The Land of Holderness

Saxon hand mill wheel

Saxon hand mill wheel

The name of Holderness derives from two words. The first word being “holder” an official of high rank. Then a second word of “ness” which indicates an headland. So this could imply that Holderness means chiefs headland. The Holderness area is relatively young in geological terms. It was formed during the last ice age, which occurred 18,000 years ago. A glacier covered this area from the chalk cliffs in the north. Now known as Flamborough head. In a south and easterly direction which is now the North Sea. The glacier melted between 10,000 and 5,000 years ago. This allowed the boulder clay, gravel and sand which was carried in the glacier to be deposited. The sand and gravel deposits altered the direction of the river Humber from an easterly to a southeasterly course. This formed the triangular shape that is the Holderness area today. The natural landscape of Holderness has been developed and even altered through the impact of mankind. This is the story of this change and the processes, tools and machinery used. Leading to the Holderness we have today some of which can be seen at Hedon museum.

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