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About Robin Hoods Bay

Submitted by on Wednesday, 17 June 2009No Comment

Robin Hood’s Bay, with its narrow streets and quaint cottages and houses, is one of the most picturesque and far-famed villages on the English coastline.

Situated on the Yorkshire coast, between Whitby and Scarborough, the old village nestles in a narrow ravine at the edge of a wide sweeping bay, which is bounded on the north by Bay Ness and on the south by the lofty cliffs of Ravenscar.The name of the village has been traced back to the time of Henry VIII, whose topographer John Leyland, described it as a small fishing town with 20 boats. There have been many theories put forward as to the origin of the name, but most are based on folklore, not fact. Some say that the famous outlaw came here, but documentary proof is wanting. Folklore tells us that Robin Hood kept a couple of boats here, so that, if things got “too hot” for him in Sherwood Forest, he could escape to the continent. Whatever the facts, the place itself is rich in folklore and legend, which have in no small way helped to spread its fame abroad.

For centuries Robin Hood’s bay remained a small fishing village but the opening of the Scarborough & Whitby in 1885 brought about extensive physical and social changes which saw the demise of the fishing industry and the rise of the tourist industry in the first half of the twentieth century her explanation.

Robin Hood’s Bay had been recognised as a quaint and attractive place for the tourist and visitor for over 150 years. In 1820 Matthew Galtry wrote of the Bay in his Scarborough Guide – “It is often visited by strangers attracted by the fame of the alum works in its neighbourhood, and the peculiarity of its grotesque appearance. The road to it is by no¬† means good for carriages, on this account therefore and also from its distance, it is usually visited by gentlemen only”!

In earlier times the village and the surrounding area of Fylingdales, because of its geographical isolation and poor roads, was very much a closed community. Many of the inhabitants were direct descendants of the original Viking raiders who settled here to farm and fish. For practically all its needs the community was entirely self-sufficient.

by local Historian, Robin Lidster.

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