Houses on the Foreshore

Today there is a large housing estate on the foreshore in the shadow of the Humber Bridge but throughout the area's history there has been a number houses along the close to the Humber bank. Some of these were built to house the workers along the foreshore and others were larger, more grand affairs. There was also a pub and a church. In the later nineteenth century there must have been quite a community living on the foreshore.

Hessle Foreshore around 1852 showing the extensive chalk quarries and whiting works, the railway, Hessle Haven, Hesslewood House and the fields along the river bank, many of which are now covered in modern housing.

Coburg Villa, the Ferry Inn, Cliff House and Hessle Cliff Villa, which was destroyed to make way for the Humber Bridge, are also shown.

The Three Crowns

The Three Crowns had a somewhat shorter length of service to the public than other Hessle hostelries and now forms, Wintersgill, part of a pair of cottages on Hessle Foreshore in the shadow of the Humber Bridge. Its name is taken from the coat of arms of Hull. The pub was built to serve the needs of the industry on the foreshore and the demands of the small community that lived there.

It is also recorded that one of the landlords of the Three Crowns was not averse to supplementing his income through ‘free trade’. Apparently he smuggled tobacco and hid it in his vegetable plot and was discovered digging up the contraband when customs men made a return visit only a few minutes after departing from searching the scene. The situation of the Humber banks would have been ideal for smuggling.

Some 19th Century Licensees:

1823 John Sellars; 1834 Thomas Wallis; 1846, 1857, 1858 Amy Wallis (Mrs); Thomas Wallis; 1867 George Milner; 1872 Thomas Holt.

Wintersgill - the cottages on Hessle Foreshore, one of which formed the Three Crowns public house. The second cottage from the east now displays a plaque in the shape of a crown with the words "THREE CROWNS INN".

The cottages survived a recent attempt to have them demolished and have since been restored. They were described at the time as being of indeterminate age, but there is evidence within the fabric of the buildings to demonstrate a seventeenth century date for construction.

St Mary's on the Cliff

An Anglican chapel of ease was built at Hessle Cliff in 1864 to meet the needs of the community thereabouts. It cost £68-9s-1d.

The chapel was situated immediately to the east of the whiting mill. The chapel can be seen clearly on early postcards. The single storey brick building had a bell on the roof to the rear and a cross to the front.

Cliffe House & Hessle Cliffe Villa

The houses called the Cliffe and an earlier house called Cliff Villa or Hessle Cliff Villa, which may be the same building as The Cliff, were both on Hessle Foreshore. Both houses seem to have had different names or spellings of their names according to who lived in them at any given time.

The Cliffe which was on Hessle Foreshore, close to where the Humber Bridge now stands. This was the home of George F Holmes, a member of a leather tanning family from Hull. He was also a sailor and an accomplished artist.

Cliff House by G F Holmes. the whiting mill can be seen in the background

The following is from a copy of the auction leaflet for the sale of the house after the death of G F Holmes, which describes the property as a “valuable freehold detached residence with stabling and garden covering just over one acre situated on the north side of Cliff Road on the Humberside at Hessle.

The house which is built of brick and pebble dashed with slated roof, contains:- Porch, Inner Hall, Cloakroom and WC, three reception rooms. Comprising Lounge Hall, approximately 15ft by 21ft with two bays, Dining-room approximately 15ft by 18ft, Drawingroom approximately 24ft by 18ft, with door to garden, seven Bed and Dressingrooms, Box-rooms, Linen cupboards, two bathrooms, Secondary Staircase, Kitchen, Larder, Scullery, Butler’s Pantry, Coals, Washhouse and Domestic Offices.

Hull Water, Central Heating Electricity.

The building includes Garage, three Loose Boxes, Coalhouse and Wood Tool Shed.

There is a long Garden at the rear, with Brick and Tiled Barn and garage and three bay Shed and Store.

On the South side of Cliff Road, opposite the Front Garden of the house is a small plot of land forming part of the Humber Foreshore, with a frontage of approximately 85ft to the river.

The above property , which has a good view over the river, is ideally suited for a keen yachtsman and will be sold with vacant possession on completion.

The property is assessed for rating purposes at £48.”

The house was sold by B L Wells and Sons (Auctioneers), apparently for £600 but the purchaser is not known.

The house was demolished as part of the Humber Bridge scheme, and that the site was used as a marshalling / storage are during the construction period. This seems to be a tragic end for what must have been a beautiful building.