In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Flamborough like this:
FLAMBOROUGH, a village and a parish in Bridlington district, E. R. Yorkshire. The village stands in a hollow, near the centre of a promontory, 2 miles E of Marton r. station, and 4 NE by E of Bridlington. It was known to the Saxons as Fleamburg, signifying "light town;" and it is supposed to have derived its name either from a flame-tower or beacon erected near it at some early period, or from the Continental town of Flansburg, belonging to the Jutes. It evidently is a place of much antiquity; it is even supposed to have been an important Roman station; and it probably continued to be somewhat notable in the middle ages; but it is now little if anything more than an ordinary fishing village, and coast-guard station. ...
It has a post office‡ under Hull, a church, two dissenting chapels, and some remains of an ancient tower. The church is ancient; consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with small western turret; was partially restored in 1865; and contains a carved screen, an ancient font, and an old brass. The remains of the ancient tower are at the west end of the village, and bear the name of the Danish tower; but no record exists to throw light upon its history. The parish comprises 2, 980 acres of land, and 598 of water. Real property, £4, 773. Pop., 1, 287. Houses, 306. The property is subdivided. The manor belonged to King Harold; was given, after the Conquest, to William le Gros; and passed to the Constables. Flamborough Head terminates the promontory, at about 2 miles from the village; consists of chalk cliffs, rising to the height of from 300 to 450 feet; is the resort of many myriads of sea-fowl; and has been pierced, by the action of waves and weather, into numerous caverns, the more remarkable of which are called Kirkhole, the Dovecot, and Robin Lyth's hole. Only two landing places, and these not good, are on the promontory; yet Ida the Saxon landed here with forty ships, to fight for the crown of Northumbria. A lighthouse, built in 1806, stands about 400 yards from the extreme point of the promontory, at an elevation of 250 feet; is a neat circular structure, 82 feet high; and shows three revolving faces, each of seven reflectors, one painted red, -the revolutions being so timed as to distinguish this light from any other. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of York. Value, £130.* Patron, W. Strickland, Esq. See Danes Dyke, and Bridlington.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Flamborough has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of East Riding of Yorkshire. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Flamborough and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Flamborough, in East Riding of Yorkshire and East Riding | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 16th April 2014
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