Thursday, 27 March 2014



The Old Town and the castle tells us :
"Scarborough's rich maritime heritage revolves around the Old Town. This comprises the area around the harbour and on the castle hill. The Old Town extends as far as Friargate and Scarboroughs Market Hall. It traditionally ends at the top of the hill at St Marys church. This small area is where the fishermens cottages, quay side and ship yards were all situated. Any historical references to the fishing and seafaring community will feature the Old Town - they all lived in streets such as Longwestgate, Princess Street, and down Sandgate. In the ancient past this was Scarborough. So any seamen naturally lived here. The town has expanded northwards towards Peasholm and southwards towards the Esplanade. Scarboroughs Old Town is still seen as a geographical entity especially by the people who live there. Its known as the Bottom End and the people who live there are known as Bottomenders."

Little is left of the old medieval town around Quay Street alongside the harbour.
A couple of timber framed buildings which probably date to 14th century
are still standing.  
The former Three Mariners Inn has been rebuilt into the timber foundation, once the oldest inn in the town, it is now private property and has been renovated into a three bedroomed house whilst retaining much of its originality. The owners believe that it dates to c.1350 and was probably original part of the adjacent property.

Many of the old streets were just steps leading up the hillside.

The Bolts is a passageway leading from the bottom of Eastborough behind the properties facing onto the harbourside.

Eastborough is the main road leading from the foreshore and through the town, becoming Newborough and Westborough to Falsgrave and thence to the A64 leading to York.

Palace Hill is near to the bottom of Eastborough

This old timber framed house in Leading Post Street higher up Eastborough has been renovated to a high standard.

Nearby is another sculpture which depicts a smuggler and his apprentice.

West Sandgate is a cobbled lane leading up the hillside from the bottom of Eastborough into the upper part of the old town and thence up St Mary's Street to the Parish Church.

The old Leeds Arms pub has a panel on the gable end with the dates 1593 and 1900.

 Part of  the medieval town is still standing opposite the pub,  the Grade 1 listed remains of the market or butter cross, probably some 600 years old. It seems a little out of place alongside modern development but this is the area where the Saturday Market place would have been.


Street markets ceased to be held when this Market Hall
was built in 1853 where the old borough and the new borough met.


The old Quaker Chapel and burial ground is nearby.

Princess Street runs across the middle of the old town with its fine Georgian houses formerly owned by ship owners, ship's captain's and the like, and joins up with Castlegate which leads steeply up to the castle.


An unusual architectural feature of this area is the 'double door' entrances to different houses.

Castlegate eventually rises up to Paradise and becomes a narrow lane leading up the Parish Church and Castle Road before we reach the castle itself.

The Parish Church of St Mary was built in the first half of the 12th century, originally 200 feet long with three towers. During the English Civil War, Parliamentary canons were set up in the choir to storm the castle and returning fire by the Royalists destroyed much of the church. The present tower was rebuilt and other parts of the church were restored but the choir was left a ruin as still seen in the churchyard. 

The church can also be accessed via St Mary's Street which climbs steeply up from the old Saturday Market Place, ending in steep steps to the church gateway.

Part of the churchyard is a place of pilgrimage for followers of the famous literary Bronte family for it is the last resting place of Anne Bronte.

Anne of Bronte was a frequent visitor to Scarborough, a place she loved.  In 1849, with ‘consumption of both lungs too far advanced to be curable,’ she yearned to visit Scarborough for one last  time.   She did so in the company with sister Charlotte and friend Ellen Nussey and they lodged at 2 The Cliff (where the Grand Hotel now stands).  Within a few days Anne died and had discussed with Charlotte her wish ‘to die at Scarborough where she had known peace and happiness.’ 

      The inscription on the gravestone gives her age as 28 years when she died –

                                       she was in fact 29 years old.



Castle Road leads from the town centre past the church and up to the castle

This impregnable fortress, now a Sheduled Ancient Monument ,is built on a broad plateau surrounded by a huge wall 300 feet above the sea on this impregnable headland and it has never been taken by force although it was surrendered by the Royalists in the Civil War.  The Norman keep bears the marks of the Civil War and the German Bombardment but still stands in magnificent splendour. There is a Norman well 170 feet deep, much of it hewn from solid rock, a masterpiece of engineering, to provide water for the whole garrison.



The remains of an Anglo Saxon Chapel stands on the site of a Roman signal station on the headland. There is also evidence of earlier occupation dating back to the Bronze Age.

Far reaching views can be had down the coast and to the harbour below.
Just in time to see the Hispaniola starting its cruise around the south bay.

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