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28 October 2014

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You are in: Humber > Places > Walks > Coast Walk > Point 3 - High Street

High Street

Point 3 - High Street

Retrace your steps and carry on walking down the High Street. On the left you will see the Museum Quarter and further down the street are two historical pubs.

From medieval times until the 19th century, this street and its narrow staiths were the hub of the town, where much of its trading took place.

Horse and cart

The hustle and bustle of the High Street

With commerce came the settlement of wealthy Hull merchants. They built houses all along this narrow street and it was from their homes that the business of the port was mainly conducted.

Look closely at one of the staiths and notice how horse driven carts from that era have left their marks on the cobbled streets.

Public Houses

The High Street had a number of public houses, brothels and inns. These were popular targets for the press-gangs to operate.

Ye Olde Black Boy is one of the few remaining old pubs in Hull that has kept its original style. It initially opened as a pipe shop in 1720 and has served a number of different purposes throughout the years including a brothel and a public house. It finally became a pub in the 1930s. The name is thought to have come from a Moroccan boy who worked in the building when it was a coffee shop in the 1730s.

Regulars are supposed to have photos of ghostly apparitions; one was grabbed round the neck by a pair of ghostly hands appearing from the bar wall. Rumour has it that a landlord’s dog was apparently so traumatised by spending a night downstairs in the pub that it had to be put down.

High Street

High Street in Victorian times


A press-gang consisted of a group of men and an officer who was in charge. Their job was to seize male citizens and force them into the naval service. They would usually work out of uniform, day and night but at times, the press-gangs would dress like sailors to coerce seafarers.

Further down this street, at the very end corner close to the footbridge that leads to The Deep, was the press-gangs' rendezvous point. Back in the day this area was referred to as South End. Those that were seized were brought here and inspected by a captain, then taken to one of the King's ship that was moored in the Humber Estuary.

Press-gangs were hated by everyone. The rendezvous point on Church Lane Staith was almost demolished by anti-press-gang mobs. In the summer of 1815, a riot took place when a sailor was press-ganged. The mob destroyed this last rendezvous on South End.

Some years later, as the French war had ended so too did the work of the press-gangs. Since then, the navy have recruited volunteers the same as it is done today.

last updated: 01/05/2008 at 16:07
created: 22/07/2005

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