City of Hull Engineering Walk

Take our guided city walk and discover Hull’s wealth of fantastic engineering landmarks – past and present

Take a walk through Hull's unique and rich history - through its wealth of remarkable, innovative engineering landmarks. From clean, cutting-edge contemporary designs to the timeless engineering of our industrial-age heritage, join us on a journey of discovery and find out why we're so proud of this city we've built!

Download a copy of the walk leaflet

You can find out more about civil engineering and how to become a civil engineer.

For more resources aimed at helping inspire young people into a career in civil engineering, please visit our education pages.

1: The Deep

1. The Deep

Tower Street, HU1 4DP

The Deep is home to 3,500 fish! The dramatic building was opened in 2002 and has become an internationally recognised landmark - even featuring on a Royal Mail stamp! The building's design was inspired by the form of a whale breaching the water's surface. Gleaming glass and aluminium thrust into the dramatic landscape on the confluence of the two rivers marking the historic entry to Kingston upon Hull with a brand new future.

2: Hull Tidal Barrier

2: Hull Tidal Barrier

The Tidal Barrier on the River Hull is built on the site of the old Ha'Penny bridge, called after the toll charged for crossing. The present structure was completed in 1980. The Hull Tidal Barrier takes about 24 minutes to lower, protecting 63,000 properties.

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Key facts

  • The gate weighs 212 tonnes and is 98 feet (30m) wide
  • It has protected Hull from more than 30 high tidal surges since it opened
  • The barrier lowers approximately 12 times per year

3: C4DI and Amphitheatre

3: C4DI and Amphitheatre

31-33 Queen Street, HU1 1UU

C4DI is Hull's new centre for digital innovation. Housing tech companies in state of the art offices, C4DI is putting Hull's tech industries on the map, providing local job opportunities for technologically-minded individuals.

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The C4DI development includes a central park in the courtyard which houses cycle storage for office workers beneath. The old dry dock adjacent to the C4DI offices is a Grade II listed structure. Built in 1843, it was at the time the largest dry dock in Hull (105m long).

To protect the listing of the dry dock, the dry dock remains in place with an amphitheatre built like a balcony over the top. The dock itself has been filled with reeds to help treat rainwater and remove pollutants before it enters the Humber Estuary. A wonderful setting to experience a stage performance, with magnificent views of the Humber!

4: Ferry Terminal & Minerva Pier

4: Ferry Terminal & Minerva Pier

HU1 1UZ

This pier marks the spot where the ferry ran for over 150 years between Hull and Lincolnshire from 1825-1981 until the service ended with the opening of the Humber Bridge. Although the first recorded instance of a ferry for this area dates as far back as 1315, over 700 years ago!

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The 20th Century L-shaped Minerva Pier (which replaced the earlier, 19th Century timber pier) was built using a 'cofferdam' construction: a temporary watertight box was filled with air so that people could work underwater.

On the pier is the Naval Memorial to all those who lost their lives in wartime. The structure is designed with a gap through which you can see the horizon - the only thing visible to those at sea.

5: Disposal Main

5: Disposal Main

Blanket Row, HU1 1TB

As you walk down Blanket Row you will notice two metal covers in the road which are shafts down to the Hull disposal main; a sewer leading to the Saltend treatment plant, over 5 miles away. The sewer lies 22m below ground level and is so large a car was driven through it prior to its opening in 2000.

Read more about water engineering and waste water management

6: Holy Trinity Church

6: Holy Trinity Church

10a-11 King Street, HU1 2JJ

The church dates back to about 1300 and contains what is widely acknowledged to be some of the finest medieval brick-work in the country, particularly in the transepts. The font was carved in 1380 from a solid block of marble and has been used to baptise thousands, including famous anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce.

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This remarkable structure is the only building to survive from the original "King's Town". It is the largest parish church in the country, and In 2016 it was announced that the Church was to become a Minster.

7: River Channel & Hasholme Boat

7: River Channel & Hasholme Boat

East Riding Museum, High Street, HU1 1NQ

The Humber Valley has been populated since the early stone age. The river itself has been important for transportation since prehistoric times. In 1984 the Hasholme boat, an important Iron Age boat and the largest of its kind, was discovered by chance in a field by a farmer digging drainage. The boat is 12.5m long and was constructed from a tree cut down around 325BC, and is now on display in the East Riding Museum.

8: Scale Lane Swing Bridge

8: Scale Lane Swing Bridge

River Hull, HU1 1QJ

Movable bridges are a common thing. But a bridge that moves while people stand on it – now that is a rarity! Completed in 2013, the west end of the swing bridge houses a cafe and acts as a pivot from which it swings a full 90° when open.

Explore our buildings and structures resources

9: Queen's Gardens

9: Queen's Gardens

Hull Road, HU1 2AB

This area - once known as Queen's Dock - was the site of Hull's first enclosed dock - excavated between 1774 and 1778 at an excavation cost of £95,000 – equivalent to over £10m in today's prices. The dock was the first of its kind outside London and covers a total area of 11 acres. The original name of the dock was 'The Old Dock' but it was re-named 'Queen's' when Queen Victoria visited Hull in 1854.

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Q: Where did they put all that excavated land?
A: George Street, which now stands some 5 feet higher!

10: Queen Victoria Square

10: Queen Victoria Square

HU1 3RQ

Queen Victoria Square was part of a scheme to form a central square in Hull and was officially opened by the Princess of Wales in 1903. The City Hall was badly bombed during WWII and remained closed before restoration work led to its reopening in 1950.

11: City Walls & Citadel

11: City Walls & Citadel

Hull's fortifications were established in the early 14th century, consisting of the city walls, four main gates and up to thirty towers. Demolished during the 1860s, the lasting segment of Hull's citadel - now to be seen at Victoria Dock - is all that remains of a vast triangular fort dating back to 1681.

12: Princes Quay Shopping Centre

12: Princes Quay Shopping Centre

HU1 2PQ

The space in which Princes Quay is built was formerly known as Princes Dock and was a fully functional dock for merchant ships. Princes Quay was built over the water, supported by columns, in a similar fashion to oil rigs, with the water remaining in the dock beneath.

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It was originally excavated to increase the number of ships that were able to load and unload as the river became more difficult to navigate due to the sheer volume of traffic.

When the size of ships began to increase and the docking industry in Hull declined, it became unnecessary for the dock to remain functional and it was eventually turned into what we now know as Princess Quay. The different floors of the shopping centre are called 'decks' as a tribute to the days of river industry. The fourth floor is the Top Deck, of course!

13: Paragon Interchange

13: Paragon Interchange

Ferensway, HU1 3UT

The Paragon Interchange, refurbished in 2000, links the bus station to the 150-year-old Victorian train station and now serves over 2.25 million people. It houses a bronze statue of poet and University of Hull librarian Philip Larkin.

14: The Humber Bridge

14: The Humber Bridge

When opened by the Queen in 1981, having taken 8 years to build, the Humber Bridge was the world's longest single span suspension bridge. The central span is almost a mile long and its landmark towers are over 150m high. It contains enough cable to circle the world twice! It is also notable in that it is possible to walk or cycle across it.

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Q: How do they keep the bridge's cables dry and rust-free?

A: Huge air conditioning systems are used
 
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