AskDefine | Define humber

Dictionary Definition

Humber n : an estuary in central northeastern England formed by the Ouse River and the Trent River

Extensive Definition

For other uses, see Humber (disambiguation).
The Humber is a large tidal waterway on the east coast of northern England.
The Humber is an estuary formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the North bank and North Lincolnshire on the South bank. Because the Humber is an estuary from the point at which it is formed, it is not correct to refer to it as the River Humber or (definitely not) the Humber River.
Below Trent Falls, the Humber passes the junction with the Market Weighton Canal on the north shore, the confluence of the River Ancholme on the south shore; between North Ferriby and South Ferriby and under the Humber Bridge; between Barton-upon-Humber on the south bank and Kingston upon Hull on the North bank (where the River Hull joins), then meets the North Sea between Cleethorpes on the Lincolnshire side and the long and thin (but rapidly changing) headland of Spurn Head to the North.
Ports on the Humber estuary include Hull, Grimsby, Immingham , New Holland and Killingholme.

History

In the Anglo-Saxon period, the Humber was a major boundary, separating Northumbria from the southern kingdoms. Indeed, the name Northumbria simply means the area North of the Humber. It currently forms the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire, to the north and North and North East Lincolnshire, to the south.
From 1974 to 1996 the area now known as East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire constituted Humberside and for hundreds of years before that, the Humber lay between Lindsey and The East Riding of Yorkshire. ("East Riding" is derived from "East Thriding", and likewise with the other ridings' "thriding" is an old word of Norse origin meaning a third part). Since the late eleventh century, Lindsey had been one of the Parts of Lincolnshire.
The estuary's single crossing is the Humber Bridge which was once the largest suspension bridge in the world. Now it is the fourth largest.
In August, 2005, Graham Boanas, a Hull man, became the first person to successfully wade across the Humber since Roman times. He started his trek on the North bank at Boothferry; four hours later, he emerged on the South bank at Whitton. The feat was attempted to raise cash and awareness for the medical research charity, DebRA. He replicated this achievement in Top Gear (Series 10 Episode 6) where he races James May (who is driving a Alfa Romeo 159) across the Humber without using the Humber Bridge.
Two fortifications were built in the mouth of the river in 1914, the Humber Forts. Fort Paull is further upstream.
When the sea level was lower in the Ice Age, the Humber was a freshwater river that could have flowed up to 30 miles or more according to sea level before it reached the sea or joined the Wash River.
The Humber was once known as the Abus, for example in Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene.

Etymology

Its name is recorded in Anglo-Saxon times as Humbre (Anglo-Saxon dative) and Humbri (Latin genitive). As its name recurs in the Humber Brook near Humber Court in Herefordshire or Worcestershire, the word humbr- may be a word that meant "river" or similar in an aboriginal language that was spoken in England before the Celts came (compare Tardebigge).
Medieval legend, as recorded in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, claims the river was named after Humber the Hun who, on trying to invade, drowned there.
humber in Bulgarian: Хъмбър
humber in Welsh: Afon Humber
humber in German: Humber (Fluss)
humber in Esperanto: Humber (rivero)
humber in French: Humber
humber in Italian: Humber
humber in Lithuanian: Hamberio estuarija
humber in Dutch: Humber (rivier)
humber in Norwegian: Humber
humber in Polish: Humber
humber in Swedish: Humber
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