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For the pottery factory, see Hornsea Pottery.
Hornsea 2.jpg
Hornsea coast
Hornsea is located in East Riding of Yorkshire
 Hornsea shown within the East Riding of Yorkshire
Population 8,432 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid reference TA203476
Civil parish Hornsea
Unitary authority East Riding of Yorkshire
Ceremonial county East Riding of Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town HORNSEA
Postcode district HU18
Dialling code 01964
Police Humberside
Fire Humberside
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Beverley and Holderness
List of places

Coordinates: 53°54′39″N 0°10′03″W / 53.9108°N 0.1676°W / 53.9108; -0.1676

Hornsea is a small seaside resort, town and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England at the eastern end of the Trans Pennine Trail.


According to the 2011 UK census, Hornsea parish had a population of 8,432,[1] an increase on the 2001 UK census figure of 8,243.[2] It is well known for its former pottery factory, Hornsea Pottery, which closed in 2000. A display of Hornsea Pottery can be seen at the Hornsea Museum. The museum, which is located in Newbegin, the main street of Hornsea, also contains local history exhibits. Opposite stands 'Bettison's Folly', a tower built by a local business man in the 19th century. The tower contains the only fully working retractable flag pole in the country.[3]

The church dedicated to Saint Nicholas was designated a Grade I listed building in 1965 and is now recorded in the National Heritage List for England, maintained by Historic England.[4]

Hornsea has many coastal defences such as sea walls, groynes and beach nourishment. Despite these defences, Hornsea's primarily cliff-based shoreline is eroding at one of the fastest-known rates in Europe.[5] Coastal erosion is very bad at either end of the main esplanade.

Like the larger resorts in the area, (such as Withernsea, Bridlington, Filey and Scarborough), the town has a promenade with shops selling fish and chips, ice cream, bucket and spade sets and other traditional seaside paraphernalia.

Hornsea has an independent lifeboat service provided by Hornsea Rescue, a registered charity since 1994.[6]

Hornsea Mere, a large lake and bird sanctuary, lies near the town and is popular for sailing. Hornsea Mere is a natural lake which was created by glacial movement during the Ice Age. It is the largest lake in Yorkshire.

Trans Pennine Trail end marker on Hornsea seafront.

From 1864 to 1964 Hornsea had two railway stations, Hornsea Bridge and Hornsea Town, on the Hull and Hornsea Railway which connected it to Hull.[7] This line was opened by Joseph Armitage Wade, whose house once stood where Hornsea School and Language College stands today. A cottage close to the school was once visited regularly by Lawrence of Arabia; and Winston Churchill visited, and was photographed in, another house nearby. Other famous visitors to the town are Anne, Princess Royal who opened the leisure centre, and the Victorian novelist Charlotte Brontë.[8] After the railway was recommended for closure by Dr Richard Beeching (see British Rail) in his report The Reshaping of British Railways, the trackbed became the final lap of the Trans Pennine Trail. The old railway line is now a well-maintained walking and cycling (bicycles only) trail. It is a very pleasant trail with appropriate stopping points for picnic lunches. On the southern edge of Hornsea (near the site of Hornsea Pottery, closed 2000) is a large shopping centre known as Hornsea Freeport, which was the first shopping centre of its kind in this part of the north-east, adapting the original UK theme park set up by Hornsea Pottery in its heyday.

In 1880, Hornsea pier was opened; it was badly damaged by a ship later that year and demolished in 1897.[9]

In the North Sea, 64 miles (103 km; 56 nmi) off Hornsea, a 1,200 MW offshore wind farm is scheduled to open around 2020,[10][11] and a further 3,000 MW was consessioned to DONG Energy in 2015.[12]


Hornsea sits in the Parliamentary constituency of Beverley and Holderness.


There are three schools in Hornsea, two primary schools and one secondary school. Hornsea Community Primary School, Hornsea Burton Primary School and Hornsea School and Language College.


Hornsea Cricket Club play at the Hollis Recreation Ground, just off Atwick Road. The club currently (2015) run 2 senior Saturday sides. The 1st XI are in Division Two South of the York & District Senior Cricket League. Notable former players include Johnny Briggs (England), and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Worcs).

Hornsea is home to Hornsea Rugby Union Football Club. They play at the Hollis Recreation Ground and nicknamed the 'Hollismen'. They currently play in Yorkshire League Division 6.

Hornsea Town FC are an amateur football team who also play at the Hollis Recreation Ground. Their nicknames include 'Town' or 'The Seasiders'. Hornsea Town play in The highest league within the East Riding County FA which is the Humber Premier League. Although they have never won this league but they have in fact been runners up, in the 2009–10 season, to Reckitts FC.

Notable people[edit]

Joseph Sheard b. 1813 and Mayor of Toronto (1871–72).

Charlotte Brontë spent a short time in Hornsea when she stayed with a former nursemaid who lived at 96 Newbegin, one of the houses in 'Swiss Terrace'.

J. R. R. Tolkien b. 1892, the world-famous author of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and several other literary works about Middle-Earth, spent nearly 18 months in East Yorkshire in the area which author Phil Mathison termed as the 'Tolkien Triangle',[13] with Hull in the west, Kilnsea in the south east and Hornsea in the north east. It was in these areas where Tolkien is said to have created characters such as Lúthien.[14]

Lord Rix of Whitehall in the City of Westminster and Hornsea in Yorkshire, otherwise known as Brian Rix during the 18 years he lived in Hornsea as a child. He lived in Eastgate with his parents, Herbert and Fanny, whose ashes are buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas Church. Brian married Elspet Gray in this same church in 1949.

Sheila Mercier, who starred as Annie Sugden, the owner of Emmerdale Farm for its first 25 years. The second daughter of Herbert and Fanny Rix, and sister to Brian, she appeared in many of his farces at The Whitehall Theatre.

T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) is known to have visited and stayed with his friend Wing Commander Sims at "White Cottage", 3 Eastgate. Lawrence was for a short time connected with the running of the motor-boats kept in readiness to rescue any aircraft crew forced to come down in the sea after practice bombing targets in the bay off Skipsea.[15]

Winifred Holtby lived for a time in Cliff Road.

Adrian Rawlins, the actor best known for playing Arthur Kidd in The Woman in Black (1989) and James Potter in the Harry Potter films currently lives in Hornsea.

Johnny Briggs the former England cricketer played at Hornsea CC.


  1. ^ a b "Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics: Area: Hornsea CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "2001 Census: Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts: Area: Hornsea CP (Parish)". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 3 February 2008. 
  3. ^ "Humber - History - Forgotten folly". BBC. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Historic England. "Church of Saint Nicholas (1249386)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Erosion and Flooding in the Parish of Hornsea – Coastal Erosion". The East Yorkshire Coastal Observatory. Retrieved 3 February 2008. 
  6. ^ "History". Hornsea Rescue. Retrieved 11 June 2014. 
  7. ^ Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  8. ^ Gaskell, Elizabeth Claghorn. The Life of Charlotte Brontë, Volume 2, chapter 29. 
  9. ^ "History of Hornsea Pier". National Piers Society. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "3 offshore wind farms get the go ahead off the coast of Yorkshire, supporting up to 2,500 jobs". Department of Energy and Climate Change. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Wittrup, Sanne (10 December 2014). "Dong Energy får ja til stor britisk havmøllepark" [Dong Energy is yes to great British offshore wind farm] (in Danish). Ingeniøren. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Wittrup, Sanne. (21 August 2015). "Dong sikrer sig britisk gigantområde til fremtidens havmøller" [Dong ensure British giant area for future offshore wind turbines] (in Danish). Ingeniøren. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Tolkien in East Yorkshire 1917 – 1918: An Illustrated Tour." DEADGOOD Publications. 19 April 2012. ISBN 0956299415
  14. ^ "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Location ... JRR Tolkien's links with Holderness celebrated". Hull Daily Mail. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Marriott, Paul J; Argent, Yvonne. The Last Days of T. E. Lawrence. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 9781898595229. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  • Gazetteer – A–Z of Towns Villages and Hamlets. East Riding of Yorkshire Council. 2006. p. 7. 

Further information[edit]

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