Sure, we know all about the glowing gems of God’s Own Country. But what we can’t forget is that we also have a dark, often forgotten, history. These underwater villages in Yorkshire are an eerie look into Yorkshire’s past.
Relinquishing themselves to the all-powerful waters of the North, these underwater villages in Yorkshire have our curiosity at an all-time peak, each boasting a story as unique as the next. From those abandoned for the greater good, to the ones that fell victim to coastal erosion – here are some of the most fascinating underwater villages in Yorkshire.
1. West End
Found lying below Thruscross Reservoir, the former village of West End sits submerged – with its buildings decaying away underneath the reservoir’s waters.
Housing flax industry workers before its demise back in the early 19th century, West End was cleared to help provide water for those living in West Yorkshire, leading to the eventual sinking of the village.
Today, you can still find the ruins of the flax mill, the foundations of people’s former homes, and Holme Field Head – which still contains rooms inside and much of its original structure.
Formerly found on the Holderness coastline by Old Withernsea and the still-standing Withernsea, the town of Owthorne was washed out to sea back in the 19th century, rapidly eroding away over a 50-year period.
According to the history books, the demise of Owthorne began in the early years of the 1800s, with the church and people’s homes being washed away by 1816. Just two decades later, the churchyard followed, with the remainder of the village continuing to decline over the years, and what was left being absorbed into Withernsea instead – thus, erasing Owthorne from East Yorkshire altogether.
Today, the town sits under the North Sea, never to be seen again.
3. Hornsea Beck
Once a small village just ten minutes East of Hornsea, Hornsea Beck has long lived under the sea, with historians predicting it had been completely eroded by 1747. AKA, well before our time.
Around 38 homes, a pier and a lighthouse are said to have been washed away when Hornsea Beck fell victim to the sea, leaving only the remaining town of Hornsea behind come the mid-17th century.
Hornsea can still be visited today, however, no remains of Hornsea Beck survive.
4. Ravenser Odd
Falling victim to the sea over 600 years ago, Ravenser Odd – a Medieval village which once lay by Spurn Point – was formerly home to around 100 families.
Meeting its demise in the mid-1300s, the village became completely abandoned after a huge storm that flooded the area. The site continued to submerge itself under the waters of the North Sea for years afterwards as more storms and floods hit.
Once Hull’s largest port, Ravenser Odd is now long forgotten, with nothing left to mark its history until recently when it was discovered where it was lost to the sea over 660 years ago.
[Featured image: Ruined Mill on Capelshaw Beck/cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Chris Heaton – geograph.org.uk/p/738739]
Read more: This Completely Deserted Medieval Village In The Yorkshire Countryside Holds A Dark Secret