Winteringham & the River Humber

Winteringham Local History and Genealogy

Winteringham and the River Humber

The history of Winteringham - even that of Winteringham on dry land - is inextricably linked with the River Humber, all the way from pre-Roman times when the ancient ridgeway of Yarlesgate resumed south of the river here, through the important Roman period, the Vikings, and medieval times.  Even as late as 1940, there was a regular ferry at Winteringham, and in the Second World War the Haven was used to tranship cement for Royal Naval base construction.  Only in living memory has the river become more of a barrier than an efficient highway for people and trade from Winteringham.

Customs Map 1734But the river has been an enemy as well as a friend.  As can be seen from this Customs Map produced in 1734, the river then was very different to the river today.  Most obviously - there is no Read’s Island - but that is just one example of the constantly shifting shape of the waterway.  In the nineteenth century, brickworks were washed away on Ferriby Road, and it wasn’t until the middle of the twentieth century that embankments prevented many high tides inundating that same road.

For more detailed sections on the river, try these links: The Haven, Read’s Island.

The Storm of December 1874, and how Winteringham came to the aid of the survivors (account and poem)

Floods on Ferriby Road, Winteringham, 1952

The once-common sight of flooding on Ferriby Road.  You can just make out the black and white marker posts in the middle of the photo showing the dept of water.  For more photographs of the flooding on Ferriby Road, click one of these ... [Landscapes] [Cars] [Vans] [Lorries]

Map of Sluice Lane Winteringham before the Humber washed away the land

The ‘First Edition’ OS Map was surveyed by 1822, though with revisions throughout the nineteenth century.  It shows clearly that there were fields between Sluice Lane and the Humber at the time it was surveyed ... and that Read’s Island did not exist at the time - just a sand bank named ‘Ferriby Sands or Old Warp’.

Map of Sluice Lane Winteringham after the Humber had washed away land.

Image produced from the service with permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. and Ordnance Survey

Winteringham Objects to Hull Docks Bill!

The following article appeared in the Hull Packet on 4th November 1881:

Lincolnshire Lore
Missing Documents.-In November, 1877, the remarkable antiquarian collection of the late Mr. G. Sumner, of Woodmansey, near Beverley, was dispersed by auction.  A letter from him, dated 22nd December, 1864, states: "On referring to my catalogue (which is very voluminous) I find I have a grant from the Crown on vellum, with the Great Seal, in fine preservation, dated 21st April, 27 Eiizabeth [sic], of tithes in Barrow, the late parcel of the possessions of Thornton College, and some old deeds relating to a mill and lands in Barrow, formerly belonging to Thornton Abbey, and in the Hedon Rolls of the Court of Pleas, which I have, commencing in the reign of Edward the Third, there are several suits recorded between the Abbot and Convent of Thornton (who had estates in Holderness) and other parties in Brigg.  I have a folio volume lettered 'Admiralty Court, Rolls, &c.' In this volume entries are made of several courts having been held at Glamford Briggs.  An original admission of Thomas Gillyatt (of Glamford Briggs), to the freedom of the Borough of Hedon, in Holderness, in the early part of the reign of Charles the second (Thomas Gillyatt was my great, great, great, grandfather, and an ancestor of the Upplebys of Barrow,) a petition on vellum to the House of Commons, from the shipowners, merchants &c., within the townships of Winteringham and Glamford Briggs, against the Kingston-upon-Hull Docks Bill."

By the time of this OS Map (1890) the Humber had washed away the land north of Sluice Lane, but had created Read’s Island.

Chart of the Humber near Winteringham
Amy Howson and Comrade

The regular charting of the Humber has been an essential task in helping shipping avoid running aground on the shifting sandbanks - though this still happens as Harry Wells photograph of the Orion
Ship Orion aground off Winteringham 2004
aground off Winteringham in summer 2004 proves.

The copy of a 1925 Humber Conservancy Board chart (left) shows the depth in feet, with the deep water channel marked as a dotted line.

Navigation landmarks are also marked such as Winteringham Church, ‘Sisters’, ‘Ball Tree on Ridge’, and ‘Tall Tree’.

 For information how surveying of the Humber was done, is done, and looking into the future, how it will be done, visit the ABP site by clicking here.

Amy Howson and Comrade

These photographs of the preserved Amy Howson and ‘Comrade’ were taken on the Ancholme, on the South Ferriby side.  They are examples of the craft that could have been seen from Winteringham for many years.  The website for these vessels may be reached by clicking here.

PS Atalanta & PS Isle of Axholme, Winteringham 1907
Amy Howson and Comrade
Barge under sail on Humber 2007

This postcard was reproduced, we understand, in the Hull Daily Mail.  It is of the ferries which brought a band, and spectators to Winteringham Sports on the day that the railway opened - 13th July 1907.  See also “Paddle Steamers” and Best Weekend Ever!”

The once common sight of a humber craft under sail is occasionally seen - as spotted here by Harry in September 2007

The Hero of the Humber - Mr John Ellerthorpe

'A similar incident took place in 1844. I was captain of a ferry-boat plying between Winteringham and Brough. One Sabbath-day I was taking a load of beasts from Brough to Winteringham, and when we had got about half way across the Humber, the boat upset, and the beasts were thrown into the water. I was afraid they all would be drowned, and, in spite of all I could do, some of them were. I jumped overboard and drove some of them back to Brough, while others swam to the Lincolnshire side of the river. I was swimming about after the beasts for five hours, chasing them backwards and forwards, turning them this way and that, and doing what nobody but myself would have done. At length, several men came to our assistance, and when we had got the poor animals out of the water, we hastened to the public-house at the harbour-side, and got drunk. I kept my wet clothes on until they dried on my back. This was one of the most wretched days of my life. My anxiety about the beasts, the exhaustion brought on by my efforts to get them safe to land, and the sense of misery and degradation I felt when I thought of the plight I was found in on the blessed Sabbath-day, I shall never forget.

Excerpt from “The Hero of the Humber”, the history of the late Mr John Ellerthorpe by the Rev Henry Woodcock.  The full book is available as part of the Project Gutenberg, here: Hero of the Humber

The Dangerous River ...

Body Found
from the Hull Packet of 2nd November 1813

On Wednesday morning, the body of a man, habited like a sailor, was found floating near the shore, at a small distance from Wintringham.  He had a wooden leg, and in one of his waistcoat pockets was a leathern pouch, containing some tobacco, and a shilling of the date of 1723, marked J.H.A.H. - He was buried at Wintringham on the following day.

Accident on the Three Sisters of Wintringham
from the Hull Packet of 7th August 1840

About five o'clock in the afternoon, another accident of a dreadful nature, occurred in the Junction Dock on board a sloop named the Three Sisters of Wintringham, where a "purchase-man," named Thomas Rushton, a fine athletic fellow, was engaged in shifting a heavy piece of oak timber, when it fell upon him, and literally smashed out his brains.  He was conveyed to the Infirmary, where he lingered until half-past nine o'clock and expired.  He has left a widow and three children.

Missing on crossing to Winteringham
from the Hull Packet of 1st December 1848

The neighbourhood of Winteringham, near Barton, was thrown into a painful state of excitement last week, in consequence of two men, named James Moore and Paterson Everett, having left Weighton lock, on the Yorkshire side, with a cargo of pots, for Winteringham, and not having since been heard of.  It blew hard from the S.W. at the time the boat left Weighton lock, and there is every reason to believe that the men must have met with a watery grave, as the mainsail and foresail of the boat have since been picked up.  Everett was a Winterton man, and has left a wife and two children, and Moore, who was a widower, has left seven children totally unprovided for.

Sudden Death
from the Hull Packet of 24th August 1849

On Thursday the 16th inst., Mr John Sargeant, master of the keel Victoria, of Blacktoft, after taking in a cargo of cliff stone at Hessle, in proceeding to his destination, Yokefleet, in consequence of the ebbing of the tide brought up in the Brough roads on Thursday: whilst there he eat a very hearty dinner, but between five and six o'clock he was attacked with cholera, which in a short time became so severe that it was thought advisable to have him conveyed to his residence at Newport, where the best medical aid was procured (Mr. H. J. Raines of that place, was in immediate attendance), and the most prompt and anxious attention was paid to his case, and every means used for his restoration, but without the desired effect, as he expired a little after one o'clock on Friday morning, after suffering the most excruciating pain.  He was very greatly respected by his employers, Messrs. Grasby and Reynolds, and a numerous circle of friends and relatives.  He was the youngest son of the late Captain George Sargeant, of Wintringham, near Barton, Lincolnshire, and was in the 31st year of his age.

Wrecked keel brought safely to the Haven
from the Hull Packet of 6th November 1863

The keel belonging to John Fussey of East Halton, was wrecked on Whitton Sands, on Monday night, but on Tuesday morning Mr Thomas Burkill, and others, from Winteringham, rendered valuable assistance and succeeded in getting the vessel safe into Winteringham Haven with the loss of several stores, and about 15 tons of coal.  She was freighted for Mr. Charles Wells, of Hull.

Winteringham folk’s kindness to shipwrecked sailors
from the Hull Packet of 11th December 1874
This long article, together with a poem of the occurrence by Winteringham’s Ann Barratt, published immediately after the event can be found by clicking here.

Steamer Wrecked (again!)
from the Hull Packet of 26th September 1884

- The steamer Killarney (Captain Rowbottom), from Goole to Bruges, with a general cargo, grounded on Saturday night twelve miles above Hull, capsized, and filled.  The crew were saved.  The Killarney is an iron steamer, of 359 tons gross, and owned by the Goole Steamship Company.  The Killarney lies in about 18 or 19 feet of water near the Winteringham Lights, on the Lincolnshire coast.  Her cargo, or rather portions of it, soon after she foundered were washed from her hold, and bales have been picked up by the watermen and others.  The men on board had a narrow escape of their lives, and lost everything.  They remained by the steamer after the Killarney sank in the hope that when the tide rose she would lift again, but instead of doing so she launched into the river, crossing the channel, and finally heeling over as the tide flowed.  Her cargo was a valuable one and is covered by insurance, as is also the vessel herself.  It is noteworthy that she had made over 1,000 voyages out of Goole, and her loss is due to the monetary loss of steerage power forcing her on to the bank.  The Killarney has had many narrow escapes, and has been all but destroyed on several occasions.

Steamer Raised
from the Hull Packet of 21st November 1884

The s.s. Killarney, which sank on the 20th September in the Whitton Channel, has been raised.


The Everyday River ...

Brough Ferry
from the Hull Packet of 16th July 1841

- This is one of the few remaining royal-chartered ferries, and is of very ancient origin, being situate upon the old Roman road from Lincoln to York, or, if you please, from London to Edinburgh.  It crosses the Humber from Wintringham, in Lincolnshire, to Brough on the Yorkshire side, at a distance of ten miles due west from Hull, and 20 east of Selby.  Brough is a station on the Hull and Selby Railway, where twelve mixed trains, with goods and passengers, call daily.  The journey to Selby is regularly performed within an hour, and that to Hull usually in something less than half that perod.  We boast, in these days of strait [sic] lines on railroads; and the Hull and Selby railroad, for eighteen miles west of Brough, presents we believe, as fine a specimen in this respect as is to be met with in England; but the road from Wintringham to Lincoln silently hints that that which has been shall be, and where is there anything new under the sun?  The distance from Wintringham to Lincoln is thirty miles, without a curve or a turn; it is, however, in great part a broad green lane, which the newly-established steam-ferry at Brough is perhaps calculated to mar the beauty of.  The ferry in questions has a strong claim upon the Lincolnshire breeders.

Dinah Suggitt donates to the Filey Fishermen’s Appeal
from the Hull Packet of 13th July 1860


Hull Subscriptions previously advertised, 439 19s 7d

Earl Fitzwilliam ................................100 0 0
James Wilson ...................................  2 2 0
Avison Terry ......................................  2 0 0
Miss C. Turner ..................................  2 0 0
Miss E. A. Turner .............................  2 0 0
John Winter .....................................  2 0 0
Westcott and Son ............................  1 0 0
Thomas Self ....................................  1 0 0
Dinah Suggitt, Winteringham .............  1 0 0
Mrs T. A. Wilkinson ..........................  1 1 0
Thos. Carlill, Hessle ..........................  1 0 0
Miss Lee ..........................................  1 0 0
J. W. Leng .......................................  1 0 0
Geo. Feetam ....................................  0 5 0
J. G. ................................................  0 2 6
A. B.  ..............................................  0 0 6
G.S.  ...............................................  0 0 6

DALE BROWN, W. STEPHENSON, Acting Secs. to the Hull Fund

Two large Fish...
from the Hull Packet of 27th June 1862

Two large fish have been picked up on the warp, and dissected, which yielded abundance of oil.  One was about 24 feet long.  A gentleman took a piece of fat from one of them weighing 13 oz, from which he procured 11 oz of oil.

Trinity House Notice
(this is a typical one, of many that appeared in the press)
from the Hull Packet of 9th May 1873

Humber Buoyage and Beaconage,
9th May, 1873
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that in consequence of changes in the direction of the channels below Whitton Ness, the TEMPORARY LIGHT, which has been exhibited since the 30th November last on the east side of Winteringham Haven, will be DISCONTINUED, and the WHITTON FLOATING LIGHT VESSEL will be again moored off the Ness as a guide for vessels rounding the Ness.
The Channel along the Lincolnshire Shore, near Winteringham Lights, has so far opened out as to be again navigable, and the vessels using it should keep well in towards the land, as the deepest water is close to the shore.
By order,

... and a further example from the Hull Packet of 22nd January 1875

Buoyage and Beaconage Department
21st January 1875


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the WHITTON NESS SAND has lately GROWN OUT considerably to the South Eastward of its ordinary extensions, and the West Side of the Pudding Pie Sand has to a great extent been scoured away, and a NEW CHANNEL to the Eastward of the late Channel has OPENED OUT, running in a Southerly direction towards Winteringham Haven.  Great care should at present be taken in navigating that part of the Humber, and especially as the present Channel, which is considered to be only temporary, is to the South Eastward of the line of the Lights at Winteringham.
Arrangements, of which due notice will be given, are being made for placing Temporary Lights on the Foreshore near Winteringham to assist the navigation through the new Channel.
By order

Humber Conservancy Board - notice - 800w

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