Robin hoods Bay
Robin Hoods Bay- is a small fishing town or village located five miles south of Whitby and 15 miles north of Scarborough on the coast of North Yorkshire, England. Bay Town, as it is known to the locals, is in the ancient parish of Fylingdales and in the wapentake of Whitby Strand.
Topynomy- the origin of the name is uncertain, and it is doubtful if Robin Hood was ever in the vicinity. The bay may be called Robin Hood's Bay, because of the English ballad said according to legend, Robin Hood went out in his fishing trip and he encountered pirates who came to pillage the fisherman's boat. He got the French pirates to surrender and returned the goods that the pirates have robbed during the plundering of the northeast coast of England to the poor peoples. Robin Hood return home to his Merry Men from his trip of fighting the pirates and gave the pirates' loot to the poor people of the village of the bay that is now called Robin Hood's Bay. Early History- By about 1000 the neighbouring hamlet of Raw and village of Thorpe in Fylingdales had been settled by Norwegians and Danes. After the Norman Conquest in 1069 much land in the north of England, including Fylingdales, was laid waste. William the Conqueror gave Fylingdales to Tancred the Fleming who later sold it to the Abbot of Whitby. The earliest settlements were about a mile inland at Raw but by about 1500 a settlement had grown up on the coast. "Robin Hoode Baye" was first mentioned by Leland in 1536 who described it as,"A fischer tounlet of 20 bootes with Dok or Bosom of a mile yn length."
In the 16th century Robin Hood's Bay was a more important port than Whitby, it is described by a tiny picture of tall houses and an anchor on old North Sea charts published by Waghenaer in 1586 and now in Rotterdam's Maritime Museum. After the Dissolution of the monasteries in 1540, Whitby Abbey and it's lands became the property of King Henry VIII, King St and King’s Beck date from this time. Smuggling- The town, which consists of a maze of tiny streets, has a tradition of smuggling, and there is reputed to be a network of subterranean passageways linking the houses. During the late 18th century smuggling was rife on the Yorkshire coast. Vessels from the continent brought contraband which was distributed by contacts on land and the operations were financed by syndicates who made profits without the risks taken by the seamen and the villagers. Tea, gin, rum, brandy and tobacco were among the contraband smuggled into Yorkshire from Holland and France to avoid the duty. In 1773 two excise cutters, the Mermaid and the Eagle, were outgunned and chased out of the Bay by three smuggling vessels, a schooner and two shallops. A pitched battle between smugglers and excise men took place in the dock over 200 casks of brandy and geneva (gin) and 15 bags of tea in 1779.
Fishing and lifeboats- Fishing and farming were the original occupations followed by generations of Bay folk. Fishing reached its peak in the mid 19th century; fishermen used the coble for line fishing in winter and a larger boat for herring fishing. Fish was loaded into panniers and men and women walked or rode over the moorland tracks to Pickering or York. Many houses in the village were built between 1650 and 1750 and whole families were involved in the fishing industry. Many families owned or part owned cobles. Later some owned ocean going craft.
A plaque in the town records that a Brig named "Visitor" ran ashore in Robin Hood's Bay on 18 January 1881 during a violent storm. In order to save the crew, the lifeboat from Whitby was pulled 6 miles overland by 18 horses, with the 7 feet deep snowdrifts present at the time cleared by 200 men. It was launched two hours after leaving Whitby, with the crew and the Visitor rescued on the second attempt. The main legitimate activity had always been fishing, but this started to decline in the late 19th century. These days most of its income comes from tourism. Robin Hood's Bay is also famous for the large number of fossils which may be found on its beach.
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