Flamborough (St. Oswald)
FLAMBOROUGH (St. Oswald), a parish, in the union of Bridlington, wapentake of Dickering, E. riding of York, 4 miles (E. N. E.) from Bridlington; containing 1191 inhabitants. Some writers suppose this parish to derive its name from the Saxon Fleamburgh, and assert that Ida landed at the Head; others infer that its appellation originated from the "flame" or light anciently placed on the cliffs, to direct mariners in the navigation of the North Sea. In early times the place was of some note; the Danes, in their attacks, frequently making it one of their principal stations: it was possessed by Harold, earl of the West Saxons, afterwards king of England; and subsequently, William Le Gros, the founder of Scarborough Castle, was its lord. At present it is a large fishing-village, remarkable for its adjacent promontory, and its fine lighthouse, which may be seen on a clear night at the distance of 30 miles. The parish comprises by computation rather more than 3000 acres, of which two-thirds are arable, and the remainder, with the exception of about 15 acres of plantation, meadow and pasture. Flamborough Head is a lofty promontory overlooking the village, forming a magnificent object, and one of the greatest natural curiosities in the kingdom. The cliffs, which are of white limestone rock, extend in a range of from five to six miles, and rise in many places to an elevation of 300 feet perpendicularly from the sea; at the base are several extensive caverns, one of which, called Robin Lyth's Hole, has an opening landward, communicating with the sea entrance, and is an object of much admiration. In the summer season, the cliffs are the resort of an almost inconceivable number of aquatic birds from different regions, who here build their nests and rear their young: sportsmen are attracted from various parts; and boys are frequently let down the rocks by means of ropes fastened to stakes, and bring away with them bushels of eggs for the use of the sugar-house at Hull, and for domestic purposes. On the extreme point of the promontory, at the distance eastward of nearly a mile and a half from the village, and at an elevation of about 250 feet, is the lighthouse, with revolving points, erected by the Trinity House, London, in 1806. A pleasure-fair is held at the village on Whit-Tuesday. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the family of Strickland (the impropriators), with a net income of £81, and a parsonage-house, lately built by private subscription and a grant from Queen Anne's Bounty. There are places of worship for Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists. The most remarkable relic of antiquity is the Danes' Dyke, a gigantic intrenchment of immense width and depth, with two lines of defence and breastworks; it crosses the promontory from north to south, forming a bulwark between it and the main land, having been constructed, as some suppose, by the Danes, in order to insulate the promontory.