Henry Wyatt's 'Gothic Saloon' / The Spa Buildings / The 'Spa Wells'
Henry Wyatt's 'Gothic Saloon' (c.1839) The current 'Spa' buildings (1997)

These two pictures show the same location - on the left is Henry Wyatt's 'Gothic Saloon' which opened 'with dancing and fireworks on 16 August 1839', the year before Anne's first visit to Scarborough. On the extreme right of this picture is the Cliff Bridge (now Spa Bridge): above and to the left of it can be seen the tower of Christ Church (indicated) at the top of Vernon Place (now Vernon Road). This was the church in which Anne and the Robinsons worshipped, and ultimately where Anne's funeral was conducted. The photograph on the right shows the current Spa Complex buildings standing on the site of the old saloon (June 1997).


South Bay view from 'Gothic Saloon' (c.1845) Same view (1997)

The old drawing was sketched around 1845,40n and from a bridge-like structure which led from the cliff pathway to the roof of the Gothic Saloon (see picture below). On the skyline, extreme left, can be seen Wood's Lodgings with the castle on the right. In the foreground is the entrance to the underground room which contained the Spa Wells. In 1626, a natural spring was discovered here by Elizabeth Farrow, and the water was believed to have great healing properties. From this time until around the mid-1800s, many summer pilgrimages were made to the 'Spa', and people would take the waters in the hope of a cure for a multitude of ailments. Although it is not recorded, it is quite possible that Anne may have tried them in 1849, hoping they might assist in her hoped-for recovery from consumption. Indeed, she may well have sampled them when visiting Scarborough with the Robinsons some years earlier: the Spa-water was certainly reputed to cure asthma, from which we know she suffered. The photograph on the right shows the same view in 1997 (taken at 7.30 a.m. - hence the desolate appearance!)

On the sea-wall - just beyond and to the left of the 'Spa Wells entrance' (old picture), can be seen two stone pillars: these mark the opening to a set of steps which, running parallel to the sea-wall, lead down to the beach. These steps remain today - see modern photograph. Half way down is a level platform, and here, the overflow of the Spa-water comes out of a small pipe in the wall: anyone wishing to sample the water can do so (though it doesn't look very appetizing - and actually tastes rather bitter! 41n ).


'South Bay' from beyond Gothic Saloon (1839) 'South Bay' view from pier (1845)

Left:  The view across Scarborough's South Bay from just beyond the Gothic Saloon. This sketch was drawn in 1839 - just after the saloon had been opened. Between the Saloon's turrets can be faintly seen St. Mary's Church (where Anne is now buried) and the castle is on the right. To the right and behind the artist are the 'low rocks out at sea' that Anne describes in Agnes Grey (see 'The Sands' - accessed from 'Main Page').

Right:  This is the view across the Bay from the opposite direction. Sketched from the harbour entrance (boat entrance!) in 1845. Clearly visible on the right is Wood's Lodgings and to the left of this, the Spa Bridge. On the extreme left is the Gothic Saloon. Even the pathway that leads from the Spa Bridge down to the Saloon (and Spa Wells) can easily be identified. This pathway remains today.


Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage 
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