Bridges, Buildings & Houses

For centuries the boundary between Grimsby’s West Marsh and the parish of Little Coates lay roughly along the line formed by present day Pyewipe Road and Boulevard Avenue. The West Marsh was used as common land, however around 1514 this land was subject to an act of enclosure and these common rights were curtailed as the area was divided between local dignitaries.

In 1873 a bridge was built across the Old Dock, linking Corporation Road with Victoria Street. This shortened the travelling distance between the West Marsh and the built up area in the East Marsh including the new Freeman Street. Previously residents had to make the long detour through the town centre. This improved access made it more feasible for the council to lease land in the West Marsh and a programme of house building started there.

Also, in 1873 work began to improve the Old Dock and connect it with the new Royal Dock. West Marsh land was used for this purpose. In 1879 the Union Dock the canal linking the two docks was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales. The extended Old Dock became the Alexandra Dock where vessels brought in timber from Russia and Scandinavia and timber companies erected extensive storage yards in the West Marsh next to Alexandra Dock.