Barton upon Humber
Barton upon Humber has often been described as the jewel in the crown of North Lincolnshire.
Part of the South Humber Collection, Barton boasts not only a town rich in heritage but also, on the outskirts, the Far Ings National Nature Reserve and the Water’s Edge County Park. The South Humber Collection website can be found at http://www.south-humber-collection.org
In Barton itself, St Peter’s Church on Beck Hill is one of the most important, and one of the most researched, buildings in the country with its Anglo-Saxon tower and baptistery and an interactive exhibition, Buried Lives. Like Thornton Abbey, St Peter’s now comes under the auspices of English Heritage.
The Wilderspin National School on Queen Street in the heart of Barton’s Conservation Area opens Thursdays to Sunday and Bank Holidays between 10am and 5pm and here you can pay homage to education 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 only fully restored Wilderspin playground and a recreation of Wilderspin’s schoolroom.
Barton’s Museum, Baysgarth House Museum, opens Fridays to Sundays as well as bank holidays from 12 noon until 4pm. It has a programme of exhibitions as well as Georgian and Victorian Rooms as well as other artefacts reflecting the local relevance of the house.
Full details of all the town’s historic buildings can be found in the three Walk leaflets (Victorian, Georgian and Waterside) which are available in various outlets around the town and can also be downloaded from www.bartoncivicsociety.co.uk
Just a short drive away from Barton is Thornton Abbey with its ornate gatehouse and abbey ruins and towards Scunthorpe is Normanby Hall and Country Park.
Far Ings National Nature Reserve is an area of open water, reedbeds and meadows lying in the shadow of the Humber Bridge. Far Ings is one of the foremost areas in the country for the conservation of reedbeds. Birds such as the bittern, heron, kingfisher and winter visitors such as the oyster catcher can all be seen at the reserve.
Further west along the river is the confluence where the rivers Trent and Ouse join to form the Humber. Alkborough Flatts. 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.