How Newland Avenue developed through the ages

Published: Wednesday 27th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

Comments (0)

Newland Avenue is one of the main cultural hotspots of Hull. A popular thoroughfare, shopping street and residential area, the place has a rich history.

If we travelled back to the early eighteenth century, we would see a very different scene to the bustling urban jungle we know and love today. In fact, it was mainly large fields and pasture land, with a small crossroads at the Cottingham and Beverley-Hull turnpikes.

The term ‘Newland’ actually comes from when the area was reclaimed from the ‘wastes’, i.e. the boggy marshland that was inadequate for farming.

In 1776, extensive enclosure and draining of the space was carried out. This meant that small holdings of land were merged to create one larger farm.

By the nineteenth century, the site developed as a hotspot for Hull merchants, who would sell their produce and eventually build houses.

At this point, Newland was completely detached from Hull centre, with an unofficial mud track linking the two spots. This path was called Newland Tofts Lane, but known to locals as Mucky Peg Lane because of how dirty your legs would end up if you had to walk down it. Carriages would regularly get stuck when travelling to and from the city.

St John’s, the first parish church on Newland, was built in 1833. Three decades later, the ecclesiastical parish of Newland was formally separate from Cottingham.

By the end of the 1800s, the city had spread to surround Newland, and the once quiet village was now flanked by a plethora of residencies and other structures. In fact, in 1882 Newland was officially considered a part of Hull.

Incredibly, between 1860 and 1870, the population doubled. It doubled again to over 3,000 the decade after. This obviously called for more housing to be developed and in 1881, St Johns Wood was completed. These properties were built for local artisans and tradesmen; these skilled but ordinary workers contrasted with the wealthier merchants, bakers and sea captains that had taken up residence on what is now known as Princes Avenue.

Meanwhile, houses on the west side of Newland sprang up in the 1890s. Sharp Street was the first to be erected.

With so many people now living in the area, transport improved and at the turn of the century an electric tram was installed. It journeyed up Queens Road, via Newland Avenue to Cottingham Road, and connected the district with the city.

The strip has always had a commercial essence. In 1885 only 23 people were listed as traders, but in 50 years well over 200 ‘fruiterers, butchers and confectioners’ and even a ‘tripe dealer’ were selling on the street from their terraced houses.

Nowadays, Newland seems to have everything from coffee shops and cocktail bars, to butchers, fishmongers and even a gelato specialist. It’s constantly changing, so the next time you’re in the area, take a moment to appreciate its rich heritage.

You can find out more about the history of Newland Avenue in the Our Street Our Stage booklet (below), created for this year’s Assemble Fest back in June.

Enjoy more Hull and East Yorkshire news on HEY Today

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Published: Wednesday 27th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

Comments (0)

Local business search