Facts about Hornsea
The centre of Hessle is the Square. There are many shops and a small bus station, which was refitted in 2007. Hessle All Saints’ Church is located just off the Square and was designated a Grade I listed building in 1967 and is now recorded in the National Heritage List for England, maintained by Historic England. Hessle Town Hall was built in 1897 and is situated at the top of South Lane.Hessle Police Station, which closed in 2014, is next door to the town hall at the top of South Lane and the corner of Ferriby Road.
Hessle is home to the world-famous Humber Bridge, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1981. At the time of its opening, the Humber Bridge was the world’s longest single-span suspension bridge. It links Hessle to the town of Barton-upon-Humber on the opposite side of the Humber estuary. In July 2017 the bridge was granted Grade I listed status.
The place name ‘Hessle’ is first attested in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as Hase. It appears as Hesla in a Danelaw Charter from the reign of Henry II between 1154 and 1189, and as Hesel in a Yorkshire Charter of 1157, and in 1242 in the Book of Fees. The name is the Old Scandinavian hesli meaning ‘hazel grove’.
In more modern times, Hessle has been a center for shipbuilding. Before 1897, there was a shipyard building wooden boats, but it was then bought by Henry Scarr who moved there from Beverley, where he had previously been in partnership with his brother Joseph. Scarr produced iron and steel ships until 1932, when the yard was taken over by Richard Dunston. It was the largest shipyard in Hessle, building vessels such as Loch Riddon, a roll-on/roll-off ferry launched in 1986, and one of four built for Caledonian MacBrayne for use in the Hebrides. The company went into liquidation in 1987 and was bought by Damen Shipyards Group in the same year. Dunston’s was closed down in 1994. The location is now used as offices, car sales buildings and a dock for scrap metal and other materials for dispatch to other areas, or to be recycled. Richard Dunston’s ship repairs still exists further east along the Humber Estuary, with activity remaining high.