Looking Back: Hessam was original name of ancient village

Heysham cottage in 1900.
Heysham cottage in 1900.
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Heysham, an ancient village, can easily trace its history over 2,000 years.

In the past there were two separate communities, Heysham village, lower down, and higher Heysham around Heysham Hall.

Heysham village in 1947.

Heysham village in 1947.

The village name is first recorded in the Domesday Book as Hessam. This leads historians to believe that the name comes from an early low German personal name, ‘Hess.’

The picture, left, shows the top of Main Street in Heysham, in 1947, looking back down through the village from the bus station.

Traffic was an issue for the small fishing village and still is now as the picture shows the two old buildings which make the entrance narrow, restricting traffic. Visitors often wander down the streets from the top as coaches and other vehicles would have to part at the top of the village entrance.

According to Francis Frith’s pocket album the large square building on the right of the photo had for many years a large brass weighing machine outside. For 6d the showman would guess your weight.You got your money back if he was not within 2-3lbs of your real weight when he weighed you.

The Royal Hotel on the left, half-way up Main Street, is still there; like the village, it seems to have resisted change and modernisation.