‘Hessle is a very ancient place, and the head of a large parish, which at one time included the ancient site of Hull. It is pleasantly situated on the river Humber, and possesses many handsome houses, which command a fine view of the river. It has many delightful walks and sylvan retreats, which are charming in their seclusion and verdure, and “As seen from the western hill,The village church and spire,It is a pleasant fertile spotAs any in the shire” the noble river Humber being a grand feature on the scene’.
Extract from Eastern Morning News 1885
Hessle featured as an important landing point and ferry crossing, when, after the Romans had left England in AD420, there were many invading forces of Saxons, Angles and Danes. In 867, for example, when ‘the poor defenceless scattered inhabitants of the river banks were the earliest objects of their furious desolation.’
Later, Hase (to become Hessle) received a mention in the Domesday Book. Also from 1300 the Parish Church of Hessle was the Mother
Hessle sat at a busy crossroads, the turnpike into Hull was along the Humber Bank and from 1309 there was a busy Ferry between Hessle and Barton, the customary fare being 1d for horse and man, 1/2d for a man on foot. On the occasion of the siege of Hull in 1642, it is alleged that the King and his retinue of Royalists camped on the banks of the Humber and refreshed themselves at a local hostelry, The Three Crowns, a building which still exists on the Foreshore.
Agriculture, Chalk Quarrying at ‘Little Switzerland’ and Shipbuilding (since 1693) were employment areas.
The Railway from Hull was opened in 1840 which brought an influx of rich businessmen wishing to leave the smelly centre of Hull to live in the ‘sylvan retreats’ of Southfield and West Hill.
The population of Hessle was 1576 In 1851 and it has grown to its current figure of 15,000 (7000 dwellings)