Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. Geographical and Historical information from 1829.


Geographical and Historical information from the year 1829.

"SCARBOROUGH, a celebrated watering place, and corporate and borough town in the parish of its name, in Pickering lythe, north riding, is 216 miles from London, 106 from Manchester, 40 from York, 20 from Whitby and 17 from Pickering, situated on the German ocean; famous as a resort for bathing during the months of summer and autumn, and abounds in interesting and curious objects. The situation is peculiarly beautiful and picturesque, the town being built on the declivity of a high steep rock, near which are huge craggy cliffs and Impending promontories. The streets are handsome and spacious; the new buildings on the cliff stand almost unrivalled in extent of prospect, having in front a beautiful terrace, elevated nearly 100 feet above the level of the sands. The principal object of attraction is unquestionably the castle, the venerable ruins of which stand on a projecting eminence at the eastern end of the town, 300 feet high on the southern and 330 on the northern side, above the level of the sea, presenting a vast range of perpendicular rocks, completely inaccessible; its western aspect also presents a high, steep and rocky slope, commanding the town and bay. The approach to it is by a gateway on the summit of a narrow isthmus, on the western side; and above the town, without the ditch, is an outwork, which was the ancient barbican. At a small distance within the gate is the draw-bridge, and under it a very deep fosse, extending along the whole line of the wall; within the draw-bridge is an easy ascent to the keep or dungeon, a very lofty square tower, the walls, of which are twelve feet thick. Upon the whole this ancient castle, before the invention of artillery, was absolutely impregnable. The situation here for bathing is delightful; the sand is clear, smooth and level; no considerable river dilutes the brine, and the sea in the month of August is many degrees cooler than at Brighton. The town possesses the double attraction of sea bathing and mineral waters. The spaws consist of chalybeate and saline springs; the waters of these wells are a compound of vitriol, iron, alum, nitre and salt, and are both purgative and diuretic. A governor resides during the season at the spaw, and receives a subscription of 7s. 6d. from each person, one-third of which is appropriated to the water-servers, and the rest to the corporation for the repairs of the place. For the more convenient access to the spaw, an elegant bridge has been erected, which bestrides the wide chasm through which the stream called the Mill-beck flows, and connects the two lofty dissevered cliffs the bridge is of iron, resting on stone pillars of great altitude, forming four arches; the length of the bridge, including the abutments, is 414 feet, its width in the centre 13½ feet, and its height 75 feet; it was opened with great pageantry on the 19th July, 1827, and constitutes one of the chief ornaments of Scarborough. Amongst other improvements that this town has received of late years, has been the formation of a reservoir, capable of containing 4,000 Hogsheads of water for the supply of the town, which is covered by a dome.

This town has sent members to parliament since the twenty-sixth year of the reign of Edward I. and the right of election is in the common house, or common council, consisting of two coroners, four chamberlains, a recorder, a common deck and thirty-six burgesses; the present recorder is his Grace the Duke of Rutland, and the sitting members, re-elected at. the last general election, are the Right Hon. Charles Manners Sutton, speaker of the house of commons, and the Hon. General Phipps. A court for the recovery of debts, to an unlimited amount, is held monthly, at the town-hall, as are quarter sessions for the borough. Shipbuilding and the manufacture of sail cloth are the principal trades here; a few coal mines are in the neighbourhood, and many stone quarries; but Scarborough is chiefly-indebted to its celebrity as a watering plate, for the prosperity and consequence it enjoys. The parish church of St. Mary was formerly a spacious and magnificent pile; the ruins in the eastern part of the church-yard, the dismembered appearance of the western end, the subterraneous arches, and the great quantity of foundation stones discovered in the new burial ground, sufficiently prove that the church, in its present state, is only a small part of a vast edifice : the living is a vicarage, in the patronage of Lord Hotham, and incumbency of the Rev. G. Miller. There is also a new church, recently erected, situated without the gate, it is in the pointed Gothic style, with a tower and pinnacles; the stone of which it is built was the gift of Sir John B. Johnstone, Bart. The several denominations of Methodists, and the Baptists, Quakers and Catholics have their respective meeting-houses, and there is a seaman's chapel. Here are a free grammar school, and several others, affording gratuitous instruction to the children of the poor; several hospitals, almshouses and other charitable institutions. The amusement of the inhabitants and its visitants are sought in a theatre, the public rooms, balls, public breakfasts, &c. while the learned and scientific are providing for themselves an institution compatible with their taste, by erecting a museum, and forming a philosophical society; the capital already subscribed amounts to £1,100. and the site for the museum is judiciously selected, on the cliff, near the new bridge. The scenery of the country around Here is highly picturesque, the bay is hold and beautiful, and the soil is fertile. The. market is an Thursday; and the fairs are Holy Thursday and Old Martinmas day, principally for cattle. The population of the town and borough of Scarborough, by the census of 1821, was 8,553."

"FALSGRAVE, a small village, in the parish of Scarborough, one mile from that town, it is much resorted to by the visitors and inhabitants of that town in the summer; having a subscription pleasure garden, established under the auspices of the Duchess of Leeds. Here is also a very considerable tannery, belonging to Mr. George Cooke."
Note: The directory entry for Falsgrave in Pigot's 1829 Directory is included with Scarborough, (in this parish).

[Transcribed from Pigot's National Commericial Directory for 1828-29 ]
by Colin Hinson ©2007