Blaydes Maritime Centre

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Culture and Education, University of Hull.

About Blaydes House
and Our People

Blaydes House in its present form was built in the mid-eighteenth century as their family home and as a place to entertain clients and conduct business.

This is reflected in the grandeur of the hallway, the sweeping carved staircase and the fine panelling and plasterwork in many of the rooms. Blaydes House was designed to impress and to demonstrate wealth and status, but it was also a place of work, and the land behind it accommodated warehouses and a quay where the Blaydes’ ships unloaded. The family’s shipyards on the River Hull, at Paull and at Hessle Cliff built many vessels for local shipowners, and also for the Royal Navy.

The most famous was the Bethia, built as a merchant ship in 1784 but bought by the Navy five years later and converted into HMAV Bounty. Others included HMS Boreas, once commanded by Nelson and HMS Rose. The Blaydes family left Hull during the early nineteenth century, and the house passed through a variety of owners before being bought by the University of Hull in 1999. The University subsequently restored the house, with period colour schemes and sympathetic modifications to fit it for its new role as the home of the Blaydes Maritime Centre. In addition to office space, the beautifully carved drawing room now serves as a lecture theatre, and the servants’ quarters house one of the finest maritime history libraries in the country.

Blaydes House has benefited from significant restoration work since the 1970s. Watch: ‘Blaydes House: Then and Now’

Our People

Our Partners

Maritime History Trust

The University of Hull Maritime History Trust was established in 1999 is the owner of Blaydes House, a Georgian heritage site on the High Street in the old town of Hull. It provides a workplace for Maritime History staff and visiting scholars to advance knowledge of all aspects of maritime history via teaching, research and public engagement.

Blaydes House is a repository for maritime collections of books, archives and artifacts as well as research datasets. The Trust, whose members are drawn from the academic and maritime business community, supports both financially and practically the work of staff and students, and events hosted at Blaydes House.

Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City

This five year multi-million pound project will revitalise the maritime heritage of the city, presenting and interpreting the fascinating history of Hull’s long relationship with the sea. In particular, the project will deliver the refurbishment and preservation of four historic maritime sites and two historic ships. Blaydes Maritime Centre is committed to supporting this exciting initiative, contributing academic insight and research expertise.

Visit Hull: Yorkshire’s Maritime City

Department of History, University of Hull

Members of the department have played a pivotal role since its inception. Many of our postgraduates have pursued research into maritime themes. Our undergraduates benefit from participation in internships and knowledge exchange activities located at Blaydes House.

Visit Department of History, University of Hull

Faculty of Arts, Culture and Education,
University of Hull

Blaydes Maritime Centre is a venue in the heart of the city for knowledge exchange and research activity for staff and students across our Faculty.

Visit Faculty of Arts, Culture and Education,
University of Hull

Friends of Blaydes Maritime Centre

The aim of the Friends of Blaydes Maritime Centre is to grow an active network of supporters and allies amongst the wide community of people who share our passion for maritime studies. This includes past and present students, staff, volunteers, academic and amateur researchers, as well as attendees at our popular seminar series and maritime events. Members of Friends of Blaydes Maritime Centre will receive newsletters with updates of events, projects and research. There will also be opportunities to learn about and feed into our work through attendance at Friends meetings (which will be held online, to ensure the widest possible participation).

Join the mailing list

Our Research Students

Sam Wright

The Humber Outport: Connections between Lloyd’s Register and the port of Hull, c.1880-1980

Peter Phillipson

Pioneering management of quality and risk: the contribution of Lloyd’s Register to improvements in the safety of merchant shipping, 1834-1881

Talya Rochester

Islands in the Imagination: St Kilda in Children’s Literature

Benjamin Jennings

British Imports of Norwegian Natural Ice, 1800-1920

Matthew Pooley

Role of Intelligence-gathering in the Expansion of British Empire

Laura Burkinshaw

Navalism in Britain

Stephen Baker

Criminal Law Amendment Act and Music Hall, 1850-1914

Our Completed PhD Theses

Effie Dorovitsa, 2022

Norwegian Ice Exports into France, 1850-1914

Joe Varley, 2021

The Port of Cork 1793-1815

Helen Bergin, 2017

‘Captain William Colbeck’s Antarctic experience: Being Human in the Heroic Age’ (University Studentship)

Emma Taaffe, 2014

“We suffered in silence”: An analysis of the Cause and Management of Occupational Hazards at Chatham Dockyard, 1945 to 1984’

Stephen Friend, 2010

‘A Sense of Belonging: Religion and Identity in Yorkshire and Humber Fishing Communities, c.1815-1914’

Adrian Osler, 2006

‘Responding to Change: Shipping Deployments in the Baltic Trade of the Tyne, 1860-1880’

Hanna Hagmark, 2003

‘Women in the Åland Maritime Community’ (funded by Åland Shipowners Association, Finland)

Claire Day, 2021

The sartorial extremes of the distant-water trawlermen of Hull

Alex Ombler, 2016

‘The Port of Hull, 1945-2000: Change, Adaptation and Memory’ (University Studentship)

Robert Gear, 2012

‘The development of Shetland’s pelagic Fishing Industry, since 1945’ (Shetland Harbour Trust)

John Dacam, 2009

‘Wanton and Torturing Punishments: Patterns of Discipline and Punishment in the Royal Navy, 1783-1815’ (AHRC Studentship)

Michael Smale, 2006

‘Patterns and Processes of Migration to the Port of Hull, 1850-1900’

Mark Hunter, 2003

‘Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Naval relations’
(funded by Social Science Research Council, Canada)

Meredith Greiling, 2020

Maritime Sculpture in Context: Ship Models in Scottish Churches

Joanne Byrne, 2015

“After the Tide”:Memory and Afterlife in the Wake of Hull’s Distant-Water trawl fishery after 1976’ (AHRC CDA Studentship)

Matthew McCarthy, 2011

‘A Sure Defence against the Foe?’ Maritime Predation & British Commercial Policy during the Spanish American Wars of Independence, 1810-1830 (AHRC Studentship, Boydell & Brewer Prize, 2011)

John Golding, 2009

‘The English Coastal Motor Barge Trade since 1918’

Nicholas Evans, 2006

‘Aliens en route: Transmigration through Britain, 1836-1914’

Michael Haines, 1998

‘Technological in the Fisheries, 1850-1914’ (funded by National Fishing Heritage Centre, Grimsby)

Erica McCarthy, 2017

‘Ships’ Figureheads in Britain: An evaluation of their changing purpose and interpretation’
(AHRC CDA Studentship with National Maritime Museum)

Brian Lavery, 2015

“Headscarf Revolutionaries”: Lil Bilocca and the Triple Trawler Tragedy’ (University Studentship)

Tegwyn Roberts, 2011

‘Topographies of memory and everyday space in Hull’ (AHRC Studentship)‘Topographies of memory and everyday space in Hull’ (AHRC Studentship)

Martin Wilcox, 2006

Apprenticed Labour in the English Fishing Industry, 1850-1914’ (ESRC Studentship)

Mohammed Salman,

‘Aspects of Portuguese Rule in the Arabian Gulf, 1521-1622’ in the 17th Century’