Boston Hanse Group



Boston and the merchants of the German Hanse c1150 - 1500

This fascinating period in Boston’s history saw the town develop close trading ties with Hanseatic towns and cities across Europe. Locally produced Wool was the key product exported from Boston which was part of a trading network which dealt in Furs, Falcons, Wine, Fish, Timber and Wax to name just some.

Boston along with London, Hull, Kings Lynn and other East of England ports were not members of the Hanse but provided quarters for merchants and the all important Boston Hanse project counting houses (Steelyards) to facilitate fair trade. Boston became linked with ports in France, Norway, Germany, The Netherlands and along the Baltic Sea - connections still important today.

See Our Page on the Die Hanse website.

Boston Hanse project

Discover for yourself

See how Boston's riverside architecture mirrors cities like Lubeck or Bruges and visit the Guildhall to see artefacts from our Hanse history.

Hanse Cogs

Designed to be spacious to handle cargo and inexpensive to build, these were the workhorses of Hanseatic trade. Characterised by a central mast, these vessels ranged from 15m to about 25m in lengh and would once have been a familiar site here in Boston.

Boston Hanse project

Where was Boston's Steelyard?

We have applied for HLF funding to fund some exciting test digs but most evidence is suggesting it was sited by the river around South Terrace and the remains of the old swimming baths.

Links and further reading

Boston and the Merchants of the Hanse
by Pamela M Cawthorne and published by Boston History Project

Boston's Forgotten Crusade
by Andrew Hoyle and published by Boston Hanse Group.

Both are available at Waterstones in Boston.