History of the Hull & East Riding Museum
The site of the Hull and East Riding Museum was originally the Customs House. It was here, close to the overcrowded river frontage of the first port of Hull that customs and excise men tried to assess cargoes for the payment of duties. As the ships in the haven of the River Hull were often triple and quadruple banked, checking the cargoes was very difficult. Hull was notorious for not paying customs and excise duties. Outside the museum is a direct reminder of the early significance of this part of Hull. High Street has a sinuous profile which follows the winding course of the River Hull. In the Middle Ages High Street ran alongside the river but because of the reclamation of land behind the staiths or jetties, the river has shifted into a narrowing and deeper channel further to the east. #SUBHEADING#Corn Exchange#SUBHEADINGEND# In 1856 36 High Street became the Hull Corn Exchange. It was designed by Bellamy and Hardy of Lincoln. Its massive stone frontage is decorated with a bearded mask above the arch, supported by Corinthian columns; and agricultural implements and harvest motifs are carved on the entablature. The gates were cast at Joseph Wilson's Victorian Foundry in Drypool. #SUBHEADING#Museum of Commerce and Transport#SUBHEADINGEND# By the late 19th century the Corn Exchange was underused and the building opened as a Museum of Commerce and Transport in 1923. It was created by Thomas Sheppard, the first curator of Hull Museums. Sheppard used his persuasive powers on local firms who agreed to refurbish the Corn Exchange free of charge. The exhibits included products representing the different industries of Hull as well as stage coaches, sedan chairs, bicycles and every type of vehicle including an aeroplane! #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Museum of Transport and Archaeology#SUBHEADINGEND# The museum was damaged by bombing during the Second World War and reopened as a Museum of Transport and Archaeology in 1957. Following the construction of the Streetlife Museum, the vehicles were transferred and 36 High Street was used to display Hull's archaeological, geological and natural history collections. #SUBHEADING#The Hull and East Riding Museum#SUBHEADINGEND# In 1989 the museum changed its name once more, as The Hull and East Riding Museum it tells the story of the region from its geological origins in the warm seas of the Cretaceous period to the settlement of the landscape by people with more than ten thousand years of archaeology in East Yorkshire represented. The museum has seen a series of major developments in the last 20 years including the installation of the Hasholme boat within its conservation chamber (in 1988); "Celtic World" displays (1991); pre-historic displays (1990s); refurbished Roman (2002) and Anglo-Saxon (2003) galleries. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#The Museums Quarter#SUBHEADINGEND# As part of the Museums Quarter, which unites the Wilberforce House, Streetlife and Hull and East Riding Museums as a single attraction around an attractive garden with floral displays and fountains, has further stimulated public interest in the museum.
At the turn of the twentieth century Hull's art collections were housed in variety of locations. Thomas Robinson Ferens decided that a purpose built art gallery should be constructed and so work began on the Ferens Art gallery in 1926.
The Ferens Art gallery was completed in eighteen months and opened in 1927. Read about the changes and develpments the gallery has been through from its opening to the present day.
The Charioteer Mosaic is one of the most striking and unusual mosaics to have been found so far in Roman Britain. Named after the central figure standing on a 'quadriga' or four-horse chariot, it paved a large room at a 4th century AD villa near Rudston, East Yorkshire. It is thought to have been laid between about 325 and 350 AD.
The so-called 'Tyche Mosaic' was discovered in 1961at the site of a large villa near Brantingham, about 3km northwest of Brough in East Yorkshire.The mosaic features a distinctive figure at the centre wearing a crown and surrounded by a nimbus or halo. Some experts believe this figure is a 'Tyche' (pronounced tie-key), a personification of a province or tribe, and this has given the mosaic its name.
This famous mosaic was found in 1797 by labourers preparing a kitchen garden at Horkstow Hall, Lincolnshire. Unfortunately they destroyed large areas of it before realising the importance of what they had unearthed - a mosaic floor belonging to great hall of a large and wealthy villa.
This remarkably complete mosaic is known as the Swastika or Geometric Mosaic and was found in 1933 at the Roman villa near Rudston, East Yorkshire. It came from the central room of the same house as the Venus and Aquatic Mosaics which are also displayed at the Hull and East Riding Museum. The mosaic measures 2.75m square and dates to the later 3rd century AD, the same date as the Venus Mosaic.
The Woolly Mammoth was an icon of the last ice age. Tens of thousands of years ago they lived all over the northern sub-arctic tundra regions, including right here in the East Riding! Read about their special adaptations that enabled them to survive in the harshest climate.
Fossils are the preserved remains of once living animals and plants. Hull Museums own a variety of fossils from shells to woolly mammoth bones. Read on to find out about the different types of fossils you can find and how they are formed.
The Aquatic Mosaic paved the 'apodytherium' or changing room of the bath-house at the Roman villa near Rudston, East Yorkshire. It was discovered in 1933 together with the Venus Mosaic and the Swastika Mosaic.
Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds was published by John Robert Mortimer in 1905 and remains one of the most importance publications for archaeologists in the region. Discover how Mortimers love for archaeology developed form a young age and culminated with the writing of a book that is still regarded as a highly authoratative work over a century after it was published.
The Woolly Mammoth was an icon of the last ice age. Tens of thousands of years ago they lived all over the northern sub-arctic tundra regions, including right here in the East Riding! Read about the changes which brought about their extinction.
The Horkstow Mosaic is one of the largest and most interesting mosaics ever found in Britain. It was uncovered in 1797 by labourers making a kitchen garden at Horkstow Hall in Lincolnshire and would have graced a large hall at a very wealthy and sophisticated 4th century Roman villa.