By the 1800s the South Side of Scarborough was well established as a tourist destination far transformed from its humble fishing town origins it was now one of the country’s first and most popular holiday resorts and canny entrepreneurs were keen to capitalise on its mounting fame.
In 1826 a new company emerged calling its self the Cliff Bridge Company it acquired the lease for the Spa entertainment complex and set about building a new bridge that would link the centre of town with the new south side attractions. A bridge was seen as a necessary addition due to the steep ravine which separated St Nicholas Cliff from the Spa making access for a large numbers of visitors problematic.
That same year the foundation stone was laid for the bridge and construction began at such a pace that by July the following year the Cliff Bridge was opened with great ceremony.
Though the construction was fast it didn’t come without issues, costs spiralled and it was delivered almost twice over budget at £7000. Still it was seen as such a success that a toll of one half penny to cross was imposed with a number of season tickets also made available.
Today the Cliff Bridge stands as both a beautiful example of the Victorian ability to combine engineering and style and a reminder of how much influence that era had on the aesthetics of the town, with fantastic views out over South Bay and the Spa and down into the Valley Gardens bellow. It’s the perfect place to begin a visit to South Cliff Gardens on foot from the town centre and unlike our Victorian ancestors today’s users can experience its charms free of charge.
FUN FACTS: Cliff Bridge is constructed of iron, it rests on four imposing pillars and is 414 feet long and 75 feet high.