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The Transformation Of A Dangerous Wasteland Walk

dangerouswalk

During the past two thousand years, braving the boggy, perhaps smelly and sometimes flooded, conditions of a walk down Grimsby Road was once a dangerous challenge to say the least.

Back then, the name Grimsby Road didn’t exist and there were no properties standing in between what we now know as Park Street and Isaac’s Hill in the Sidney Sussex area of Cleethorpes, which Grimsby Road runs through today.

The area was instead a coastal wetland, flooded and drained by seawater brought in by the tides. The land composed of mud and a salt-marsh with a fairly worn old dirt track running through it.

This dirt track was known as being little more than a 3 or 4 mile ‘boggy walk’ to the top of the hill (now known as Isaac’s Hill), perhaps leaving travellers damp, muddy and smelling of the sulphurous rotten-egg smell that is often associated with marshes.

It was certainly a long and strenuous walk, but the track at least had a small number of pole markers to help guide people’s way across the wide-open space, which helped them avoid more than a few open dykes.

Over time, this old route naturally became easier and safer to use due to the constant silt deposits left over by the increasing high tides. This began to form a more natural defense against the sea’s flooding by naturally raising the land slightly higher, which later lead to a few locals raising the defense bank even higher.

As a result, this route became far more used and a more obvious walked path was beginning to be carved into the old boggy marsh way. The old route markers were becoming less relied upon, as it was now easier to follow in the worn footsteps of the previous travellers and perhaps sometimes their horse and carts, as this was the only form of transport at that time. The land in turn became a far more profitable area for the grazing of sheep too.

This all changed quickly during the 18th century, as the 1820’s saw the first development of Cleethorpes becoming a beach holiday resort. As a result, the long old ‘boggy walk’ became more used during the summer months, thus laying down the foundation to the road we all know to this very day as Grimsby Road.