"Anne Brontë Was Here"
(Gallery  2)

Scarborough's South Bay - from the South Cliff  (1997)

A typical view obtainable from one of the many pathways that weave their way along the uneven slopes of the South Cliff. There can be little doubt that Anne took walks along these cliffs. Ellen Nussey's diary indicates that, two days after Anne's funeral, she and Charlotte were 'At the South Cliff' - indicating that they too had taken a walk in this area of the resort - probably on Anne's recommendation. The previous day they had visited the castle. (See 'Ellen Nussey's Diary' by following 'Notes & Sources' link from 'Main Page'.)

Scarborough's South Bay - from the South Cliff  (1998)

Another view of Scarborough's 'South Bay' from one of the South Cliff pathways.

Scarborough's South Bay - from the South Cliff  (c.1847)

This is Scarborough the way Anne knew it. The painting is undated but was produced around the mid to late 1840s 49n  - the period Anne was visiting the resort.  In the picture, a group of people appear to be having a picnic on one of the more level sections of the South Cliff. On the right, a young lady with a parasol takes a stroll along one of the cliff pathways. Just left of picture-centre (on the beach) is Henry Wyatt's Gothic Saloon (now 'The Spa'): beyond it is the Cliff Bridge (now Spa Bridge); and a little to the right of this, in white, and looking in pristine condition, the re-structured Wood's Lodgings with its new down-the-cliff extension is clearly visible (or rather - the side of it is).


Cliff projection - South Bay  (c.1890) Open-air bathing pool, South Bay  (c.1920)

In the penultimate chapter of Agnes Grey, Agnes spends some time walking across the 'low rocks out at sea' - 'But the tide was coming in; the water was rising; the gulfs and lakes were filling; the straits were widening, it was time to seek some safer footing; so I walked, skipped, and stumbled back to the smooth, wide sands, and resolved to proceed to a certain bold projection in the cliffs . . . '.  There were several bold projections in the cliffs around this locality. These appeared as low grassy plateaus, jutting out some distance from the general line of the cliffs. The photograph on the left, taken around 1890, shows a group of Victorians sunbathing on one of these 'projections'. In 1914, a large open-air bathing pool was built here. This can be seen in the photograph on the right (taken around 1920). As this picture was taken during low-tide, the 'low rocks out at sea' can be clearly seen beyond and to the right of the pool. Sadly, this inviting (in hot weather!) pool now stands derelict: the Scarborough council have recently made plans to have it filled in.

Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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Mick Armitage (e-mail)