A sunny afternoon at Spurn Point.

24 11 2012

Spurn Point (or Spurn Head as it is also known) is a narrow sand spit on the tip of the coast of the East Riding of Yorkshire, England that reaches into the North Sea and forms the north bank of the mouth of the Humber estuary. It is over 3 miles (4.8 km) long, almost half the width of the estuary at that point, and as little as 50 yards (46 m) wide in places. The southernmost tip is known as Spurn Head or Spurn Point and is the home to an RNLI lifeboat station and disused lighthouse. It forms part of the civil parish of Easington.

Spurn Head covers 280 acres (113 ha) above high water and 450 acres (181 ha) of foreshore. It has been owned since 1960 by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and is a designated National Nature Reserve, Heritage Coast and is part of the Humber Flats, Marshes and Coast Special Protection Area.

In the Middle Ages, Spurn Head was home to the port of Ravenspurn (a.k.a. Ravenspur or Ravensburgh), where Henry Bolingbroke landed in 1399 on his return to dethrone Richard II. It was also where Sir Martin De La See led the local resistance against Edward IV’s landing on 14 March 1471, as he was returning from his six months’ exile in the Netherlands. An earlier village, closer to the point of Spurn Head, was Ravenser Odd. Along with many other villages on the Holderness coast, Ravenspurn and Ravenser Odd were lost to the encroachments of the sea, as Spurn Head, due to erosion and deposition of its sand, migrated westward.

The lifeboat station at Spurn Head was built in 1810. Owing to the remote location, houses for the lifeboat crew and their families were added a few years later. The station until very recently was one of only a very few in the UK which had full-time paid staff (the others all being on the River Thames in London).

In the First World War two coastal artillery 9.2-inch (230 mm) batteries were added at either end of Spurn Head, with 4-inch (100 mm) and 4.7-inch (120 mm) quick firing guns in between. The emplacements can be clearly seen, and the northern ones are particularly interesting as coastal erosion has partly toppled them onto the beach, revealing the size of the concrete foundations very well.

As well as a road, the peninsula also used to have a railway, parts of which can still be seen. Unusual ‘sail bogies’ were used as well as more conventional light railway equipment.








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