In this second of a two part blog, the Unlocking the Treasures team look at streets L-Z as to how they acquired their names and history. If you haven’t already, check out part one.
Land of Green Ginger
Many explanations have been put forward for the origins of its name. Some wide of the mark. Perhaps simplest explanation is that provided by John Markham in his book, Streets of Hull, in that it derives its name from spices, which were highly prized in the Middle Ages, and like today were used to add flavour to foods. It is here that ginger was stored ‘green’ indicating ‘undried’. It was formerly a part of Beverley Street (not to be confused with Beverley Road), which through the medieval town. From Mytongate, and followed Trinity House Lane, Land of Green Ginger, Manor Street northwards, beyond Alfred Gelder Street. Frost’s early 13th plan of Hull depicts it route (see Scale Lane for plan).
Many of us have probably being stuck in traffic on Mytongate, more than we’d ideally like to. Its origins, however, go much further back. It was once the principal street leading to the hamlets of Myton and Wyke in the Middle Ages, which were just beyond the town’s defences. On Frost’s plan of 13th century Hull, it was previously known as Lyle Street. It eastern part was known as La Belle Tour (the fine walk) given to the fact that even at the end of 18th century it was an airy and open street. A far cry from the hustle and bustle of Hull’s busiest road today.
Illustration of Mytongate bridge c.1800s [Ref: Lp.624 MYT/1]
Today North Street is very much central in Hull, joining Prospect Street and with Ferensway. At the time of its development North Street was Hull’s most northerly street, hence its name. Barely noticeable today, North Street, like much the immediate area was once home to Hull’s working class residents.
This street, like some already mentioned derives its name from a leading Hull family. This time, Robert Osbourne, who was Recorder of Hull, Beverley and Hedon. When Robert married he was offered, as part of his wife’s dowry, £5,000 or some fields. Land being valuable, he chose the fields, in which he built a property on which Osbourne Street developed.
Very much a country road in its early years, Princes Avenue or Mucky Peg Lane as it was known due to its terrible condition in the winter months, derived a number of names over the years. These included Sculcoates Occupation Lane, Newland Tofts Lane at its southern end, The New Boulevard and Prince’s Bank Road. It was officially opened as Prince’s Bank Avenue in the March of 1875. There were grand plans for Princes Avenue. It was intended to link up with Boulevard on Hessle Road, but this did not materialise.
Prospect Street began life in 14th century as a stretch highway from Hull’s old town to Beverley. Originally the ‘Beverley Road’, it took its name ‘Prospect Street’ in 1797 from the beautiful view or ‘prospect’ of the country towards the Yorkshire Wolds.
Hull General Infirmary, Prospect Street c.1788. Note the countryside beyond [Ref: Lp.362.1/29]
Developed at the beginning of the 19th century and named after Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, Queen Street’s origins date much further back. It replaced a narrow, much older road called the butchery, which was medieval in its origins.
Queen Street showing the Old Market Shambles which were demolished in the early 1880s from the Eastern Morning News 1923 [Ref: Lp.9.7 QUE/1]
Roebank Arcade (Bransholme)
We think of Bransholme has one of Hull’s newly created estates, but like the name Bransholme, Roebank is an old name itself. Spelt in a variety of ways (Raw, Rawe and Row) Roebank refers to Soffam Farm which reached almost to the River Hull. In the late 19th century the area was isolated and covered in wild roses and trees.
Thomas Blashill’s medieval plan of Sutton. Soffam Farm in which which Roebank refers to was located close to the Forth Dyk[e] boarding the parish of Wawne [Waghen] reaching close to the River Hull [Ref: L.9.64 SU]
Ever visited the Manchester Arms? Or perhaps taken a walk over Scale Lane Bridge? Then the chances are you’ve been down Scale Lane. It is believed to have been named after an old merchant family in the Middle Ages (Scale or Skayl). Today it is home to Hull’s oldest domestic building (No.5). Originally Aldgate, Aldgate ran the length of Whitefriargate, Silver Street and Scale Lane.
Frost’s early 14th century map of Hull and the vicinity. Note the early street names including Scale Lane, which was once Aldgate running from what is today Whitefriargate, Silver Street and Scale Lane. Also note Beverley Street which today now comprises of Fish Street, Trinity House Lane, Land of Green Ginger and Manor Street and Lyle Street, now Mytongate
Thomas Clarkson Way
A modern road linking Sutton Park and Kingswood, it derives its name from Thomas Clarkson (1760-1846). Clarkson collected information about the cruelty of the slave trade and was a colleague of William Wilberforce in his campaign for emancipation. Sadly Clarkson’s name has become somewhat forgotten, giving way to the likes of William Wilberforce and David Hartley.
Situated just off James Reckitt Avenue, Upton Street was most likely named after Edward Upton, who married the Mary, the daughter of Sir James Reckitt.
Named after Sir Henry Vane, 17th century M.P. for Hull who was on the side of parliament during the English Civil War, as Treasurer of the Navy. He was executed in 1662 for high treason.
Engraving of Sir Henry Vane (17th century) [Ref: Lp.920 VAN/1]
Heavily built up today, Waverley Street is alleged to have a more sinister history. The lane led from Love Lane (now Cogan Street) to fields that existed at each side. It was also said to have been known as Gallows Lane due to the towns gallows being located there. In 1644 during the Second Siege of Hull, Royalist are said to have approached the town from the west and got within a quarter of a mile of its walls near the gallows. Today, the former gallows site is located between what is now William Street and the Hessle Road section of the A63.
It is difficult to ascertain how Wincolmee acquired its name. It is was said to have derived its name when an alehouse keeper, Mrs. Read, would amuse those that frequented with stories, winking at the same time hence she acquired the name of Wink-and-lie or Wink-and-lee. Her house was said have become noted through the town and county, which overtime gave its name to the road in which the alehouse once stood. A great story, but sadly, this is a Wink-a-lie.
Probably named after Henry Witham, a property owner in the area. It was originally known as Blockhouse Lane, presumably after the North Blockhouse which stood at the junction of Great Union Street, New Cleveland Street and Witham. Witham was an important coaching route, hence the reason for the large number on inns that once existed.
Witham, showing Old Windmill Inn, 1800s [Ref: Lp.9.7 WIT/1]
York Street & Swann Street (Wincolmee)
Laid out in 1816, York Street was named after John Swann of York, who had property on the street.
A property had existed on what is now Swann Street since 1746. Benjamin Blades, a former Mayor of Hull left this street to his presumably loyal and close trustee, to which it was named as a compliment to him.
View of Swann Street and York Street, c.1930s Hull Corporation Health Department photographs [Ref: L 501]
It is Hull’s only street beginning with the letter ‘Z’, and the smallest of all the streets in this two part blog. Its history is fairly inconspicuous. It was laid out with its properties built around the beginning of the twentieth century. Unfortunately, we know nothing as to its naming.
Neil Chadwick, Project Officer (Unlocking the Treasures)