The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

RSS feeds: v0.91; v1.0 (RDF); v2.0; Atom.

Previous entry. Next entry.

5:27pm on Sunday, 9th April, 2006:

Hornsea Burton Road


My home town is Hornsea, East Yorkshire. I'd link to some web sites for it, but I can't use the Internet right now. I'm sure Google will pick it up if you want to know more (not that there's much to know).

Here's a street sign:

Hornsea is on the coast, but it's positioned between the sea and Hornsea Mere, which is the largest body of fresh water in Yorkshire. The "sea" in Hornsea refers to the Mere, not to the North Sea, because Hornsea didn't used to be on the coast. It's only on the coast now because the coast of East Yorkshire (which is called Holderness) has just about the worst coastal erosion in the world — several metres a year.

The geography of Hornsea means it can't expand east or west, so has to expand north and south. There are two main north/south roads: Southgate/Marketplace is by far the most important, but there's also the Promenade next to the beach. There are three east/west roads: Eastgate serves the north of town; Newbegin/New Road serve the town centre (Newbegin is the town's main street); Trinity Road/Hornsea Burton Road serve the south of town. There are four routes out: north to Bridlington (14 miles); northwest to Beverley (14 miles); southwest to Hull (14 miles); south to Withernsea (14 miles). Yes, East Yorkshire is used by geographers to demonstrate how towns will be positioned equidistant from one another, assuming their access to natural resources are all reasonably equivalent. This doesn't, however, explain why Hornsea is the largest town in the UK not to have an A road running to it (in terms of population, it's over twice as big as the next one, although I don't know what that next one is).

Hornsea has a Cinema Street and a Railway Street, despite the fact it hasn't had either a cinema or a railway for over 30 years.

Which brings us to Hornsea Burton Road.

There's not just a Hornsea Burton Road; there's also a Burton Lane that comes off Hornsea Burton Road (and there's a Burton Road, although Burton Road may not be related to what I'm about to describe). The thing is, there's isn't a Hornsea Burton. There used to be a Hornsea Burton, but it was swallowed by the sea several centuries ago. Supposedly, when there's an incredibly low tide (maybe once every 25 years or so), you can get on a tractor and drive out to the ruins, but I've never been there.

There are scores of such villages off the Holderness coast, the names of which survive as references in streets, farms and occasionally on milestones. 15 or 20 of them were mentioned in the Domesday Book, and they and others crop up in other historical documents too.

Hornsea won't be taken by the sea because it has coastal fortifications. The next coastal village south, Mappleton, also has fortifications now — it didn't until fairly recently, and features in the Georgraphy section of the National Curriculum (my kids were taught about it in Essex). Other towns and villages have protection, but the sea will eventually get round them unless the whole coast is protected. Geographers advocate allowing this disappearance or land to happen, as the soil is carried away using longshore drift which if interrupted makes matters even worse; eventually it winds up extending Holland out into the sea. Thus, in places the sea is perilously close to the coast road — Spurn Point already needs a new road to it every so often. The suggestion is that Holderness is the gift of the Ice Age, and nature should be allowed to reclaim it.

That's all well and good, except once as a university project my brother calculated what would happen if high tides and severe storms combined and the sea got into the irrigation system. Basically, Hornsea and Withernsea would be islands and there would be nothing between them and the Wolds some 14 (yes) miles away.

Maybe that's why we don't get an A road.

Referenced by Hornsea Beck.

Referenced by Traffic.

Referenced by Best Beaches.

Latest entries.

Archived entries.

About this blog.

Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).