Withernsea History

Like many seaside resorts, Withernsea has a wide promenade which reaches north and south from Pier Towers, the historic entrance to a 364 metre (nearly 1200 feet) long pier, built in 1877 at a cost of £12,000. The pier was gradually reduced in length through consecutive impacts by local seacraft, starting with the Saffron in 1880 before being collided into by an unnamed ship in 1888, again by a Grimsby fishing boat and again by the Henry Parr in 1903, leaving the once-grand pier with a mere 15 metres (about 50 feet) of damaged wood and steel. Town planners decided to remove the final section during construction of coastal defences in the 1930s. The Pier Towers have been refurbished.


During the mid 19th century the Hull and Holderness Railway was constructed, connecting the nearby city of Kingston upon Hull with Withernsea (via Keyingham and Patrington) and providing a cheap and convenient holiday for Victorian workers and their families, as well as boosting Withernsea's economy. It closed in 1964 and all that remains of it is an overgrown footpath where the track used to be.


Withernsea Lighthouse is an inland lighthouse standing in the middle of the town. The base features RNLI and HM Coastguard exhibits with models and old photography recording the history of ship-wrecks and the Withernsea lifeboats and crews who saved 87 lives between 1862 and 1913 and the history of the Spurn lifeboats.The local history room has Victorian and Edwardian photos including the pier and railway. There is a Kay Kendall memorial, the 1950s film star having been born in the town. Views from the lamp room in the Withernsea Lighthouse are breathtaking, especially after climbing 144 steps. The lighthouse stands 127 feet high and took 18 months to build between 1892 and 1894.