Barton upon Humber

The gateway to the Lincolnshire Wolds, and on the banks of the River Humber, Barton upon Humber is often described as the “jewel in the crown” of North Lincolnshire.

Barton boasts a town rich in heritage, with a number of museums, nature reserves, a town centre bustling with independent shops and several historically-important buildings.

For more information, visit the Barton Tourism Partnership and Visit North Lincolnshire websites.



St. Peter’s Church on Beck Hill is one of the most important, and one of the most researched, buildings in the country. In 1819, St. Peter’s was the first building in England to be identified as Anglo-Saxon. It is home to more than 2,800 burials dating from Anglo-Saxon to Victorian times, and remains from these burials have yielded important information on early medical practice, as well as the history of diseases such as arthritis.

The Ropery Museum, part of The Ropewalk on Maltkiln Road, depicts the history of rope-making in Barton upon Humber. Hall’s Ropery dates back to 1767 when the Halls, a wealthy ship-owning family from Hull, first became involved in rope making in Barton as the town already had a workforce of skilled dressers, spinners and rope makers. The museum includes machinery, tools and materials used in the rope making process, interactive displays and films, and archive photographs.

The Wilderspin National School Museum on Queen Street, in the heart of Barton’s Conservation Area, opens Thursday – Sunday and Bank Holidays, from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Here you can explore the history of education, and its pioneer Samuel Wilderspin who changed the face of primary school education. At the school you can relive the “best days of your life” and visit the fully-restored Wilderspin playground and a recreation of Wilderspin’s schoolroom.

Baysgarth House Museum opens Friday to Sunday and Bank Holidays, from 12.00pm to 4.00pm. It offers a regularly-changing programme of exhibitions, Georgian and Victorian themed rooms, and artefacts reflecting the local relevance of the house.

Full details of all the town’s historic buildings can be found in the Hidden History smartphone app, available to download here. Alternatively, pick up one of the Victorian, Georgian or Waterside walk leaflets from various outlets around the town, or download from the Barton Civic Society website.

Natural Landscape

Barton upon Humber is embedded in a historic natural landscape, where the town’s industrial past has been transformed into a haven for wildlife.

Far Ings National Nature Reserve is an area of open water, reed beds and meadows lying in the shadow of the Humber Bridge. A Visitor Centre and wildlife hides can be accessed throughout the year, with free car parking on site. Far Ings is one of the foremost areas in the country for the conservation of reed beds, and birds such as the bittern, heron, kingfisher and oyster catcher can all be spotted!

Waters’ Edge Visitor Centre is set in an 86-acre Country Park which celebrates the wildlife and unique environment of the Humber Estuary. The Country Park has two sites of Special Scientific Interest and is home to rare birds, plants and animals as well as two well-equipped children’s play areas and a network of footpaths, through the meadows and woodland and across the reed beds and ponds. The award-winning Visitor Centre is one of the greenest buildings in the country, and is also home to Barton’s Tourist Information Centre.

Just a short drive away from Barton upon Humber is Thornton Abbey, with its ornate gatehouse and abbey ruins, under the management of English Heritage. Towards Scunthorpe is Normanby Hall and Country Park with museums, gardens, deer park and children’s play areas.

Further west along the river is the confluence where the rivers Trent and Ouse join to form the Humber. Alkborough Flats, one of the largest managed realignment sites in Europe, is an exciting project that helps prevent thousands of homes from flooding. Its location on the Humber, one of Europe’s top destinations for migratory wildfowl, provides essential feeding sites for thousands of birds on the way to their winter-feeding grounds. High on the hill overlooking the confluence is Julian’s Bower, a turf maze which is also depicted on the floor of the nearby church of St. John the Baptist.