"Anne Brontë Was Here"
(Gallery  3)

Victorian scene on Scarborough's South Sands

A Victorian scene on Scarborough's South Sands: the photograph is not dated, but was almost certainly taken many years after Anne's days at the resort. The bathing huts, that Anne mentions in Agnes Grey, are seen here in full use. Though not recorded, it is highly likely that Anne gave sea-bathing a try while at Scarborough with the Robinsons: indeed, Mr. Robinson's 'cash accounts' contain entries for 'Sea Bathing', which presumably refer to hire of these 'huts'.50

'In another minute or two, the distant bathing machines would begin to move . . . '       . . . Agnes Grey.

''South Bay, Scarborough'' - 1868 (painting by Paul Marney)
"South Bay, Scarborough" 1868
A watercolour by Paul Marney. (1829-1914)

Scarborough's South Bay - just 19 years after Anne died there: already, a number of major changes have taken place - Wood's Lodgings have been replaced by the Grand Hotel, and Henry Wyatt's Gothic saloon has been replaced by the early 'Spa Buildings' (in 1856) (these were burned down several years later in 1876 - then replaced by the current Spa-Complex buildings). Once again, one of the 'bold projections in the cliffs' (mentioned in Agnes Grey) can be seen on the right, with the commencement of 'the low rocks out at sea' just beyond it.

Anne's collection of pebbles from Scarborough's South Sands
Anne's collection of pebbles which she gathered from Scarborough's South Sands. These are currently housed in the Brontë Parsonage Museum, and are often on show to visitors.

Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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Mick Armitage (e-mail)