:"Spurn" can have other meanings, see the ."infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 53.575955
longitude= 0.111454
official_name= Spurn Head
civil_parish= Easington
unitary_england = East Riding of Yorkshire
region= Yorkshire and the Humber
lieutenancy_england= East Riding of Yorkshire
constituency_westminster= Beverley and Holderness
post_town= HULL
postcode_district = HU12
postcode_area= HU
dial_code= 01964
os_grid_reference= TA399108

static_image_caption=Spurn in May 2005, showing the lighthouse and sand-dunes.

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 Convert|3|mi|km|lk=on long, almost half the width of the estuary at that point, and as little as Convert|50|yd|m|lk=on 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 Convert|113|ha|km2|lk=on above high water and Convert|181|ha|km2|lk=off 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 (aka Ravenspur or Ravensburgh), which was the site of Edward IV's landing on March 14, 1471, when he returned 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. [ [http://www.yorkshirehistory.com/RAVENSER/index.htm History of Ravenser Odd ] ]

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 is now the only one in the UK which has full-time paid staff.

In World War I two coastal artillery Convert|9.2|in|mm|lk=on|adj=on batteries were added at either end of Spurn Head, with convert|4|in|mm|sing=on and convert|4.7|in|mm|sing=on 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. The Information Centre has a leaflet describing the defences.

As well as a road, the peninsula also used to have a railway, parts of which can still be seen. Unusual 'sail bogies' [http://www.mike.munro.cwc.net/ng_rly/sailtruc/sailtruc.htm] were used as well as more conventional light railway equipment.


The peninsula is made up from sand and shingle eroded from the Holderness coastline washed down the coastline from Flamborough Head. Material is washed down the coast by longshore drift and accumulates to form the long, narrow embankment in the sheltered waters inside the mouth of the Humber estuary. It is maintained by plants, especially Marram grass ("Ammophila arenaria"). Waves carry material along the peninsula to the tip, continually extending it; as this action stretches the peninsula it also narrows it to the extent that the sea can cut across it in severe weather. When the sea cuts across it permanently, everything beyond the breach is swept away, only to eventually reform as a new spit pointing further south. This cycle of destruction and reconstruction occurs approximately every 250 years.

The second of the "Six Studies in English Folk Song for Cello" composed in 1926 by Ralph Vaughan Williams, the "Andante sostenuto" in E flat "Spurn Point" celebrates this peninsula.

It was featured on the television programme "Seven Natural Wonders" as one of the wonders of Yorkshire.


The mud flats are an important feeding ground for wading birds, and the area has a bird observatory, for monitoring migrating birds and providing accommodation to visiting birdwatchers. Their migration is assisted by east winds in autumn, resulting in drift migration of Scandinavian migrants, sometimes leading to a spectacular "fall" of thousands of birds. Many uncommon species have been sighted there, including a Cliff Swallow from North America, a Lanceolated Warbler from Siberia and a Black-browed Albatross from the Southern Ocean. More commonly, birds such as Wheatears, Whinchats, Common Redstarts and flycatchers alight at Spurn on their way between breeding and wintering grounds elsewhere. When the wind is in the right direction migrants are funnelled down Spurn Point and are counted at the Narrows Watchpoint, more than 15000 birds can fly past on a good morning in autumn with 3000 quite normal.

ee also

*Humber Forts
*Spurn Lightship


External links

* [http://www.britainexpress.com/countryside/coast/spurn.htm Spurn Head Heritage Coast]
* [http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/ecolodge/25/spurn.htm Spurn Point- A cyclic coastal landform] , showing an excellent aerial photograph
* http://www.spurnpoint.com/
* [http://www.spurnbirdobservatory.co.uk/ Spurn Bird Observatory]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spurn — (sp[^u]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Spurned} (sp[^u]rnd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Spurning}.] [OE. spurnen to kick against, to stumble over, AS. spurnan to kick, offend; akin to spura spur, OS. & OHG. spurnan to kick, Icel. spyrna, L. spernere to despise,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spurn´er — spurn «spurn», verb, noun. –v.t. 1. to refuse with scorn; reject contemptuously; scorn: »to spurn an offer of friendship. The judge spurned the bribe. SYNONYM(S): despise, contemn. 2. to strike with the foot or feet; kick away; trample: »With… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Spurn — Spurn, n. 1. A kick; a blow with the foot. [R.] [1913 Webster] What defense can properly be used in such a despicable encounter as this but either the slap or the spurn? Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Disdainful rejection; contemptuous treatment.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spurn — Spurn, v. i. 1. To kick or toss up the heels. [1913 Webster] The miller spurned at a stone. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] The drunken chairman in the kennel spurns. Gay. [1913 Webster] 2. To manifest disdain in rejecting anything; to make contemptuous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spurn — (v.) O.E. spurnan to kick (away), reject, scorn, despise, from P.Gmc. *spurnanan (Cf. O.S., O.H.G. spurnan, O.Fris. spurna, O.N. sporna to kick ), from PIE root *spere ankle (Cf. M.Du. spoor track of an animal, Gk. sphyron ankle, L …   Etymology dictionary

  • spurn — spurn·er; spurn; …   English syllables

  • spurn — [spʉrn] vt. [ME spurnen < OE spurnan, to spurn, kick: see SPUR] 1. Archaic to push or drive away contemptuously with or as with the foot 2. to refuse or reject with contempt or disdain; scorn vi. to show contempt or disdain in refusing or… …   English World dictionary

  • spurn — I verb aspernari, belittle, boot, brush aside, cast aside, cast out, censure, contemn, decline, depreciate, despise, disapprove, discard, disdain, disparage, disregard, drive away, drive back, elude, evade, fastidire, flout, frown upon, have… …   Law dictionary

  • spurn — [spə:n US spə:rn] v [T] [: Old English; Origin: spurnan] literary to refuse to accept something or someone, especially because you are too proud ▪ She spurned all offers of help. ▪ a spurned lover …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • spurn — [ spɜrn ] verb transitive 1. ) OLD FASHIONED to refuse to accept someone s love or friendship: REJECT 2. ) to refuse to accept something, do something, or deal with something …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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