Ink or Swim

Close Quarters

Dive into Hull’s maritime history. How has our proximity to water shaped the local area? How has the sea served us and challenged us?


The Humber estuary links the rivers of Yorkshire and the East Midlands with the North Sea. Hull developed as an important port where products from the surrounding area were exported to northern Europe and raw materials of the Baltic region were imported into England. The port had a prolific whaling industry too. The first whaling ships left the port of Hull in 1598, soon after the discovery of Greenland.


The Ferens has a vast collection of paintings that illustrate the history of shipping, the romance of the sea, and what it was like to be pressed into naval service. Hull Maritime Museum has a vast collection of curious objects and paintings that evidence life on board a whaling ship, being ‘nipped in the ice’ and the technology involved in naval history.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Hull Maritime Museum | 
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