First management plan put in place for the historic old town of Hull


A management plan covering the historic heart of Hull was adopted for the first time.

Previously, development issues in Old Town Hull, such as new construction projects, proposed conversions, and demolitions, were usually dealt with separately as they arose.

Hull City Council has now adopted its first-ever management plan for the Old Town, along with an updated Conservation Area Character Assessment, which defines and records the unique historic nature of the neighborhood.

Read more news from the city council here.

Alex Codd, the council’s deputy director of economic development and regeneration, said the idea behind the new management plan was to bring together local and national policies, guidelines and strategies designed to reinforce the importance of the old town in one document.

He said: “It updates a lot of things, including a policy document that was produced in 1999.

“A lot has changed in the city center over the past 20 years, but most importantly, it brings a management plan for the first time.

Alex Codd from Hull City Council

“What this will do is ensure that we have the tools in place to effectively guide change in the downtown area and, in particular, in the Old Town moving forward.”

The Old Town Conservation Area was first designated by the council in 1973 and has been extended three times since.

The original designation came at a time when plans were still in the works to demolish large parts of the Old Town, including part of the High Street. In the end, the proposals did not materialize.

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After being split into three distinct geographies with different reviews written at different times, the new review merged everything into one.

Meanwhile, the management plan details the rules regarding planning issues, improvement and improvement works, trees, building standards, open spaces, enforcement measures and the use of advertisements. and panels.

Old Town facts and figures

The conservation area covering the old town contains 190 listed buildings, which is just over a third of the total number of listed buildings in Hull.

Although Hull is a medieval town, most of the historic buildings in the Old Town date back to the Georgian and Victorian eras.

The exceptions are Hull Minster and St. Mary’s Church in Lowgate, both of which date back to the 14th century.

Minister of Hull
Minister of Hull

The defensive walls that once stood on its northern, western and southern limits were demolished in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, although the foundations of Beverley Gate can still be seen between Queen Victoria Square and Whitefriargate.

Some of the city’s medieval street pattern also survives in some areas.

Bomb damage

The old town suffered extensive damage during the bombing raids of WWII, especially in the south-eastern quarter.

Major losses included the 1887 Market Hall which stood on Queen Street, a warehouse at the back of Wilberforce House which contained 40 years of historical artifacts and a number of beautiful Georgian houses on the east side of the High Street.

Wilberforce House in High Street
Wilberforce House in High Street

Georgian houses were not totally destroyed but after the war it was decided that they were not worth restoring and were demolished.

The same fate befell a 17th century building in Dagger Lane which had been designated as a potential museum.

The A63

While the current modernization of the A63 through the city center changes the landscape, the original construction of the road in the 1970s also drastically altered the look of part of the old town.

These buildings in Mytongate were demolished in the 1970s to pave the way for a new two-lane road along Castle Street
These buildings in Mytongate were demolished in the 1970s to pave the way for a new two-lane road along Castle Street

A significant number of 17th and 18th century buildings were demolished in Mytongate and Blanket Row, while a half-timbered house dating from 1588 was bulldozed down Queen Street.


The nature of the soils beneath the old town has preserved large amounts of organic matter, such as wood and leather, which have been discovered in a series of excavations over the decades.

An ongoing high-tech mapping exercise records the depth of archaeological deposits in the Old Town as well as the extent of bomb damage during WWII.

The data will eventually be modeled in 3D and presented on a website to be used to inform future planning decisions.

urban furniture

Take a good look and you can still find historic street and quay furniture strewn around the old town.

There’s a Victorian fire hydrant on the North Church Side, an old drinking fountain and cattle trough on the High Street, and an 18th-century rifle resting on a naval cart overlooking Humber Dock.

Red terracotta pavers depicting herring at Posterngate
Red terracotta pavers depicting herring at Posterngate

A more modern addition is the Hull Fish Trail, with various species carved into the paving of the neighborhood.

The old railway lines in the quayside roads are also highlighted in the appraisal document, which describes them as “of significant importance for the industrial character of the area” and says they should be retained.

Negative characteristics

Despite the many charms of the Old Town, the report also identifies a number of horrors.

Some of Whitefriargate’s current storefronts are rated as ‘poor quality’, while empty stores, other abandoned buildings, and the occasional vacant plots are all considered in need of future TLC.

Views and panoramas

Finally, the jewel of the tourist offer of Hull offers a range of points of view to savor.

Prince Street in the old town of Hull
Prince Street in Old Town Hull

From the curving splendor of Prince Street to a series of iconic buildings punctuating the skyline. the old town is a feast for the eyes and helps to generate both a cultural awareness of the town’s past, but also a sense of civic pride among us who live here.

Head of City Council Councilor Daren Hale said: “The Old Town is rightly recognized as an outstanding area of ​​particular architectural and historical interest and the review of existing obsolete assessments and the provision of a plan for management are both welcome and timely.

“The Old Town has undergone significant changes over the past 15-20 years and this process of positive change is underway.

“The adoption of a new character assessment and management plan will help manage and protect the special architectural and historical interest of the Old Town, in addition to supporting new funding initiatives for the revitalization of Whitefriargate and Silver Street.

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