A ‘weir’ is a low dam built across a river to regulate its flow so, with no water in sight around here, you can imagine this has caused some confusion as to how this street became known as ‘The Weir’. Some believe it derives from ‘Westgate’, being on the western edge of the township at the time. Others say it was named after a flow of water that used to run alongside the street.
So, one might assume that a weir was once here, and therefore, its name’s not as strange as would appear! Our archive image from 1925 shows a quiet residential street, which you can see has now given way to a more commercialised scene of salons, boutiques, coffee shops & restaurants.
That’s the end of the trail! Why not visit Hessle Centre to find out more about the town? Re-trace steps back to Hessle Square. Turn left and follow the street all the way up to the church. The Hessle Centre is opposite, on your right.
To the right in our archive image from 1911 is the former United Free Methodist Chapel (previously occupied by the Primitive Methodists from 1857-1909). It has since been demolished and replaced by modern–day flats on Orchard Drive.
It’s not known exactly why a barrier has been placed across the street in this image, but it’s likely to have been to regulate traffic for some form of civic event such as celebrations for the Coronation of King George V (which took place on 22nd June 1911).
The buildings on the left of the archive image of 1901 have since been cleared to make way for Hessle Square in 1921, and you can see how much this has opened up the present day view.
One thing that’s still here though is the ‘Marquis of Granby’ public house in the background (formerly the ‘Granby Inn’ at the time of this archive image). Although the building has undergone a few changes to its frontage, its function as a pub remains the same.
The pharmacy in the middle ground of this archive image from 1903, is no longer standing, and you can clearly see that this is now where buses collect and drop off their passengers in the town’s public transport interchange.
Ironically, nowadays you can still see a pharmacy in the same field of vision from this point, but it’s set further back on the opposite side of The Square, behind the bus shelters!
This is actually more deliberate than you might think, as when H.E.Brown the chemist was forced to re-locate his premises during the construction of Hessle Square in 1921, he demanded to be given a clear shop front, away from any public toilets, so they simply moved the pharmacy to the present-day junction with Southgate to maintain the same basic frontage to the premises.
(Our trail begins on Swinegate, just behind the Hessle Centre. Use ‘View on map’ from the trail’s homepage to reach point ‘1’ and the start of the trail).
Looking along Swinegate , towards the junction with Southgate, the spire of All Saints Church is clearly visible in the historic image of 1900. The earliest reference to the church is in the Domesday Book of 1086 and this building has formed the centrepiece around which the town has grown from a population of a few hundred in medieval times, to 15,000 in the present day!). Until 1661, this was the mother church of Holy Trinity in Hull (now Hull Minster), and until 1301 this meant that anyone who died in Hull had to be brought to Hessle for burial.