Barrow upon Humber

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Barrow upon Humber
Barrow Church - - 661510.jpg
Holy Trinity church, Barrow upon Humber
Barrow upon Humber is located in Lincolnshire
Barrow upon Humber
Barrow upon Humber
 Barrow upon Humber shown within Lincolnshire
OS grid reference TA069210
   – London 150 mi (240 km)  S
Unitary authority North Lincolnshire
Ceremonial county Lincolnshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district DN19
Police Humberside
Fire Humberside
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Cleethorpes
List of places

Coordinates: 53°40′30″N 0°22′55″W / 53.675010°N 0.381845°W / 53.675010; -0.381845

Barrow upon Humber is a village and civil parish in North Lincolnshire, England. Many of the buildings in the centre of the village are of 18th- and 19th-century origin. There are several buildings of note including Down Hall, Barrow Hall, Forester's Hall and West Cote Farm. There are two public houses: the Royal Oak and the Six Bells. A third public house, the Red Lion, situated in the lower High Street, reverted to a residence in the early 20th century.[citation needed]

According to the 2001 census Barrow upon Humber had a population of 2,745. The village is located near the Humber, about three miles east of Barton-upon-Humber. The small port of Barrow Haven, 1.5 miles north, on the railway line from Cleethorpes and Grimsby to Barton-upon-Humber handles timber from Latvia and Estonia. The village is the home of Barton-upon-Humber Rugby Union Football Club, whose clubhouse is in Mill Lane.[1]


Barrow contains the site of a late Anglo-Saxon monastery, which has been fully excavated. The location is now built over, but is marked by a plaque in the village. King Wulfhere gave land to Caedda (Saint Chad) in the 7th century[citation needed] at Ad Barvae (at the wood). It was on this site that the monastery was developed. The street adjacent to the monastery site is still known as St. Chad.[citation needed]

Water sources[edit]

Fresh water was available from the many springs in the area via two blow wells known as the Caedda Wells. Later this name was contracted; however the blow wells are still known by the locals as the Cadwells. Due to the limestone strata, there are many freshwater springs in the area. One such spring is the source of the local stream known as the Beck. It flows through the village in roughly a south-west/north-east direction. Where it passes beneath Beck Lane, there is a restored hand-operated pump which drew water up into the barrels on horse-drawn carts. These would then deliver the water to houses in the village that had no water source of their own.[citation needed]

Once clear of the village, the Beck is known as the Leden and flows to Barrow Haven passing through sluice gates to enter the Haven which then flows into the River Humber. The original sluice gates were of wooden construction and situated beneath the small stone bridge at Ferry Road, Barrow Haven. The gates were two opposing, free-swinging, vertically-hinged doors and closed with the pressure of incoming tidal water thus preventing salt water, and more importantly flood water, moving into the Leden and possibly flooding the low-lying farmlands at Barrow Hann which lies between Barrow Haven and Barrow upon Humber. New sluice gates have been constructed approximately 50 yards downstream of Ferry Road.[citation needed]


The Norman church, with parts that appear to be of earlier origin, is situated on a hilltop to the north of the village. Known as Holy Trinity, Church of England, the grounds of the church were landscaped during the 1960s with many graves lost and the remains reburied in a communal grave site close to the northern wall of the church. There was much controversy[according to whom?] about the disturbing of graves at the time.[citation needed]

A sundial designed by James Harrison, younger brother of John Harrison, stood on the south side of the church near the cenotaph but this has now been removed and replaced by a replica. The church lytch gate was removed circa 1960 but there are still lich-stones on the right hand side when entering the church proper. The churchwarden's house that was located immediately to the east of the church path was condemned and demolished at about the same time. The church has a full peal of bells used frequently by local and visiting campanologists.[2]

Market place[edit]

The market place is identified by its stock stones. The metal cross that topped the stones was removed late in the first half of the 20th century. During the Middle Ages, local miscreants were tied to the stones as public punishment and the stones on the south side are worn indicating the place where people were restrained. Whilst the market place has been remodelled to accommodate car parking, the original shape and size of the market place can be determined from the alignment of the houses on the northern and eastern sides.[citation needed]

Village hall[edit]

The village hall is on the eastern side of the lower High Street and was once used as a cinema. A projection room was situated above the main entrance doorway. Access to hidden rooms could be attained through a trapdoor accessible through the ceiling of the projection room.[citation needed]


John Harrison Church of England Primary School is located on North Street. Built in the last decade of the 19th century and formerly named Barrow upon Humber Church of England Primary School, it has been renamed in honour of John Harrison, famous designer of maritime chronometers, who lived in the village until 1736.


A windmill, known as Rigg's Mill, was located on the western side of the village but was largely demolished in 1928.[citation needed]

Limestone quarry[edit]

A limestone quarry existed on the south side of the village. Limestone was baked in retorts as part of the process to make slaked lime. Remains of the retorts are still to be found on private property close to the quarry.[citation needed]


For many years the village supported a mummers troupe known as the Plough-Jags. Such troupes were associated with the festivities of Plough Monday which marked the opening of the agricultural year.[citation needed]

Second World War[edit]

The village was bombed during the Second World War. Names of civilians killed are recorded on the cenotaph in the church grounds. Several unexploded bombs were removed from the village by military bomb disposal experts. It has been speculated[by whom?] that a German bomber dumped its bombs on the village instead of the intended nearby heavily-defended target of Hull.[citation needed]

Thornton Abbey[edit]

Thornton Abbey is located about 2 miles south of Barrow. On 5 October 1541 Henry VIII, after visiting Hull with the Privy Council, crossed the river in a naval vessel and disembarked at Barrow Haven and rode through Barrow en route to the abbey.[3] Whilst the main part of this once magnificent abbey has largely disappeared, the gatehouse remains and is open to the public.[4]

Notable people[edit]

  • St Chad was given land to found a monastery at Barrow, by King Wulfhere of Mercia.[5]
  • Barrow was the birthplace of John Sergeant, the Roman Catholic priest, controversialist and theologian (1623–1707).
  • Barrow upon Humber was the home of John Harrison, the pioneer of a failsafe way of establishing longitude at sea. A copy of Harrison's 1759 clock, H4, made by Larcum Kendall, and referred to as K1, travelled in 1772 with Captain Cook on his second Pacific voyage. Captain Cook grew to trust and rely on the timekeeper, which helped contribute to timekeepers being accepted as the way forward in the practical method of determining longitude at sea. Harrison was the subject of the 2000 film Longitude starring Michael Gambon. (The premise of the discovery of Harrison's clock was used in the plot of several episodes of the BBC situation-comedy Only Fools and Horses in which the main characters, the Trotter brothers became overnight millionaires following the auction of such an item).
  • Admiral Nigel Malim was born at Barrow in 1919.[6]


  1. ^ see the Sports & Leisure page of Barton's official website
  2. ^ see the Barrow page on the website of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers
  3. ^ For the Royal visit to the Abbey in 1541, see the online History of Thornton Abbey
  4. ^ English Heritage Website
  5. ^ History section of Barrow website
  6. ^ Rear Admiral Nigel Malim CB LVO DL at, accessed 3 July 2013

External links[edit]

Media related to Barrow upon Humber at Wikimedia Commons