipsea and Ulrome to Allison Lane End. The twelve turbines of the wind farm on the World War two airfield at Lissett, erected in 2009, will have been visible for several miles as you approach the A 165 Bridlington road. Turn R. Continue to the roundabout and turn L, Bridlington Bay Road. Turn R at the T junction and then straight at the traffic lights to the Scarborough Road roundabout. You have now completed your tour of the Holderness coast, with its ever changing coastline and pretty villages. © GMH

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