The Rotunda Museum
The Rotunda Museum (pre 1842) The Rotunda Museum (1997)

The Rotunda Museum can be seen on the left in both pictures. This museum was described by Anne's brother, Branwell, in an unfinished novel.38n It is inconceivable to think that Anne would not have paid a visit here with the Robinsons, if not alone: she may have taken the Robinson children there as an educational exercise. The building was erected - specifically as a museum - in 1829, and the rectangular side wings (seen in the modern photograph) were added in the 1860s: the building still serves as a museum today. The old sketch is not dated, but was drawn sometime between 1829 and 1842.39n  The 'Mill Beck' ran down this chasm making its way to the sea: today, this is completely concealed below ground as the area passing beneath the Spa Bridge (on the right) has been raised somewhat - the difference can be seen between the two pictures. On the cliff-top, just to the right of the museum (old picture) is the 'pre-1842' Wood's Lodgings. This is where Anne stayed during her first few visits to Scarborough. This site is now occupied by the giant Grand Hotel - dominating the scene in the modern photograph, as it does in many other Scarborough views. Behind the Spa Bridge, on the skyline, can be seen the castle, and just to the right of the bridge are the South Sands, which became the setting for some of the final scenes in Anne's novel, Agnes Grey.

 Rotunda Museum, Wood's Lodgings, Cliff Bridge - crayon sketch  (c.1840)

A crayon sketch by W. Tindall: produced around 1840 - the year Anne made her first visit to Scarborough. Once again, to the right of the museum (on the cliff) is the early Wood's Lodgings 'house'. This was also, probably, the block in which she died (No: 2, Cliff) - in 1849. On the right can be seen the pool created by the 'Mill Beck', the water gradually making its way beneath the 'Cliff Bridge' (now called Spa Bridge), and across the South Sands to the sea. An 1845 advert for the bridge gave the specifications as 13·5' wide, 414' long, and 75' high.

Copyright © 1999 Michael Armitage
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