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Ravenscar is one of the most intriguing places on the Yorkshire coast for those interested in history. Its dramatic clifftop location made it ideal as a site for one of a string of Roman signal stations along this part of the Yorkshire coast.

The Raven Hall Hotel, perched broodingly on the clifftop, was once a home owned by King George III’s physician, Dr Francis Willis: it’s rumoured that the king may have stayed there during his treatment.

A stone’s throw away is the alum works, once an important part of this country’s fabric dyeing industry, and now a fascinating National Trust site.

In the late Victorian period, big plans were made for Ravenscar to become a holiday resort to rival Scarborough and Whitby. Roads were laid out, a handful of fine houses were built and sewers laid. But Peak – as it would have been named – never really caught on, perhaps because of the steep path down to the beach – and the development company went bankrupt. But remnants of the resort that never was remain.

And – like the rest of this fabulous Jurassic coast – the beach at Ravenscar is a wonderful place to find fossils.


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