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Town & City Historic Maps

Kingston upon Hull

From medieval town to industrial city

Wooden Surface

The city of Kingston upon Hull has a good claim to be one of Yorkshire's most historic cities. Founded by the Cistercian monks of Meaux Abbey, the town was acquired in 1293 by Edward I who needed a military base. He changed the name from Wyke to Kingston upon Hull and set about building a planned, fortified town next to the River Hull. The town soon boasted two churches and Carmelite and Augustinian friaries, and became an important trading port.

In the fourteenth century, a licence was granted to build a ditch and walls around the town. Henry VIII increased the fortifications by building three defensive structures to the east of the River Hull. In the seventeenth century, Hull acquired an enormous new fortification to the west of the old town walls during the Civil War, and later in the century, the colossal Citadel was built to the east of the river.

Hull prospered as a trading port, and eventually also became a substantial manufacturing town, with industries including shipbuilding, founding, paint-making, and pharmaceutical and medical products. It was the home to Reckitt's and to Rank's mills, as well as a centre of tanning and a huge handler of imported timber. Many warehouses grew up around the expanding docks.

Badly bombed in the Second World War, the city was rebuilt slowly and piecemeal, until a new renaissance began at the end of the twentieth century. In 2017 Hull celebrated its status as UK City of Culture.

The map shows the locations of the city's many medieval and post-medieval buildings. The map has in the background an Ordnance Survey of 1928 showing the many manufacturies, shipyards and warehouses which dominated the character of the city in its Edwardian heyday.

A sample of the Hull map, focusing on City Hall
The City Hall and, behind it, the course of the old River Hull

Centred around the Old Town of Hull on its island, the map also shows the city's older docks, and the nineteenth-century town that developed to the west of Prince's Dock. It also charts the amazing provision of railway tracks that shaped its topographic development.

The reverse of the map carries a comprehensive gazetteer of the city, listing all the most important sites of historic interest with a brief history of each of them and many illustrations.

The map's cover has an introduction to the history of the city, written by Dr David Atkinson of the University of Hull. The map's authors are Drs David and Susan Neave (authors of the Pevsner Architectural Guide to Hull) and D.E. Evans, former City Archaeologist.

Published in association with the University of Hull, and the project has been made possible by a generous grant from the Marc Fitch Fund.

On September 6th 2017, the map was awarded a 'Commended' prize in the annual Stanfords Award for Printed Mapping competition run by the British Cartographic Society. Giving the Historic Towns Trust this award means recognition of the quality of the map by practising, professional cartographers.

Publication Details

Published Date:

May 2017





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