Trail: Withernsea - Tour The Town

Add a bit of history to your time in Withernsea 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)

Child’s Play

Today, heavy traffic ensures that it’s just not possible (nor safe) for children to loiter in the middle of the road but, as shown by our archive image of Queen Street in 1906, it wasn’t a problem for young people in the early 20th century!

Also notable is the lack of development on the right-hand side of the image, whereas today the street is very much enclosed by shops and amusement arcades.

That’s the end of the trail!  Why not visit the Withernsea Centre  to see what it has to offer?

(Continue straight on down Queen Street, and bear left as the street begins to bend to the right.  The Withernsea Centre is just on your left).

Search For The Church

On viewing an historic street scene, the presence of a church building is usually one of the easiest ways to make a visual comparison between past and present. Surprisingly that’s not the case with this archive image from 1910, in which you’ll notice the church has now disappeared!

Opened in 1901, this Wesleyan Church was very dear to the community, but sadly it suffered from structural defects and a declining congregation, all of which forced its demolition in 1961.

A ‘Mere’ Garden

Nowadays, this is known as ‘Valley gardens’, but at its opening in 1910 it was called ‘Promenade Gardens’.  Here, the archive image shows these beautiful gardens shortly after the official opening.

This feature was once occupied by a mere (lake), but coastal erosion caused it to drain, allowing for the skilful landscaping of the remaining lake bed, which continues to serve as a popular open-air venue for the town.

Band By The Sand

Here you stand at the end of the Central Promenade, looking at the start of the North Promenade (opened in 1890), which is marked on our archive image from 1916 by two stone pillars, topped by gas lamps.  The remains of the one on the left-hand side still exist today.

The bandstand, in the middle distance, was opened in 1901 and was the site of many concerts.

The Sands Of Time

This archive image was taken around 1912, and shows the Central Promenade (opened in 1910).  It was built to link the Pier Head Towers with local resident Cheverton Brown’s private promenade further north, denoted by the bandstand in the distance.

Coastal erosion has forced sea defences to become a dominant feature of this view, and the bandstand has long since disappeared.

Lost Lines

(Our trail begins on Station Road, by the entrance to the supermarket car park, and opposite the car entrance to the community hospital.  Use ‘View on map’ from the trail’s homepage to reach point ‘1’ and the start of the trail).

In front of you is the former location of Withernsea Railway Station.  The Hull and Holderness Railway was designed to link the agricultural lands of Holderness with the industrial port city of Hull.

It was a plan that worked brilliantly, and on 27th June 1854, Withernsea’s station was opened and this was when the town really began to thrive as a seaside resort.  Sadly, the station was shut on 3rd May 1965, along with many others, as a result of Dr Beeching’s government report.