"Anne Brontë Was Here"
(Gallery 1)

St. Nicholas Cliff  (c.1935)St. Nicholas Cliff  c. 1935 
An aerial view of the Scarborough locality most familiar to Anne, though, shown here some 86 years after she died. The Grand Hotel, which replaced Wood's Lodgings; and Christ Church, where Anne's funeral was conducted, are indicated. The Grand Hotel's three story 'down-the-cliff extension' is clearly visible. An almost identical extension was added to Wood's Lodgings in 1842 - the year of Anne's third visit to the resort. The Spa bridge, where Anne took many walks, is on the left, with the Rotunda museum just beyond it (extreme left). In the foreground are the South Sands, where Anne loved to walk beside the sea, and that inspired some of the concluding scenes of her novel, Agnes Grey.


St. Nicholas Cliff and South Bay  (c.1849)
St. Nicholas Cliff / Wood's Lodgings & South Bay  ('Prior to 1850')

Here is the view across the Cliff Bridge (Spa Bridge) to Wood's Lodgings (indicated) and St. Nicholas Cliff in the late 1840s - around the time Anne spent her last days there.45n  The 'bathing machines' that Anne mentions in Agnes Grey are in clear evidence along the South Sands.


Scarborough headland (aeriel view)

This aerial view shows the Scarborough headland - jutting out eastwards into the North Sea. The commencement of the 'South Sands' can be seen on the left, but the Grand Hotel, being a little further around the bay, is not visible. At the tip of the headland, on top of the cliff, are the castle grounds - which formed the setting for one of the final scenes in Agnes Grey . . .

 

Scarborough Headland

The route Anne describes in the final chapter of her novel can be clearly seen here. Edward Weston informs Agnes that he wishes her to take a walk with him to a particular location : 

' "Agnes, I want you to take a walk with me to ------" (he named a certain part of the coast - a bold hill on the land side, and towards the sea a steep precipice, from the summit of which a glorious view is to be had).' 46

A short while later, Edward and Agnes make their way through the 'crowded streets' of the town (from the left), and eventually come in sight of 'the venerable old church [St. Mary's] and the ------ Hill [Castle Hill], with the deep blue sea beyond it': they ascend the hill and make their way to the 'edge of the precipice' where they stand looking out to sea.

It is nowhere recorded that Anne actually visited the castle grounds; but when one stands at this cliff edge, looks down at the sea crashing against the sea wall way below, and then contemplates the description of 'that glorious summer evening' in Agnes Grey, any doubts that she did quickly evaporate.47n

The picture opposite shows another view of that 'certain part of the coast - a bold hill on the land side, and towards the sea a steep precipice, from the summit of which a glorious view is to be had', where Edward Weston walked with Agnes and made his proposal of marriage to her.'
 
''. . . I shall never forget that glorious summer evening, and always remember with delight that steep hill, and the edge of the precipice where we stood together, watching the splendid sunset mirrored in the restless world of waters at our feet . . . "
. . . Agnes Grey.48n

In the picture, Anne's grave is just off the bottom (to the left of centre).

Scarborough's 'Castle Hill' and castle


Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage

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