Sea Change for Hull’s Maritime History
As Yorkshire’s maritime city, Hull’s seafaring heritage will be celebrated as part of a multi-million-pound project to transform the city into a world-class ‘maritime city’ in the north of England.
Thanks to funding from Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, more than 800 years of Hull’s maritime history will be showcased along with many stories of intervention, success, triumph, and disaster. Presented across four important sites and two historic vessels, they comprise some of Hull’s most precious heritage and house significant collections and heritage. As well as securing the future of Hull’s historic treasures for us all, the project will also regenerate and re-connect the heart of Hull to it’s historic waterfront, the place where the city’s maritime history began.
During the closures, a range of maritime themed activities and large scale events will take place building on the great success of The Kraken and The Awakening.
Hull’s popular Maritime Museums is currently closed to visitors whilst major refurbishment takes place to the Grade II listed building, which was originally the Victorian head office of the Town Dock Company. When the museum re-opens in spring 2025, it will have world-class displays matching Hull’s internationally renowned collections, revealing the lives and stories of the people and places that made Hull the city it is today.
Hull’s two historic ships are currently undergoing major restoration before being unveiled as improved visitor attractions in 2023 and 2024.
Listed on the National Historic Ships register, and a part of the National Historic Fleet, the Spurn Lightship was built in 1927. The ship was moored off Spurn and helped vessels to navigate the approach to the Humber Estuary – one of the most treacherous waterways – a welcome and thankful sight for sailors and fishermen after long trips at sea. The Spurn Lightship is now receiving work from a long-established local shipyard, Dunston’s Ship Repair. It will return to Hull Marina with increased access and new displays in 2024.
The sole survivor of Hull’s distant-water sidewinder trawler fleet and key part of the nation’s maritime heritage – is now receiving a programme of restoration at a local shipyard. It will return to its new home at the regenerated North End Shipyard, on the river Hull and is expected to open to visitors in late 2023.
North End Shipyard and Dock Office Row
At the very heart of Hull’s maritime and trade history. Reflecting 400 years of shipbuilding history. Few people realise that Hull was the port , in a novel published 300 years ago, that Robinson Crusoe set sail on his epic voyage only to get shipwrecked on a remote island. This hidden gem- close to Queens Gardens, will have its story told for the first time , not only becoming the new home to the Arctic Corsair’ but also as one of the most energy efficient sites in the Cultural Sector.
Originally the first dock to be constructed in Hull, it was transformed into a picturesque garden space in 1930, lined with trees and ponds with fountains.
A key element in the maritime history of Hull, the gardens connect the Maritime Museum and the North End Shipyard. Phase one will develop the southern edge of the gardens, showing the position of the south dock walls with the addition of striking terraced steps that will allow people to perch and take in the views of the gardens and improved access, lighting and landscaping will drastically improve the experience.
As part of a maritime heritage trail, the south side of the gardens will use interpretation and public art to tell the story of the men and women who earnt their living in this thriving port.