Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

Grimsby is a seaport on the Humber Estuary, fringing the north east coastline of the county.

The town was founded by the Danes in the 9th century, although there is some evidence of a small town of Roman workers sited in the area 700 years earlier. Located on The Haven, which flowed into the Humber, Grimsby would have provided an ideal location for ships to shelter from approaching storms. It was also well situated for the rich fishing grounds in the North Sea.

Though unproven, the name Grimsby probably originated from a Norse village or Viking family name. Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the population nearing the end of the 11th century was that of around two hundred common folk. There was also a priest, a mill and a ferry, no doubt to take people across the Humber to Hull. The following century saw Grimsby evolve into a fishing and trading port, at one point ranking twelfth in importance to the Crown in terms of tax revenue. The town was granted its charter by King John early in the 13th century and several decades later the first mayor was installed.

During the 15th century, The Haven began to silt up, preventing ships in the Humber from docking. As a result, Grimsby entered a long period of decline which lasted until the 18th century. With the passing of an act of Parliament, there was the construction of new quays and the Haven was dredged but by the mid 19th century a more radical solution was required and the foundation stone for the Royal Dock was laid. The iconic Grimsby Dock Tower was completed during the second half of the 19th century and the 25 acre Grimsby Docks was formally opened by Queen Victoria shortly afterwards. During this period, the fishing fleet was greatly expanded and the population exploded. With the Great Depression of the early 20th century, and the restructuring of the fishing industry, employment declined, and the population levelled out and remained fairly stable.

Modern Grimsby is now a thriving and bustling town with a population of more than eighty-five thousand people and is still reknown for its great fishing heritage with the town's football team nicknamed The Mariners. The town boasts an enviable amount of shopping conclaves. Such is the quality of shopping in the area that bus services are run to bring in shoppers from Louth, Brigg and Scunthorpe. The award winning Freshney Place Shopping Centre, once the somewhat controversial Riverhead Centre, and the Victoria Mills retail park both offer prominent high street chain stores. There is also the Abbeygate Centre, locale to a number of local and independent specialist retailers. Access to the town can be made by train, bus, taxi and car and there are ample places to eat and drink.

The Fishing Heritage Centre is a highly recommended point of interest where you can discover what life was like for the town's trawlermen. Experience the sites, smells and sounds from a selection of interactive displays. There is also a recreated Grimsby street with traditional stores, a pub and, naturally, a fish and chip shop. Next to the centre in Alexander Dock is the "Ross Tiger" trawler which is open to the general public all year round. Musical entertainment is found at the Grimsby Auditorium, on Cromwell Road, in Yarborough, near the Leisure Centre. The smaller Caxton Theatre is on Cleethorpe Road (A180) in East Marsh near the Grimsby Docks. The company features adults and youths and performs strong factual drama and premiere award-winning productions.

Grimsby is a town rich with history and traditional, topped with a healty dose of modern times.