A Brief History of this Ward

Built in the 20th century, Nunsthorpe takes its name from the nuns who once inhabited the priory of Saint Leonard. This stood at modern day Nuns Corner, where Scartho Road joins Laceby Road. “Thorpe” was an old word for village. The priory was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539. In later years the land was occupied by Nuns Farm, until its demolition in 1935. In 1954 Grimsby College, now called The Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, acquired the site.


Situated at the southern edge of Grimsby (before the boundary extensions), for centuries the land where Nunsthorpe now stands was farmed using the open field system of agriculture. Lying mainly within the town of Grimsby it stretched westward from the priory, as far as the boundary with Bradley parish and southward, beyond the boundary with the parish of Scartho. Under enclosure awards of 1798 (in Scartho) and 1840 (in Grimsby) this land was acquired by successive Lords Yarborough

Old Nunsthorpe, New Nunsthorpe and Bradley Park

Following the end of World War I decent homes were needed for the returning servicemen. House building was started by Grimsby Borough Council in 1920, on land bought from Lord Yarborough. Originally called the Laceby Road Site until 1923 the new Nunsthorpe housing estate, with its modern conveniences and large gardens was, also known as Garden City.

Most of the streets in this early development, built during the 1920s and 1930s, were named after famous people – Burns, Byron, Kingsley, Leighton, Newton, Walton groves; Milton Road and Shelley Avenue. Dame Kendal Grove was named after a Grimsby-born actress while Sutcliffe Avenue was named after Jack Sutcliffe, a previous mayor of Grimsby.

Saint Martin’s Mission Church, a wooden building, was built during 1922 in Sutcliffe Avenue; this was replaced by a new church in 1937. There is still a structure on this site which is currently the base for Grimsby Judo Club. The first shops were built in Second Avenue during 1927/28

There are over 2,400 homes on the estate, mostly former council properties now owned by the Shoreline Housing Partnership. There is a small area belonging to the Havelok/Northern Counties housing associations and a small area of private sector housing.

The pre-World War Two development in the eastern part of the estate is known as Old Nunsthorpe while the post-war development is called New Nunsthorpe. To the west lies the Bradley Park Estate which contains around 430 dwellings, also mostly Shoreline properties. The combined population of Nunsthorpe and Bradley Park is approximately 8,000.

To the north, on the other side of Laceby Road, is the Grange Estate and on the eastern boundary, in Scartho Road, is Grimsby Swimming Pool. The Scartho Top private housing estate lies to the south.

Nunsthorpe’s population was further increased when, resulting from the Housing Act of 1930, slum clearance was carried out in the Grimsby town centre and the residents were moved to new houses on the estate.

Nunsthorpe School was opened on Sutcliffe Avenue in 1931; previously children from the estate had been bussed to a school in another part of the town. It was really two schools housed within one building, one for junior and one for senior pupils. By 1952 all the senior children had been transferred to a new school in Chelmsford Avenue.

During the late 1920s a maternity hospital was established in Second Avenue using converted council houses. This was incorporated into a new building which opened in 1933. In 1943 a number of people were killed and houses were damaged when butterfly bombs were dropped on the estate during a German air raid on Grimsby.

In this post-World War II New Nunsthorpe development the streets were mostly named after Lincolnshire villages, with the exception of Winchester Avenue and a few streets in the area of private housing, which were named after historic English towns. The development included the single storey prefabs. Built in 1946 to help alleviate the housing shortage, they were meant to last for only ten years but endured for a much longer period.

In 1947 a large wooden hut was purchased and erected in Burwell Drive. This became the estate’s earliest community centre, opened in 1949, at the same time as the formation of Nunsthorpe’s first community association. 1951 saw the opening of Nunsthorpe Nursery School and in 1952 the branch library in Wootton Road was established.

During the late 1970s the Bradley Park Estate was built on land between Stainton Drive and the Bradley Recreation Ground. This land had once been part of Bradley parish. Some place names in Bradley Park, such as Bremerhaven Way, reflect Grimsby’s links with its twin town, although Wymark View was named after the actor who was born in nearby Cleethorpes. Dolby Vale took its name from Sidney Vere Dolby, a long-serving radiologist at Grimsby General Hospital.

The development also included Crosby School (now called Woodlands) which probably took its name from Crosby Road, situated at the rear of the school. Crosby Road itself was named after Crosby village, which is now part of Scunthorpe.