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.
Walk up Bayle Gate towards the BAYLE.  The statue on the left is a bust of John Sawdon, whose family owned the butchers shop at 32 High Street, and who was mayor of Bridlington from 1905 until 1908. There were houses lining this narrow street leading to the Priory until the early 1900s. The Bull and Sun hotel, right, which is the only public house in England of that name, was originally on the corner of North Back Lane. There was a haberdashery shop on the present site, with workrooms and staff accommodation upstairs. The National School was started in Baylegate in 1818. There was probably a building on the Bayle site before 1150 when the main part of the Priory was built. The gatehouse was a two storey stone building with two spiral staircases and four garderobes or primitive toilets on the outside walls. This was altered and added to after a licence to crenellate or fortify was granted in 1388. There were now four storeys with a court room on the top floor and arrow slits for defence.
A Knitting School founded by William Bower was held on Kirkgate from 1671 to 1872, where children were given an education in return for knitting useful articles for sale. In the 1800s the girls paid 1d (.4p) per week for instruction in reading.
Church Green, in front of the Priory, was used for sheep fairs and other village activities. An infants school, now demolished, was opened there in 1857. The rectory was built on the corner in 1971.
From the Priory go across the road to Pinfold Street noting HIGH GREEN  on the right, on which sheep fairs were held from 1838, with cattle and horse fairs from 1853. The Charter Fair was also held annually from 1879 to 1973, when it was moved to Hilderthorpe Road. At the top of the street there was once a pinfold for stray animals. Farmsteads and barns surrounded the green, overlooking the Priory pond, now filled in. The Great Barn, used for storage by the Priors, was at the top end.
At the top of the street turn left into Marton Road. On the right are BURLINGTON SCHOOLS,  built in 1910. On the left are some of the remaining buildings of the WORKHOUSE,  built in 1847 to house the poor and destitute. The Adult Training Centre, was built here in 1981. Mill Lane, on the right, reminds us that there was once a windmill here where people brought their corn to be ground.
Cross Scarborough Road and walk past Stepney Grove. SHEPNEY MEWS,  on the corner, is a restored building, formerly a farmhouse and slaughterhouse, on the edge of Stepney Park, which was in the grounds of Stepney House. This large house on the corner of Scarborough Road facing the market place, was demolished when the main road was built in the 1930s. The remains of the garden can be seen on the other side of the road.
Turn left into Market Place and you see the K6 telephone box designed in 1935 by Sir Gilbert Scott and saved by the Civic Society in 1988. Until 1910 people brought their produce in from the villages to be sold in the markets.
Turn right into Westgate. Along here was a development of large houses built by wealthy families in the 1600s. On the left, 6 - 7 WESTGATE  is the former home of the Hebblethwaite family. They were large land owners in the 1600s and the initials WH are on the rainwater heads.
Walk along to YE OLDE STAR INN,  an old timbered building, parts of which were built in the 1600s. There is a horse mounting block in the yard.
Then to THE AVENUE  lately used as a hospital, converted into dwellings in 1989. The house was built in 1714 as a home for the Prickett family. The date can be seen on the original lead rainwater heads. The brick front with three storeys and five bay windows was altered in the early 1800s, when a classical porch was added. Note the moulded brickwork over the windows. The stable block was built in 1820. The name comes from the avenue of trees leading from the park entrance to the front door.
William Kent, the architect and designer, was born William Cant, probably at number 74 in the Old Town of Burlington in 1685, now Bridlington. His father was a joiner running a successful business and in 1693 he built a larger house for his family at number 45, using his skills as a joiner to fit out the interior. The house now has a new frontage as a bow fronted shop. When their mother died in 1697, after only four years in the new house, William and his sister Esther were left to be brought up by their father. William probably went to school in the Bayle where he was found to be good at drawing but not at reading and writing. On leaving school he was apprenticed to a sign painter and began painting coaches as well as landscapes. His talent was noticed and in 1710 he found a patron who sent him to Italy to study painting. To supplement his income he bought and sold paintings to the nobility on the Grand Tour of Europe and became friendly with Thomas Coke, Earl of Leicester and Lord Burlington. By this time he had changed his surname to Kent. In 1719 he came back to London with Lord Burlington, living in his house whilst designing and making furniture. He then began a career in architecture, designing such houses as Holkham Hall in the Palladium style which he had seen in Rome, as well as the interior furnishings and fittings. Once again he changed course and began to paint landscapes and design a more informal type of garden for the large houses being built at this time, and even had Capability Brown as his assistant. He never married and was known for his liking of good food and drink as well as telling rather vulgar stories. William died in 1748 aged sixty three and was buried in Chiswick.
Number 43, THE TOFT  built in 1673 still has some original features inside. It was refronted in 1850 when the attics were made into a top storey.
Several of the bow windows which were removed from the buildings are now in the Castle Museum in York, and a visit to the museum would give you a flavour of the atmosphere of the time. William Sawdons butchers shop was situated at number 32.
The DOMINICAN CONVENT  at number 22 is
the largest house in the street with nine bay windows, and may date from the early 1700s. The Tuscan doorway was added in
1825 and the house became a school in 1930. From 1960 it became the Convent for the Sisters of Mercy until it closed in 2014
to become a private house.