BRIDLINGTON: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1834.
"BRIDLINGTON, is a market town, comprised in the township of Bridlington Quay, in the parish of its name, in the wapentake of Dickering, East Riding ; 203 miles from London, by way of Lincoln, 238 by way of York, from which it is distant (e. by n.) 40 miles, 32 n. from Hull, and 12 n. from Great Driffield. It is situated about a mile from the sea, along the southern declivity of a small elevation, with a country around it rich and fertile. The town consists of one long main street and other smaller ones, all characteristic of an old town, being narrow and irregularly built. It was first lighted with gas on the night of the 11th December, 1833 ; for this improvement the inhabitants are indebted to the spirit of Mr. James Malam, who, is likely to reap a deserved benefit from this great improvement, by the inhabitants taking the gas generally. The principal object worthy of attention here, is the priory, founded by Walter de Gaunt, in the early part of the reign of Henry 1st, which stands at the east end of the town. It must once have been a noble and magnificent structure : it had two towers at the west end, which have fallen down or been destroyed, and as the transcripts at the east end have also disappeared, the remaining part appears only to be a fragment of the ancient building. Of the walls and buttresses nothing remains except an arched gateway, about 120 yards from the body of the building to the west. A large room above this has served as a town hall, and the tower part as a prison. The trade carried on here is chiefly retail, exclusive of a pretty extensive one in corn, which business is transacted in a neat, commodious exchange, erected for that purpose in the Market place ; and for the grinding this commodity there are several windmills, and others on the stream, called ' the Gipsey'. There is besides, a stream mill, for grinding bones. Bridlington is one of the stations named in the new Boundary Act, for receiving votes at the election of members to represent the East Riding of the county. A chalybeate spring issues near the Ante-mill, about a quarter of a mile from the Quay ; and in 1811 an ebbing and flowing spring was discovered in the harbour by Mr. Milne, to whom Bridlington is indebted for its baths, and Flamborough for its lighthouse. The places of worship here, besides the parish church (which is part of the ancient edifice belonging to the priory) are chapels belonging to the Wesleyan & primitive methodists, baptists, Calvinists and society of friends. The living of Bridlington is a perpetual curacy, in the incumbency of the Rev. George Smith. Here are a free grammar school, founded in 1637 ; a charity school for girls, endowed in 1671 ; two handsome school rooms, capable of receiving two hundred children, upon the national system ; a school, for infants', established in 1828, and one for twelve poor girls, who are taught reading and knitting. The views around here excite considerable interest ; and that from Bessingby Hill will bear comparison with most scenery, by the travelled observer of the picturesque. The market day is on Saturday, and on the first of January, 1834, a fortnight cattle market was commenced, and bids fair to aid the growing prosperity of the town. The fairs are the Monday before Whit Sunday and the 21st of October, for horses, cattle, woollen cloth and toys. By the parliamentary returns for 1821, the entire parish of Bridlington contained 5,034 inhabitants, and in 1831, 5,637, of which last number 4,792 were returned for 'Bridlington Quay' township.
Bridlington Quay, about a mile from Bridlington, is a neat, handsome little town, & the principal street, which runs direct to the harbour, is remarkably broad. The northernmost pier, has an agreeable platform commanding a beautiful view of Flamborough Head, and when the wind is unfavourable for doubling that point, the bay, which has excellent anchorage, is consequently often crowded with coasting vessels. The harbour is defended by two batteries, one on the north, and the other on the south side of the town. The port is a member of the port of Hull : the custom house is situated on the Quay. The Quay is undoubtedly an agreeable place, and the resort of company to it during the bathing months is very considerable. The mineral springs here are reckoned efficacious for several diseases, and there are many attractions here for persons who have a taste for the peaceful and sequestered scenes of life, in preference to the gay and captivating charms of the more fashionable watering places. The constant encroachments of the sea on this coast have disclosed numerous fossil remains, and among other interesting objects is the head of an Elk, with branching horns of surprising dimensions, measuring eleven feet from tip to tip ; it was found in the vicinity of Bridlington, and is now in the possession of Mr. Walter Wilson of this place."
[Transcribed by Steve Garton ©2000 from
Pigot's directory (Yorkshire section) 1834]