East Yorkshire coastal erosion

erosion map

 East Yorkshire coastal erosion - lost coastal communities

Names are obtained from documents beginning with the Domesday Survey, completed 1086. Within the records, variations in spelling are common.

As a matter of note, the ending ‘-sea’ for an existing place name was originally ‘-sey’, meaning mere, or lake. The style is preserved in Woodmansey, a village between Hull and Beverley, and elsewhere in the East Riding. Holderness once contained a number of meres, all products of the ice age. Only Hornsea Mere remains.

The distance of the coastline in Roman times from that of today is often put at around three-and-a-half miles, as calculated by Ernest Matthews, a civil engineer, in 1905. Other estimates are more cautious – present rates of erosion would put the distance at around two miles.

Loss of communities along the northern edge of the Humber can be attributed to changes within the estuary.

For the original erosion map, see

Thomas Sheppard (1912), The Lost Towns of the Yorkshire Coast
(turn the pages to read the contents of the book).

East Riding of Yorkshire Council displays a version at
Coastal Explorer
(if your browser does not take you to the map, scroll to page 4).

Gallery pages of lost places:



Great Colden

Skipsea Withow Mere

Links to old maps:

archive maps index

British History Online

Coastal Explorer Interactive Map

NLS (National Library of Scotland) old map collection
zoom in, click on map square, thumbnails should appear at screen right

NLS Explore
drag and zoom

Old Maps Online

subscription required for full zoom


more on East Yorkshire coastal erosion


Page prepared by Brian Williams in August 2010.