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Ravenscar Resort - A Victorian White Elephant

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Ravenscar Resort - A Victorian White Elephant

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Date Posted:December 21st, 2007
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Description: The railway came to the hamlet of Ravenscar in 1885, with the opening of the Whitby & Scarborough Railway. With it came the ambitions of a group of Yorkshire businessmen; to build at Ravenscar a seaside resort for 5000 inhabitants, to rival Scarborough. The Peak Estate Company paid £10,000 for the land, plans were drawn up, and 300 men built the roads and drains and laid in mains water. But sales of the 1500+ plots never took off, and fruitless auctions were held every year until 1923, when the company was liquidated.

What those ambitious businessmen seem to have ignored was that a seaside resort needs easy access to the sea, and miles of golden sand, which Scarborough has. What does Ravenscar have? A 600-foot cliff to negotiate before you get your feet wet, and a narrow, rocky beach.

No wonder that, of the 1500+ plots for sale, just eight were ever build on; a terrace of four and four singles. Those eight plots, with their eight houses, are all that remains of this Victorian folly, though today, if you wander over the site, perhaps, under the long grass, you'll discover a kerb stone or an ornate Victorian drain cover.

The map overlay in this folder, of 1918, shows the eight houses that were built. Switch the overlay off to see what's on the ground today.

For the railway enthusiast I've included the station and the tunnel.


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