From Academic Kids

For other uses, see Grimsby (disambiguation).Template:GBdot
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Coat of Arms of Great Grimsby

Great Grimsby (typically known simply as Grimsby) is a seaport on the river Humber in the north of England, which has a population of 91,000. It is physically linked to the adjoining town of Cleethorpes, and 11,000 of its inhabitants live in the village of Scartho (which was absorbed into Grimsby before laws on the Green Belt were put in place).

Historically in Lincolnshire, it was moved to Humberside in 1974 (where it formed the larger part of the borough of Great Grimsby) and since 1996 has been part of the unitary authority of North East Lincolnshire.

It is called "Great Grimsby" to distinguish it from Little Grimsby, a village about 20km to the south, near Louth.



Grimsby was founded by the Danes in the 9th Century AD, although there is some evidence of a small town of Roman workers sited in the area some seven centuries earlier. Located on the River Haven, which flowed into the Humber, Grimsby would have provided an ideal location for ships to shelter from approaching storms. It was also well situated for the rich fishing grounds in the North Sea.

The name Grimsby probably originated from Grim's by, or "Grim's Village", although an alternative view is that Grimsby is a concatenation of three Celtic syllables "Gri-maes-buy", meaning "the place of the sacred mounds".

Grimsby is listed in the Domesday Book, having a population of around 200, a priest, a mill and a ferry. During the 12th Century Grimsby developed into a fishing and trading port, at one point ranking twelfth in importance to the Crown in terms of tax revenue. The town was granted its charter by King John in 1201. The first mayor was installed in 1218.

Grimsby does not have town walls. It was too small and was protected by the marshy land around it. However, the town did have a ditch.

In the 15th Century the River Haven began to silt up, preventing ships in the Humber from docking. As a result, Grimsby entered a long period of decline which lasted until the late 18th Century. In 1801, the population of Grimsby numbered 1,524, around the same size that it had been in the Middle Ages.

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Grimsby Dock Tower.

In the early 19th Century the town grew rapidly. The Great Grimsby Haven Company was formed by Act of Parliament in May 1796 (the Grimsby Haven Act) for the purpose of "widening, deepening, enlarging, altering and improving the Haven of the Town and Port of Great Grimsby". Grimsby's port boomed, importing iron, timber, wheat, hemp and flax. New docks were necessary to cope with the expansion. The Grimsby Docks Act of 1845 allowed the necessary building works. The Royal Dock was completed in 1852, at the same time as the Dock Tower. No.1 Fish Dock was completed in 1856, followed by No.2 Fish Dock in 1877. Alexandra Dock and Union Dock followed in 1879. During this period the fishing fleet was greatly expanded.

The arrival of the railway in 1848 made it far easier to transport goods to and from the port. Coal mined in the South Yorkshire coal fields was brought by rail and exported through Grimsby.

The population of Grimsby grew from 75,000 in 1901 to 92,000 by 1931 but then remained fairly static for the rest of the 20th Century.

During World War II, Grimsby's status as a major port made it a focus of the German Luftwaffe. Grimsby suffered many air raids and 197 people were killed.


Grimsby is traditionally strongly associated with the sea fishing industry and has the largest fish docks in the United Kingdom. However, primarily as a result of the Cod Wars and reduced fishing quotas, this industry has been in decline for many years.

In recent years the frozen food industry has become a large part of Grimsby's economy and new industries such as light engineering, chemicals and plastics have grown.

Places of interest and landmarks

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One of the two Humber Forts

See also

Other Information

Grimsby has associations with the following towns and cities:

Austin Mitchell is the Member of Parliament for Grimsby.

The Grimsby Evening Telegraph, with an audited circulation of 40,533 copies (January-June 2004), has the highest circulation of a local newspaper in Grimsby and the surrounding area.

Bernie Taupin, who grew up in Lincolnshire, wrote a song called Grimsby that was featured on Elton John's 1974 album "Caribou".

External links


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