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A History of Kingston on Hull
from Bulmer's Gazetteer (1892)


Part 8

HULL - a description.

Markets and fairs, Water supply, Baths, Gasworks.

Markets and Fairs - The chartered market days are Tuesdays and Fridays, but the principal market is on Tuesday. There is also a crowded market on Saturday night, for the convenience of the townspeople. The present Market Hall, with the shops in front, was opened on the day of the Queen's Jubilee, in 1887. The building is designed in the Flemish Renaissance style, with a septagonal pavillion tower at the south-west corner, and an octagonal tower at the north-east corner. It is faced with red brick, with stone dressings. The north, south, and east sides are occupied by butchers' shops, lined with white glazed bricks. The central hall is 196 feet by 86 feet, and is roofed with glass, supported by wrought iron girders. In this hall provision is made for 64 open stalls and about 256 feet of stands, for dairy produce. The main frontage is 255 feet in length. On market days, stalls are placed round Holy Trinity Church, and on the large open space at the west end of the edifice. There is an early morning market on Tuesdays and Fridays, for vegetables, in the Corporation field, Park Street. The cattle and pig market is in Edward Place, and a wool market is held weekly during June and July, in the Railway Co.'s shed, Kingston Street.

The fairs for the sale of horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, &c., are held on the second Tuesday in April, and on the 11th and 12th October, - the pleasure fair being also held on the two latter days. A wholesale market is held every morning during the season for fish and game at the Paragon station.

Water Supply. - We have in our historical portion already referred to the troubles which the town in its early days, experienced in obtaining an adequate supply of fresh water. In 1613, works were constructed on the site of the present Engine Street - which thereby derived its name, as did also the adjacent streets, called Waterworks Street and Waterhouse Lane - for the purpose of more effectually distributing the supply of this necessity by means of wooden pipes. These works proving wholly inadequate for supplying the wants of the increasing population, other works were erected at the side of the Spring ditch, near the entrance to the Hull general cemetery. In 1842 it was considered that the supply coming from this source was no longer sufficient, and attention was directed to the river Hull. It was thought that by filtering its water the wants of the town could be met. Accordingly, in 1845, waterworks were erected, at a cost of £100,000, at Stoneferry. After a time, however, a cry was raised against the quality of the tidal river water, which was said to be both muddy and salt at intervals, and it was also objected to on the ground that the river was contaminated by the sewerage of the inland towns and villages on its banks, and attention was again directed to the "Julian Wells," now known as Spring Head. Mr. Warden, having demonstrated the capabilities of these springs, the old source of supply was reverted to. Bores were sunk, engines erected, and mains laid to the Spring Head reservoirs. These works were completed in 1864. Since then, two additional engines have been erected for pumping direct into the town, the first in 1875, and the second in 1886, and the area of the supply has been extended by means of a couple of adits or tunnels, one in an easterly direction, under the Spring bank, threequarters-of-a-mile in length, the other in a westerly direction, towards Kirkella, a mile in length. Both adits have bores at intervals. The Corporation have since erected works at the Mill Dam springs, near Cottingham, where a supply of upwards of 5,000,000 gallons per day is obtainable. The present supply to the town and outlying districts is over 7,000,000 gallons per day. In addition to the Corporation supplies there are waterworks at Newington for supplying that extensive suburb, owned by the Newington Waterworks Co., Limited. These works are capable of affording a supply of 3,000,000 gallons per day.

Baths. - The corporation have under their care baths in Trippett, Madeley Street, and Stoneferry. The baths and washhouses in Trippett are built of brick, with stone facings, in the Tudor style of architecture. The first-class swimming bath is 75 feet by 21 feet, and the boys' swimming bath is 36 feet by 23 feet. There are 56 private first and second-class baths, which are open from 8-0 a.m. to 6-0 p.m. in the winter, and from 7-0 a.m. to 8-0 p.m. in the summer. The washhouses afford accommodation for 50 persons at one time to wash, dry, and mangle. They are open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, from 9-0 a.m., the charge being 2d. for the first hour and 1d. per hour afterwards. At Madeley Street the first-class swimming bath measures 95 feet by 30 feet, and the boys' bath 60 feet by 30 feet. This latter bath is reserved for ladies on Wednesdays. There are also 17 private baths. The hours for being open are the same as at the Trippett Baths. The Baths at Stoneferry are in the old waterworks. All the charges are very moderate.

Gas Works. - Gas is supplied to the town by three companies : - The British Gaslight Co., which has works on the banks of the river Hull, a little north of St. Mary's church (Sculcoates). These works were erected in 1826, but rebuilt and enlarged in 1855. There are five gasholders, capable of containing 3,000,000 cubic feet of gas. The company has fine offices in Baker Street, erected in 1878, at a cost of £5,000. The building is of red brick with stone dressings, and is of semi-Elizabethan character. The public office is of large proportions, being 18 feet high, and is handsomely fitted up. The Kingston-upon-Hull Gaslight Co., which supplies the whole of the old town within the docks with gas, has its works in Broadley Street, at the rear of the Town Hall. These works were established in 1821, and were the first gasworks established in Hull. There are new four gas holders, which contain, when full, 374,000 cubic feet. This company erected, in 1892, a suite of magnificent offices in the Renaissance style - red brick with stone dressings - on the opposite side of Broadley Street. The Sutton, Southcoates, and Drypool Gas Co. have their works and offices at the corner of St. Mark's Street, near the bank of the Sutton drain. This company was formed in 1847, since which date the works have been much enlarged, and the company was incorporated in 1867. One of their gasholders will contain 560,000 cubic feet, and the three together hold 765,000 cubic feet. They can produce 1,336,000 cubic feet per day.

Parks, Pier, Cemeteries, Railway Stations.

Parks. - As already stated, Hull possesses three parks, which form charming retreats for the townspeople in their hours of leisure. The oldest is Pearson's Park, occupying upwards of 27 acres on the Beverley Road, and was presented to the town in 1860, by the late Mr. Z. C. Pearson, at that time mayor of Hull. The park, which is surrounded on three sides by villa residences, is tastefully laid out so as to present the greatest diversity of landscape, and an imitation serpentine, across which a bridge is thrown, adds variety to the picture. This lake is tenanted by swans and water fowl. There are also outdoor and indoor avaries, a number of greenhouses, and other attractions. In the centre of the park is a fine white marble life-sized statue of the queen, by Thomas Earle. The sculptor, whilst executing this statue, was honoured with sittings by the queen, and with suggestions by the late Princess Alice, and the late Prince Consort frequently worked at it, and assisted in finishing it a few weeks before his lamented death in 1861. This statue was presented to the town in 1863, by Mr. W. H. Moss, the then mayor, in commemoration of her majesty's visit to Hull in 1854. The queen is represented as seated in a chair of Greek form, and clothed in a robe of state, with her feet resting on a footstool ornamented with lions heads and paws and the waves of the sea. To the north of this statue is another, by the same sculptor, of the late Prince Consort, erected by the inhabitants of Hull, at a cost of £1,000, in 1868. The prince is in a standing position, and, like the queen, faces the east. Both statues are of great merit. There is an ornamental bronze fountain, presented in 1864 by Mr. H. J. Farmer-Atkinson, M.P., and a pillar of ironstone weighing upwards of 19 tons, representing a pre-historic monument, presented by Messrs. Bolchow, Vaughan, & Co. There are some interesting "ruins" formed out of old architectural remains from Holy Trinity church, Hull, and an ancient church at York. A spacious refreshment pavilion and an octagonal band stand were erected in 1881. The bands of the Hull Police Force perform here in the summer months. There is also a large stone fountain, from the basin of which rises the massive figure of a mermaid. The principal entrance is through a colossal iron gateway of magnificent design.

The West Park occupies an area of 31 acres, on the Anlaby Road, and is laid out with great taste in drives, walks, flower beds, &c. This park was opened on the 29th August, 1885, by Sir Albert Kaye Rollit, LL.D., M.P. There is an ornamental lake and rockery, band stand, refreshment pavilion, &c.

The East Park covers an area of 52 acres, on the Holderness Road. In addition to the lawns, shrubberies, and avenues of various kinds of trees, there is a raised terrace and picturesque walks, a large ornamental lake with rustic bridge and artificial rocks and mounds. The park is also supplied with conservatories, refreshment pavilion, band stand, &c. There is also an old archway, removed from High Street in 1890, and supposed by some to have belonged to the "Bishop of Hull's palace," but this is more than doubtful. This park was opened on the day of the Queen's Jubilee, 1887, by Mr. Alderman John Leak, the then mayor.

The parks are all under the control of the Parks Committee of the Hull Corporation, and form pleasing and picturesque places of recreation.

The Victoria Pier. - This pier is at the southern extremity of the town, in front of Nelson Street. It was erected in 1847, in the form of the letter T, and was re-constructed in 1881, when an upper deck or promenade was added, a new river wall constructed, and Nelson Street widened and ornamented. In fine weather this pier forms a delightful promenade and is most attractive, giving a magnificent view of the broad estuary of the Humber, which is here some two-and-a-half miles broad, and the sight of the shipping, the arrival and departure of vessels to and from foreign ports, presenting a varied and agreeable scene. In the foreground is moored the Humber Training Ship, the Southampton, on board of which about 225 lads, from all parts of England, receive industrial and nautical training. Visitors are allowed to visit the ship on all week-days between the hours of 1-30 and 3-0 p.m. This ancient warship was erstwhile one of the wooden walls of Old England. A modern ironclad - the Humber Guardship - is to be seen farther down the river. A little to the west of the Victoria Pier, is the Minerva Pier, mostly used for landing and shipping the cargoes of the steamers plying on the river.

Cemeteries and Burial Grounds. - The Hull General Cemetery is on the Spring Bank, and was established by a Joint Stock Company in 1847. The grounds, which contain some 20 acres, are tastefully laid out, and are intersected by broad gravelled carriage roads and footpaths. The Hull Corporation Cemeteries are on the Spring Head Road (adjoining the general cemetery) and the Hedon Road, the former covers 27½ acres of ground, and the latter 16 acres. Both are tastefully laid out with shrubs and flowers, and possess a large number of handsome monuments. At the Hedon Road Cemetery are two stone-faced chapels, in the Gothic style, connected by a handsome tower and spire, with an archway beneath. The other burial grounds besides the church-yards of the older churches (all of which are now closed) are : - The Sculcoates Sacristy, opened as a parish cemetery in 1818, and subsequently enlarged. Holy Trinity Burial Grounds, on the Hessle Road (covering about three acres) and in Castle Street. The latter is new closed. The Drypool and Southcoates Cemetery, on the Hedon Road, formed in 1852, by the parishioners of Drypool. St. Mary's Burial Ground in Trippett, Jews' Burial Ground, on the Hessle Road, both of which are now closed. The present Jews' Burial Ground is at Marfleet, two-and-a-half miles from Hull, and was opened in 1858.

Railway Stations. - The passenger terminus of the North-Eastern railway is in Paragon Street. This station is one of the architectural features of the town, and covers an area of two-and-a-half acres, being 123 feet long and 125 feet wide. Its erection was commenced in 1847, and it has been subsequently enlarged. Adjoining the station is the hotel, under the management of the railway company. It measures 120 feet by 130 feet. The fronts of the station and the hotel are of cut stone, and the whole is in the Italian style of architecture. The extensive platforms of the station are covered with a light roof of glass and iron. The principal entrance to the hotel is beneath a massive portico, and the entrance hall, in the centre of the building, is a beautiful court, 60 feet square, finely arched and covered with a roof of flat glass, beautifully ornamented. This company has small stations on the Spring Bank, Beverley, and Holderness Roads, and at Wilmington and Sculcoates. The goods station, in Railway Street, near the Humber Dock, erected in 1858, on the site of the Hull and Selby Station, is one of the largest in the kingdom.

The Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway Company have a booking office in Nelson Street, near the Victoria Pier, in connection with their steam ferry over the Humber to their land terminus at New Holland. This company's ferry steamers run about every half-hour, conveying passengers across the river, a distance of about three-and-a-half miles in 20 minutes. This company, as well as the Midland, and Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Companies has running powers over the North-Eastern Company's lines into Paragon Station.

The Hull, Barnsley, and West Riding Junction Railway and Docks Co. have a line from Cudworth to Hull, connected with which is the magnificent Alexandra Dock. This railway gives direct access to the South Yorkshire coalfields, and through its junctions with the Midland, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and other railway companies, with all the large centres of trade in South and West Yorkshire Lancashire, Staffordshire, the Potteries, and Midland Counties. The chief passenger station of this company is in Cannon Street, and is only a temporary wooden erection. There is also a station on the Beverley Road, at the north end of the town, and the Goods station is in Neptune Street.

Chambers, Associations, Monuments.

Hull Incorporated Chamber of Commerce and Shipping. - This important institution has its office in Exchange Buildings, Bowlalley Lane. It was established in 1838, when emulation, if not competition, was first beginning to manifest itself in a keener form than hitherto. The necessity of mutual assistance had become daily more apparent, and there was a tacit admission that competition, if not kept within reasonable bounds, was liable to become dangerously speculative. Hence the advantage of conference for mutual good between men following kindred pursuits. From its foundation up to the present time, the chamber has progressed with steady perseverance, and is now regarded as one of the most important in the list of the Associated Chambers of Commerce in the kingdom. The chamber was incorporated in 1874, for (1) The promotion of the trade and commerce, the shipping and manufacture of the Port of Hull, and of the Home, Colonial, and Foreign Trade of the United Kingdom generally. (2) The collection and dissemination of statistical and other information relating to trade, commerce, shipping, and manufactures. (3) The promoting, supporting, or opposing legislature or other measures affecting the aforesaid interests. (4) The undertaking by arbitration the settlement of disputes arising out of trade. (5) The doing of all such other things as may be conducive or incidental to the above objects.

Most of the shipowners, merchants, bankers, &c., are members of this chamber. The work is principally done by committees dealing with particular trades: for instance, there are the shipping, timber, seed crushers, &c., committees. There are also, in connection with the chamber, an Association of Seed, Oil, and Cake Merchants, and a Board of Concilliation, the latter consisting of 16 members, eight of whom representing capital and employers are elected from the Chamber of Commerce, and eight by the Hull Trades and Labour Council. Sir Albert Kaye Rollit, M.P., is the president, and Mr. Jos. Gregson the secretary of the Hull Chamber of Commerce.

Hull Guardian Society for the Protection of Trade was established in 1827, and is affiliated with the Associated Trade Protection Societies of the United Kingdom. Its objects are to make private enquiries as to the respectability of traders and others; to obtain by mutual co-operation the avoidance of bad debts; to recover debts owing to members; to keep records of Bills of Sale, &c., and to assist all measures for the improvement of trade. The office is in Deddington Chambers, Bowlalley Lane, Mr. A. Mayfield is the president, Mr. Ald. J. Leak, J.P., is the secretary and solicitor, and Mr. J. Wilcockson the manager.

The Hull and Grimsby Traders' Association for the Protection of the Timber, Building, and Kindred Trades, at home and abroad, established 1891, has its offices in Victoria Chambers, Bowlalley Lane, Mr. J. H. Scott being the general manager. The objects of the association are similar to those of the Hull Guardian Society, its special features being that its unique system for the registration of information affecting the status of traders is confined to the timber and kindred trades, and its subscribers are kept posted with information affecting the credit of a person previously enquired upon.

Monuments. - The Wilberforce monument, near Whitefriargate Bridge, is an imposing fluted Doric column standing on a square pedestal, and rising to a height of 90 feet. This is surmounted by a statue of the Emancipation of Slaves standing on a circular pedestal above the capital, making a total height of 102 feet. Wilberforce is represented in senatorial robes, with a folded scroll in his hand. The sides of the pedestal are ornamented with the arms of the town, the Dock Company, the Trinity House, and the Wilberforce family, beneath which are appropriate inscriptions of the object, time, and manner of its erection. The first stone of this monument was laid on the 1st of August, 1834, the date of the abolition of slavery in the colonies of the British Empire. The entire cost was £1,250, which was defrayed by public subscription. This monument stands upon historic ground, occupying the identical site upon which Charles I. and his followers stood when they were refused admission into the town in 1642, Beverley Gate, at which the king sought entrance, standing upon the site of the present Whitefriargate Bridge.

The equestrian statue of King William III., in the Market Place, was erected, by public subscription, in 1734, and cost £893 10s. This is said to be one of the finest erections of its kind in the kingdom. The figure of the horse and its rider are easy and graceful, and both are covered with gold leaf. It was designed and executed by Scheemaker. Other statues in the Town Hall, the Parks, Infirmary, Mechanics Institute, &c., are described under their respective headings.

Antiquities

Antiquities - Besides the church of the Holy Trinity - without doubt the most interesting building in the town - and that of St. Mary, Hull possesses a few objects of interest to the antiquarian. These are chiefly to be found in High Street, the oldest thoroughfare in Hull, and in which, at a very early date, resided the principal inhabitants of the town. Amongst the distinguished personages who had mansions here in ancient times, were Sir Gilbert de Aton, in 1315; Sir Hugh de Pickworth, Knight, in 1301; Richard de la Pole, and Robert Rotenheryng, in 1320. Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, had a house in this street, in 1408, and the Archbishop of York had one in 1442. Wilberforce House is the most interesting building in this street. It is a quaint Dutch-looking house, with a coped wall in front, and a central gateway. In this house, King Charles I. was entertained by Sir John Lister, in 1639, and William Wilberforce, the philanthropist, was born here, in the room in which King Charles had slept, 1759. This house is now used as offices. Opposite, is an old house with overhanging stories, once occupied by an early quaker family named Sissons, who entertained in this house the celebrated William Penn, for some time previous to his setting out to found Pennsylvania. In this street are several other old houses, such as Crowles' House, Etherington House, with its grand staircase, and the King's Head Inn. The latter was at one time the principal hostelry in the town, and it is said kings have lodged here when visiting Hull. It was at this house that Taylor, the water poet, "took his ease," in 1622. The building is probably as old as the 14th century. It is cross timbered, with overhanging stories. De la Pole House is another interesting house standing on the site of the old mansion of the De la Poles, and containing some of the curiously carved eaves and cornices from the original building, the style of which has been preserved in the modern erection. In Little Humber Street, near the end of High Street, is a curious old brick passage leading to Blackfriargate, and known as Little Lane. This low, quaint archway is of considerable interest to archæologists, for it is one of the oldest structures in the town, and one of the earliest brick buildings in the kingdom. This was the ancient entrance into Hull from the water side, and beneath this arch passed the gorgeous throng of historical personages who visited Hull in company with Henry VIII. in 1541. Crowles' Hospital, in Sewer Lane, is a quaint old structure, its walls being three feet in thickness. It was built in 1088, and in Dagger Lane there is a very fine specimen of ornamental brickwork, sadly defaced by a coating of compo.

Next to Wilberforce House, however, the most interesting piece of antiquity in Hull is Ye Whyte Harte, in Silver Street. This house was built in 1550, by Thomas Allured, M.P., and was the residence of his grandson, John Allured, M.P., who was one of those who signed the death warrant of Charles I. Here also resided Sir John Hotham and Mr. de la Champ, who was at the head of the "town-taking" plot (see, under date 1688, supra). The house was thoroughly restored some years ago, and the kitchens (now used as bars) have been thrown into one, with an old massive oak staircase in the centre. The ancient fire-places remain in a very perfect state. Upstairs is the magnificent old room known as the "Plotting Chamber." The walls are pannelled throughout with oak, which is now black with age. The mantel-piece is a very fine specimen of ancient oak-carving. In Manor Alley, off Lowgate, is an old and somewhat unsightly building, of four arches, said to have formed part of the stables of the once stately Suffolk Palace. This mansion was erected in 1387, by Michael De la Pole, Earl of Suffolk. Henry VIII. resided here in 1541. A few fragments of the masonry which formed part of the stately palace are preserved in the museum of the Literary and Philosophical Society, and a portion of one of the windows stands in St. Mary's churchyard. Another interesting relic of antiquity is the old Grammar School, on South Church side (see "Grammar School ").

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