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The Humber (pronounced /ˈhʌmbər/) is a large tidal estuary on the east coast of Northern England. It is formed at Trent Falls, Faxfleet, by the confluence of the tidal River Ouse and the tidal River Trent. From here to the North Sea, it forms part of the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire on the north bank and North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire on the south bank. Although the Humber is an estuary from the point at which it is formed, many maps show it as the River Humber.[1]

Below Trent Falls, the Humber passes the junction with the Market Weighton Canal on the north shore, the confluence of the River Ancholme on the south shore; between North Ferriby and South Ferriby and under the Humber Bridge; between Barton-upon-Humber on the south bank and Kingston upon Hull on the North bank (where the River Hull joins), then meets the North Sea between Cleethorpes on the Lincolnshire side and the long and thin (but rapidly changing) headland of Spurn Head to the North. Ports on the Humber include Kingston upon Hull (better known as simply Hull), Grimsby, Immingham, New Holland and Killingholme.



The Humber is now only an estuary; but when the world sea level was lower during the Ice Ages, the Humber had a long freshwater course across the dry bed of the North Sea.

In the Anglo-Saxon period, the Humber was a major boundary, separating Northumbria from the southern kingdoms. Indeed, the name Northumbria came from Anglo-Saxon Norðhymbre (plural) = "the people north of the Humber". The Humber currently forms the boundary between the East Riding of Yorkshire, to the north and North and North East Lincolnshire, to the south.

From 1974 to 1996 the areas now known as East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire constituted Humberside. For hundreds of years before that, the Humber lay between Lindsey and The East Riding of Yorkshire. "East Riding" is derived from "East Thriding", and likewise with the other Ridings. "Thriding" is an old word of Norse origin meaning a third part. Since the late 11th century, Lindsey had been one of the Parts of Lincolnshire.

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