The historic photograph from 1901 shows that this stretch of Sheriff Highway (once known as Westgate) has changed beyond all recognition. Modern houses have helped to make it look much wider, and the removal of the trees has also opened up the view considerably.
It is thought that the town’s sheriff had his brig (prison) at the south end of the street, where the road crosses Burstwick Drain.
Depending on what time you come to this part of the town, you can normally expect to see a heavy procession of cars, buses, and lorries entering and leaving Hedon via Fletchergate. Using our historic image from 1906 to travel back over a century earlier though, and you can see that it wasn’t always such a busy thoroughfare.
This comparison shows what a startling difference motor vehicles have made to our streetscapes in general!
Standing here on George Street, the long line of terrace houses in this historic photograph of 1903 looks quite impressive, and his still here today. The other side of George Street however, is different story. As you can see, the buildings have been completely replaced, including what appears to have been an old chapel or school.
The railway station at Hedon was one of many victims of widespread closures across the country in the mid- 1960s, following recommendations by Dr Beeching, but the fact that the old station building and platform is still visible today makes it easier to get an appreciation of what it was like when trains passed through this area, using our archive image from 1900.
The station opened on 27th June 1854, but closed to passengers on 19th October 1964, then finally closed to freight on 3rd June 1968.
At first glance, as you look again down Souttergate, the character of the right-hand side of the street appears to remain virtually unchanged, but study it closer and you’ll notice that two cottages near the girls in our picture from 1913 have since been demolished and replaced. The left-hand side of the street has clearly been subject to complete redevelopment as mid-to-late 20th century residential property.
This view of Souttergate in 1910 is admittedly quite similar to the street scene you see in front of you today, although the cobbler’s shop on the right has now long gone. This is unfortunate, as the word ‘Soutter’ actually means ‘cobbler’ or person that makes shoes, deriving from the Old English ‘sutere’ or Latin ‘sutor’, meaning ‘to sew’ or ‘stitch’. For the time being at least, there are no longer any cobblers on a street that must once have been full of them in the 12th and 13th centuries!
At the very far right of the image you can also just see part of ‘Painter’s Cottages’, the oldest buildings in Hedon, dating back to 1562.
(Our trail begins on Market Hill, near the parking spaces for Church View Surgery, and the nursery school. Use ‘View on map’ from the trail’s homepage to reach point ‘1’ and the start of the trail).
Looking at the historic image from 1902 and the present day scene, the dominant feature of this view is undoubtedly St Augustine’s Church. Most of the structure dates back to the 13th and 14th centuries, but the church was built way back in 1190. It’s known locally as the ‘King Of Holderness’ and, with its triumphant tower, it’s easy to see why.