Hedon Haven Restoration Project

Saltend Boat WreckDuring the 10th and 11th centuries the river Humber was a dangerous place with ships being attacked by pirates. Having a safe place to moor was very important. The Hedon Haven was one such safe place.

By the late 12th and early 13th Century Hedon was considered one of the major ports in England.

The development of Hull as a deepwater port able to berth larger ships led to Hedon’s maritime decline. However Hedon Haven continued to be used for smaller vessels right up until 1974.

Local MP Graham Stuart has helped publicise a noticeboard that celebrates the history of the town’s historic waterway and former port. The noticeboard erected by the Hedon Haven Restoration Project is situated on what was the bank of the Haven.

As explained on Graham Stuart MP’s Website, the volunteers behind the Restoration Project hope that the haven can be re-opened and used once again for maritime purposes. The project would hope to provide a tourist attraction for the area with a visitor centre, hotel and country park.

Other information: Yorkshire Post article.

Image by Paul Glazzard of the Geograph Project.

6 thoughts on “Hedon Haven Restoration Project

  1. I believe there are some local residents and Hedon Town Councillors on the Haven commissionaires, if so, who are they and what have they done to promote the restoration of the Haven. Because nothing seems to have happened over the last decade or even longer.
    I can remember the Haven with barges at the mooring I believe unloading possibly Ken Winters coal.

    1. JIM,
      I’m practically certain that the last barges to use the (sadly) defunct Hedon Haven prior to it being filled in, were those that brought up timber for the Evans Wood Yard at Saltend. Many of the older generation will remember the long since gone warehouse opposite the (then) Borough Arms, with an enormous heap of coal in front of it!
      Apparently, little coal was stolen from this mound, were folk generally more honest but poorer, than our modern society, one may begin to wonder…………………??

      Further, a DVD about the Haven etc, is maybe still available entitled “Time On Your Hands” from the Hedon Museum, it was published a few years ago……………..

  2. Thanks Ray,
    What a lovely scenic drawing. No wonder my search engine couldn’t find the image as it’s probably found under “Hedon Museum” with no mention of the name of the River Haven waterway.

    I’ve been looking at the National Archive website for any historic insights which would assist in the battle against Hull acquiring the township of Hedon and locality. (I suppose it wouldn’t do to herald the fact that as Hull is quite proud to have started the civil war it wouldn’t be in Hedon’s best interest to advertise that the King parked his horses near the church and gave the Leonard family farmland for helping him (as told to me by Mrs Leonard who used to live on the corner of Princes Ave/Hull Road. I was quite interested to see that Hedon had a person of influence in “Simon” who had been instructed to organise lead for Westminster (!)

    SC 1/11/43
    Simon de Hedon’ to Nicholas de Ely, treasurer: he has received, on behalf of John de Balliol, sheriff of Nottingham and Derby, instructions to buy lead for works at Westminster; he cannot pay for it from the shire revenues, but should he pay from the forest revenues or ignore instructions?; transport if the purchase is made.

    Date: [c. 1263 May-July]

    Held by:The National Archives, Kew

    The verdict of the Inquisition at York has me puzzled as to its meaning, probably all would be clear after reading the document:-

    “men of Hedon to have the town at farm. York.

    Chancery: Inquisitions Ad Quod Damnum, Henry III to Richard III. The men of Hedon to have the town at farm. York.

    Collection: Records created, acquired, and inherited by Chancery, and also of the Wardrobe, Royal Household, Exchequer and various commissions
    Date range: 20 November 1280 - 19 November 1281

    Reference:C 143/5/16″

    Best Wishes
    Rena McCarthy (nee Crum)

    1. Hi Rena,

      I’ve been doing quite a bit of research into the Hedon family (as per my surname), and unfortunately the Simon you refer to is from the upstart village of Headon cum Upton, not from Hedon in Holderness. There were various important personages with the Hedon surname who were from HiH though (including a 14th century MP for Hull). Hedon clearly was very much independent of Hull in the Middle Ages, only losing its importance when the haven silted up and Hull grew much larger.

      Sorry to disappoint…

  3. I’ve come to this 2009 blog via the appearance on my Facebook page of the “Hands Off” campaign, where I noted that Hull is cleverly wording its own campaign that outsiders don’t get a say in the decisions Hull make and are thus disenfranchised. In other words intimating that they provide all the facilities (costing money) but get nothing back in return.

    Regarding the River Haven project, (which I believe in):

    (1) I was wondering if money could be raised for the project and, of course, if it’s feasible to engage a firm to organise hovercraft rides over the Haven basin land and water, either as fun trips or to get from A to B. I’ve looked at the hovertravel website and think the price of the rides are quite reasonable.

    (2) May I point out that the town of Hedon once being an important trading port is a well kept secret to most people. In fact, the last time I was in Hedon I lost my bearings near Thorn Road and two locals didn’t even know where the Haven Inn was and didn’t realise there used to be a waterway in the neighbourhood. Now that millions of people are accessing information on the web about intimate histories of places either for history projects or genealogy purposes with making visits to ancestors homeland I thought I might find one or more photographs, or maybe early historic drawings or paintings of the working boats on the Haven but I’ve found nothing on the web.

Leave a comment. You need to leave your FULL NAME.