18. Unique Skinningrove !
Part 1 Skinningrove village
Scenes of Cleveland, North East England
18.-19. Walking from Skinningrove to Cowbar via Boulby Cliffs on a coastal part of the Cleveland Way long distance footpath - but spend a little time imbibing the atmosphere and history of Skinningrove and the majesty of Boulby Cliffs.
In its later history Skinningrove was an important centre for ironstone mining and, with Loftus, associated with important alum quarries.
The view down to Skinningrove Harbour from the minor road from Loftus, what you see in terms of history is a settlement derived from a medieval fishing village, a farming community, redeveloped in the 16th and 17th centuries (buildings of orange-brown local sandstone) and finally the massive 19th century impact of the industrial growth of the mining and ironworks industries in the area. Historically Skinningrove is linked to the A174 connecting the ancient ports of Yam and Whitby. You can walk in both directions along the coast, but circular routes are awkward - though it is possible to return to Loftus or the Skinningrove turn-off via bus.
The now disused harbour facilities ending with the rusting iron bulwarks. Skinningrove is first mentioned in 1273 as 'Scinergreve', in 1301 as Skynnergreve and by 1579 Skynnyngrave, which is pretty close to its current name. The name is from Old Norse personal name Skinnari, meaning a tanner, i.e. a worker involved in leather production. The manor of Skinningrove belonged to the de Brus family of Skelton Castle then the Thwengs of Kilton Castle (xref - Kilton Beck which runs down the ravine in which Skinningrove is situated). By 19th C the lands were owned by the Earl of Zetland.
First a little saunter across the bridge to the west side of Skinningrove. Note the reddish-orange-brown colour of the rocks and water due to the presence of iron mineral compounds. In 1848 ironstone mining took off in a big way with the opening of the Loftus drift mines. Together with the growing railway connections bringing materials in, the ironstone was shipped out of Skinningrove, initially to Tyneside blast furnaces and later to ironworks in Middlesbrough and County Durham - the small 'medieval' fishing and farming community drastically changed in appearance!
One of the old fishing cobbles WY220 (once Whitby registered) and called THE REPUS.
Above the old industrial jetty the waste slag from the old iron works that has eroded to look like natural sedimentary rock cliffs.
Looking across Skinningrove harbour south-east to the high cliffs of Boulby - the dark silhouette in the distance.
The old jetty from whose staithes materials were transported in and out of Skinningrove via the bank in the foreground. This is sometimes called 'Skinningrove Pier' as well as 'Skinningrove Jetty'.
The Cleveland way heads north-west above the beach along the coast to Saltburn-by-the-Sea.
Views south-east and north-west from where the 'road' ran above the coastal track and down to the jetty.
Returning back past THE REPUS and further potter around Skinningrove - a unique place, I don't know anything else quite like it, it has character all of its own and well worth a visit! The story of THE REPUS is told on a plaque by the boat.
The Repus is a traditional fishing cobble that has been restored and fitted out with two carved figures as a memorial to all those lost at sea off the Grove - very simple, very beautiful and very fitting for the location - thanks lads! and the rest of the friendly people of Skinningrove.
A little saunter up the road brings you to some of the older buildings, which thankfully, have not been demolished. Above is one section of an L shaped lines of houses called STONE ROW some of which are Grade II listed buildings.
There doesn't seem to be too many holiday cottages and I believe there is strong local community spirit.
A fine looking very early 18th century Grade II listed building in Mill Lane, Skinningrove, now a pub and coffee house cafe called TIMMS, and was once a manor house (dated 1704 on the sun-dial).
Sheila's 'village' store is a fine building and, not exactly attractive, but the shop is as equally useful as the Beach Road Fisheries for a really good fish and chips!
THE POWER HOUSE of the CLEVELAND IRONSTONE MINING MUSEUM which is situated at the top of the Skinningrove road where it meets the Loftus - Skelton road.
Anyway, back down to the coast and walk to Boulby Cliffs.
Some of the still used cobbles and other fishing boats hauled up by tractors and parked between the river and the beach. The occupations of Skinningrove's inhabitants have ranged from fishing, agriculture, sandstone quarrying, ironstone mining, alum manufacture and not to mention the odd bit of smuggling!
Skinningrove Village below, Corus Steelworks above and note on the upper-left the sharp peak of a waste tip from the now defunct Liverton Mines. In 1600 Skinningrove was just a little fishing village and a manor house. By 1850, this was all changed, iron ore was mined in e.g. Liverton and Skinningrove Ironstone Mines and an iron works was in full production where the Corus Steel Plant is today - hence the curious 'rock' formations on the north-west cliffs.
The Corus Steel Plant can be seen above Skinningrove on top-left. This steelworks, sitting on Carlin How, has along industrial history, but what is its future in 2009? This picture is taken from looking down from the Cleveland Way footpath at the start of the stretch to Boulby Cliffs and Cowbar.
The wonderful coast walk can be pursued north-west if you so choose, but we head south-east for Boulby Cliffs. On the centre-left are the dark patches of the 'unnatural' cliffs formed from slag waste of the 19th century iron works.
Cleveland North East England docspics images pictures photos © Phil Brown Tourist information, Walks, Holidays, Top tourist attractions, luxury hotels, B&B, holiday cottages, pubs, restaurants, walking holidays, touring coach tours, historic English towns, villages, churches, museums, art galleries, property for sale