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Ghosts in HEDON
Hedon is an ancient market town in Holderness, 6
miles east of Hull and approximately one and a half miles from the
There is evidence to suggest that Hedon was a flourishing port long before the growth and development of Hull.
Any rivalry, it must be stressed, is now of the friendliest kind, and Hedon has long forgiven Hull for taking away its once flourishing trade. Charters are not always the most accurate criteria by which to measure the progress of a town. As Hedon's 19th-century historian J. R. Boyle, noted, a charter usually confirmed privileges already enjoyed: 'Rights, which were normally conceded by charter, had often already become legalised by long prescriptive use.' But a charter dated 1200 is surely something worth celebrating, even though Hedon had to wait until 1348 before it received its great charter from Edward Ill establishing its corporate status. What is remarkable, as another more recent historian of Hedon, Martin Craven points out (in the publication he has edited for the occasion, The Royal Charter of King John to Hedon 1200) is that this modest looking document, a piece of parchment measuring roughly seven inches by five and a quarter has survived against all the odds and remains on view in the Mayor's Parlour at Hedon Town Hall. Not the least hazard it managed to escape was the boiler at St Augustine's Church. Although conservationists criticise people of today for neglect, those who should have known better in Victorian Hedon had scant regard for their heritage and merrily consigned bundles of precious documents to the flames The future must have looked bright when King John's charter arrived in Hedon. Rebuilding had already started on St Augustine's to create a church more worthy of the prosperous port and as a companion to at least one other church known to exist at the time, whilst shopping on the haven, the natural waterway which linked Hedon with the Humber, the North Sea, and therefore Europe, must have been as a great source of pride as it was of profit to its merchants. Boyle, a typical Victorian historian, is often hard work for readers, but even he became quite lyrical when he imagined a Dutch-like Hedon of 1200 with its 'quaint shipping craft' and 'scenes of striking picturesqueness'. Optimism unfortunately was soon to give way to despair. By 1203-5 Hedon was the 11th port in England, but in sixth position was Hull, and it was Hull, with its more convenient location and access for bigger ships, which was to end Hedon's great days. In 1280 the men of Hedon described themselves as 'few and poor' and the quality of work on St Augustine's declined as the money ran out. Yet a town of great character had been founded and Hedon has plenty to celebrate this year.
The reason for its popularity as a port was
its safe and sheltered location in the Haven.
It enjoyed considerable volumes of trade, mainly grain to the interior,the West Riding and return volumes of coal and lime etc.
The Development of Hull during the reign of Edward I saw the beginning of a decline in the fortunes of Hedon as a port.
In modern times Hedon is a traditional market town with a pleasent rustic ambience.
The Airport Garage, which stands on the left on the way from Saltend to Hedon, is a visible reminder of the aerodrome that once occupied the land between the road and the former railway. In 1888 a race course was set up here and is reputed to have had the longest "straight" in the country. For some years it was very popular and old photo's record a grandstand with large crowds of race-goers. By 1910,however its popularity has waned, but it was an ideal location to land a plane and lots of people came and watched famous early fliers like Gustav Hamel, who became the first "flying postman". Flying resumed after the Great War and in 1929 Hull Council bought the land as a municipal airport. Hull Flying Club was formed and a hanger and clubhouse were built. The Aerodromes greatest day was when Amy Johnson, the famous Hull lady pilot landed there, that was on 11th August 1930. Sir Alan Cobhams Flying Circus often gave displays from the Airfield, and people were able go up for joyrides. At one time K.L.M. ran a service to Amsterdam .Aircraft were built at the what is now the garage, and flight tested from the Aerodrome. When the Second World War broke out the airfield was requisitioned by the Government, but never again used for flying. In the late 1940's it was used as a Speedway Track but that's another story.
And there's moreMore about Hedon
a Spooky yarn
Ghosts in Hedon
The Monk and the Nun
Like every old town, Hedon has its fair share of ghost stories, one of the oldest being that of John Coomber,a monk living at the Hospital of the Holy Sepulchre,which was situated on the west side of station roadbetween the the old Hedon railway station and the Rosedale Community Health Centre.
The story goes that John, fell in love with an ambitious nun named Alice.
Alice wanted to be Abbess and the only way to do this was to get rid of the Abbess Ruth. Alice persuade John to kill Ruth. He stabbed her to death and threw her body into Hedon Fleet, and so Alice become Abbess.
When the Hospital was celebrating the Feast of Stephen, Ruths ghost appeared and told what had happened. As punishment Alice was bricked up in a Cell with a hole just large enough for food to be passed in, and there she remained for the rest of her life.
Then Ruths ghost appeared to John and told him that, if he didnt confess his sin to the rest of the monks, she would haunt him forever.
This was too much for John so he took a rope and hung himself from St. Stephens Cross,one of the boundary markers of Hedon.
The Ghosts of John, carrying a rope, and Ruth are reputed to still wander and are said to appear near to the Hedon Station Crossing.
One of Hedons more famous spectres is the Grey lady of the chemists shop.
Several sightings have been reported, especially during renovation work carried out in the 1970s and 1990s.
She reputedly wears a grey dress with a full skirt. a bonnet and shawl. Taps have been mysteriously turned on and doors opened by an unseen hand.During the most recent alterations Ancient bones were found under the floor of the shop.