Scarborough & District Civic Society 

LOCATION 6

Scarborough   Spa at Night 1879

Francis Sydney Muschamp 1851-1929

Additional Information

In 1626, Mrs Thomasin Farrer, a respectable Scarborough lady with an enquiring mind, noticed that the water flowing out of a spring in the South Bay was causing the stones to be tinged brown.  She tried drinking the water and found it beneficial to her health, told all her many friends and the Spa was born.  It was the first coastal Spa to gain national recognition, long before the Prince Regent put Brighton on the map.  In 1826 a company was formed to develop the Spa, including better access to the site by means of the Cliff Bridge.

In 1836, a storm damaged the existing wooden building and a stone Gothic saloon, designed by Henry Wyatt, was opened in 1839. In 1857, Sir Joseph Paxton submitted plans for more extensive buildings but Paxton’s Grand Hall was destroyed by fire in 1876.  It was replaced in 1879 by the Grand Hall of Verity and Hunt, a London firm of architects, together with additional buildings on the site. Further improvements to the buildings and promenade continue to this day; a multi-million pound refurbishment of the facilities was recently completed.

To the south is the lower station of the Scarborough Spa Cliff Lift.  This was the first passenger cliff tramway in Europe (possibly the world) and it set an example to be followed by a large number of holiday resorts – Scarborough alone built another four.  The lift provides a first class method of reaching the delights of the Esplanade above.

Directions to Location 7

The path to the next location is necessarily steep in parts.  Retrace your steps along the front of the Spa and then climb the steps at the north end of the complex.  Follow the footpath until the Spa Chalet and then make a U - turn up the footpath towards the Esplanade.  Wheelchair users can avoid the steps by using the lift in the Spa buildings at the south end, follow this higher level until reaching the footpath at the north end.  Alternatively use the Spa Cliff Lift, travel along the Esplanade and descend the footpath through the ornamental gates opposite the Crown Spa Hotel.