Humber: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Humber is located in England
Humber (England)
Humber Bridge suspension bridge viewed from the south east.
River Hull tidal barrier. Situated at the end of the River Hull where it meets the Humber

The Humber (pronounced /ˈhʌmbər/) is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank and North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire on the south bank. Although the Humber is an estuary from the point at which it is formed, many maps show it as the River Humber.[1]

Below Trent Falls, the Humber passes the junction with the Market Weighton Canal on the north shore, the confluence of the River Ancholme on the south shore; between North Ferriby and South Ferriby and under the Humber Bridge; between Barton-upon-Humber on the south bank and Kingston upon Hull on the North bank (where the River Hull joins), then meets the North Sea between Cleethorpes on the Lincolnshire side and the long and thin (but rapidly changing) headland of Spurn Head to the North. Ports on the Humber include Kingston upon Hull (better known as simply Hull), Grimsby, Immingham, New Holland and Killingholme.



The Humber is now only an estuary; but when the world sea level was lower during the Ice Ages, the Humber had a long freshwater course across the dry bed of the North Sea.

In the Anglo-Saxon period, the Humber was a major boundary, separating Northumbria from the southern kingdoms. Indeed, the name Northumbria came from Anglo-Saxon Norðhymbre (plural) = "the people north of the Humber". The Humber currently forms the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire, to the north and North and North East Lincolnshire, to the south.

From 1974 to 1996 the areas now known as East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire constituted Humberside. For hundreds of years before that, the Humber lay between Lindsey and The East Riding of Yorkshire. "East Riding" is derived from "East Thriding", and likewise with the other Ridings. "Thriding" is an old word of Norse origin meaning a third part. Since the late 11th century, Lindsey had been one of the Parts of Lincolnshire.

The estuary's only crossing is the Humber Bridge, which was once the longest suspension bridge in the world. Now it is the fifth longest.

Graham Boanas, a Hull man, is believed to be the first man to succeed in wading across the Humber since ancient Roman times. The feat, in August 2005, was attempted to raise cash and awareness for the medical research charity, DebRA. He started his trek on the north bank at Boothferry; four hours later, he emerged on the South bank at Whitton. He is 6 feet 9 inches (205.74 cm) tall and took advantage of a very low tide.[2] He replicated this achievement on the television programme Top Gear (Series 10 Episode 6) when he raced James May (who is driving a Alfa Romeo 159) across the Humber without using the Humber Bridge.

Two fortifications were built in the mouth of the river in 1914, the Humber Forts. Fort Paull is further downstream. The Humber was once known as the Abus, for example in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene.


This river's name is recorded in Anglo-Saxon times as Humbre (Anglo-Saxon dative) and Humbri (Latin genitive). Since its name recurs in the name of the "Humber Brook" near "Humber Court" in Herefordshire or Worcestershire, the word humbr- may have been a word that meant "river", or something similar, in an aboriginal language that had been spoken in England before the Celts migrated there (compare Tardebigge).

The Humber features regularly in Geoffrey of Monmouth's 12th-century fictional chronicle Historia Regum Britanniae. According to Geoffrey, the Humber, invariably referred to by the Latin word for river, was named after "Humber the Hun" who drowned there while trying to invade in the earliest days of Britain's settlement.

See also

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Coordinates: 53°35′N 0°0′E / 53.583°N 0°E / 53.583; 0

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HUMBER, an estuary on the east coast of England formed by the rivers Trent and Ouse, the northern shore belonging to Yorkshire and the southern to Lincolnshire. The junction of these two important rivers is near the village of Faxfleet, from which point the course of the Humber runs E. for 18 m., and then S.E. for 19 m. to the North Sea. The total area draining to the Humber is 9293 sq. m. The width of the estuary is 1 m. at the head, gradually widening to 32 m. at 8 m. above the mouth, but here, with a great shallow bay on the Yorkshire side, it increases to 8 m. in width. The seaward horn of this bay, however, is formed by a narrow protruding bank of sand and stones, thrown up by a southward current along the Yorkshire coast, and known as Spurn Head. This reduces the width of the Humber mouth to 51 m. Except where the Humber cuts through a low chalk ridge, between north and south Ferriby, dividing it into the Wolds of Yorkshire and of Lincolnshire, the shores and adjacent lands are nearly flat. The water is muddy; and the course for shipping considerably exceeds in length the distances given above, by reason of the numerous shoals it is necessary to avoid. The course is carefully buoyed and lighted, for the Humber is an important highway of commerce, having on the Yorkshire bank the great port of Hull, and on the Lincolnshire bank that of Grimsby, while Goole lies on the Ouse a little above the junction with the Trent. Canals connect with the great manufacturing district of South Yorkshire, and the Trent opens up wide communications with the Midlands. The phenomenon of the tidal bore is sometimes seen on the Humber. The action of the river upon the flat Yorkshire shore towards the mouth alters the shore-line constantly. Many ancient villages have disappeared entirely, notably Ravenspur or Ravenser, once a port, represented in parliament under Edward I., and the scene of the landing of Bolingbroke, afterwards Henry IV., in '399. Soon after this the town, which lay immediately inside Spurn Point, must have been destroyed.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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Proper noun




  1. A large tidal estuary forming part of the boundary between northern and southern England.

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