In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Scarborough like this:
Scarborough, parl. and mun. bor., seaport and watering-place, par. and township, North-Riding Yorkshire, 39 miles NE. of York and 234 N. of London by rail - township, 1245 ac. and 243 foreshore, pop. 26,238; bor. and par., 2348 ac., pop. 30,504; 3 Banks, 6 newspapers. Market-day, Thursday. Scarborough is situated on a semi-circular bay, and rises from the shore in the form of an amphitheatre. On the N. the bay is protected by a high promontory, on which stands the castle (1136), formerly a fortress of immense strength; it was twice besieged by the Parliamentary forces during the Civil War. ...
The newer and the older parts of the town, separated by a chasm, are connected by a bridge 414 ft. long. Scarborough is much frequented for sea-bathing and for its mineral waters, which have long been in repute. The Spa has beautifully laid-out grounds and a fashionable promenade. The harbour is of great importance to the coasting trade, being used as a place of shelter from the easterly gales, and attention has been paid to it from an early period. On St Vincent Pier is a lighthouse 56 ft. high, with fixed light 58 ft. above high water and seen 13 miles. There is a floating dock for the repair of ships. Some foreign trade is carried on with France, Holland, and the Baltic, and a considerable coasting trade with the Tyne and the Tees. (For shipping statistics, see Appendix.) Shipbuilding, rope and sail-cloth making are carried on, and the fisheries are actively prosecuted. The mfr. of jet ornaments has risen to be an important industry. The fine old church of St Mary was built in the reign of Stephen. A sea-bathing infirmary was founded in 1812, and a large aquarium was opened in 1877. Scarborough was a borough by prescription, first chartered in 1181. It returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members from the time of Edward I. until 1885.
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 Scarborough has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Scarborough. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Scarborough and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Scarborough in North Riding | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 07th December 2013
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