Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What To Do In Robin Hood's Bay

Apart from the usual - look at the sea, go for a drink and puff your way back up Bay bank, try looking around:-  There's plenty of this sort of thing:-
This, at the top of the bank is probably the first thing you'll pass without noticing.  A WWII mine.  Once it had a number of projecting fuses around the top.  They made fine holes in ships.  Rusted, they could still be seen washed up when I was younger on quiet beaches and covees in the 1960s and probably later too.  My grandmother who lived in Robin Hood's Bay when she was younger can remember ships blowing up off the Bay in the 1st world war too!
The next thing you'll fail to see is this across the road from the WWII Mine.  It's a tribute to the efforts of the lifeboat crew and the public who once pulled the Whitby lifeboat all the way to Robin Hoods Bay, in winter, to rescue the brig, the Visitor.

you've probably been to the pub by now, so you'll most probably miss this too.  A genuine bit of 'Mouseman' Thompson's work at the entrance to the old police station. A few feet away see if you can spot the fake Thompson mouse?
Focused on heading directly to the sea, it's unlikely you'll see these old sperm whale jaw bones. Herbert FitzWalter owned three brigs, the Peacock, the Folly and the Averil which were equipped for whaling.  Whales were for a time processed in the area that once was the gas works site, these are the only trace of the industry left here. These stand in the back garden of FitzWalter's old cottage, Peacock cottage on Brig Garth. (These probably date from the very early 1800's)
There were a number of old whalebones standing around the Whitby area up until the 1970's , including a pair at Sleights  almost opposite Botham's shop.  Now, there are no originals left as far as I know.
Coffin Windows
The small window above the door is called a coffin window.  Not common now, this may be only one or two remaining.  They were once used to extract the dead in coffins - These old cottages often had stairs, steps and corners making it impossible to get a coffin in through the doors in the normal way.

The Sign

Only seen by the few.  As you Scoff your fish and chips outside the chippy if you walk towards the steps you'll see this on the wall and the original below.  Clearly once a dispute!  

The Fish
 The smallest listed building in the UK  Probably the most expensive too.  Recently restored it was sent away for painting.  This cost in excess of £14,000!  Its been there a long time.  Its been stolen too and dragged up the village.  This broke the tail off and you can still see the weld.

Wesley Cottage
John Wesley of methodist fame came to Robin Hood's Bay to preach.  He stayed here.

The Square

Many of the older buildings in the village have these vertically arranged stones around the windows.  So I'm told, these are re-used stone mullions which were the stones dividing much older, stone framed windows.  There are a number of examples around the village.

 Fire certificate - The Square
Before the modern fire service was created there were private ones.  No insurance - no fire service.  So when the fire brigade was called out they'd make sure you were insured by looking for the insurance 'certificate' on the wall.  Thee's another one on another building in the Square.

Oh, and don't forget to see the lovely little museum which is in the old coroner's room!

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