East Riding of Yorkshire

Howden is a town in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Howden is 3 miles north of Goole, 9 miles east-south-east of Selby, 17 miles south-south east of York and 22 miles west of Kingston-upon-Hull.

A dominant feature of the town is the partially ruined Howden Minster. The ruins of a 14th century chancel and chapter house are now preserved by English Heritage. They adjoin St Peter's Church, a cathedral-like minster which is still in use as the parish church.

After the Norman invasion of 1066, an earlier Anglo-Saxon church and the land around Howden was granted by William the Conqueror to Durham Priory.

In the late 13th century, the Bishop of Durham established a collegiate community of Canons at Howden. Building of the church began in the 1270s and continued into the mid-14th century. The building survived King Henry VIII's dissolution of monasteries, but was supressed by King Edward VI in 1550. There followed a lack of maintenance as well as damage caused by parliamentary troops as they marched through Howden in the Civil War in 1644 to lay siege to Wressle Castle, about three miles to the north-west. The roof of the choir collapsed in 1696 and that of the chapterhouse 54 years later.

Howden itself also began to decline in importance as Goole around 3 miles across the River Ouse to the south became an important port to the expanding industry of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Howden also has other distinctive buildings. Its Sacred Heart Catholic Church, built between 1850 and 1852 with an octagonal turret among its features, is a Grade II listed building.

The Shire Hall, built as a covered market and assembly rooms, has a Dutch-style stepped gable and mullioned windows. Its uses have also included a theatre and roller-skating rink and it continues in use today as a multi-functional community building which hosts local events as well as touring theatre and cinema shows.

In 1916, a site about two miles north of Howden became used as an airship station by the Royal Naval Air Service and later the Royal Air Force. In 1924, the site was bought by the Vickers company for the manufacture of its R100 airship, designed by Sir Barnes Wallis. The site continued in use until 1929, when airship manufacture was moved to Cardington in Bedfordshire. Chief engineer at Howden was Nevil Shute Norway, who later publshed novels as Nevil Shute.

In recent years, new business and industry has returned to Howden in the form of industrial and warehouse units at the edges of the town and at Howden Dyke, next to the River Ouse, just south of Howden. The Press Association also established offices in the town in 2003.

 Town features

The town is near to the River Ouse.
Howden has a historic minster.
Howden has local traders and a supermarket. Howden offers bakery goods, butchers, clothes, crafts, gifts and other goods.
The town has a Post Office.
The town has a pharmacy.
Howden has a choice of pubs.
Bistro and cafe dining can be found in Howden.
Takeaway food outlets in the town include fish and chips, chinese, curries, pizzas, sandwiches.
Howden has a museum - Howden Heritage Centre.
The town has a library with limited opening times.
Howden has a community centre.
The town has a cinema.
Howden has a theatre.
There are public toilets in the town.
Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist.


Howden station

Station managed by: NORTHERN.   Operator/s: HULL TRAINS, NORTHERN.

NATIONAL RAIL - Departure and station info
External link to National Rail live departure board for services at this station (opens in new tab).

Station is 1 mile north of town centre.

Bus travel

The town has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.

Road travel

Howden can be reached via the M62 A63 A614 B1228 B1230

Places to visit

Selby Abbey

The Crescent, Selby
The church of Selby Abbey can trace its history back nearly 1,000 years and many English kings visited the abbey over its lifetime. It is a rare survivor as an abbey church, which was built at a Benedictine monastery founded in 1069. The church was begun around the start of the 12th century, but has seen many changes over its years. The church was restored after a major fire in 1340 and there were further alterations in the 15th century. Selby was apparently treated favourably by King Henry VIII at the time of the monastery's Dissolution surrender in December 1539 and the church was left intact. There has however been considerable damage and restoration since that time, including the collapse of its central tower in 1690 which also destroyed the south transept. The tower was rebuilt in around 1701 by a local builder in the style of the time. In the mid-19th century there was substantial restoration of the church, but the abbey was extensively damaged by a fire in 1906. A complete restoration took place in the following years, followed by the rebuilding of the south transept, which was consecrated in 1912. Today the abbey church of St Mary and St Germain continues to be an active parish church at the centre of its local community.

More information at  Selby Abbey website

Emergency services

Humberside Police  Humberside Police website.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service  Humberside Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Civil parish council

Howden Town Council
Provides some local services in the area.
Link to council website:  Howden Town Council

Unitary authority

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
The East Riding of Yorkshire Council is now a unitary district rather than a county authority but the least changed of any of the historic Ridings of Yorkshire.

It does now cover a small part of the former West Riding, while it has lost portions of the historic East Riding to North Yorkshire and York.

County Hall, BeverleyBeverley is the county town of the East Riding of Yorkshire and the location of its County Hall.

Other towns in the East Riding include Bridlington Driffield Goole Market Weighton Hedon Hornsea Howden Pocklington Snaith and Withernsea.

The authority covers a near full range of council services, except the limited services handled by the various civil parish/town councils which exist throughout its area.

The 26 wards in the authority each elect one, two or three councillors to make up a 67 member council. An election for the entire council is held every four years with the most recent election in 2019.

Link to  East Riding of Yorkshire Council website .

Political composition after May 2023 election:

2922943 YP
67 members YP = Yorkshire Party

Police and Crime Commissioner

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside
Oversees Humberside Police covering an area made up of the unitary authority councils of East Riding of Yorkshire, City of Hull and, south of The Humber, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.
Elected P&CC: Jonathan Evison Conservative
 Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside website.

Fire Authority

Humberside Fire Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the four unitary authorities served by the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service - East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire.
 Humberside Fire Authority website.

Parliamentary constituency

Goole and Pocklington
Elected MP: David Davis Conservative

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

East Riding of Yorkshire


1889-1974 West Riding of Yorkshire (county authority)
1974-1996 Part of a borough within the artificially-created county of Humberside

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