Emma Lingard of Lingard's Lincolnshire Walking Tours, in Healing, North East Lincolnshire. Exploring the history of Grimsby.

Meet Emma Lingard. Emma is a media and communications specialist, an author, and my Journalism degree tutor. This month, her very first book is going to be published.

Grimsby Streets‘ is all about the forgotten meanings behind many of the town’s notable street names, exploring history throughout time.  To coincide with the book launch, Emma will be hosting her very own walking tours around the town centre, and the business ladies of Work Wise Women were able to have a special preview.

When I envisioned this post, I saw lovely bright photos with green leaves, blue skies and lots of fascinated faces. However, the Great British weather did it’s thing and chucked it down just in time for our walk.

We started at Abbeygate and Emma introduced her upcoming book, the legend of Grim and Havelock, and the ancient seven hills and rivers that Grimsby was based upon. We explored Bethlehem Street (not named after the city, as you may think!) before hearing all about the Yarborough Hotel.

Emma kindly shared some of her notes with us…

Discussing the history of the Yarborough Hotel in Grimsby with Lingard's Lincolnshire Walking Tours. Discussing the history of the Yarborough Hotel in Grimsby with Lingard's Lincolnshire Walking Tours.
Yarborough Hotel

The Yarborough Hotel was named after Earl Yarborough, a title created in 1794. The grand hotel, which was built in 1854 by the second Earl and The Royal Dock Company, symbolised the wealth in the town. In 1862 it was the scene of a political riot when John Chapman, Chairman of the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway, was elected MP.


Brighowgate is an ancient road into the town bearing the Viking name for a street (gata). Its name means a bridge by a spur of land. In the Viking age, Grimsby was composed of seven hills and was marshland and very watery.

We headed across the road to Grimsby Minster, where Emma discussed the long-gone churches and Abbeys of the town. When the tours launch, the Lost Religious Houses of Grimsby will be its own walk. Next was The Bull Ring and the Old Market Place.

Discussing the history of Grimsby Minster and Grimsby's lost churches with Lingard's Lincolnshire Walking Tours.

The Old Market Place in Grimsby town centre. A stop on Lingard's Lincolnshire Walking Tour exploring the history of Grimsby.

The Bull Ring

The Bull Ring now only remains in name, it was cleared in the late 60s/70s as part of the town redevelopment. The area had been used for bull baiting until 1779 when it was outlawed. Butchers wishing to kill their bulls had to have them baited first as entertainment.


Flottergate is another road, now gone, that is underneath Freshney Place Shopping Centre. It ran from Victoria Street down to Alexandra Road. Its name means the street where things float – the river, when it flooded, would come down the road taking items with it. 

The walk also gave us an opportunity to look up and see some of Grimsby’s remaining historic architecture.

The Old Savoy Picture House in Grimsby. A part of Lingard's Lincolnshire Walking Tour exploring Grimsby history.

Sadly, this was when the weather got a little too cold and wet and we had to turn back to Abbys. However, we did feast on a delicious tapas buffet of Spanish meatballs, creamy chicken, potatas bravas, marinated vegetables and super soft olive bread – just what we needed!

Once we had warmed up, dried off and been fed, Emma continued the ‘tour’ with a presentation. It was fascinating to see illustrations and old photos of what Grimsby used to look like. We really did have some beautiful features in the town! Did you know Grimsby had a corn exchange? I didn’t!

Emma talks us through Grimsby history in a presentation for Lingard's Lincolnshire Walking Tours. Emma talks us through Grimsby history in a presentation for Lingard's Lincolnshire Walking Tours.

We learnt such a lot in a short space of time, so if you’d like to find out more you’ll have to buy Emma’s book! ‘Grimsby Streets’ is published on 30th July and is available to pre-order right now on Amazon. You can also find out more about Lingard’s Lincolnshire Walking Tours here.