Kingston upon Hull is a city in the East Riding of Yorkshire, north England. It is located on the River Hull on the northern bank of the Humber estuary and is a busy port, its economy having developed from seafaring.
Originally a town named Wyke upon Hull, it was renamed King's town upon Hull - or Kingston upon Hull - by King Edward I in 1299. Nowadays the city is often just called 'Hull' and is not to be confused with Kingston upon Thames, a borough in southwest London.
The town and city of Kingston upon Hull has subsequently served as market town, military supply port, trading hub, fishing and whaling centre and industrial metropolis. These days the city's industry is focused on the chemical and health care sectors.
Historically, Kingston upon Hull was an early setting for battle in the English Civil Wars, and was the backdrop to events leading to the abolition of the slave trade in Britain. Due to the city's port and industrial facilities and its proximity to mainland Europe, it suffered extensive damage during the Second World War. 95% of its houses and much of the city centre were destroyed, making it Britain's most severely-bombed town or city after London. Most of the city was rebuilt shortly afterwards.
Being the East Riding of Yorkshire's largest settlement (population 257,000) and local transport hub, Kingston upon Hull is also a natural attraction for shoppers, with several areas of the city currently being regenerated. The city's impressive Museum Quarter includes The Deep, which is the world's only submarium (underwater aquarium) and the country's most successful millennium project. The city hosts a Premier League football team, Hull City, and has also produced a number of successful bands such as the Red Guitars, The Housemartins, Everything But the Girl and The Beautiful South.
Unlike many other ancient English cities, Kingston upon Hull has no cathedral. It is also the UK's only city with its own independent telephone network company, Kingston Communications, whose phone boxes are coloured cream, not the usual red. Just outside the city is the Humber Bridge, the fifth longest single-span suspension bridge in the world (at the time of its construction, between 1972-1981, it was the longest).