Somer's Town Estate, Hull

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Printed plan of Somer's Town Estate, Hull, late 19th century, to be developed by the Hull, Beverley and East Riding Freehold Land Society and showing the plots and a later planned redesigning of the estate.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Reform Act (1832) gave men who owned freehold property worth £2 or more per annum the right to vote in county elections, as such political parties developed a method for the enfranchisement of men unable to vote in their own right. If a man was the member of an association, such as the Hull, Beverley and East Riding Freehold Land Society, which held freehold property he would become a freeholder in the eyes of the law and thus eligible to vote. In Hull it was the Liberals who pursued this scheme more actively than the Conservatives in order to increase their electoral support. The expansion of Hull's suburbs was in part the result of such societies efforts.

The Hull, Beverley and East Riding Freehold Land Society was founded in 1850. The Society's freehold property including three estates: Spring Bank Estate (next to Kingston Estate), Victoria Estate (off Hedon Road) and Somerstown Estate (off Holderness Road)

Beeton Street on the Somerstown Estate was named after James Beeton who started out as a basket maker. He later became a building speculator developing a collection of streets which became known, unofficially, as Beetonville (the streets were named for the surnames of his sisters, daughter and nieces). Beeton was the main advocate of the Hull, Beverley and East Riding Land Society and was at one point the Secretary of the society.

Courtenay Street was named after Rev. John Courtney who owned the land on which the street was built.

Bethel Street was later renamed Burleigh Street.

The Victoria Dock Branch Railway is incorporated into a redesign attached to the original plan. The Victoria Dock Branch ran from Anlaby Road to Victoria Dock and was approximately 3 miles long. It opened for both freight and public passengers in 1853 but the passenger service only lasted a year owing to insufficient customer numbers. The stations on the Victoria Dock Branch closed with the shutting down of routes from Hornsea and Withernsea in 1964 although the line continued to operate for freight services until 1968.

The area has been significantly redeveloped since the 19th century with the Courtenay Street Industrial Estate now being situated on the site.

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Donated in 1964

Related Material

Plan of Spring Bank Estate, between Middleton Street and Mayfield Street, Hull [U DSJ/102]

Plan of the estate of the Albion Freehold Land Society (Hutt Street, Peel Street, and the adjacent portion of Spring Bank) [C DBHT/9/366]