Kingston upon Hull
Added on 01 Jan 2020,
last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 02 Jan 2020
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Kingston upon Hull
GB-HU1 2JX Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Hull, or just Hull as it is usually called, is a city in Yorkshire on the northern bank of the Humber Estuary.
A settlement called Myton, although not listed in the Domesday book of 1086, existed at the confluence of the River Hull and Humber in the 11th century. In the late 12th century the monks of the nearby Meaux Abbey created the new town of Wyke, from the Scandinavian meaning creek (i.e. the River Hull). The town of Wyke later became Hull. The names Myton and Wyke remain as political ward areas of the city.
With the River Hull offering a harbour for the import and export of goods, and the Humber estuary being connected to other major rivers, the town of Wyke upon Hull became established and thrived. This situation drew the attention of the town to King Edward I who visited, and eventually granted Kyngeston (or King's Town) upon Hull its Royal Charter on April 1, 1299. The lay of the main roads to and from the city are the result Edward's involvement. The interest of various Kings including Henry VIII have had a bearing on what the visitor, with a little understanding, may see when visiting the city. Hull's importance as a port, and in its early years as an arsenal, at one time second only to London's arsenal, caused walls with battlements and towers to be initiated in 1327, blockhouses on the east bank of the River Hull in 1542 and a citadel, again on the east bank, in 1681. Although all these have long gone, their imprint on the old town along with the subsequent docks, can still be appreciated.
In some ways the 20th century was the most consistently calamitous era in the long, long history of this great maritime city. From a peak in prosperity at the start of the 1900s, with industrial and mercantile might that placed it on a level with almost any other city in the land, by the last decade of the century its litany of hard luck stories had cruelly conspired to turn Hull into a nationally perceived shadow of its former self. The last hundred years were, however, a sad chapter in an epic story, and at the birth of a new century, the place Larkin called the 'lonely northern daughter' has begun to miraculously revive and stake its claim for prosperity and respect once more.
Much investment is being directed into the city, encouraged by the huge success of The Deep as a centre-piece major visitor attraction, a sprucing up of the Old Town, and new retail offers. The face of Hull has almost been altered beyond recognition with the redevelopment of Ferensway, and the construction of the St Stephen's Centre, a shopping mall with upmarket chains, a modern hotel, the Hull Truck Theatre building, and a music learning centre for young people.
The flat landscape and low but often breathtaking historic buildings, give a sense of there being a massive backdrop of sky, and when combined with a view out to the brooding, bleak, mighty expanse of the Humber Estuary from the point at which it converges with the River Hull, it becomes apparent that there is something special in the location of the town.
Although Hull was amongst the most heavily bombed British cities during the Second World War, the 700 years since the granting of its first charter have left it with a fascinating wealth of architectural gems. From Flemish inspired façades to beautiful domed civic buildings. From dock offices to imposing industrial heritage warehouses and mills. From the medieval cobbled charm of the old town, grand private merchant's houses and Georgian terraces to cutting edge modern design.
- ⊙The Charterhouse, ☎ +44 1482 329307 (Master), +44 1482 320026 (Matron). The Charterhouse is open to then public once a year, during Hull's Heritage Weekend, and each Sunday there is a service in the Chapel from 10AM to 11AM which the public can attend. Tucked away in a rather inauspicious area of the city, The Charter House is on Charterhouse Lane, and lies within a small conservation area. The wealthy merchant and first mayor of Hull Sir William de la Pole founded a Priory of Carthusian monks here in 1350, with the further intention of establishing a hospital. The ‘Gods House Hospital’ was eventually established by his son, the charter being granted in 1384 when the first master was appointed. It housed 13 poor men and 13 poor women, and was surrounded by fields through which the River Hull flowed. The institution prospered from income derived from its lands. This attracted the attention of Henry VIII who, in 1536, closed the Priory and turned the monks out. The hospital, however, remained and over time acquired the name The Charterhouse. This name is a corruption of Chartreuse in France where the order of Monks originated from. With Hull’s refusal to admit Charles I in 1642 and the start of the English Civil War, the town became a target for the Royalists and the Charterhouse, being outside the town walls, was demolished so a gun battery could be placed there to defend the town. In 1649 the Master, with his flock, returned to the site and the Charterhouse was rebuilt. However, neglect and decay caused this building to be pulled down in 1777 and a third one was built, the only remaining piece of the original priory being the stone over the door of the Master's House. But more was to come and although the Charterhouse survived World War II, the blitz that Hull suffered caused much damage to its buildings. Since its restoration and expansion with improved living quarters the people living there now no longer represent de la Poles ‘indigent and decayed persons’ but pay for their accommodation and are called Residents. What is known as the Charter House consists of the Master's House and walled garden where Andrew Marvell is said to have played under the Mulberry tree and on the northern side of the road Old House which contains the fine Chapel with its Adams ceiling.
Queen Victoria Square
The centre of Hull, from which all of the wide shopping streets of the late 19th/early 20th century radiate. At its heart stands Queen Victoria, surrounded by the magnificent domes of the Maritime Museum and the City Hall.
- ⊙Ferens Art Gallery. Permanent collection of Sculpture and Paintings from medieval to present day, and a regular programme of temporary exhibitions from around the world. Strong on old European Masters, particularly Dutch and Flemish, the Ferens also houses some of the best contemporary art in the country. Includes masterpieces by Frans Hals, Antonio Canaletto, Stanley Spencer, David Hockney, Helen Chadwick and Gillian Wearing. There is a pleasant cafe on the ground floor of the gallery with an outside section overlooking part of Prince's dock. In February to April each year it hosts the 'Open Exhibition' to which, for a modest fee, amateurs and professional artists can submit their own work for sale or just display. Free.
- ⊙Maritime Museum. Formerly the Whaling Museum and housed in the original Dock Offices for the Prince's Dock and Queen's Dock (now Queen's Gardens). It is a huge, quaintly old-fashioned museum dedicated to Hull's glorious conquest of the High Seas and to the often tragic sacrifices made to it. An elegant staircase rises from the entrance hall and there are displays to interest all ages from the skeleton of a whale to models of ships to explanations of fishing methods. Free.
- ⊙Hull City Hall. Completed in 1903 and designed by Frank Matcham, the City Hall to some extent defied total destruction by Luftwaffe. When the bomb damage of 1941 was finally made good in 1950 it reopened to emerge, with its green copper roof, as one of the most loved structures in the city. Around the upper west end of the building is a frieze commemorating famous musical composers. The cupola of the previous town hall, built in 1866 by Cuthbert Brodrick, is sited at the west side of Pearson Park. The City Hall now regularly hosts rock, pop and classical concerts, and comedy events. Left of the entrance is the booking office for events in the city, and to the right is the Tourist Information Office.
- ⊙Queen's Gardens. Opened in 1930 and built on top of the old Queen's Dock. The dock was built in the late 1700s, and at 10 acres it was the largest dock in England. However, it was not until 1854 that it was named Queen's Dock after Queen Victoria. You can still make out the original shape of the dock in the walls and buildings surrounding the gardens. Some of the buildings on the south side are the old warehouses of the dock. At the east end stands the Wilberforce Monument and at the west, the old dock offices now the Maritime Museum. The gardens are sunk and contain flowerbeds, seating and a large grassy area.
- ⊙The Guildhall, ☎ +44 1482 613902 (Guildhall Curator). Runs adjacent to and on the south side of Queen's Gardens and with Alfred Gelder Street on its south side. Built between 1903-1916, to a design chosen by competition, it is the home of the City Council, it also houses the city's silver, the Hull Tapestry, the old magistrate's court, and below this the cells! The Guildhall is a great slab of early 20th-century civic pride, prosperity and confidence. At the west end sits a sculpture symbolising 'Maritime Prowess' atop its ornate Neo-Classical design and at the east end a clock tower. Starting in 1991 The Hull Tapestry took 15 years to complete and in 19 panels depicts important aspects of the city's history and development. The tapestry can be viewed (free of charge) Monday-Thursday 8:30AM-4:30PM, and Friday 8:30AM-3:30PM. To view it ask at the reception desk of the Guildhall. Guildhall tours are also available free of charge but these must be booked in advance.
- ⊙Mick Ronson Memorial Stage. The main focus of scheduled events throughout the summer months. Constructed after the untimely death from cancer of Mick Ronson, the guitarist who along with two other Hullensians formed David Bowie's band the Spiders from Mars in the early 1970s, and went on to success with Bob Dylan, Elton John, Lou Reed and Morrissey among others. The stage hosted a memorable speech by freeman of the city Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1997. Behind the stage is a plaque to commemorate the fictional character of Robinson Crusoe, who set sail from Hull in the famed novel of the same name by Daniel Defoe. This book - it has been argued - was the first novel in the English language in 1719.
Created around the site of the old market square in front of Holy Trinity Church, and taking in the grand Victorian Hepworths Arcade, this is the main home in the city centre for vintage clothes, independent record shops, and alternative retail outlets. The square has benefited in recent times from sensitive restoration including seating and public art, as well as a great selection of small cafés with outdoor areas to make it a vital destination for any sightseeing tour.
- ⊙Trinity House. A large cream building - occupies the area on the corner of Trinity House Lane and Postern Gate. In the 14th century a Carmelite Friary stood here. Trinity House took over the site in the 16th century. Starting as a guild to care for mariners and their families, Trinity House expanded to control the movement of shipping in the Humber. The present façade dates from 1753, and of particular note is the decorated pediment on the east side incorporating a lion, unicorn, Britannia and Neptune.
- ⊙Hull Minister. It is the largest parish church in England, but as a piece of imposing medieval ecclesiastical architecture, it is more like a cathedral. The oldest parts date back to c. 1300 and the 150-ft-high tower contains a ring of 15 bells. (updated Aug 2019)
- ⊙Andrew Marvell statue (stands on a plinth in Trinity Square). (1621-1678), poet and MP for Hull. Born at Winestead-in-Holderness just outside Hull he moved to the town when his father took up the position of Lecturer at Holy Trinity church. He was brought up at the Charter House where his father was Master and the garden in which he played is still there. Behind his statue is the Old Grammar School which he attended.
- ⊙Old Grammar School (Hands on History Museum), S Church Side, ☎ +44 1482 613902. This is one of the oldest grammar schools in England dating back to the 16th century and open until 1873. From 1884 to 1915 it was the Choir School for Holy Trinity church. Among its many famous past scholars were Andrew Marvell and William Wilberforce. In 1988 it became Hands on History Museum which focuses on the history of Hull and it's people, recreates Victorian Childhood in the classroom and contains a genuine Egyptian Mummy. Child friendly. Free.
- ⊙The Woollen Warehouse. With its cartouche above the door of a lamb being weighed, it stands to the east side of the Old Grammar School. This building was once the home of Hull’s Wool Exchange and stands testimony to Hull’s early importance in this trade. The export of wool was initiated in the Middle Ages by the Monks in the area and the various deserted medieval villages of the Wolds (the rolling chalk lands to the north of Hull) are thought to be the result of the early wool trade expansion.
- ⊙Prince Street. The arch leading to Prince Street is on the west side of the square. This curving Georgian street leads to Dagger Lane. The prince after which it was named was the future King George IV.
- ⊙Merchants Warehouse. On the corner of King Street and Robson Row which lies on the south west corner of the square. Once the offices of various merchants it is now flats. This large brick building is a reminder that Hull has no natural building stone nearby so many of the early buildings were of brick.
The Museum Quarter and High Street
This area runs alongside the River Hull, and was the main street at the centre of the medieval old town.
- ⊙Arctic Corsair. Hull's last remaining sidewinder trawler, berthed in the River Hull to the rear of the Museum Quarter complex. Guided tours are available. Free.
- ⊙Streetlife Museum of Transport, High St, ☎ +44 1482 300300. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. Showcases 200 years of transportation history. Free.
- ⊙Wilberforce House, 23-25 High St, ☎ +44 1482 300300. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1:30PM-4:30PM. Birthplace and residence of William Wilberforce (1759-1833), MP for Hull and slavery abolitionist, whose anti-slavery bill was finally passed in 1807 after his tireless campaigning. The house has been a museum in his memory since 1903. Free.
Princes Quay and Whitefriargate
Whitefriargate is the thoroughfare that links the old and new towns, and has been the main shopping high street for centuries. After decline caused by the emergence of new shopping centres, there is a plan for the street to attract cafes, bars and galleries.
- ⊙Princes Quay. A shopping centre built on stilts over the quay. Home to a large Vue Cinema - which was at the time of opening - the first fully digital cinema in Europe. The futuristic glass shards of the centre have dated surprisingly well, and the walk up the long, light and airy entrance from Queen Victoria square and over the water is as exhilarating an experience you could ask for from a city centre shopping trip.
- ⊙Beverley Gate, 35 Whitefriargate. At the Queen Victoria Square end of Whitefriargate an excavated hole containing a small amphitheater and brick wall signals the medieval Beverley Gate. This belonged to the original city walls, and is where King Charles I was refused entry to Hull in the 17th century - the first military act of the English Civil War.
- ⊙The Land of Green Ginger. A narrow street connecting the junction of Whitefriargate and Silver Street with the southern end of Manor Street. The name has been used in many works of fiction, but its origin is unclear. It was thought to have originated due to the existence of a nearby medieval spice market, but is more likely due to the son of a Dutch trading family by the name of 'Lindegroen' who possibly established his business in the area and is therefore most probably an English corruption of 'Lindegroen Jonger' (Lindegroen Junior.) The smallest window in England is in the George Hotel on the Land of Green Ginger.
- ⊙Parliament Street. leads off Whitefriargate about halfway down. This is the home of many professional practices in the city centre, and this is reflected in its fine Georgian architecture. It was built to give access to the town dock now Queens Gardens.
The Marina and around
- ⊙Hull Marina. Developed from the old derelict Humber Dock in the early 1980s, provides space for 270 yachts and small sailing craft in its permanent and visiting berths. The area is an enjoyable stroll with some great cafes and old pubs, and annually hosts the Sea Fever Shanty Festival.
- ⊙Spurn Lightship (In one of the permanent berths). Built in 1927, it served for 48 years as a navigation aid in the approaches of the Humber Estuary. Free.
- As the city centre's prime business district the area to the west known as Humber Quays is earmarked for huge office and residential development, with the Hull and Humber World Trade Centre, the HQ2 building and Freedom Quay apartments along with high quality landscaping to the river frontage having been completed as phase 1.
- ⊙The Deep. A huge and spectacular aquarium looking out over the Humber estuary. Built as Hull's main millennium project, it has surpassed all expectations to become a massively successful tourist destination and second only in terms of visitor numbers to the Eden Project in Cornwall.
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Wikivoyage contributors, 'Kingston upon Hull', Wikivoyage, The FREE worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit, 12 November 2019, 13:18 UTC, https://en.wikivoyage.org/w/index.php?title=Kingston_upon_Hull&oldid=3881885 [accessed 1 January 2020]
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01 Jan 2020 - 02 Jan 2020
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Added on 01 Jan 2020,
last edited by »biroto-Redaktion« on 02 Jan 2020