Oldest Buildings in Scarborough’s bottom end.
In Quay Street in the old part of Scarborough, you’re standing on land reclaimed from the sea.
The brick fronted Three Mariners on the left is believed to have once been part of the timber framed house.
Years ago, when there was no dredging equipment, as the harbour silted up, the quay would simply be moved further out. This is why Quay Street is actually quite some distance from the current quay.
The Three Mariners is reputed to be the oldest pub in town and provides another good example of how the outward appearance of a building has been altered to suit changing tastes.
It’s believed the brick fronted Three Mariners and the timber building next door were once all part of the same structure, with the other third being demolished at some stage.
On the Foreshore Road you’ll pass a building known as the Richard III house.
Though it’s claimed Richard III stayed here when he visited Scarborough, there’s no evidence to verify this. However it is certain that he visited Scarborough and the castle frequently, and that he considered the town important enough to make it into a county in it’s own right.
A narrow passage called The Bolts runs parallel to Foreshore Road for some distance, although it has now been blocked off in places. The name comes from the French for the common latrine.
At one time this part of the shore was washed twice a day by high tide. So sewage would be emptied from overhanging buildings into The Bolts to be washed away.
As you return to the Foreshore road, imagine the beach crowded, not with families and sunbathers, but fish merchants instead. Rather than sunbathing, during the fair they’d be selling fish
Scarborough beach is popular in good weather, but even the sunniest days probably don’t compare to the crowds that would have gathered here for Scarborough Fair. In the medieval period Scarborough was the 19th most prosperous town in the country and the wealth largely came from trading in dried and salt herring.
Scarborough Fair was a trading fair lasting a whopping 45 days which took place annually from the year 1263. People would come from all over Europe to buy and sell herring, so it was a significant event and it’s hardly surprising a song was written about it.