Infobox UK place
country = England
official_name = Howden
latitude = 53.744111
longitude = -0.863416
civil_parish = Howden
work = Neighbourhood Statistics
population = 3,810 (2001 Census)
unitary_england = East Riding of Yorkshire
region = Yorkshire and the Humber
lieutenancy_england = East Riding of Yorkshire
constituency_westminster = Haltemprice and Howden
post_town = GOOLE
postcode_district = DN14
postcode_area = DN
dial_code = 01430
os_grid_reference = SE749281

Howden is a small market town and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It lies next to the M62, on the A614 road about three miles north of Goole and Convert|17|mi|km|lk=on south-west of York. Howden holds a significant historic importance, William the Conqueror giving the town to the Bishops of Durham in 1080.cite web
] The wapentake of Howdenshire was named after the town, the Bishops of Durham also owning the wapentake.

Early history

One of the earliest recorded parts of Howden's history is King Edgar of England giving his first wife, Ethelfleda, Howden Manor in 959 AD,cite web
title=Notes on the history of Howden
] the beginnings of a long connection with the royal court of England.

In 1080, William the Conqueror gave the town, including its church, which later became the minster, to the Bishop of Durham, who promptly conferred the church upon the monks of Durham. However, he kept Howden Manor for himself. Records show that the church was at first a rectory, but conflicting records also show that Hugh, Prior of Durham, was given a bull from Pope Gregory IX for appropriating the church towards the maintenance of 16 monks. [cite web | author=| title=The history of Howden's church.| work= | url=| accessdate=2006-07-20 ]

Howden's royal connections continued when, in 1191, Prince John spent Christmas in Howden. Nine years later, John, now King of England, granted Howden the right to hold an annual fair.

In 1228, work began on the current Howden Minster, though it was not finished until the 15th century when the chapter house and top of the tower was added by Bishop Walter de Skirlaw.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, Howden became a centre for pilgrims because of John of Howden's alleged miracles in the latter part of the 1200s. [cite web | author=| title=Myths about Howden| work= | url= | accessdate=2006-07-20 ]

The most prolific of these tales was that John of Howden, at his funeral in 1275, raised his arms from his open coffin during his requiem mass to greet the host. As such, he has become regarded as a saint, though the Catholic Church has never made this official. Through the pilgrims, Howden received the money that it needed to complete the minster, fulfilling John of Howden's prophecy that he would continue aiding the minster from beyond the grave.

Ruin of Howden's minster

In 1548, Henry VIII dissolved the Collegiate churches, including Howden. During her reign, Elizabeth I gave the revenues of the Manor of Howden to local landowners. But these landowners refused to repair the choir of the church, which eventually fell into ruin.

The minster fell into further ruin during the English Civil War, when the Parliamentarians used it as a stable during their stay on the way to lay siege to Wressle Castle. The troops damaged the interior extensively, destroying the organ, much of the wooden structures, and damaging some of the masonry. It is said that when leaving the town they were playing the pipes of the organ like penny whistles.

On the night of 29 September 1696, after nearly 150 years of neglect, the roof of the choir fell down. The minster ruins were left where they fell until 1748 when the site was cleared, and the townsfolk took them for their own. Many used the masonry as building stones.

19th century

In the early 1800s Howden became famous throughout Europe for its horse fair, held every September. In Georgian times, the fair was quoted in "The Sporting Magazine" in 1807 as being the "largest fair for horses in the Kingdom".cite web
title=Howden Horse Fair

The fair, at its height, attracted all the principal horse dealers from every part of the United Kingdom. It is estimated that up to 4,000 horses were displayed for sale every day of the fair and that the total worth of this kind of sale was £200,000.

Representatives of the British Army attended the fair, and it is thought that Wellington's cavalry used horses bought at Howden in the Napoleonic Wars.

Howden's architecture is chiefly from the Georgian and Victorian era, most of the town centre exclusively being built in this period. Most of Howden's pubs were built during this time, and it is said that, at one point, there were more pubs in Howden per square half mile than anywhere else in the country. [cite web | author= Yorkshire Tours| title=Profile of Howden.| work= | url=| accessdate=2006-07-20 ]

Howden railway station opened in 1840.

The town was the scene of an early rail disaster which killed five passengers when a large iron casting fell from a wagon, and derailed the train. It was one of the first accidents to be investigated by the new Railway Inspectorate.

20th century

In 1915, during the First World War, the British Admiralty needed a suitable site in north-east England for a new airship station, to protect the ports and ships from the threat of attack by German U-boats.

The Royal Naval Airship Station at Howden opened in 1916 with its airship hangars. It provided not only protection for shipping along the east coast, but also jobs for hundreds of civilians. This helped to turn round the town's fortunes, which had been suffering since the building of the port at nearby Goole, and the passing of the horse fairs. [cite web | author= deko476| title=Howden RNAS.| work= | url=| accessdate=2006-07-20 ]

Between the wars, and then during the Second World War, the author Nevil Shute worked in Howden for the Airship Guarantee Co, as part of the team that created the R100. While here, Shute worked alongside Barnes Wallis, the scientist and inventor of the bouncing bomb. Shute lived at number 78 Hailgate, and a plaque is now fixed to the house to commemorate this. [cite web | author= deko476| title=Neville Shute in Howden.| work= | url=| accessdate=2006-07-20 ]

Shute is not always popular in Howden, because of what he wrote in his autobiography:

"The lads were what one would expect, straight from the plough, but the girls were an eye-opener. They were brutish and uncouth, filthy in appearance and in habits. Things may have changed since then — I hope they have. Perhaps the girls in very isolated districts such as that had less opportunity than their brothers for getting in to the market and making contact with civilization; I can only record the fact that these girls straight off the farms were the lowest types that I have ever seen in England, and incredibly foul-mouthed."
- "Slide Rule: Autobiography of an Engineer", Nevil Shute, 1954.

In 1932, Howden Minster's renovations were completed, and its bells chimed every 15 minutes, a tradition that continues to this day.It is popularly believed that on the night of 24 June 1954 the historian A.J.P. Taylor spent the night at the Wellington Hotel, and that he broke a water jug and a shaving mirror while staying there. However, this is untrue, as Taylor spent the night at the Bowman’s Hotel, next door to the Wellington. It is also untrue that he broke the jug and mirror. Instead, he broke his wrist falling from the unusually high bed. [Kathleen Burk, "Troublemaker: The Life and History of A.J.P. Taylor" (Yale University Press, 2002), p. 193.]

In the latter part of the mid-20th century, two banks and a Co-op, the town's largest grocery store, opened, giving the people of Howden a more convenient infrastructure.

21st century modernisation

In late 2003 The Press Association (PA) completed building work on what it calls its 'Operations Centre', despite notable opposition from the residents of Howden, and it stands on the site of the old Georgian Police Station. This left Howden without a police presence in the town until late 2005. The building was officially opened by the Prince of Wales, continuing Howden's relations with the Royal Family.

PA has several hundred employees, most of whom have been brought into the town from Leeds and London, at this building and others in the town. The local public transport facilities have proved inadequate for many staff who commute, as much of the work is done round the clock. This has led to considerable strain being put on Howden's parking facilities, leading to the creation of a Controlled Parking Zone embracing most of the central area of the town.

Online retailer also recently relocated their headquarters from Sheffield to Howden. Their vast warehouse and office building is on Ferry Road, close to Howdendyke.

Plans for the further development of Howden include a permanent set of traffic lights, more housing, an industrial estate and a larger grocery store to be built on the disused United Carriers site.

Howden Minster is currently undergoing another renovation, with the aid of English Heritage. The Minster hopes to raise £300,000 in the next two years.

Howden was featured in "The Times" top 20 list of places with the best standard of living in the UK in 2005. [cite web | publisher= The Times| title=The North-South divide is a bit rich, say banks| work= | url=| date= 8 December 2005| accessdate=2006-07-20 ]


The parliamentary seat of Howden and Haltemprice is held by David Davis, the former Shadow Home Secretary. The civil parish of Howden had a population of 3,810, according to the 2001 UK census.cite web
url =
title = 2001 Census: Key Statistics: Parish Headcounts: Area: Howden CP (Parish)
accessdate = 2008-02-06
publisher = Office for National Statistics
] The civil parish also includes North Howden and part of Boothferry.

The current Howden town councillor is Mark Preston, of the Conservative Party.

ee also

*Howden Church of England Infant School
*Howden Junior School
*Howden School and Technology College
*Howden rail crash
*Howden Moor Incident - this relates to the other Howden in the Peak District


External links

* [ Profile of Howden by Yorkshire Tours]
* [ Howden Secondary School and Technology College]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Howden — Minster mit Marktplatz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Howden — This is a medieval English locational surname. It originates from the small market town of Howden, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, some twenty miles from the ciry of York. The origin of the place name, and hence the later surname, is heafod denu …   Surnames reference

  • Howden — Original name in latin Howden Name in other language State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 53.74206 latitude 0.86569 altitude 5 Population 3895 Date 2011 07 31 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Howden — A college of secular priests …   Medieval glossary

  • Howden Minster — Howden Minster, East Riding of Yorkshire …   Wikipedia

  • Howden (disambiguation) — Howden can refer to:*Howden, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, a town near Beverley *Howden, Tasmania, Australia, a town just south of Hobart *Howden, Livingston, an area of the town of Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland *Howden Insurance… …   Wikipedia

  • Howden School — can refer to one of 3 schools in the town of Howden.*Howden School and Technology College *Howden Junior School *Howden Church Of England Infant School …   Wikipedia

  • Howden Ganley — Automobil /Formel 1 Weltmeisterschaft Nation: Neuseeland  Neuseeland Erster Start: Großer Preis von San Marino 19 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Howden Rural District — Howden was a rural district in the East Riding of Yorkshire from 1894 to 1974. It was formed under the Local Government Act 1894 as a successor to the Howden rural sanitary district. In 1935 it lost a few parishes to the newly created Derwent… …   Wikipedia

  • Howden Edge — (gbmapping|SK187943) is a peak which lies in the north east of the Upper Derwent Valley area of the Peak District National Park in England. At 545m (1787ft) it is the second highest point in South Yorkshire, after Margery Hill. It is situated to… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.