Trail: Hornsea - Tour The Town

Add a bit of history to your time in Hornsea and use our archive images to peep into the past and see what some parts of the town looked like in years gone by.

(Always be careful of your surroundings when using the app)

In A Roundabout Way

Our archive image from 1900 presents a striking comparison with the modern scene.  Formerly the commercial centre of the town, the defining characteristic of Market Place is now arguably the mini roundabout, populated frequently by heavy traffic.  Not so in 1900, it looks as though you could have had a picnic under that tree!

That’s the end of the trail!  Why not visit the Hornsea Centre to find out more about the town? Re-trace steps all the way back up Newbegin, until you reach the second zebra crossing, and the Hornsea Centre is on your left.

Shop ’til You Drop

Still on Newbegin, you can see that the street was lined with shops in our archive image from 1900, and that remains the case today.  Originally, it was Market Place that formed the commercial centre of the town, but this mantle was taken over by Newbegin after the coming of the railway in 1864 and improved access to the sea (see Point 2, ‘Boom Town’) so that, by the end of the 19th century, there were 20 shops along this street.

Quality Street

Looking down Newbegin, towards the Methodist church, this tinted archive image has an artistic ‘chocolate box’ quality to it.  The fact that most of the architecture remains intact to this day, helps to highlight some of the more stylistic changes such as pedestrian fashions, shop fronts, and the absence of any cars!

Boom Town

With the coming of the railway, and the laying of New Road in 1848 to improve access to the shore, Hornsea was, like many other coastal towns, booming by the mid-19th century.  During this time, Grosvenor Terrace was also developed, which you can see here pictured in 1905.

Joseph Wade, founder of a local brick and tile works, and famous for his patented ‘Acorn tiles’ was responsible for the street’s construction, which came at a time when the town’s popularity as a seaside tourist attraction began to soar.

Seaside Garden

(Our trail begins just behind the Floral Hall, near the car park.  Use ‘View on map’ from the trail’s homepage to reach point ‘1’ and the start of the trail).

Looking north, with the promenade in the background, this entire stretch of coastal pavement has been a dedicated garden area since it was established as such in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and is from where Hornsea’s beloved ‘Floral Hall’ takes its name.  This historic image from 1937 gives you an idea of the kind of cultivation that you could expect to see as you strolled along.  Nowadays, the promenade has perhaps lost some of the floral element to its design but it retains a very smart landscaped appearance.

A New Beginning

With the sea defences at Hornsea’s North Cliff sustaining some major damage during a storm in 1905, the Hornsea Urban District Council rebuilt them in 1906-1907 and at the same time renovated the area around Victoria Gardens, complete with a brand new promenade for visitors to take in the sea air.  Our archive image shows the great gathering on 6th July 1907 as people assembled for the promenade’s opening in the area that is now occupied by the bowling green.