are areas at the start of this walk which may be unsuitable for wheelchairs
as it includes a section along the river bank and down through the
country park. There will be a note to avoid the worst areas though
there will still be areas which may be over grass. Also in wet weather
or after periods of rain there may be sections in
the early sections where it can get quite muddy so appropriate foot
wear may be needed.(
If only taking the virtual walk please feel free to wear your slippers.
on photo for larger version
We start this
walk in the car park for the Humber Bridge viewing area. For
directions to Waterside Road visit the web page Barton
Street Index . The
car park is signed on your left just before you reach the end
of the road. Once in the car park
notice the beacon pole which was erected as part of the beacon
project for the millennium celebrations. Now walk up the slope
onto the bank and turn right to get to the end of Waterside Road.
your right is the old boathouse. This was originally used as a
Coastguard station and was opened by the† Duke
of Edinburgh in 1880, but closed in the 1920s. During the second
world war it was used by an army unit. It is now the visitorsí and
information centre of the Barton Clay Pits Country Park Project
and the start of the Viking Way, which is a long distance walk
that ends at Oakham. It is open from Easter to September and attracts
some 25,000 visitors each year, many from overseas.
If you now turn
and look across the river you get a good view across to East
Yorkshire. Barton ferry, mentioned in the Doomsday Book, sailed
between Barton and Hessle until the 1850ís. It was one of the
several ferries crossing the Humber. At very low tide you can
just make out the wooden supports of the old jetty which was
later used by the Coastguard station. A freight service operated
between Barton Haven and the Horsewash in Hull until the 1950ís.
Hessle with its church and shipbuilding yard, can be seen from
here. The river is tidal at Barton and at low tide, in autumn
and winter particularly, the mud supplies rich feeding for wading
back along the bank towards the Humber Bridge.
Wheel chair users turn left
down the ramp into the car park and then at the bottom turn right
through the car park and into the country park area. Turn left
once at the pond side and continue to walk south
advance to pick up rest of route.
started in 1972 and was officially opened by the Queen on the 17th July
1981. It was the worlds longest suspension bridge though now has
been moved into second place by a bridge in Japan. The Humber Bridge
has a total length of 2,220 mtrs or 2,430 yards. The bridge is
operated by The Humber Bridge Board, formed by an Act of Parliament
There are walkways and
a cycle path on each side of the bridge and a little later in this
walk we will be close to the point where you can reach this pathway
should you want to extend your walk onto or over the bridge. Whilst
there is a toll for road vehicles it is free for pedestrians and
along the bank and under the Humber bridge roadway and notice on
your left the anchorage block for the cables. Each of the two main
supporting cables is made up of hundreds of thin cables each of
which was individually taken across the river. At each side of
the river is an anchorage block into which each of these individual
cables is anchored in concrete.
Also as you pass under
the bridge look out across the river at the view between the towers.
continue a little further you will come to the Blythís Tileyard.
This is one of the two tile yards still working in Barton today.
In 1900 there were 15 working yards in the parish producing both
bricks and tiles. The products were sent from wharves on the Humber
Bank all over eastern England and many houses in Londonís suburbs
are roofed with Barton tiles. Many of the workers in the industry
lived in cottages built in the yards of which one pair remains
here. The industry has steadily declined since the first world
war. The many remaining ponds, marking the pits from which the
clay was extracted, are evidence of its former importance in the
economy of the town.
Now walk back
under the bridge and just after the gateway turn right down the
steps into the Clay Pits Country Park.
(It is outside the scope of this walk
but if you had continued along the bank past the tile works
for about a mile you would have come to another of the Clay
Pits Country Park sites which forms a circular route and contains
hides for watching the birds on the water and also takes in
the visitor centre.)
Walk along the
grassy path with the approach road to the bridge on your right
until you reach the pathway and then turn right. On your left
you will see a pond which was originally formed when clay was
extracted for the brick and tile works. If you had walked just
past the tile yard you would have seen a new one of these pits
being dug out as clay is extracted for the working tile yard.
Nature has re-colonised the pond, particularly with reed-mace
and reeds. A variety of birds can be seen including most commonly
mallards, moorhens and coots.
This area was once used
for the now abandoned Waterside Sports. This annual event was held
in August with separate races for boys, girls, men and women. The
last Waterside Sports were held here in 1947.
the path round the end of the pit and then where the pathways meet
turn right along the pathway (Wheel chair
walk joins here.)which brings you out onto Far Ings Lane.
As you walk along this path look to your left into the Silver Birches
caravan park and notice the fine columnar bushes. Turn right onto
Far Ings Lane and then left into Humber Road. (If
you were to continue along Far Ings Lane for a short distance you
would come to the access to the walkway over the bridge. You may
like to walk onto the bridge to examine the intricacies of its
As you walk along
this road look to your left and you will see the Tower of Hewsonís
Mill. This is the only remaining mill tower of the three which
formerly worked along Waterside Road. It was built in 1813 for
Messrs Cook and Sutton and was used to grind grain. The cap and
sails were removed in the 1920ís. There were four windows on
each floor and it was whitewashed on the inside and tarred on
At the end of Humber
Road follow the road round to the left into Dam Road. This was
formerly the site of a dam which provided water for a mill at
the head of the Haven.
once known as First Ings† and
later as Ď Gas House Laneí. In 1846 the Barton Gas Works was built
on this lane. Its coal supplies were brought to the haven by boat.
Substantial houses, such as Clarence House and Yuba House, were
built for brickyard owners and have fine, detailed brickwork.
Continue along Dam
Road to the end and turn right. If you look to the left across
the road you will see the railway station. This was opened by
the London North Eastern Railway in 1855 though trains had actually
reached Barton in 1849. It was formerly a very busy place with
a lot of freight and passenger traffic. In 1901 fourteen trains
left Barton each weekday and 4 on Sundays. The station buildings
were all demolished in 1973. There were plans at one time to
continue the railway line to Scunthorpe via Wintringham but this
was never started. There is still a service to Grimsby and Cleethorpes
and these link with the bus service to Hull and Scunthorpe.
along Waterside Road / Fleetgate† to the White Swan Inn which was one of Bartonís
main hotels. It is a three storied building with a steeply† hipped pantile roof. The ď Venetian ď windows
looking onto Fleetgate indicate that it was built in the 18th century.
It formerly had a stabling and a paddock at the rear.
Now turn around
and walk back along Waterside Road. In the 19th and
early 20th century the Waterside was a self-sufficient,
tightly-knit community with its own shops, schools, church and
Methodist Chapel, inns and industries. Many of its inhabitants
rarely ventured into central Barton but instead used the railway
and ferry to visit Hull. Its industries included brick and tile
making , a rope works, a chemical works, malt kilns, shipbuilding
and repairs, a gas works and a whiting manufacture. The area
has become somewhat run-down though there are hopes that a revival
of its fortunes is underway.
on your right the road Maltkiln Lane which was named after the
malt drying kilns which were in that area. Some years ago they
changed the name of the road to Chemical Lane in response to the
chemical works which was at the end of the road. Since its demise
a few years ago they have now reverted back to its original name.
The name Maltkiln was taken from several malt drying kilns in that
As stated earlier the
waterside area was a busy self sufficient part of the town. There
was very much a feel of them and us between this end of the town
and the market place with the two areas not mixing to a great degree.
As with all dockland areas there was a ready supply of public houses
within the waterside area and most of these are no longer open
for selling alcohol. One of these is the Royal Vaults Public House.
This closed in the mid to late 1900s and has not been turned into
flats. When this public house closed it was at the time when new
public houses could only be granted a licence which had become
available from one closing. The licence from the Royal Vaults was
kept and used for the newest of Bartons pubs the Carnival Inn which
is on Tofts Road.
Continue down Waterside
Road until the houses Nos. 23 and 25 on your left. These were originally
one house which belonged to the owner of the windmill situated
to the Northwest. It was built in the early 19th century.
The Turnpike road from Barton-Waterside to Lincoln which started
from here was opened in 1765.
Notice over the
haven the building which was part of the rope works. This was
used as the loading point for the barges along with some packing.
As can be seen the haven was navigable up to this point. In fact
it was navigable far further into Barton than this centuries
along the Waterside have recently been demolished. Among them was
St. Chadís Church whose foundation stone was laid on 11th June
1902 by the Bishop of Lincoln. It cost £1,850 to build, was closed
for worship in the 1970ís and was finally demolished in 1993. St.
Chadís Church of England School was opened on 12th December
1904 after a public inquiry. At that time there was much opposition
to Church Schools and Church teaching. The school was closed in
1960 and was demolished in 1993.
A little further down
the road is the old Wesleyan Chapel. This was built in 1862 as
a mission chapel and was designed by the Hull architect W. Alfred
Gelder. The original Mission Chapel on the south side of the site
was converted into a Sunday School when the new chapel was opened.
After it ceased to be used as a chapel it was used as a headquarters
of the Boys Brigade† until
it was closed. Since then it has had various uses mainly as storage
for organizations and businesses.
There was once
boat landings along the banks of Barton Haven all the way down
Waterside. It has to be remembered that the embankment you now
see has been a fairly recent addition o the landscape and was
designed to stop the flooding of the property when there were
exceptionally high tides. Barton clearly had a great port in
the medieval period and although it declined somewhat in the
16th and 17th centuries a revival of its
fortunes took place in the 18th and 19th centuries
when goods, including bricks, tiles, whiting, chalk, gravel,
sugar beet, fertiliser from the Farmers Company Works on Chemical
lane, barley, coal, rope and hemp, were transferred to and from
sloops, keels, coasters and London sprite-sail barges. These
traded with inland, coastal and continental ports via the River
Humber. Many of the sailors who manned these boats lived in the
houses and streets which lined the Waterside. Most of this river
trading finally ceased with the outbreak of the second world
war but a market boat continued to journey from Barton Haven
to Hull until the late 1950ís.
You come to the new
bridge which has been built over the haven. This bridge replaces
an old bridge which was called Ropery bridge and was taken down
many years ago. The old bridge was much nearer the town than the
new bridge but this new location gives a fine view of the boats
in the boat works and also easier access from the river bank on
the west of the haven to the east side.
If you now cross the
bridge and then turn to the right and follow the line of the haven
you will come to a long building which now houses the† Ropewalk
exhibition centre but was originally part of the rope works. John
Hall† ( 1775-1863 ) developed
the ropery which became known as John Hall and Co. By 1900 about
half of the ropes produced here were sold to the Wilson Shipping
Line, the largest private shipowners in the world at that time,
and the remainder went to trawler companies in Hull, Grimsby and
Lowestoft. The firm expanded greatly during the early years of
the present century but gradually trade declined and the rope works
closed in 1989. The buildings which now remains of the old works
are the warehouse with its mansard roof and loading crane and the
ropewalk. which is reputed to have the longest pantile roof† in
the country, some one third of† a
mile long .
Now return to the bridge.
On your right you may see the entrance to another country park
which has been developed on the site of the old chemical works.
Again this is outside the scope of this walk but hopefully will
form part of a future walk. Now back over the bridge and turn right.
Continue further down
Waterside Road and opposite the boat yard is Waterside Cottage.
Which is probably an 18th century building and was once
attached to a malt kiln which occupied the site which is now 101
Waterside Road. After being used as a malt kiln the building was
used as a wire works.
A little further down Waterside
Road is Waterside House which was originally known as Waterside
Inn and dates from 1715. During its heyday from about 1723 to
1835, the inn must have been a most important and prestigious
establishment with three mail coaches using the Inn. The Royal
mail coach to London ran daily from here. In 1821, when a steam
ferry commenced running between Hull and Barton, the Inn had
stabling for 100 horses.
The mail coaches stopped running
when the New Holland Ferry and rail connection opened in 1849.
The Inn became a ferry office and was later converted to a public
house much frequented by boatmen using the waterside. Since 1960
the building has been a private house.
The large house near
to Humber Terrace called Beech House which was once owned by North
Midlands Railway ( ferry service ) was later taken over by the
Coastguard service and used as accommodation by the officer in
charge of the station.
Continuing further on
you will see an L shaped group of eight cottages. These were the
Coastguard houses built by Alexander Stamp in 1862. Alexander Stamp
built the houses for William Wilkinson, surgeon, of Cob Hall. There
were houses for the families of the seven boatmen and one leading
boatmen, with a communal wash-house serving the dwellings. These
coastguards had previously lived in houses on Waterside Road. The
Admiralty originally leased the houses from Wilkinson for 21 years,
but bought the properties on his death in 1883.
The coastguard launched
their boat from the old jetty which had been built in 1825 for
the new steam ferry ( see the beginning of the walk). For over
a century Bartonís coastguard station was the headquarters of the
service along the Humber. The jetty was demolished in 1929 when
the station was closed.† More
information can be found in the section about the Coastguard
Station on this site.
You can now walk
down the north side of these houses into the car park and you
have completed the circular walk and have seen some of the history
of Barton as a busy river port.
I hope you have found this virtual tour interesting it can
never replace seeing the places "live". We hope that
you may find the time to visit the town and experience its
history. Please visit the EVENTS page for information about
the dates and times of the active life of the town.