Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for FILEY

FILEY, a village, a township, a parish, and a sub-district, in Scarborough district, Yorkshire. The village and the township are in the E riding; but the rest of the parish, and also another parish of the sub-district, are in the N riding. The village stands on the coast, adjacent to the Hull and Scarborough railway, 7 miles SE of Scarborough. "As the shore, " says Camden, "winds itself back from hence, a thin slip of land, like a small tongue thrust out, shoots into the sea, such as the old English called File, from this the little village of Filey takes its name. "The place appears to have been known and peopled by the Romans; and either it or Dunsley was the "well-havened bay" of Ptolemy. Remains of a Roman work, seemingly of a station, were discovered on the cliff at it in 1857; and have been described in the Transactions of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society. The village, however, has made no figure in history; and, till some time after the commencement of the present century, was only an obscure fishing-place; but, latterly, it has risen into considerable note as a sea-bathing resort. It consists of two parts, old and new, running parallel to a ravine. The old part consists mainly of two streets, and has undergone some renovation. The new part consists chiefly of lodging-houses, arranged in a crescent, and in handsome streets. Drainage has been effected, at a cost of £2, 000; and waterworks have been constructed. The village has a post office‡ under York, a railway station, four hotels, two churches, two dissenting chapels, a public library and newsroom, and a weekly market. The parish church is cruciform, partly Norman, partly early English; has a massive square central tower; and contains a Norman font, three sedilia, and a piscina. The other church is an iron one, a chapel of ease, erected in 1857. The bathing-beach is sandy, smooth, and firm. A spa is on the top of Nab Hill, about ½ a mile to the N, has reputation for cases of scrofula, dyspepsia, and nervousness; and contains, in a pint of its water, 6 . 12 grains of sulphate of magnesia, 445 of chloride of magnesia, 5. 15 of chloride of calcium, 26 . 35 of chloride of sodium, 7 . 26 of carbonate of soda, a minute quantity of iron, and traces of iodine and bromine. Filey Brig, Filey Point, or Filey Head, in the vicinity of the spa, projects about ½ a mile into the sea, forms a fine promenade at low water, and possesses many attractions for naturalists and geologists. The village is famous for its fish, especially lobsters; and it publishes a weekly news-paper.-The township comprises 700 acres of land, and 268 of water. Real property, £7, 726; of which £35 are in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 1, 511; in 1861, 1,881. Houses, 429.—The parish contains also the townships of Gristhorpe and Lebberston . Acres, 3, 628; of which 538 are water. Real property, £11, 447. Pop., 2, 244. Houses, 499. The property is much subdivided. An ancient coffin, supposed to be ancient British, consisting of a hollowed block of oak, was found in a tumulus at Gristhorpe in 1834, and contained a skeleton intensely blackened, apparently from the action of the tannin and the gallic acid of the wood, and contained also some ancient warlike implements and other articles. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of York. Value, £125.* Patron, Miss Brook two turns, and Admiral Mitford one turn. -The sub-district contains four parishes. Acres, 13, 477. Pop., 3, 728. Houses, 784.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village, a township, a parish, and a sub-district"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Filey CP/Tn/AP       Filey SubD       Yorkshire AncC
Place: Filey

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