Chronology of Hessle

This page gives you an outline chronology of events in the history of Hessle.

A Chronology of Hessle, East Yorkshire from the 7th Century

Date Event

6th Century

520 The first settlement in Hessle was possibly founded by Ella, son of King Ida.

560 Around this time there were Angle and Saxon invasions of England with one possibly using the Humber and landing in the area of Hessle.

7th Century

600 Two pagan Anglo Saxon females were buried, together with grave goods, off Heads Lane. The site is now occupied by Hessle High School.

The ferry to Barton probably begun in this century.

9th Century

867 Danish invaders probably landed in the vicinity of Hessle

A Danish Viking, known as the ‘Crane’ (‘Tran’ in Danish) acquired vacant land at Tranby, giving his name to the settlement. This settlement lasted until the middle ages when it probably succumbed to the Black Death or to the de-population of villages to create sheep pasture.

10th Century

926 King Athelstan re-organised local government making Hessle the meeting place of the Wapentake, which served a large area

An early church was built, preceding All Saints Church. This was probably a simple wooden building built by a local magnate named Luhha.

A grave dating from this time revealed a cist of chalk slabs laid over a body.

11th Century

1000 A ferry service operated between Hessle and Barton. This linked Lincoln Cathedral with Beverley Minster along what was known as the ‘Pilgrim’s Way’ (after travellers visiting the shrine of St John of Beverley). It was also the King’s military road (see below).

1002 King Aethelred issued a charter granting land to Earl Godwine which mentions land and water rights but specifically tells us of stone pits, the moor, Hroppa’s Brook, Wearra Ford and a broad military road which was the road north from the ferry at Hessle to Beverley and on to York.

1016 Hessle is noted for sheep farming.

1033 A grant of land was made by Cnut to Archbishop Alfric of York. This grant was witnessed by Ketill of Hessle.

1050 Alwine and Alward witnessed Charters. Alward held a manor in Hessle.

1066 Another Ketill and Alwine held land in Hessle. There were probably around seven families in Hessle at this time.

1069 Hessle seems to have survived the ‘harrying of the north’.

1086 The Domesday Book recorded land at Hessle as being held by Gilbert Tison (who had the larger holding) and Ralph de Mortemer. Hessle was also listed as the Hundred of Hessle (i.e. an administrative centre, see above). There was a church and a priest together with seventeen villagers and their families, probably about eighty five people altogether. It was valued at 50 shillings, a devaluation from 60 sh in the time of King Edward.

Hessle was also listed as the Hundred of Hessle (i.e. an administrative centre, see above).

The ferry between Barton and Hessle is recorded in the Domesday entry for Barton.

12th Century

1120 About this time Ivo de Karkem (Kirkham), with advice from his son John, gifted the Church and lands at Hessle to the Priory of St Mary at Gisburne. The parsonage was not included in the gift. de Karkem later adopted the style of de Hessle for himself and his descendants.

1180 John of Hesel granted the canons of Guisborough Priory free passage over the Humber between Hessle and South Ferriby.

1189 He also gave the canons of Ferriby his ‘ploughland outside the wood of Hesel towards the west which is called Westdayle’. Westdayle lay between the woods of Hesel and Ferriby.

John of Hesel, a local benefactor, was probably killed, or died, at the siege of Acre, whilst on crusade in the Holy Land. Before he died he granted the small Augustinian priory at North Ferriby pasture for two hundred sheep and a sheepfold.

1193 The Humber bank was subject to frequent inundation and the track leading to Hull was often impassable.

The Prior of North Ferriby received a further grant of arable land to the west of Hessle near Hesslewood at Woodridding. (Possibly Woodfield)

13th Century

1201 King John visited William de Stuteville at Cottingham, probably using the Humber crossing at Hessle.

1202, Robert Duket, parson of this Church of Hasel, recognised himself to owe to Ronald, prior and convent of Gisburne, those 20 Marks which they had paid to Pope Innocent the 3rd.

On the death of Baldwin Wake, Hessille supre Humbre appears in the manor of Cottingham.

1204 Myton Chapel was destroyed by the canons of Guisborough in retaliation for the destruction of their Grange at Myton, which was ordered by Richard Ducket, rector of Hessle. A legal suit was settled in favour of Hessle with a judgement of one hundred shillings. A Papal Court further ordered the payment of five shillings per annum to Hessle against Guisborough. This judgement also recognised Hessle church’s legal rights over Myton. The canons of Guisborough were allowed to keep the tithes from their lands at Meaux.

1205 The monks of Melsa were compelled to pay a fine of 100sh to Richard Duket for destroying the chapel at Myton.

1209 King John is reputed to have passed through Hessle.

1220 Hessle was described as marshland in a deed.

1230 Philip the Cornishman was presented to the living of Hessle.

1232 Lord Hugh de Wake, holder of the manor of Hessle died in Palestine. His wife Joanna rebuilt the church in his memory.

1234 Around this time the church was rebuilt in stone.

1256 A great flood ravaged Hessle.

1262 One third of Hesslewood was lost to the prior of North Ferriby along with the rights to reclaim and enclose land and sow it with corn.

1266 Several brewers and bakers were making a living in Hessle.

1274 John Playbote of Hessle shipped forty sacks of wool illegally. The export of wool was then illegal.

1293 18th March: a valuation of lands in Hull, Hessle Beverley and York took place prior to the laying of the ‘king’s highway’.

In the reign of Edward I William de Kyme, of Lincolnshire, held the Manor of Hessle. On his death the King awarded the estate to Gilbert Umfrail, Earl of Angus.

14th Century

1300 Edward I passed through Hessle, using the ferry, on his way to Cottingham. The royal party took two days to cross the Humber.

1301 Bodies of the dead, and their pall bearers, being carried from Hull to Hessle for burial were washed away by the Humber flooding.

1303 The road between Anlaby and Hull, used by travellers from Hessle, was constructed.

A medieval seal dating from this time was found in Southfield.

1309 An application from Hull merchants for a ferry across the Humber cited the inconvenience of the Hessle crossing and extortion at the hands of the owners who were charging 2d per man and horse and 1d per foot passenger when the official prices were half those amounts.

1315 Further complaints were made about sharp practices over the pricing of ferry charges between Hessle and Barton. The crown granted a new ferry from Hull with prices set at 1/2d for foot passengers, 1d for a man with a horse and 2d for a cart with two horses.

1321 Chalk was being worked in Hessle, on the foreshore at Hessle Cliffe or off Cliff Road, and slabs were used as paving stones in Hull.

1331 Sir William de la Pole became the owner of Hesslewood, a quarry by the Humber a quarter of the land and tenements in the town and territories of Hessle and Tranby, the principal dwelling house in Hessle and its land. He also took the rights to rents gleaned from the pasturing of sheep in and around Hesslewood up to that part belonging to the Prior of North Ferriby.

A ferry ran from the Haven to Barton.

In the 1330’s Hessle chalk was used to provide foundations for the medieval defences of Hull.

1335 Measures to prevent flooding along the Humber were paid for by residents of Hessle and nearby villages.

1340 William de Herwych, Master of the ship, La Waschewe of Hull, loaded wool belonging to John le Goldbeter of York without custom and transported it to Flanders. The loading of the boat took place in the Humber between Hessle and Theusflat. Further shipments belonging to the same man were loaded onto the Le Faucone of Ravenser off Hesslewood.

1344 John, son of John Reyncock of Hesil, a mason, obtained a house in Hull on Munkgate.

1345 John, son of John Reyncock of Hesil, a mason, was released from paying an annual rent of 12d for a house in Munkgate, Hull.

1349 A ferry connected with Barton.

Walter de Hessell died at North Ferriby, possibly due to the Black Death.

1352 The vicar of Hessle and Holy Trinity, Hull, and a chaplain were accused of robbing the Prior of Watton of robbing him of £100 whilst he was in Hull.

1354 Lucy, brother of John Reyncock, sold land in Beverley Streete, Hull, to Robert de Gousill of Hesil.

1355 Robert de Gousill sold a house in Munkgate, Hull, to William Katyluse of Crauncewick.

1367 William de la Pole died seized of the Manor of Hessle.

1369 Hesslewood lost 100 oak trees, 100 ash trees and 100 hazel trees which were cut down, possibly by mistake, on the orders of the priors of Ferriby whose own land confusingly bordered onto Hesslewood.

1376 Trouble flared up over the provision of water for Hull. Hessle, Anlaby and Cottingham felt that their water should not be used for the growing town. A Royal Commission determined that Hull should receive fresh water from springs in Anlaby along a newly cut watercourse. Hessle complained and a further Royal Commission was cut short by the death of Edward III.

1385 The banks of the Humber between Hull and Hessle were in a poor state and collapsed leaving the land open to flooding. Repairs had to be made.

1392 Further disputes over water rights resulted in armed bands being formed and a force marching on Hull. Several of the rebels were arrested and taken to York where they were tried and hung. A Papal bull, threatening excommunication, eventually restored order in 1413.

1398 The Master and poor men of the Charterhouse in Hull were granted lands in Hessle.

Sir William tallboys owned land in Hessle. These lands were later lost to the Crown.

15th Century

1409 Hessle men salvaged the wreck of the South ferry (from Hull), receiving 11sh/1d for their efforts. Another villager was paid a further 11d for finding the landing bridge of the stricken vessel and bringing it to Hull.

Hull failed to maintain the watercourse from Anlaby resulting in flooding in Hessle and Anlaby.

1422 Gerard Hesyll plied his trade as a clerk.

Sir William Taylboys held land in Hessle. These lands were lost to the crown

1420s In the early 1420s Margery Kempe, a mystic from King’s Lynn passed through Hessle. She had been chased out of Hull, accused of Lollardy, and fled to Hessle to take the Barton Ferry but she was arrested and taken to Bevereley where the Archbishop of York proclaimed her to be a perfect woman, and a good woman. Hessle people had joined in the popular clamour against her. She did later take the Hessle - Barton ferry only to be arrested again in Lincolnshire.

1439 Gerard Heysell plied his trade as a clerk.

1440 Henry VI made Hull an independent county and seven years later the new corporation was also made responsible for the governance of Hessle, Anlaby, North Ferriby, Kirk Ella, Swanland and Willerby. This continued to be the position until 1835.

1446 Men of Hessle and Beverley took a ship belonging to Isbrande Harmonson, possibly from pirates in the Humber, and brought it to Hull.

1449 Edward Scott of Hessle was indicted for felony. He, John Wells of Anlaby and another man called Whetley of Anlaby submitted themselves to the arbitration of two Aldermen of Hull. Whetley, as a gentleman, stood surety for Scott.

1455 Sir John Stapleton held land in Hessle

1456 Agreement was reached between the vicar of Hessle, the Mayor and Aldermen of Hull and twenty four shipmasters that an almshouse for poor mariners be kept in Hull.

1457 Hessle was required, by royal command, to supply wheat to victual ships in Hull.

Archery butts were in place on what is now Buttfield Road (hence the name). Men of Hessle were expected to practice their archery regularly.

A chalk causeway may have crossed over South Lane.

1483 In October four men of Hessle, together with others from Anlaby, Ferriby, Kirk Ella and Hull, left the township to join King Richard III’s army at Leicester.

16th Century

1517 After arbitration the villagers of Hessle and Anlaby were allowed to draw water from the fresh water dyke (Julian Well) as was their ancient custom. They were required to scour the Spring Head every Easter and Michaelmas. Every year eight men from Hull, Hessle and Anlaby were to view the dyke. On of the men was the officer of Sir George Tailboys, and he was to keep salt water out of the precinct.

1538 Hull was described as a ‘meane fishar toune, and logid as a member of Hasille village, a 2 or 3 mile of upper on Humber’.

1553 A fish, reported to be twenty yards long was taken off Hessle Cliff.

1575 Matthew Harper did not attend church nor did he receive, along with his wife, the Easter and Whitsuntide communion.

The chancel of All Saints was described as being in great decay.

1585 Sir James Croft wrote to the Mayor of Hull about land in Hasell which his servant was said to have bargained for.

17th Century

1622 Favourable consideration was requested from the bench in Hull for the widow of a man who had wrought and dug stones at Hessle Cliff.

1630 Five keepers of alehouses made a living in Hessle at this time.

1642 The Earl of Lyndsey was ordered, by King Charles I to erect a fort at Hessle. This was a simple earth work construction which was intended to hinder Parliamentarian shipping on the Humber that may be supplying Hull. It had but a short life being destroyed by the Parliamentarian ships, Unicorn and Rainbow. Four field pieces were despatched to Hessle from Sheffield and placed within the fort but one exploded killing the gunner and another man.

A small force held Hessle for the King but marched off after the first siege of Hull.

Sir John Hotham seized three cannon from a Royalist vessel which he intercepted as it crossed the Humber from Barton to Hessle.

1643 A skirmish took place to the west of Hessle (possibly close to Heads Lane) between rival horse troops just before the Battle of Beverley. Armour and skeletons (human and horse) from this period were located on the Barkworth Estate in the nineteenth century.

Captain John Hotham rode through Hessle with fifty troopers on route to meet his father in Hull. The next day he transferred his allegiance from Parliament to King.

1649 Charles Bacon of Ferriby sold land in Hessle to meet fines imposed as a penalty for supporting the Royalist cause in the Civil War.

1651 Richard Lilly, steward of Hessle, saw to the collection of fines imposed at the Moot Court for the breaking of bye laws.

1655 At Michaelmas Thomas Goore was fined 3s 4d for allowing his wife Jane to slander the local jurers and calling them ‘perjured men’. Many houses in Hessle were made of wood and as a consequence one John Carver was fined 3d for ‘carrying fire in an open vessell’.

Salmon poaching was taking place in the Humber off Hessle.

1660 Joseph Wilson, Minister of Hessle, and Henry Hebbart, Minister of Hull, were summoned to appear at the Guildhall to resolve a controversy between them and William Styles, clerk, regarding the vicarage at Hessle.

1661 License and consent was given to the dividing of the Chapel of Holy Trinity in Hull from the vicarage of Hessle.

The parish School was opened by the Rev Joseph Wilson.

1663 The archbishop of York enjoined Robert Hardy of Hessle to do penance in Hessle church for adultery.

1668 Concern was expressed over rogues and vagabonds using the Hessle – Barton ferry.

New bye laws were enacted in Hessle on April 2nd. Any ships coming into the Haven with coal were to offer the said coal in Hessle.

1669 At least five wells were operating in Hessle, including at least one draw well.

1673 The Hearth tax returns show seventy-one taxable properties in Hessle and twenty seven uncharged. A population of about 430.

1687 John Purver was accorded the liberty of digging at Lime Kilne Cliffe in the township of Hessle.

1691 The commissioners of the navy wrote to the Mayor of Hull concerning a complaint from a contractor for the building of a naval ship at Hessle.

1693 An 80 gun ship, Humber, was launched at Hessle.

1696 A great fish became stuck between two coops belonging to Ambrose Pinning, the elder. After many trials and tribulations the carcass was sold to a chandler in Hull.

1699 Robert Scott leased lands at Hessle from John Spicer of Hessle.

18th Century

1716 Chamberlain’s Trust established three almshouses situated under the Parish School on Cow Lane. They were demolished, along with the school to make way for Hessle Square in 1921.

1743 Hessle’s population was around 468.

1769 Opening of the Beverley – Hessle Turnpike Road connecting the ancient ferry with the Minster town.

1792 An Act for the enclosure of the open fields of Hessle was passed.

1793 Francis Hall erected a folly in Buttfield which took the form of a tower. It was demolished in the 1930s.

19th Century

1801 Census: Hessle‘s population was 681.

1804 Virulent outbreak of cowpox.

1806 - 1812 Hessle whiting mill built.

1811 Census: Hessle’s population was 984.

1813 A Methodist Chapel was opened in Vicarage Lane. This was replaced by the building on Tower Hill in 1876.

Robert Brown sold his wife to George Hardy in Hessle for one guinea.

1819 Opening of the School for Industry – a school for girls.

1821 Census: Hessle’s population was 1021.

1821 The Hull Advertiser reported the theft of the church’s iron chest containing register books and other documents from the church. It was found the following year under a dung heap with its contents intact though water damaged.

1823 Dr Francis Anderson came to Hessle to be the local doctor and remained there until the 1860’s.

1826 Opening of the Hull – Hessle Turnpike Road.

1827 Opening of the Primitive Methodist Chapel in Chapel yard, Southgate.

1831 Census records Hessle’s population as 1172.

1835 A Lunatic Asylum run by Miss Catherine Taylor was opened in Southgate. It lasted until 1848.

An Act of Parliament created County Councils and Hessle became part of the East Riding of Yorkshire, thus being separated from Hull.

1840 Opening of the Hull and Selby Railway. George Hoyle was the first station master at Hessle and remained in post until the late 1880s.

Opening of the School for Domestics on Swinegate

1841 Census: Hessle’s population was 1388.

1847 An horrific railway accident occurred just to the east of Hessle causing the deaths of two men.

1849 Despite the virulent cholera epidemics which affected Hull and Hedon, Hessle was hardly affected with only four people recorded as dying from the disease, and these were people who had left Hull in hope of escaping the epidemic.

1851 Census: Hessle’s population was 1576.

1856 Opening of the Church School on the Hourne.

1861 Census: Hessle’s population was 1625.

The Hessle Gas Light and Coke works was established to the east of the Haven. The streets were lit in November.

1865 Church of St Mary on the Cliff was built to cater for those living on the foreshore.

1866 Birth of Thomas Bell who became a motor engineer and built the first car to be seen in the area. He ran a bus service from a garage opposite First Lane.

1868 Substantial rebuilding of All Saints increased its capacity from 500 to 1000 worshippers at a cost of £8000.

1871 Census: Hessle’s population was 2004.

1876 Thomas Banks was elected Schoolmaster – the school came to be named after him. It closed in 1906 and was demolished to make way for Hessle Square.

1877 Opening of the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on Tower Hill on Good Friday, 30thMarch.

1881 Census: Hessle’s population was 2557.

1882 Possibly the end of the ferry crossing to Barton.

1891 Census records Hessle’s population as 2891.

1894 Hessle was granted its own town council.

1897 The Parish Hall (now the Town Hall) was opened to accommodate the newly formed urban district council.

Trinity Congregational Church in South Lane was founded.

20th Century

1901 Census: Hessle’s population was recorded s 3,918.

1912 Algernon Barkworth of Tranby House set sail on the Titanic. He survived the disaster.

1915 Zeppelins are seen flying over Hessle

1921 Hessle Square created.

1935 Haltemprice Urban District was created and Hessle became a part of that administrative area along with Anlaby, Cottingham, Kirk Ella, Skidby, West Ella and Willerby.

1937 The Plaza Cinema opened. It replaced the Star Cinema which had burned down in 1936.

1947 In one of the coldest winters of the century the Haven froze over and ice floes appeared in the Humber off Hessle.

1951 Opening of Our Lady of Lourdes R C Church.

1962 Murder of Leslie Hutchinson.

1974 Haltemprice Urban District Council was abolished with Hessle now coming under Beverley Borough Council as part of Humberside.

1981 Humber Bridge opened By HM Queen Elizabeth II.

1986 After an interval of 50 years Hessle Town Council was reformed, 15 councillors were elected to the new Hessle Town Council on 13th March 1986, following an 8 year long campaign by Hessle people, led by Bob Tress and Alex Cullan, to get its own council

1991 Hessle Town Council was re-constituted into four wards – Eastfield, Northfield, Southfield and Westfield

1992 Hessle Local History Society founded.

1994 Dunston’s Shipyard was closed as the firm went into administration.

1996 Humberside was abolished and Hessle again became part of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

21st Century

2007 Flooding struck Hessle with devastating effect. One man lost his life in the floods.