Gipsyville is a western suburb of Kingston upon Hull, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England.

Gipsyville was established at the beginning of the 20th century as a housing and factory development and derives its name from a black lead product "Gipsy Black Metal Polish" that was produced locally at the Hargreaves & Bros company works. During the interwar period a large council estate of over 1,000 dwellings was built to the north of the original development.


Gipsyville is a western suburb of Kingston upon Hull, approximately halfway between Hull and Hessle town centres near the Hessle Road / Askew Avenue junction (see A1166 road). Its boundaries are roughly the railway lines of the Hull and Selby Railway and Hull Docks Branch to the south and east respectively; and Pickering Park to the west. To the north are the suburbs of Anlaby Common, and East Ella.[1]

Most of the area lies in the Pickering ward of Hull City Council, the remainder in the western part of Newington ward.[2][3][4] As of 2012 the area has a primary school, Francis Askew, catering for 270 children.[5] A public services centre, the 'Gipsyville Multipurpose Centre' provides library, health and other community services.[6][7]

Shopping facilities are centred on the radial Hessle Road.[8] The southern part of Gipsyville includes an industrial area, known as Dairycoates Industrial Estate,[9] the area known as Dairycoates is adjacent to the east.


The land on which the original Gipsyville development took place was called Hessle Great Ings (see Ings), and was historically within the parish of Hessle.[10] Enclosure and drainage of the land in the area was brought about by the Hessle Inclosure act (1793).[10] The road from Hull to Hessle was turpiked in 1825,[11] and the Hull and Selby Railway constructed south of the road opened in 1840.[12] The north south running Bridlington branch of the Hull and Selby, and a branch of the Hull and Barnsley Railway were opened in 1846 and 1885 respectively.[13][note 1] At the end of the 19th century the area contained no housing or other development, excluding the Hessle Road and railways; to the east the urban growth of Hull (Newington and Dairycoates areas) had reached the boundary formed by the north south railway branches.[14]

At the turn of the 20th century industrial and housing development began – F. Atkins & Co. opened a canister works,[15][16][note 2] and Hargreaves Bros. & Co. established a black lead factory in 1906.[17][note 3] Terraced housing was constructed in the same period, running north south on the south side of Hessle Road; the streets were named after English counties.[10][18]

The area took its name from a product produced by Hargreaves, "Gipsy Black Metal Polish".[17] In 1911 Pickering Park opened to the north-west, by which time the population of the estate was somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000.[10] Hargreaves became insolvent in 1922 and was taken over by competitor Reckitt and Sons in 1922, who closed the works.[19][note 4]

Housing development took place on the north side of Hessle Road in the first half of the 20th century. During the interwar period, stimulated by the Addison Act, the council built over 10,000 homes, 1,380 of which were constructed in Gipsyville;[20] a Garden city movement influenced council estate of semi-detached and terraced houses with gardens, on tree lined main roads was developed to the east of Pickering Park, around Askew Avenue.[8][21][22] Buildings built on the south side of Hessle Road included some more architecturally distinctive structures; the 1926 Queen Anne influenced "Gipsyville tavern" (later "the Dover Sole") is now a locally listed building.[23] Fish curing works (smokehouses) were established in the industrial part of Gipsyville.[22]

Francis Askew school was established in 1925,[note 5] initially as a temporary infant and junior school – it expanded during the mid 20th century to include a senior school (Frances Askew High) of over 600 students by the 1960s.[24] A public library was established in 1956.[25][26][note 6]

In 1962 the level crossing (Hessle Road (Dairycoates) level crossing) at the eastern edge of the area was replaced with a road flyover (the "Hessle Road flyover" or "Dairycoates flyover") at a cost of over £800,000 to reduce road congestion. Nearly £500,000 was contributed by the government, and nearly £140,000 by the BTC.[27][28][note 7]

In 1967 a large food processing factory (manufacturing the "Birds Eye" brand) was opened to the west of the original pre-war housing development, on the western part of a site used as allotments.[32][33] The Dairycoates Industrial estate was developed from 1980 onwards, constructed to the south and east of the original early 1900s black lead, and canister works.[34][35]

In the late 1990s Hull City Council became involved in a controversial Public Private Partnership scheme with Keepmoat to refurbish, and demolish and redevelop 1,200 council houses in the area. The scheme failed to generate significant funds for the Council, and the council was accused of ignoring the wishes of the Gipsyville residents.[36][37]

The "Birds Eye" factory was closed in 2007 with a loss of around 500 permanent jobs;[33] the company opened a pea processing factory on the nearby Brighton Street industrial estate (Dairycoates) in 2007.[38][39]

An ambulance station was opened in 2009 near to the Hessle Road flyover.[40]

Notable people

See also


  1. The Hull and Barnsley branch was known as the Neptune Street branch, see Hull and Barnsley Railway
  2. On 1:2500 and 1:10560 Ordnance survey maps from 1920s to 1960s labelled as "Dairycoates works"
  3. On 1:2500 and 1:10560 Ordnance survey maps from 1920s to 1960s labelled as "Gipsyville works"
  4. Reckitt and Sons were unable to find a use or buyer for the works and they were unused up to 1941 when some production was shifted to the works after bombing during the Hull Blitz damaged their Kingston Works (Dansom lane).[19]
  5. Named after the education committee chairman.[24]
  6. As of 2013 the Library building functions as the 'Gipsyville multipurpose centre' providing multiple public services.
  7. By the 1990s the flyover was affected by Concrete degradation due to reinforcement corrosion and was reinforced by the conversion of the voids in the approaches into arches.[29] The main concrete deck span has also required reinforcement,[30] strengthening work was carried out in the late 2000s.[31]


  1. Ordnance survey, 2006, 1:25000
  2. "Hull City Council: Newington ward",, archived from the original on 29 October 2013, retrieved 24 October 2013
  3. "Hull City Council: Pickering ward",, archived from the original on 23 August 2013, retrieved 24 October 2013
  4. EVALUATION OF THE SINGLE REGENERATION BUDGET CHALLENGE FUND; AN EXAMINATION OF BASELINE ISSUES (PDF), Department of Land Economy University of Cambridge, June 1999, Hull City Vision, pp.44–46, Note: In the context of this paper "Gipsyville Estate" refers to the post war council housing estate.
  5. "Francis Askew Primary School Prospectus 2013–2014" (PDF),, p. 4, archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2013
  6. "Gipsyville Multi Purpose Centre",, Pickering & Newington Development Association, archived from the original on 29 October 2013, retrieved 24 October 2013
  7. Gipsyville Library, Hull City Council, retrieved 24 October 2013
  8. "Hull Development Framework – Hull Character Study (Phase 1) (Draft)" (PDF). Hull City Council. March 2010. 5. Townscape Types and Character Areas in Hull, p.28; also see p.17, 33. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2013. p.28: "Gipsyville is a relatively clearly defined local area characterised by an interwar council estate; however, the area also comprises a radial road retail centre, pre First World War terraced housing, 1990s housing redevelopment and an industrial area"
  9. "Dairycoates Industrial Estate",, retrieved 24 October 2013
  10. "New Park for Hull" (PDF), Hull Daily Mail, 15 July 1911, archived from the original (PDF) on 29 October 2013, reprinted via
  11. Allison, Keith John (1981). "Hull gent. seeks country residence," 1750–1850. p. 7. ISBN 0900349360.
  12. Whishaw, Francis (1842). The Railways of Great Britain and Ireland Practically Described and Illustrated. John Weale. pp. 162–7.
  13. Historic England. "Scarborough Railway (1375144)". PastScape. Retrieved 24 October 2013. "The Bridlington Branch Railway was authorised to the Hull and Selby Railway on June 29th 1845 [..] Opening in 1846, it left the Hull and Selby Railway at Dairycoates"
  14. Ordnance Survey, 1892-4, 1:10560
  15. "Metal Box General Packaging – Records Relating to the Construction of Buildings and the Installation of Plant at F. Atkins & Co's Canister Works at Dairycoates (now Metal Box)",, retrieved 24 October 2013
  16. Hull History Centre – Ref. No. C DBMB, Hull History Centre, retrieved 24 October 2013, F. Atkins & Company canister works was established around 1900 on what became Devon Street, Hessle Road, Dairycoates (later Gipsyville)
  17. Gill, Alec (1987), Hessle Road: a photographer's view of Hull's trawling days, Hutton Press, p. 54, ISBN 090703358X
  18. Ordnance survey. 1:2500. 1890, 1910, 1926.
  19. Reckitt, Basil Norman (1951), The History of Reckitt and Sons, Limited, A. Brown, pp. 72, 108
  20. Wild, M.T. (1990), "18. The geographical shaping of Hull", in Ellis, S.; Crowther, D.R. (eds.), Humber Perspectives, a region through the ages, Hull University Press, p. 262
  21. Neave, David; Neave, Susan. Hull. Pevsner Architectural Guides. p. 25.
  22. Ordnance survey, 1928, 1:2500
  23. "Local buildings list" (PDF). Hull City Council. p. 28. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  24. Allison, K.J., ed. (1969). "Education – Schools in Existence before 1945". A History of the County of York East Riding. 1: The City of Kingston upon Hull. British History Online. pp. 348–370.
  25. Allison, K.J., ed. (1969). "Social institutions – Libraries". A History of the County of York East Riding. 1: The City of Kingston upon Hull. British History Online. pp. 418–432.
  26. Library Association Record (LAR), June 1957 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. Ordnance Survey. 1:2500; 1950-1, 1969
  28. Sources:
    • Allison, K.J., ed. (1969), "Communications - Railways", A History of the County of York East Riding, 1: The City of Kingston upon Hull, pp. 387–397
    • "Bridge replaces level crossing after 30 years of argument", The Municipal Journal, Public Works Engineer and Contractors' Guide, 69 (3555–3567): 2161, 30 June 1961
    • "Hull Level Crossing to Go", The Civil Engineer, 15: 286, 1961
    • Journal of the Town Planning Institute, 47-48: 166, 1961 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. "Case study- Strengthening a flyover bridge - Hessle Road" (PDF),, 2007, archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016, retrieved 25 October 2013
  30. "Projects - Hessle Road Flyover",, retrieved 25 October 2013
  31. Taylor, Andrew (7 May 2013), Briefing Paper to the Environment and Transport Overview and Transport Commission, Hull City Council, 2. Background, Between 2006 and 2011 higher priority works were carried out to strengthen substandard weak bridges including Church Street Bridge in Sutton, Anlaby Road Flyover and Hessle Road Flyover
  32. Ordnance survey. 1:2500. 1950, 1968–9
  33. Barkham, Patrick (12 January 2007), "'Buccaneers' blamed for Birds Eye closure", The Guardian, retrieved 24 October 2013
  34. Ordnance Survey. 1:10000. 1971–80, 1983–9
  35. The Estates Gazette, 256. Pt.1: 53, 1980, DAIRYCOATES IND. ESTATE WILTSHIRE ROAD HULL Seven-acre estate, phase one started, to provide five units each of 4,000 sq. ft., for occupation in late 1980. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. Humphries, Paul (23 May 2001), "Private grief", The Guardian, retrieved 24 October 2013
  37. Wolmart, Christian (3 March 1997), "Council's `wasted' pounds 20m demolition", The Independent, retrieved 24 October 2013
  38. "Birds Eye Pea Processing Plant, Hull, United Kingdom",, retrieved 16 August 2015
  39. "From pod to pack: The journey of a humble Birds Eye pea", Hull Daily Mail, 16 August 2015, archived from the original on 22 August 2015, retrieved 16 August 2015
  40. "£2m ambulance stations opened", Hull Daily Mail, 30 December 2009, retrieved 24 October 2013


  • Philip's Street Atlas East Yorkshire (page 144)

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