Town History

At the opening of the 19th Century Hornsea, or Hornsea-with-Burton as it was officially known, had a population of 533, according to the national census which was conducted in 1801. The settlement was primarily agricultural in character, although its role as a market centre had declined. Nevertheless, Hornsea had two fairs which took place around 13th August and 17th December, plus a hiring fair for farm servants which was held on the first Monday after Martinmas Day, (11th November).

The increasing popularity of sea bathing from the end of the 18th century had led to some development of Hornsea as a 'watering place', which attracted mainly middle class visitors.

It was the opening of the railway line from Hull in 1864 which transformed Hornsea. Hull could now be reached in about 25 minutes which made Hornsea attractive as a place to live for middle class commuters. The increase in population led to more opportunities for shopkeepers and by the end of the 19th Century there were about 20 shops in Southgate, 15 in the Market Place and 20 in Newbegin.

Hornsea's spiritual needs were well catered for. The Established Church was represented by St. Nicholas' parish church in Newbegin, while the Methodists had two chapels, the Wesleyans in Newbegin and the Primitive in the Market Place. Finally, the Congregationalists had their church at the junction of New Road and Cliff Road.

Public education had begun in Hornsea in 1845 with the building of the Hornsea National School on Mereside. In 1901 the school had rooms for 200 pupils, with an average attendance of 180. The school leaving age had been raised to 12 in 1899, although children who went to work in agriculture could leave at 11. In 1845 a Infant School had been erected in Wassand Hall, there was room for 100 children with an average attendance of 72.


The following books can be obtained at Hornsea Museum, Newbegin, Hornsea

A sketch of Hornsea from Domesday Book to 1901 by J E Hobson

Hornsea in Old Picture Postcards by G L Southwell

The History of Hornsea from Earliest Times to 2005 by Stephen Harrison


Hornsea A Reluctant Resort
by David Dunning


Joseph Armytage Wade
The King of Hornsea
Hornsea Essays
More Hornsea Essays
Hornsea Essays 3
Hornsea in the 20th Century, A Chronology,
(4 Volumes)