The Humber is a large tidal
estuaryon the east coast of northern England.
The Humber is an
estuaryformed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshireon the North bank and North Lincolnshireon the South bank. Because the Humber is an estuaryfrom the point at which it is formed, it is not correct to refer to it as the River Humber or (definitely not) the Humber River.
Below Trent Falls, the Humber passes the junction with the
Market Weighton Canalon the north shore, the confluence of the River Ancholmeon the south shore; between North Ferribyand South Ferribyand under the Humber Bridge; between Barton-upon-Humberon the south bank and Kingston upon Hullon the North bank (where the River Hulljoins), then meets the North Seabetween Cleethorpeson the Lincolnshire side and the long and thin (but rapidly changing) headland of Spurn Head to the North. Ports on the Humber estuary include Hull, Grimsby, Immingham, New Holland and Killingholme.
In the Anglo-Saxon period, the Humber was a major boundary, separating
Northumbriafrom the southern kingdoms. Indeed, the name "Northumbria" simply means the area "North of the Humber." It currently forms the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire, to the north and North and North East Lincolnshire, to the south.
1974to 1996the area now known as East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire constituted Humbersideand for hundreds of years before that, the Humber lay between Lindseyand The East Riding of Yorkshire. ("East Riding" is derived from "East Thriding", and likewise with the other ridings' "thriding" is an old word of Norse origin meaning a third part). Since the late eleventh century, Lindsey had been one of the Parts of Lincolnshire.
The estuary's single crossing is the
Humber Bridgewhich was once the largest suspension bridge in the world. Now it is the fourth largest.
In August, 2005, Graham Boanas, a Hull man, became the first person to successfully wade across the Humber since Roman times. He started his trek on the North bank at
Boothferry; four hours later, he emerged on the South bank at Whitton. The feat was attempted to raise cash and awareness for the medical research charity, DebRA. [cite web
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/humber/4173118.stm
title = Humber crossing after 1,000 years
BBC News Online
accessdate = 2008-07-28
22 August 2005] He replicated this achievement on the television programme Top Gear (Series 10 Episode 6) when he raced James May(who is driving a Alfa Romeo 159) across the Humber without using the Humber Bridge. Clarifyme|date=July 2008
Two fortifications were built in the mouth of the river in 1914, the
Humber Forts. Fort Paullis further upstream.
The Humber was once known as the Abus, for example in
Edmund Spenser's " Faerie Queene".
Its name is recorded in Anglo-Saxon times as "Humbre" (Anglo-Saxon
dative) and "Humbri" (Latin genitive). As its name recurs in the Humber Brooknear Humber Courtin Herefordshireor Worcestershire, the word "humbr-" may be a word that meant "river" or similar in an aboriginal language that was spoken in Englandbefore the Celts came (compare Tardebigge).
Medieval legend, as recorded in Geoffrey of Monmouth's "
Historia Regum Britanniae", claims the river was named after Humber the Hunwho, on trying to invade, drowned there.
Rivers of the United Kingdom
North Wall (Humberside)
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