Howden

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After I’d had a look around the Minster in Howden, I decided to have a mooch around the town starting in the town square, which is immediately in front of the east end of the Minster.

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It was a thriving town in medieval times with a connection to the Bishops of Durham. They would stay in the town when travelling down to London and had a palace built here. The remains, the Bishop’s Manor, is just off the market square and around the corner from the Minster .

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Originally there was a complex range of buildings, inside an irregular walled courtyard. But the majority of these buildings were demolished in the late 16th century. Nevertheless the remaining structure is quite impressive for a small town.

The Minister towers over the buildings in the town centre

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The old streets are narrow and twisty, probably reflecting their medieval origin.

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but many of the buildings are Georgian town houses built for professional men and tradesmen

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With a few grand houses

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This is the town’s war memorial. An ornate Gothic monument.

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During the First World War an airship station was built just to the north of the town, near Spaldington. The airships based here provided protection for ports and shipping along the east coast. After the war the station was closed but the hangers were converted into a manufacturing facility for airships including the R100, designed by Sir Barnes Wallis (who later designed the Vickers Wellington bomber invented the “bouncing bomb” used by the Dambusters).  The author Nevil Shute Norway (better known as Nevil Shute) was part of the team that created the R100 and lived in the town.

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