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Grimsby and its cluster of adjacent villages.

Preindustrial trade on the Lincolnshire side of the Humber estuary revolved around small communities, which like Grimsby, had control over small, shallow, muddy creeks; such as Barton, Goxhill and Killingholm. These creeks gave them access through the mudflats to the main river channel. Opposite Grimsby, the great eroded mud bank of Sunk Island is the site of its one-time medieval competitor, the port of Ravenscar (Ravenserod), famous for its reference in Shakespeare's Richard II as the place where Bolingbroke landed to reclaim his inheritance.

Until the turnpikes were created, Grimsby was well off the main north-south road routes which converged on the Barton ferry through Caistor and Lincoln. Contact with the north was by direct ferry between Grimsby and Hull.

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Grimsby in 1827, based on Bryant's map of Lincolnahire. Red dotted line = borough boundary.


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Grimsby in 1840; based on Gillett, 1970; blue lines indicate main dykes and creeks

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Grimsby after completion of No 3 Fish Dock in 1934: blue line is the Freshney 'dock-feeder'