Bridlington  guide walk East Yorkshire UK

BRIDLINGTON GUIDE

BRIDLINGTON

Town Walk

Written

by

Gwendoline Hirst © 1988

BRIDLINGTON or Burlington as it used to be called, derives its name from an Angle named Bretel who settled in the Old Town and called it Bretelston. The town is situated in the Eastern part of the Dickering Wapentake, now known less romantically as the Borough of East Yorkshire. The county was divided into Wapentakes in 1166 in the Danelaw, and Dickering most probably derives from the Old English words “dica-hring” meaning dyke circle, one of which was at Paddock Hill, Thwing, where a court meeting place was thought to have been.

The town used to be in two separate sections which were not joined together as they are now. The old market town, a mile inland, built around the Priory and now called the Old Town, and Bridlington Quay, the harbour at the mouth of the Gypsey Race, a meandering stream which winds its way through the villages, and which supplied water and water power to many areas.

The cliffs of boulder clay and sand erode very quickly. It has been estimated that south of the harbour the cliffs receded 230 yards between 1805 and 1885, but north of the harbour they only receded 30 yards between 1771 and 1852 as the cliffs here become chalk towards Sewerby. The 20th century sea walls have prevented further erosion, but along the coast houses and roads are still disappearing into the sea, as you will see if you walk along some of the beaches to the north and south.

BRIDLINGTON

VICTORIA MILL
BRIDLINGTON
SPA

RICKABY MANSION

GIPSEY RACE

PEOPLES PALACE

EXCHANGE HALL

CHRIST CHURCH

VICTORIA GDN

TOWN HALL

POST OFFICE

FIELD HOUSE

KEY MAP START BUTTONS
KEY MAP START AT ANY POINT
CLICK ANY NAME

LIFEBOAT HOUSE

GUMMERS LANDING

R. Y. YACHT CLUB

SOUTH CLIFF GDN

CLOUGH HOLE

TIDAL SPRING

CRANE WHARF

FLORAL PAVILION

LEISURE WORLD

BEACONSFIELD
TRINITY CUT
HOLY TRINITY
R. C. CHURCH

THE BRIDLINGTON QUAY WALK

The Quay, named Castleburn in the Middle Ages, was settled around the Gypsey Race that enters the sea at Clough Hole, with the Moor separating it from the Old Town. Bridlington Quay began to be the place to go for sea bathing when a spring was discovered in 1738 in the area now covered by the Spa buildings. By 1765 a new road had been built to allow entry to the south sands. A new assembly rooms was opened at the Ship Inn in 1766 and before long people began to stay for the whole summer, with the Sykes family from Sledmere building a large summer residence on the south side near Wilsthorpe. The area grew rapidly in the 1800’s and the arrival of the railway in 1846 made it possible for many more people to come, so that by 1850 the Old Town and the Quay began to join along Quay Road, with the railway station about halfway between the two communities.

Before we start our walk we should consider two properties at the end of South Marine Drive where it joins Kingston Road. Using the Traffic Light Junction between Cardigan Road and Kingston Road as a reference point we can pin point each property.

One is 31, Kingston Road, a former seaside villa built in 1924 by a trawlerman for his daughter, that subsequently became a hotel before being turned back into a house with a studio by the artist David Hockney. It is from here that he took his Jeep Pick Up truck, with a sheet of board roped across the cab roof on which he and his assistants could photograph and paint a series of pictures of the Yorkshire Wolds. The pictures were produced in the house studio prior to being sold for millions of pounds. He then sold his house, acquired in the 1990s, on the 15th of November, 2013, disappearing back to America after the death at this house of his studio assistant Dominic Elliott, aged 23, on the 18th March, 2013.

31 Kingston Road BA Education

31 Kingston Road

On the other corner diagonally opposite is the semi detached house at 156, Cardigan Road where aviator Amy Johnson’s parents John and Amy lived from 1931 after leaving Hull.

156 Cardigan Road BA Education

156 Cardigan Road Road

We will now start our walk in South Marine Drive with the SPA [1] building complex on the right. Named the New Spa and Gardens this was built, together with the adjoining sea wall, in 1896 by Whitaker Brothers of Horsforth, Leeds, who also built the estate of houses opposite stretching as far as Cardigan Road. After paying at the turnstile people could enter five acres of flower beds, walks and grassed areas, have meals in the refreshment rooms, go to the theatre or a concert, or just sit and listen to the band playing in the glass domed bandstand. Children would sail boats in the lake that was kept filled by the iron rich water of a chalybeate spring. Lit at night by multi coloured electric lights the spa had 80,000 visitors in one month. The theatre burnt down in October 1906, but was renovated and reopened in 1907 as the New Spa Opera House.

In September, 1914 within weeks of the declaration of World War 1 a Royal Naval Service spotter seaplane made an unannounced landing and was temporarily stationed at Bridlington from the 23rd September until the 27th September. The unarmed observation Short S.41 No 20 biplane fitted with twin floats and optional wheels was piloted by Lieutenant Courtney for reconnaissance patrols over the North Sea. A temporary wooden ramp had to be built in order to man handle it from the promenade to the beach.

The complex was bought by the Corporation in 1919 and people could stay all day for sixpence. It was decided to replace the old buildings in 1925 and the Spa Royal Hall was built at a cost of £50,000. This became the most popular place along the East coast to go for dancing and concerts, with Herman Darewski and his Radio Band playing there from 1926 until 1937. Another fire in January 1932 destroyed the hall, but once again it was rebuilt in the record time of 52 days and reopened in July 1932. This time there were two cafes, a Palm Court, a solarium and a dance hall. There was a charge at the turnstiles until the 1950s to enter the gardens. The sea wall was extended and built 25 metres away from the eroding cliffs in 1928 and named Princess Mary Promenade. At the same time a slipway was built by Levitts of Hull from South Marine Drive to the beach, named Levitt’s Hill, giving easy access to the beach for the lifeboat. The Spa closed in 2005 for extensive renovation and reopened in May, 2008.

Spa from Gardens 
Bridlington 26 April 2015 BA Education

Bridlington Spa from the gardens 2015

Spa rebuilding2007 BA Education

Spa rebuiding June 2007 from land and sea

Almost opposite is the LIFEBOAT HOUSE [2] built in 1903 at a cost of £1211 and in 1979 a brick extension was built as changing rooms for the crew, together with a shop for selling souvenirs. In 1805 the first lifeboat was housed at the end of Chapel Street. This site became too small and in 1865 a new lifeboat house was built on the wharf opposite the end of Railway Crescent, now Windsor Crescent. The boat could be launched by towing it on a carriage down the slipway at the end of the South Pier, or at Trinity Cut on the north side, when it was hauled by horses through the town. A second lifeboat, built by local man David Purdon in 1866, was kept on the side of the harbour and maintained by the fishermen. both these boats were manned by oarsmen, but also had sails. In 1922 horses were replaced by a caterpillar tractor for launching. The first motor driven lifeboat was launched in 1931 from Trinity Cut, after being hauled through the town. If it is called out the lifeboat still has to be towed by tractor down the slipway to the sea. The first inflatable, high speed, inshore lifeboat was launched in 1966 and was housed in the RAF hanger on Gummer’s Wharf. In 1967 the boat was moved to the end of Princess Mary Promenade and in 1973 a tractor was purchased for launching. A permanent boathouse was built in 1993. 2005 was the 200th anniversary of the lifeboat and a ceremony was held in the Priory at which the lifeboat was blessed, having been transported through the streets on a waggon.

Next door, with a flagpole over the window, is the headquarters of the York area yacht club.

York yacht club BA Education

Lifeboat station and York yacht club

On the 8th of December 2014 it was proposed that a new lifeboat house should be built on The Spa Promenade between the pumping station and the The Spa complex to replace the 1993 boathouse on the South Marine Drive above. A completion date was aimed at 2017.

RNLI life boat station, Bridlington BA Education

RNLI Lifeboat station

In the 1090’s the port of Bridlington belonged to the Gants who gave it to the Priory as part of the Manor. The maintenance of the harbour was passed to the Lords Feoffees in 1630, after the Dissolution of the monasteries.

Walking along towards South Cliff Road you are approaching the harbour, once used by the Romans. From early times the bay was a centre for shipping and fishing, with Irish gold crossing the Pennines to be shipped to the continent. Herring was an important industry with herring houses here in 1530. Fishing is still important; so watch the unloading early in the morning.

For centuries shipping was also an important part of Bridlington’s livelihood. The Priory exported wool in the 1300’s, and by the 1500’s regular shipments of coal were brought in. In the 1700’s London and the Continent were big markets for the malt, grain and vegetables grown in the area. There was a ship building yard on the seafront and the last locally built ship was launched in 1834.

There were two timber framed piers in 1554 and to help with the maintenance of these a toll was collected on goods shipped or landed. New stone piers were built between 1816 and 1848.

Continuing along South Cliff Road to the left is Pembroke Terrace built in the 1870s, fronted by Pembroke Gardens which had a cannon as a feature in 1910. Below, on the right, at the landward end of the South Pier, rebuilt in 1848, is GUMMERS LANDING [3]. In the 1800s and early 1900s this would have been full of activity when the herring boats came in with their catches to be auctioned. The Lawrence Complex on the harbour side was built in 1993 on the site of the workshops of no. 21 Air Sea Rescue Unit.

rafworkshops BA Education

RAF workshops

The R.A.F. continued to use these workshops for Air Sea Rescue craft until 1978 when they were superceded by helicopters. In 1932 T.E.Shaw arrived here from Plymouth as part of the crew of an ST 357 classification sea plane tender. T.E.Shaw was the name taken by Lawrence of Arabia in order not to be recognised. His job was to train the crews of the armoured target boats of RAF 1104 Marine Craft Unit and he drove the first boat until the crews were properly trained to take over. Target boats were 38 feet long and consisted of two speed boats threequarters covered in armour plate, lined with expanded rubber to make them unsinkable. His first stay in the town was for six weeks when he lodged at the Bay View Hotel, Esplanade, where he slept with a dagger on a chair by the bed. He returned in 1933 for a short time and also from November 1934 until February 1935 when he retired from the RAF.

Lawrence
Bridlington February 1935 BA Education

T E Lawrence in the yard of the Britannia Hotel, Prince Street leaving Bridlington by bicycle on the 26th of February, 1935

If you turn with your back to the sea, you will see the tower room where he stayed at the Ozone Hotel at the junction of Windsor Crescent and West Street, now the ROYAL YORKSHIRE YACHT CLUB [4].

Ozon Hotel BA Education

Ozon Hotel

During the years leading up to May the 16th, !939 the hotel underwent a number of building improvements to become the structure it is today.

RYYC BA Education

Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club

At that time the hotel was one of the largest Private Hotels in the town, a substantial Victorian building built in the late 1800s. Lawrence wrote that “Bridlington in winter is a silent place, where cats and landladies’ husbands walk gently down the middle of the streets. I prefer it to the bustle of summer”. Mr and Mrs Harold Blanchard were, at the time, the proprietors, and in the evening Mr Blanchard played the piano in the lounge, encouraging Lawrence to sit and listen or chat. He also spent some evenings at the cafe next to the RAF workshops, as well as at the cinema. He was apparently well looked after as he called Mrs Blanchard his Bridlington mother. A prolific letter writer, he typed his letters on a typewriter borrowed from Reg their son. Another interest he and Reg shared was motor cycles and his Brough Superior was kept in a garage behind the hotel. He tended to ride rather recklessly and on one occasion rode at 90 miles per hour along the Promenade. Lawrence was discharged from the RAF in February 1935, and the last photograph of him in the town is in the yard of the Britannia Hotel in Prince Street with his bicycle, which he rode back to his cottage Cloud’s Hill near Bovingdon, Dorset, having sent his motor cycle on by train. This was only three months before being killed in a motor cycle accident near the cottage. The Ozone Hotel was renovated in the late 1930s in the style of a boat for the yacht club, who took over in 1938. A sundial was erected in memorial to him in SOUTH CLIFF GARDENS [5] just across the road.

Also in the gardens are the flagpoles erected in 2005 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. At the time they spelt out the message sent by Lord Nelson to the fleet before the battle “England expects that every man will do his duty”, but they are now different national flags. The fountain was erected for the Millennium in 2000.

On the corner of West Street is the old coastguard house, now a restaurant, but with the original gable wall displaying an anchor. Soon after the railway reached Bridlington a branch line was laid leading from the station to the quay along Railway Crescent, but this did not operate for very long and the street was renamed Windsor Crescent.

Walk to the harbour top and beneath your feet is the start of the Nautical Mile designed by Mel Gooding and opened in 1999. This runs along Princess Mary Promenade for one nautical mile which is 2000 yards, displaying different sayings along its length.

With the the nautical mile beneath your feet look seaward down over the railings at the Harbour Commissioners Office roof on Gummers Wharf and see where the “Anchor Man”, sculptured by Ronald Falck, finally came to land in July, 2015.

Anchor Man BA Education

The “Anchor Man” sculptured by Ronald Falck

Turn right onto the harbour bridge which was constructed in 1969, but part of which was demolished in 1996 to make way for the dry dock and crane where boats can be serviced. Left you will see where the Gypsey Race runs beneath the buildings into the harbour at CLOUGH HOLE. [6] Clough is an old name for a ravine and there were lock gates here to assist the shipping sailing up the river. There were also several water mills along its length.

Go down the steps and across to the walkway leading to Spring Pump Slipway. A plaque records the discovery by Benjamin Milne in 1811 of a TIDAL SPRING [7] which supplied water to the area.

CRANE WHARF [8] was used as a fish market until 1915 when it became too small and larger ships began to use the South Pier, which was rebuilt between 1843 and 1848. Before 1890, when there were very few buildings except cottages, a road ran from the wharf to Prince Street. The Crane Wharf development of shops was given the Civic Society Award in 1986.

During alterations in 1986 traces of a lockup and mortuary were found on the site. These were in use until 1844 when a new police station was built in the Old Town.

The original North Pier was built in wood before 1793 and at very low tide it is possible to see stone from the Priory which was used at the seaward end in the rebuilding of the Pier between 1816 and 1843, and also its extension in 1866. In the 1700s and 1800s the piers would be crowded with people walking up and down whatever the weather.

On the North Pier see where the Steve Carvill bronze sculpture of the “Gansey Girl”, cast by the Mckinney foundry at Testerton in Norfork, arrived in October, 2015. It depicts a woman knitting a fisherman’s jumper, as she awaited the return of her loved one and shows the Walkington family pattern, knitted in navy blue colour for work and grey for best. The name “Gansey” derives from a combination of the names of the two English Channel Islands, Guernsey and Jersey, from where the name originates. The sculpture was erected at the harbour on the 30th October, 2015 and commemorates the names of local fishing families on the bronze fish shaped plaques displayed on the plinth.

Gansey Girl BA Education

The “Gansey Girl” sculptured by Steve Carvill

Before 1850 most of the building was along the Promenade, then it started to fan out to include holiday accommodation. The architect Joseph Earnshaw came to live in Bridlington in 1869 to supervise much of the building work around the seafront and Quay. Victorian families with their household staff would come by rail to spend the summer by the sea in one of these houses.

Up the steps opposite the pier is Prince Street, which, together with King Street, was the only street leading to the quay in the 1700s. From the 1600s until 1890 a slipway ran adjacent to Prince Street from the George Hotel alongside the steps to enable goods to be taken to and from the ships in the harbour.

At the top of the steps were the Victoria Rooms, right, built in 1848 in red brick with a square tower, looking like a fortified house. The building, which was destroyed by fire in 1933, was used for meetings, concerts and lectures and from 1893 until 1932 was also used as the town hall.

Look above the shops and you will see the remains of the merchant’s houses which lined Prince Street and King Street in the 1600s and 1700s. John Bower built a mansion in Prince Street, left, which later became the Ship Inn where the first assembly rooms were situated, and then the Britannia Hotel in 1812, destroyed by a bomb in 1940. Gradually the houses were replaced by shops, inns and lodging houses for the visitors. The Rickaby mansion was on the right from the 1700s until 1860 when it became a shop and later Shaw’s Arcade.

Next to Spring Pump Slipway, left, Montagu Burton the tailor built a marble fronted shop in 1932 on the site of a petrol station, and this is now a restaurant. Marks and Spencer and Woolworths took over existing shops in the 1930s.

King Street also had several large houses with long gardens at the back. Halfway along, left, was the three storey, five bay house built for John Pitt in the late 1700s. This became a shop in 1870 and in 1906 the Royal Arcade was built in the centre. Note the date stone above. Hull Co-op took this over in 1938 and it is now Superdrug.

Royal Arcade BA Education

Royal Arcade

The library, moved from Quay Road in 1837 to its present site and an extension was added in 1966. The building was originally York City and County Bank which was rebuilt in 1896 for the Midland Bank. The Westminster Bank took over the corner in 1923. On the other side of the road the Victoria Brewery replaced the malt kilns of the 1700s and by 1910 was taken over by the London Joint City and Midland bank, now HSBC. There was a milliner and draper on the site of Boyes store in 1857. This became Carlton’s department store in 1911, but closed in 1968. Hammonds took the site in 1970 and built a new store which later became Binns, then Boyes in 1998. Further along is the white facade of the Hull Co-operative Society built in 1913 adjoining Charity Lane. Markets were held in the street from the early 1800s.

Hull Coop BA Education

Hull Coop

Continue from the bottom of the steps along Prince’s Parade. Before 1866 the north shore was rapidly eroding and a sea wall was built. Sea Wall Parade, opened in 1867, was 214 metres long and people could now walk along the sea front and visit the new gardens. Prince Albert Victor, son of Queen Victoria, officially opened the parade in 1888 and it was renamed Royal Prince’s Parade. THE FLORAL PAVILION [9] was opened in 1904, where 2000 people could listen to music by the Municipal Orchestra. By the 1980s the area had become used for amusements and the Bridlingon Eye, which was two years in planning, opened on Saturday 23rd June 2007. This giant wheel is 40 metres high, with 24 gondolas, each holding 6 people and cost 1 million pounds to build. The giant wheel was demolished in December, 2008.

Off Prince Street, running parallel to rear of The Royal Prince’s Parade is Garrison Street where for the last week of September 1839 Charlotte Brontë and Ellen Nussey came to stay. They stayed with a Mrs Ann Booth, a lodging house keeper, on the recommendation of the Hudson’s who lived at Easton House Farm, Easton with whom they had been staying for the past three weeks, but had found it dull. Originally the two girls had wanted to stay at a Bridlington Quay lodging house, but it had been considered an unsuitable area for two refined young ladies to stay, however eventually they made their escape and spent their last week there before returning home at the end of the month. The house was probably situated where number 5, with the gabled roof, now stands,

5 Garrison Street BA Education

5 Garrison Street

With the sea outside, the noisy Ranter’s Methodist chapel on the edge of the cliff across the street, on what is now the now called the Esplanade, where the visitors to the town used to take their promenade past the lodging house and so their week was not boring. A Mr Thomas Booth had bathing machines for hire on the beach opposite, these were beach huts on wheels towed into the sea by horses.

By 1905 the area had been extended and Victoria Terraces built where people sat to watch pierrots on the beach. Soon a floral clock and floral stairway were added to the attractions, and the Grand Pavilion was built on the site of the fort. There had been a fort here since 1667 to guard the area from attack by Napoleon. Turretted Fort Hall was built nearby in 1792 for John Walker and became the town house of the Greame family of Sewerby House. This was demolished in 1937. The original Grand Pavilion was demolished in 1936, but a new one replaced it in 1937 and this finally became LEISURE WORLD [10]. It was redesigned round the swimming pool and is an indoor complex with activities to suit everyone, and a tropical climate to swim or lounge in. Leisure World is due to be redeveloped and will close at the end of 2013. It is expected to reopen during the summer of 2016.

The shape of things to come.

Leisure World 2016 BA Education

Leisure World 2016

As you walk along look at the cliffs in the distance. The clay cliffs extend as far as Sewerby and it is worth walking along there and spending a day in Sewerby Park with its many attractions. Past Sewerby the cliffs become chalk and sweep round to Flamborough Head which stretches 6 miles out to sea. You can see the regular flashing of the lighthouse over the headland, four flashes and then a pause, signifying that this is Flamborough, each lighthouse having a different sequence of flashes.

Past BEACONSFIELD GARDENS, [11] with the Bowling Green pavilion standing on the edge of the car park which was once the bowling green.

You will now reach TRINITY CUT [12] which was the slipway down which the lifeboat was towed when horses were used.

Trinity Cut BA Education

Trinity Cut

The iron bridge spanning the Cut was built in 1888 leading to Alexandra Gardens. The Alexandra Hotel was built here in 1863. This became the largest hotel in the area and was extended in 1920 to 200 bedrooms and a ballroom. It closed in 1975 and was demolished to provide the site for a development of flats. The hotel had been occupied by the forces in World War Two.

Turn left and walk up to HOLY TRINITY CHURCH [13] built at the end of the Promenade in 1871 in 13th century style, to designs by Smith and Brodrick of Hull, to minister to the increasing population in this area. Reverent T.G. Lloyd Greame of Sewerby paid for much of the building.

Trinity church BA Education

Holy Trinity church

Cross the Promenade and go along Trinity Road. Note the typical Victorian houses with the elaborate boarding and bay windows. Tennyson Avenue on the left was built in 1890, and once known as Jemmy Temmy Lane when it was just a narrow lane with a few cottages along it.

Pass into Wellington Road then turn right into Victoria Road, built in 1886. The ROMAN CATHLIC CHURCH [14] on the left has some elaborate stonework over the doorway and was built in 1893, to designs by Smith, Brodrick, Lowther and Walker of Hull.

Further along on the left, number 20 is FIELD HOUSE. [15] This was built as a country house by John Pitt in the early 1800s. An iron rich Chalybeate spring was found beneath it, and in the 1890s the house was used as a massage and hydropathic establishment because of the health giving properties of the spring, now covered by floorboards. The building is now used as a doctors’ surgery.

Turn right into Quay road and walk to the Railway Station to visit the award winning Refreshment Rooms. It is like stepping back in time, right into the film "Brief Encounter" with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. Savor what has been preserved from the past age of the steam railway. Return along Quay road.

At the end of the road is the main POST OFFICE [16] rebuilt in typical 1950s style after being destroyed in 1940. It was the first post office in the country to be purpose built and fully automatic.

Post Office BA Education

Post Office

Turning right into Quay Road and crossing the railway line you will reach the TOWN HALL. [17 ] The present building is on the site of Rose Villa, a mansion set in attractive gardens built in the 1830s for J.F.Lamplugh. It became White Lodge and was bought by the Borough Council in 1925 and demolished. The new town hall was built in 1932 with fifteen bays and a marble staircase, and is floodlit at night.

Town Hall BA Education

Town Hall

VICTORIA GARDENS [18] were originally Midway Green and the old properties next to the Crown Hotel were part of a hamlet round the green, which was half way between the Old Town and the Quay, with the moor separating them. Originally gravel pits the green was renamed in 1873 and was the terminus for the railway line from Hull. After a rest in the gardens walk back down Quay Road past the railway station, right, opened in 1846. This was designed by G.T. Andrews the architect for George Hudson, who attended the opening ceremony. A new station was built in 1912 to accommodate the extension of the railway line.
Continue over the railway crossing and on the left is CHRIST CHURCH [19] built in 1841 in Early English style, with no spire, to designs by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The church had to be made larger in 1851 to cater for the increasing population and a spire was added in 1859.

Christ church BA Education

Christ church

As the road bears to the right into Prospect Street, built in the early 1800s and named Spring Gardens, opposite the war memorial the car park was built on the site of the EXCHANGE HALL [20] and the PEOPLE'S PALACE, [21] built in 1896 in the grounds of Rosedale as a concert hall, dining room, bowling green and ballroom. It became the Hippodrome Cinema in 1911, but was destroyed by bombs in 1940. Shops were built on the site, but these were demolished in 1996.

Walk between the shops down the paved alley leading to Palace Avenue. Here is an area renovated in 1985 by the Manpower Services Commission to open up the GIPSEY RACE. [22] Follow the paved way into Palace Avenue and turn left up Beck Hill. A wooden bridge at the bottom was replaced in 1882 by a permanent bridge over the Gypsey Race.

As you reach the top of the hill look upwards to the left across the road and you will see a lookout tower on top of one of the buildings.

Cross the road into Chapel Street, originally North Back Street. Until the 1700s this was part of the moor surrounding Bridlington, then warehouses and timber yards were established, with a granary on the corner, left, next to the present North Street. A Primitive Methodist chapel, built on the site in 1873 to designs by William Freeman, was demolished in 1969 and replaced by a frozen food shop. Past Marshall Avenue a rope walk ran alongside the Methodist Chapel built in 1795, and in 1805 William Smedley performed in the Georgian Theatre along the Rope Walk. The chapel became too small and was enlarged in 1818, then rebuilt in 1873 to designs by William Botterill. Eventually congregations dwindled and the building was too large to upkeep. Weather and the pigeons did their worst and the roof fell in. Despite protests the building was demolished in 2000 and has been replaced by newly built shops in the Promenades shopping centre. The jeweller’s shop on the corner of the Promenade, left, was the site of the first lifeboat house in 1805.

Turn right into Cross Street, passing King Street, and right along Queen Street [25] originally South Back Street. Named after Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles 1, who stayed at a house here in 1643 after being forced to take shelter from a storm. She had sold her Jewels in Holland in exchange for arms and ammunition for the Civil Wars, transporting them by ship. The Parliamentarians found out that she was in the town and fired on them from the harbour. The Queen and her entourage took shelter under the banks of the Gypsey Race. The enemy ships were driven off, the Queen went to stay in the Old Town and the arms were loaded onto carts and taken to the Priory for safe keeping. After two weeks she journeyed to York with the arms on carts guarded by the army. It is rumoured that she stole the gold plate from Boynton Hall, whose owner, Sir William Strickland, was a Parliamentarian but this is probably a myth, however a portrait of the queen still hangs in the Hall. Off Queen’s Square, left, was an alley called Ship Hill which had two inns and a swimming baths.

At the end of the street look right along Manor Street. The Brunswick Hotel on the corner was used by the coastguard in 1823, and became a Temperence Hotel in 1846. The alley further along leads to Sawmill Yard with VICTORIA MILL [24] at the bottom, just one of the many watermills which was served by the Gypsey Race.

Victoria Mill BA Education

Victoria Mill

Barclays Bank at RICKABY MANSION, NUMBER 6, [23] was originally two separate houses which were converted into one for Sir Henry Boynton in 1810. Some of the original ceilings can still be seen inside. Lloyds Bank built in 1928, was built on the site of a Baptist Chapel, which was redesigned for the Rickaby family in 1840.

Rickaby mansion BA Education

Rickaby mansion

Continue into Bridge Street which before 1903 was just a narrow lane over Clough Bridge. You are approaching the Hilderthorpe area which was moorland before being developed in the 1800s.

Turning left into South Cliff Road you are once more back at the Harbour and have circled the town. © GMH

Bridlington Town Guide complete.

Old Town Walk


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