Hull and the sea

Detail from Redmore print (image/jpeg)

The Humber estuary links the rivers of Yorkshire and the East Midlands with the North Sea. Hull developed as an important port where the River Hull meets the Humber. Products from the surrounding area were exported to northern Europe, and raw materials of the Baltic region, mainly timber, were imported into England. It continued to grow with more and more docks being established and trade thriving.


This section of our website illustrates Hull's connection with the sea by exploring the museum collections ranging from archaeological finds to artwork.

Detail from decorated scrimshaw (image/jpeg) Whaling

The first whaling ships left the port of Hull in 1598, soon after the discovery of Greenland. The industry was thriving by the early nineteenth century after many recessions and revivals. During the years 1815-1825 Hull had 2000 men employed in the trade and she could boast over 60 whaling vessels making it the largest fleet in Britain. Using our important collections to illustrate, this section of our website explores Hull's whaling history from its peak to its decline in the mid to late nineteenth century.

Model of the 'Brunswick' (image/jpeg) Vessels

As an important port, Hull has seen a vast array of different vessels pass through its docks from massive sailing ships to small fishing boats. Hull museums collections are filled with objects illustrating the city's relationship with shipping and in fact, two of our nine venues, the Arctic Corsair and the Spurn Lightship, are vessels! Explore this section of our website to find out more.